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Three Comrades (1937)

by Erich Maria Remarque

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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7521023,997 (4.13)55
From the acclaimed author of All Quiet on the Western Front comes Three Comrades, a harrowing novel that follows a group of friends as they cope with upheaval in Germany between World Wars I and II.   The year is 1928. On the outskirts of a large German city, three young men are earning a thin and precarious living. Fully armed young storm troopers swagger in the streets. Restlessness, poverty, and violence are everywhere. For these three, friendship is the only refuge from the chaos around them. Then the youngest of them falls in love, and brings into the group a young woman who will become a comrade as well, as they are all tested in ways they can have never imagined.   Written with the same overwhelming simplicity and directness that made All Quiet on the Western Front a classic, Three Comrades portrays the greatness of the human spirit, manifested through characters who must find the inner resources to live in a world they did not make, but must endure.   "The world has a great writer in Erich Maria Remarque. He is a craftsman of unquestionably first rank, 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… (more)
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» See also 55 mentions

English (8)  German (1)  French (1)  All languages (10)
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
This is the third book by Erich Maria Remarque that I have read. The first two are “All Quiet on The Western Front” and “The Road Back”. He was a remarkable writer. This is a book about friendship, loyalty and love.
This, the third tells of three comrades—Robert Lokhamp, Otto Koster and Gottfried Lenz—who were compatriots in World War I. It’s been ten years since the war, and they struggled to adapt to society in their hometown in Germany. No one really cares about the fact that they are veterans of the Great War - World War I. They work in a garage. It’s difficult to make ends meet. So, they also work as taxi drivers and drink through the night.
A strain of cynicism seems to run through them. They gained a slightly war-hardened, almost old world view of society. One thing has remained intact and deepened over the years.
This is the bond they share. Their camaraderie is deep and true.
To own such a deep friendship is a rare gift. They treasure their camaraderie and do anything for each other.
One day, Robert (who is also the narrator of the tale) meets a girl, Patricia Hollman. They fall in love, despite the extreme differences in their characters and interests.
The story has two tracks that Erich Maria has skillfully woven together. The first is the tale of their deep friendship. The second is Robby and Pat’s love story.
Erich Maria has excelled in the telling of the tales. He has blended the stories beautifully. There is nothing mawkish about the book. You can feel the depth of the emotions, and he has trod a fine line with finesse. The tale is about friendship, loyalty and love.
He has not dragged us down into a thick, sweet, sugary Hell!
Towards the end of the book, you can sense the shadow being cast over Germany. The events in the book took place ten years after World War I. The Nazis were rising. Erich Maria Remarque does not specifically mention the Nazis. Yet, you are aware of their malignant influence.
A speech by a demagogue; the passion of the crowd; bullets firing; death and revenge. The Nazi shadow fell. Nothing would ever be the same again.
The book is tragic. It is subtle. It is a magnificent book. It is evocative of love, camaraderie, change, love and tragedy.
“Three Comrades” is a masterpiece. ( )
  RajivC | Dec 22, 2020 |
I don't recall much about this book, but I believe it deals with a sexual triangle story. It must have had some reputation for sex scenes at the time. Three guys, and one gal come to an arrangement that will see them over the next few years while the specter of Nazism looms for Germany, and for them. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Jun 28, 2020 |
I loved it ( )
  ZelmerWilson | Oct 31, 2019 |
With blinded eyes I stared at the sky, this grey, endless sky of a crazy god, who made life and death for his amusement.

I think my grandmother would've liked Three Comrades. She may have read it. She passed in 2003 and I often miss her. The ranks of my rogues gallery of family contained only one reader and Stella Short was that and certainly something else. I'd like to think she died with a book in her lap.

Three Comrades is a melodrama about survivors of the Great War discovering the extent of their personal damage in the depressed cauldron of Germany in the late 1920s. This isn't an exploration of material poverty but one of irreparable moral damage. Spirit (Geist) died for these men. What is left but hard drinking and fast cars? There is always love. but such has a terminal cost on this stage. There is no great wrenching of ideas here but the affairs remain palpable, even visceral.

I thought today about Sarah Churchwell and her book on Careless People in the Gatsby. Perhaps this reaction was global? ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
story of three friends between the wars in Germany. Fantastic illustration of the turmoil of life in Germany between the wars. Real people ( )
  margaretfield | May 30, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (71 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Remarque, Erich MariaAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harbitz, AlfTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
hirendrakumar duttaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pocar, ErvinoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rost, NicoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wheen, A. W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Der Himmel war gelb wie Messing und noch nicht verqualmt vom Rauch der Schornsteine.
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From the acclaimed author of All Quiet on the Western Front comes Three Comrades, a harrowing novel that follows a group of friends as they cope with upheaval in Germany between World Wars I and II.   The year is 1928. On the outskirts of a large German city, three young men are earning a thin and precarious living. Fully armed young storm troopers swagger in the streets. Restlessness, poverty, and violence are everywhere. For these three, friendship is the only refuge from the chaos around them. Then the youngest of them falls in love, and brings into the group a young woman who will become a comrade as well, as they are all tested in ways they can have never imagined.   Written with the same overwhelming simplicity and directness that made All Quiet on the Western Front a classic, Three Comrades portrays the greatness of the human spirit, manifested through characters who must find the inner resources to live in a world they did not make, but must endure.   "The world has a great writer in Erich Maria Remarque. He is a craftsman of unquestionably first rank, 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

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