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All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich…

All Quiet on the Western Front (1929)

by Erich Maria Remarque

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
14,581322264 (4.1)1 / 992
The testament of Paul Baumer, who enlists with his classmates in the German army of World War I, illuminates the savagery and futility of war.
  1. 90
    The Road Back by Erich Maria Remarque (DeDeNoel)
    DeDeNoel: Also by Remarque, The Road Back is often considered a sequel to All Quiet. It has some of the same characters and alludes to others.
  2. 80
    Storm of Steel by Ernst Jünger (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Taken together, Jünger's memoir and Remarque's novel present a pair of radically different views of the German experience in World War I.
  3. 61
    Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (usnmm2)
  4. 50
    Lay Down Your Arms! by Bertha von Suttner (MarthaJeanne)
    MarthaJeanne: Two anti-war novels written in German. Suttner wrote before WWI about how war affects the families, Remarque after the war about how it affected the soldiers.
  5. 83
    Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves (Nickelini, chrisharpe)
  6. 30
    Three Comrades by Erich Maria Remarque (Anonymous user)
  7. 52
    Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks (Simone2)
  8. 52
    The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien (chrisharpe)
  9. 10
    1948: A Soldier's Tale - The Bloody Road to Jerusalem by Uri Avnery (Polaris-)
  10. 10
    Generals Die in Bed by Charles Yale Harrison (charlie68)
    charlie68: Also gritty front line portraying of the Great War.
  11. 10
    The Donkeys by Alan Clark (charlie68)
  12. 10
    The Wars by Timothy Findley (Cecrow)
  13. 10
    The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman (charlie68)
  14. 11
    Fall of Giants by Ken Follett (mcenroeucsb)
  15. 11
    A Long, Long Way by Sebastian Barry (starfishian)
  16. 00
    Beaufort by Ron Leshem (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: Both books look at the personal toll of war.
  17. 11
    Johnny the Partisan by Beppe Fenoglio (UrliMancati)
  18. 11
    The Yellow Birds: A Novel by Kevin Powers (aliklein)
  19. 11
    The Unknown Soldier by Väinö Linna (andejons)
  20. 01
    Border Crossings by Aubrey Verboven (Aubrey_Verboven)

(see all 27 recommendations)

1920s (10)
Elevenses (194)
Europe (52)

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English (289)  French (6)  German (5)  Dutch (3)  Yiddish (3)  Finnish (2)  Swedish (2)  Spanish (2)  Italian (2)  Portuguese (2)  Hungarian (1)  Hebrew (1)  Norwegian (1)  Czech (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (321)
Showing 1-5 of 289 (next | show all)
It’s a very good insight of WW1. ( )
  Linde1 | Apr 30, 2020 |
Re-reading All Quiet on the Western Front carries just as much impact as in the first reading of it.
Avid readers will read few books that will remain with them, influence their thinking and stir their emotions from the second they turn the last page until the moment their lives end. All Quiet on the Western front is one such book. No one can read it, be unaffected by it and fail to recall reading it years after they have finished it.
It is difficult to pin down which specific elements of it make it so memorable, but there is one attribute worth noting. All Quiet on the Western Front describes every aspect of going to war, from the first enthusiasm for it felt by the foolish young sand the old men who will not have to go fight, to the actual day-to-day experience of the terror on the battlefront, to the stench of death and dying, to the horror of the hospitals with their amputations and understaffing and even including the impact on the survivors whose wil never be the same again.
I first read “All Quiet” when I was in college and the war in Vietnam was heating up. Reading it moved me to participate in the protests, write countless letters to my unsympathetic Congressman and to actively question America engaging in any war since that time. The war in Vietnam and WW I had one horrible thing in common: no one knew then, and no historian since then, ever understood why we fought or what we hoped to achieve. Both wars were horrific stupidities for which then as now there is no reasonable explanation.
Such monumental stupidities ought to stand as lessons in and of themselves that we have no reason to ever engage in armed conflict. The lesson is wasted. Books like All Quiet on the Western Front are the necessary artifacts of these crimes against humanity and serve as potent warnings against waging war again. But, of course, the lessons of the book and the lessons of the actual experience of war go on being ignored as politicians find a new and better lies for spilling the blood of the nation’s young again and again. ( )
  Paul-the-well-read | Apr 18, 2020 |
833.912 REM
  alessandragg | Apr 17, 2020 |
Damn Remarque! He builds a beautiful and whole account of Paul's experience during the Great War, covering all facets of the soldier's experience without giving the reader too much. It feels hard to judge a classic, of course it's got to be good on some level it's been around this long right?, but I did enjoy the instances in the company that showed how much of the boys' youth had been taken away and as all the men drop like dominos at the end the title comes back around in a truly effective gut-punch. There's certainly an aspect of choppiness to the narrative, one could skip chapters without losing too much and come back to them, but it demonstrates the author's ability to capture these concentrated instances in the war and mimics narrator's own blurred chronology. ( )
  b.masonjudy | Apr 3, 2020 |
I originally read this book in high school, I think around 1983. I posted a status on goodreads when I started reading it a second time, saying that after 87 years, people still haven't learned Remarque's lesson. I really enjoyed this book the second time through. It had an effect on me the first time that was reinforced. The prose is fluid, the story solid and the emotions it evokes are visceral.

Horace wrote "dulce et decorum est pro patria mori", roughly translated as it is good to die for one's country. That thinking is present in the narrator's teacher, Kantorek. We still find those types of people today, sitting in their classrooms, boardrooms or think tank suites. They speak of glory, youth, patriotism and nationalism. They pontificate on how the young should gladly serve and die for their nation and become heroes, even uber-citizens.

Remarque's prose is a refutation of this. Like Wilford Owen's World War I poem, "Dulce et Decorum Est," All Quiet on the Western Front calls out the great lie of glorious war. Remarque explores themes we have dealt with in Iraq and Afghanistan, such as who declares wars, who fights them, who profits from them and who uses them to cast themselves are proper or great leaders (p. 207-208).

As long as we have war, we will need Remarque, Owen and others to clear the fog and reveal some truths.

( )
  drew_asson | Mar 22, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 289 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (47 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Erich Maria Remarqueprimary authorall editionscalculated
Österling, AndersTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Faulks, SebastianIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hämäläinen, ArmasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keeping, Charlessecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lawrence, TomReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Murdoch, BrianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westphalen, TilmanAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wheen, A.W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the war.
First words
We are at rest five miles behind the front.
The war has ruined us for everything.
We were eighteen and had begun to love life and the world; and we had to shoot it to pieces. The first bomb, the first explosion, burst in our hearts. We are cut off from activity, from striving, from progress. We believe in such things no longer, we believe in the war.
But now, for the first time, I see you are a man like me. I thought of your hand-grenades, of your bayonet, of your rifle; now I see your wife and your face and our fellowship. Forgive me, comrade. We always see it too late. Why do they never tell us that you are poor devils like us, that your mothers are just as anxious as ours, and that we have the same fear of death, and the same dying and the same agony.
Every little bean should be heard as well as seen.
We are little flames poorly sheltered by frail walls against the storm of dissolution and madness, in which we flicker and sometimes almost go out.
- page 298
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