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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

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11,144246251 (4.08)1 / 809
Title:All Quiet on the Western Front
Authors:Erich Maria Remarque
Info:Random House Trade Paperbacks (1996), Edition: Reissue, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library

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
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  14. 01
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  15. 01
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    SqueakyChu: Both books look at war without mentioning the politics that go along with it.
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English (220)  French (5)  German (5)  Dutch (3)  Yiddish (3)  Finnish (2)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (2)  Portuguese (1)  Hebrew (1)  Czech (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (246)
Showing 1-5 of 220 (next | show all)
This is a slight novel at just under 200 pages, however, there is nothing slight about the story. There is a lot crammed into this little book.

Remarque wrote the story from his own experiences at the front while fighting as a German soldier. And, as you can guess, it is no different than the stories told from the French and British and American side. Limbs are lost, intestines spill onto the ground, brains fly through the air, and yet the fighting continued for over 4 years. Remarque left Germany after the war and moved to Switzerland. From there he moved to America, and became a U.S. citizen in 1947. His books were banned by Nazi Germany.

All Quiet follows a group of young soldiers who have been goaded into signing up for the war by their professor. Told through the voice of Paul Baumer, it follows the young men as they fight on the front lines, have rest periods just behind the lines, forage for food, and even for clothing. The company with which they fight starts out with 150 soldiers, and by chapter 7 they are down to 32 men. Until replacements arrive, this means more rations - more food, more drink, more cigars, and more cigarettes. Replacements are sent in to fill in the gaps, and sent to the front lines as Paul says, "before they know what cover means". Paul goes home on leave, and finds he no longer wants to be home.

"I imagined leave would be different from this. Indeed, it was different a year ago. It is I of course that have changed in the interval. There lies a gulf between that time and today. At that time I still knew nothing about the war, we had only been in quiet sectors. But now I see that I have been crushed without knowing it. I find I do not belong here any more, it is a foreign world. Some of these people ask questions, some ask no questions, but one can see that they are quite confident they know all about it; they often say so with their air of comprehension, so there is no point discussing it. They make up a picture of it for themselves."

As the end of the war approaches those who are left feel that they have nothing to go home to. They have been trained for nothing other than killing. It comes down to one last push and then a day where few sounds are heard and the dispatch sent home reports "All quiet on the western front'.

Remarque's anti-war message seems clear, and reading this, it points out that regardless of which side the soldiers were fighting for, it was brutal, and needless, and so many young men died on both sides wondering what they were fighting for.

Read July 2014 ( )
  NanaCC | Jul 26, 2015 |
Brilliantly evocative account of Trench Warfare from the viewpoint of a German soldier: All the more remarkable because it was written in the 1920s and along with the WW1 tomes of Sapper (British) set the tone for a much more realistic and therefore more brutally tragic descriptions of the mindless slaughter August 1914 - November 1918.
Should be compulsory text reading for every 14+ school boy and girl. Removes every bit of gloss and glory and literally cuts to the teeth and bone of the factual reality at back of Dulce et Decorum! ( )
  tommi180744 | Jul 20, 2015 |
I had to read this for school and although I didn't love it, All Quiet on the Western Front is a well written book that captures what WWI was really like. Many historical fiction books focus too much on heroes and glory but All Quiet on the Western Front shows the hardships of soldiers and the affect the war had physically and mentally on everyone alive at the time. A lot of times the mental affect the war had on people was much worse than the physical affects. Everyone knew someone in the war and WWI effected the soldiers as well as civilians. Everyone interested in WWI should definitely read this book. ( )
  | Jun 27, 2015 | edit |
Enlisted by the patriotic pressure of their community, Paul and his just-graduated classmates attempt to survive the seemingly unlimited depravity of the Western Front of WWI: "Life is simply one continual watch against the menace of death; - it has transformed us into unthinking animals in order to give us the weapon of instinct - it has reinforced us with dullness, so that we do not go to pieces before the horror, which would overwhelm us if we had clear, conscious thought - it has awakened in us the sense of comradeship, so that we escape the abyss of solitude - it has lent us the indifference of wild creatures, so that in spite of all, we perceive the positive in every moment, and store it up as a reserve against the onslaught of nothingness. Thus we live a closed, hard existence of the utmost superficiality."

I was surprised at how many times a passage/incident/phrase made me smile - even amidst horror there is kindness and humor (albeit of a darker variety). But still: "It must be all lies and of no account when the culture of a thousand years could not prevent this stream of blood being poured out, these torture-chambers in their hundreds of thousands. A hospital alone shows what war is." Fuck.

Would have been fascinating/depressing to witness Paul's re-immersion into or further isolation from society following the armistice, but... war. ( )
  dandelionroots | Jun 25, 2015 |
Powerful story of a German WW1 soldier and this translation by A.W. Green was very well done. While the horrors of trench warfare are not skipped over, the way this is written makes it bearable for me to read (which I had worried about). Poignant & thought-provoking. ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 18, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 220 (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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:25 -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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