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All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich…
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All Quiet on the Western Front (original 1929; edition 1987)

by Erich Maria Remarque

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
10,736229261 (4.08)1 / 756
Member:vancouverdeb
Title:All Quiet on the Western Front
Authors:Erich Maria Remarque
Info:Ballantine Books (1987), Edition: 1, Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library, 1001 books to read before you die
Rating:*****
Tags:WW1, antiwar, historical fiction, German Literature, classic

Work details

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque (1929)

  1. 70
    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. 60
    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. 72
    Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves (Nickelini, chrisharpe)
  4. 41
    Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks (Simone2)
  5. 20
    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.
  6. 31
    Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (usnmm2)
  7. 32
    The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien (chrisharpe)
  8. 11
    The Unknown Soldier by Väinö Linna (andejons)
  9. 00
    Beaufort by Ron Leshem (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: Both books look at the personal toll of war.
  10. 11
    Fall of Giants by Ken Follett (mcenroeucsb)
  11. 00
    1948: A Soldier's Tale - The Bloody Road to Jerusalem by Uri Avnery (Polaris-)
  12. 01
    The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers (aliklein)
  13. 01
    Soldier from the Wars Returning by Charles Carrington (John_Vaughan)
    John_Vaughan: As a contrast and comparison All Quiet is written from the experiences of a soldier in the German trenches.
  14. 01
    Border Crossings - An Aid Worker's Journey into Bosnia by Aubrey Verboven (Aubrey_Verboven)
  15. 01
    Life in the tomb by Stratēs Myrivēlēs (ten_floors_up)
    ten_floors_up: A different perspective on trench warfare in the First World War. Fictional experiences of a Greek soldier on the Macedonian front, written in a less earthy, more florid style by a veteran of that campaign.
  16. 01
    Heeresbericht by Edlef Köppen (Dekki)
  17. 01
    Adjusting Sights by Haim Sabato (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: Both books look at war without mentioning the politics that go along with it.
  18. 01
    Johnny the Partisan by Beppe Fenoglio (UrliMancati)
  19. 01
    Zero Hour by Georg Grabenhorst (lmichet)
  20. 01
    A Long, Long Way by Sebastian Barry (starfishian)

(see all 22 recommendations)

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English (204)  French (5)  German (4)  Dutch (3)  Yiddish (3)  Finnish (2)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (2)  Portuguese (1)  Hebrew (1)  Czech (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (229)
Showing 1-5 of 204 (next | show all)
Quotes:

“For us lads of eighteen they ought to have been mediators and guides to the world of maturity, the world of work, of duty, of culture, of progress--to the future. We often made fun of them and played jokes on them, but in our hearts we trusted them. The idea of authority, which they represented, was associated in our minds with a greater insight and a more humane wisdom. But
the first death we saw shattered this belief.”

“We are not youth any longer. We don’t want to take the world by storm. We are fleeing. We fly from ourselves. From our life. We were eighteen and had begun to love life and the world; and we had to shoot it to pieces.”

"I soon found out this much:--terror can be endured so long as a man simply ducks;--but it kills, if a man thinks about it."

"Suddenly my mother seizes hold of my hand and asks falteringly: 'Was it very bad out there, Paul?'
Mother, what should I answer to that! You would not understand, you could never realize it. And you shall never realize it. Was it bad, you ask. --You, Mother,--I shake my head and say: 'No, Mother, not so very. There are always a lot of us together so it isn't so bad.'"

“I realize he does not know that a man cannot talk of such things; I would do it willingly, but it is too dangerous for me to put these things into words. I am afraid they might then become gigantic and I be no longer able to master them. What would become of us if everything that happens out there were quite clear to us?”

“They are more to me than life, these voices, they are more than motherliness and more than fear; they are the strongest, most comforting thing there is anywhere: they are the voices of my comrades.”

“Let the months and years come, they can take nothing from me, they can take nothing more. I am so alone, and so without hope that I can confront them without fear. The life that has borne me through these years is still in my hands and my eyes. Whether I have subdued it, I know not. But so long as it is there it will seek its own way out, heedless of the will that is within me."

Quotes from the Reader's Guide dated March 6, 2013:

"Remarque's book has stood as an immovable boulder in the path of anyone wanting to portray what was arguably history's filthiest and most utterly pointless war as anything other than filthy and pointless."

"By 1918, the year the war ended, years of relentless propaganda (in the United States, even prominent public figures were thrown into prison for daring to speak against their nation's involvement) had made certain fundamentals appear to be unarguably true. That the war had happened because Germany set out to subjugate Europe and the world. That the armies of Germany, and by extension the German people, had conducted themselves in ways so loathsome as to disqualify them from the community of civilized human beings even after the destruction of their evil regime. That the Allied victory had been necessary to preserve not just democracy but civilization itself, and that the future of civilization would depend on keeping Germany crippled.

By the late twenties, however, such notions were growing threadbare, their consequences painfully clear. It was becoming obvious that the world the war had created--a world in which Stalin rather than the Tsar ruled Russia, and Mussolini was making the trains of Italy run on time, and forces far darker than anything ever dreamed by any kaiser were emerging from the wreckage of Germany--was not exactly something to be celebrated. And that a novel in which ordinary German soldiers bore a startling resemblance to authentic human beings--to ordinary American soldiers, even--might not necessarily be a crime against truth." ( )
  lgaikwad | Nov 12, 2014 |
All Quiet on the Western Front is the story of a group of school friends who enlist in the army to fight in World War One in the trenches of France. Their group is constantly and relentlessly decimated and diminished, while Paul Bäumer, the main character, does his best to survive. The story combines various elements ranging from comedy to tragedy. The story is a touching one that brings readers not only into the action of the horrific war, but into the mind of the soldiers that fought it. The friendship displayed between the group of friends, who did not choose to be friends, is incredible and touching. One thing the author, Erich Maria Remarque, does os remarkably is write with such lack of bias. He presents no clear right or wrong, and no political views whatsoever. Although it is told from the German perspective it refrains from having a German bias. The group of young soldiers encounter everything from gas attacks and trench warfare, to amputations and horrible commanders, all the while building their tremendous comradery.
  matiacone | Nov 2, 2014 |
Lilly and I read All Quiet on the Western Front. Every day when we'd read she'd say it was time for our daily dose of depression. And while it was depressing, it really gave us a feel for World War I and all the horrors of war. Told from the German soldier's perspective as Paul and his school buddies leave for the Western Front. They encounter gas attacks, trench warfare, amputations, hospital stays, terrible commanders, all the while building a comradery among themselves. War is futile. ( )
  heidip | Nov 1, 2014 |
A tragic story in the day and the death of a soldier. If you want a feeling for what WWI was like, then this is for you. Characters don't seem to come alive as some. ( )
  MattPearson | Oct 20, 2014 |
Whilst known as "All Quiet..." in English, the original German title is "Nothing New....". I read this book as my nod to the centenary start of the First World War. Whilst most World War films, books etc are Hollywood influenced, where the Brits and the Americans are the winners, this is a story told about the German soldiers sent to the front line.

Paul Bäumer , along with the rest of his 18 year old classmates, enlists with the army near the start of the war, and after some training, all get sent to the front. Before they are even 20, they have seen things they should never have seen and realised that what they were taught in school would never have trained them for the real world.

I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another.

As the war gets worse for the Germans, more recruits are sent to the front, younger every time, with less and less training and only good for cannon fodder as they cant even tell the difference between the different types of basic artillary.

At school nobody ever taught us how to light a cigarette in a storm of rain, nor how a fire could be made with wet wood-nor that it is best to stick a bayonet in the belly because there it doesn't get jammed, as it does in the ribs.

Paul has realised that bayonets are of no use now in fighting (only good for the enemy to hack off German noses from German corpses), and that fighting is now a matter of guns, grenades, tanks and planes.

It is a thin book - circa 200 pages, but each page is filled with lyrical but graphic descriptions of war, where whole platoons can live, die and be buried in a trench, spending days without food and little water, fighting for what is left with desperate fat rats.

This is as much about comradeship and family as it is about the fighting itself. Paul has an extended leave, and manages to return to his home town only to find how much he has changed - he can no longer get any joy from staying with his family, and is fed up talking about the fighting at the front with the people of the town. As the war goes on, more and more of the original 7 are lost through death and injury until only Paul is left and then.....
  nordie | Aug 29, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (76 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Erich Maria Remarqueprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Murdoch, BrianTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wheen, A.W.Translatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Groth, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hansen, HarryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hämäläinen, ArmasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jacini, StefanoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westphalen, TilmanAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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.
Dedication
First words
We are at rest five miles behind the front.
Quotations
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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Book description
Haiku summary
Men are committed,
Slouching toward Bethlehem.
Death is generous.

(one-horse.library)
Boys go off to war;
Surprise! Germans have feelings.
Disregard all flags.

(one-horse-library)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0449213943, Mass Market Paperback)

Paul Baumer enlisted with his classmates in the German army of World War I. Youthful, enthusiastic, they become soldiers. But despite what they have learned, they break into pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches. And as horrible war plods on year after year, Paul holds fast to a single vow: to fight against the principles of hate that meaninglessly pits young men of the same generation but different uniforms against each other--if only he can come out of the war alive.
"The world has a great writer in Erich Maria Remarque. He is a craftsman of unquestionably first trank, a man who can bend language to his will. Whether he writes of men or of inanimate nature, his touch is sensitive, firm, and sure."
THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:27:39 -0400)

(see all 11 descriptions)

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.

(summary from another edition)

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