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All Quiet on the Western Front Paperback – September 29, 1996
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
"All Quiet on the Western Front" is the story of Paul Baumer, a young German soldier serving in the trenches in France. Baumer's story is not a pleasant one; he volunteered for the war when his instructor in school, Kantorek, urged the class to join up for the glory of Germany. After a rigorous period of military training (where Paul and his buddies meet the hated drill instructor Himmelstoss, a recurring character throughout the book), Baumer and his friends go to the front as infantrymen. Filled with glorious ideas about war by authority figures back home, Baumer quickly discovers that the blood-drenched trenches of the Western Front are a quagmire of misery and violent death. As soon as the first shells explode in the mud Paul and his friends realize everyone back home is a liar, that war is not the glorious transformation of boys into men but rather the systematic destruction of all that is decent and healthy. As Paul's friends slip away one by one through death, desertion, and injury, Paul begins to wonder about his own life and whether he will survive not only the war but also a world without war.
Remarque's book exposes all of the insanities of war. The incongruities of violent battle versus long periods of boredom repeatedly appear throughout the book. On one day, Paul and his friends sit around discussing mundane topics; the next day they are bashing French skulls during an offensive.Read more ›
The story is gritty, dirty and depressing. It probably isn't exactly explaining what life was like for the German soldiers during WWI, but my guess is that it comes extremely close. The men have trouble finding food, they are ordered around by sadistic officers, they are cold, and hungry - and there's a war going on, the nature of which means that literally at any second they could be killed or horribly maimed. The book focuses on the death associated with the war, but it also spends a lot of time going over the suffering and the pain. Remarque tells us of the soldiers wounded, of those slowly dying in no-man's land with no hope of being rescued or of dying a clean death. The lucky ones are the ones who die quickly; the unlucky are in agony for days or weeks.
There really isn't much of a plot, which would certainly seem to be in keeping with the way an average solider would view the war. The narrative bounces us around from the front lines, to the rear camps, to civilian villages in a sequence as random as it would have appeared to anyone involved in the war.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Everyone should read this. It clarifies the "purpose" of war to be an illusion for those who fight it. Read morePublished 11 hours ago by T Johnson
One of the great all-time classics about war. I think this is a good translation of the original German, though I haven't compared them page-by-page.Published 19 hours ago by Cocinero
This probably is one of the best war novels ever written, but it is not my "cup of tea". The writing style was not to my liking.Published 2 days ago by henry p. bruzza
This review is focused on the translation. The original book by Remarque was written in German, but was translated by Arthur Wesley Wheen. Read morePublished 13 days ago by reothebeat