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All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich…

All Quiet on the Western Front (original 1929; edition 1996)

by Erich Maria Remarque

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
10,943234258 (4.08)1 / 796
Title:All Quiet on the Western Front
Authors:Erich Maria Remarque
Info:Vintage (1996), Edition: New edition, Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library, Audiobooks 2012

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. 31
    Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (usnmm2)
  6. 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.
  7. 32
    The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien (chrisharpe)
  8. 00
    1948: A Soldier's Tale - The Bloody Road to Jerusalem by Uri Avnery (Polaris-)
  9. 00
    Three Comrades by Erich Maria Remarque (Anonymous user)
  10. 11
    Fall of Giants by Ken Follett (mcenroeucsb)
  11. 11
    The Unknown Soldier by Väinö Linna (andejons)
  12. 00
    Beaufort by Ron Leshem (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: Both books look at the personal toll of war.
  13. 01
    Zero Hour by Georg Grabenhorst (lmichet)
  14. 01
    The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers (aliklein)
  15. 01
    Adjusting Sights by Haim Sabato (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: Both books look at war without mentioning the politics that go along with it.
  16. 01
    Johnny the Partisan by Beppe Fenoglio (UrliMancati)
  17. 01
    A Long, Long Way by Sebastian Barry (starfishian)
  18. 01
    Border Crossings - An Aid Worker's Journey into Bosnia by Aubrey Verboven (Aubrey_Verboven)
  19. 01
    Heeresbericht by Edlef Köppen (Dekki)
  20. 01
    Going After Cacciato by Tim O'Brien (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: Both books take a personal look at war.

(see all 23 recommendations)


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English (209)  French (5)  German (4)  Dutch (3)  Yiddish (3)  Finnish (2)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (2)  Portuguese (1)  Hebrew (1)  Czech (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (234)
Showing 1-5 of 209 (next | show all)
There is no doubt that all wars are awful. However, there is something particularly horrifying about World War I. Erich Maria Remarque in All Quiet on the Western Front captures the brutality, the futility, and the utter senselessness of the war with quiet dedication and startlingly honesty. Readers experiencing the war through Paul’s eyes have no doubt that Paul is the foil by which Mr. Remarque can express his own revulsion at the travesty of the war and its impact on an entire generation.

Paul does not just stop with the war’s effects on his fellow soldiers and friends, which are bad enough to induce nightmares in readers. He also shares the collateral damage wrought on animals as well as the land for which the two sides fight. He does this with simultaneously a sensitivity to suffering and a sense of desolation that there is nothing to be done about it. The scenes in which Paul matter-of-factly describes his experiences at the front are particularly upsetting because he so valiantly tries to remove all emotion from his narrative but cannot do so.

The story is not just about the physical action at the front, although that is indeed a large part of it. Much of the story is also Paul’s reflection on the effects of the war on the soldiers, on his generation, on those at home, and on the world at large. These sections are particularly thought-provoking and poignant, especially as Paul recognizes the idiocy of war but is impotent to do anything other than follow orders.

Frank Muller’s performance is appropriately somber for the story Paul has to share. He epitomizes Paul’s mental and physical suffering and growing despair at the hopelessness of it all. He also manages to convey Paul’s fierce conviction to change the world to avoid future conflicts and the sense of hope that some good will result from all the tragedy. It is a sobering narration that also further clarifies the humanizing of the war as Mr. Muller successfully becomes Paul in all his doubts, fears, anger, hopelessness, and hope.

One cannot help but feel All Quiet on the Western Front should be mandatory reading in high schools and colleges. Paul’s experiences humanize war in a way that one will never experience unless one is actually on the front lines. Also, its message is timeless. Change the setting to urban warfare from trench warfare and the story easily becomes one about today’s soldiers in the Middle East. In fact, upon finishing the novel, it becomes much easier to understand why today’s soldiers return from Afghanistan or Iraq with so many mental health issues. It not only causes readers to pause and reflect on the damage we too are doing to future generations, but it also forces readers to contemplate the true effectiveness of such warfare. ( )
  jmchshannon | Dec 28, 2014 |
"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. I see that the keenest brains of the world invent weapons and words to make it yet more refined and enduring. And all men of my age, here and over there, throughout the whole world see these things; all my generation is experiencing these things with me."

This is a summary of Paul Bäumer's experience of war. This comes near the end of this exquisite and brutal novel of trench warfare during WWI and it illustrates Remarque's and translator A.W. Wheen's approach to the use of language. Straightforward but with layers, the anger (and other emotions) seething just below the surface of the narrative. Remarque describes what Paul sees, what he feels, what he hears, all so compellingly that the reader is transported into the trenches. We walk along the roads to abandoned and destroyed villages, and we witness the random deaths and agonizing injuries. It's all so sensual.

Certainly this novel is intended to expose the horrors and senselessness of war. The soldiers' terror, horror, rage, despair, and numbness come through with gut-wrenching power. But their love for one another is beautifully wrought, as well, and without sentimentality:

"We sit opposite one another, Kat and I, two soldiers in shabby coats, cooking a goose in the middle of the night. We don't talk much, but I believe we have a more complete communion with one another than even lovers have."

There really isn't much I can write about this classic German novel. It must speak for itself. It is beautiful, painful, and well worth reading. ( )
6 vote EBT1002 | Dec 21, 2014 |
I started readin Remarque with this book. Definitely a good one. ( )
  otikhonova | Dec 8, 2014 |
Stunning, gritty, realistic and written by someone who was actually there. Remarque (1898-1970) was conscripted into the German army at the age of 18. At 19 he received a severe wound on the Western Front at Passchendaele. He became a teacher and in 1929 his novel All Quiet on the Western Front (German title: Nothing New in the West) was published. When the Nazi's came to power in 1933 the book would be banned and burnt on the orders of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels. Remarque moved to Switzerland and then the United States where he was friends with Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo. The Nazi's killed his sister Elfriede, believed to be in the Nazi resistance. In 1948 he returned to Switzerland. An excellent afterward by Brian Murdoch is included in this edition.

I couldn't read this all at once as it so powerful and so sad, a realistic account of a generation destroyed by war. Schoolboy turned soldier Paul Bäumer experiences the psychological and physical effects of the war whilst the soldiers around him are decimated. ( )
  boppisces | Dec 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 209 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (71 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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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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Haiku summary
Men are committed,
Slouching toward Bethlehem.
Death is generous.

Boys go off to war;
Surprise! Germans have feelings.
Disregard all flags.


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."

(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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