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The Black Obelisk Paperback – May 1, 2002
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Original Language: German --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Remarque wrote one of the greatest war novels of all time, told great stories of on the run emigrees, and concentration camp horrors, but this book explains pre-Hitler life and thinking in Germany, and is a must read for any Remarque fan.
The setting is depressing, as is usual in EMR's novels: the inter-war Germany, fresh out of a lost war and in deep economic trouble, yet failing to acknowledge its mistakes and ready to polish its honour once more. Ludwig sells tombstones, not a terribly exciting occupation in itself, yet even more tolling if you have to do it under conditions of severe inflation. But he and his buddies (most notably, Georg Kroll, the shop owner) manage to have a good time despite everything.
The book is funny in places and philosophical in other. Or the both together. The only parts I found a little tedious were Ludwig's (then a.k.a. Rolf, Rudolph, or Ralph) endless dialogues with Isabelle/Genevieve at the mental asylum. But I can see some people liking those, too.
Certainly worth a read.
Black Obelisk continues in the same vein. It deals with the universal theme of a young person working to find his place in the world, even if the world might not be the best at that moment in time--after all, who gets to choose when you are born? With the compelling characters that Remarque creates, you are once again transported to a different place and time and find yourself caring very much what happens as you watch our all too human foibles manifest thru compelling characters during a time and place that was building ultimately to a second World War.
Fun to read, and extremely thought provoking at the same time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am reading my way through Erich Maria Remarque's works and have found each to be fulfilling and engaging in its own way. The Black Obelisk is no exception. Read morePublished 5 months ago by VtaHwy
Unfortunately, the translation does not live up to the original but even though, this is one of the most thought-provoking novels I have read in a long timePublished 7 months ago by Michael Schuette
what a remarkable book, it should be in every home libraryPublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
I first read this book back in 1975. I have been reading it at least once a year ever since. It is a masterpiece of German existential literature dealing with the question of war... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Mr. Ice Ronald
This is the third of three novels Remarque wrote that relate to World War I: "All Quiet on the Western Front," his most famous novel; "The Road Back," and then,... Read morePublished 21 months ago by John O. Meekins
Great novel about an important period. Remarque is one of the best.Published 21 months ago by William Allan McCrimmon
Gripping! I first read it 40 years ago. Should be compulsory reading for all those Central Bankers printing money and trying to increase inflation.Published 23 months ago by Karel Vlok