Thursday, April 9

Book Review: All Quiet on the Western Front

Title: All Quiet on the Western Front

Author: Erich Maria Remarque

Pages: 291

Summary: 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.

My Rating: 8.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: The summary of the book does not give it any justice. This story was incredible in it’s realism in its telling of war. You won’t find any romanticize pictures of war here. Nor will you find any heroic battles where the soldiers come out strong and unscratched and happy before writing to their sweethearts about the war. The book is a “real” telling of war, I got the feeling the way the protagonist (the narrator) was telling the story, was like peering into his private journals. The book fascinated me, it also made me feel sad, because not a lot of books or films for that matter focus on the realities of war, the way this story has. Death is a common thing in the book, and there are so many angles the author takes on it, he really was able to show the realities of death in the war. He shows how death and the injured were treated during the war, more of something that is in the way, then anything else. In the scenes where the injured are housed, they are seen in two ways, those who are patched up and then sent back out after they recovered and those who are patched up, but then it’s known they’ll die, so they are removed to the “dying room”. It’s very shocking to read at times. It’s not at all what you would think would happen to those who are injured or dying. The entire story is sad and depressing as we watch the soldier fight in the war and for his survival. One scene when he kills a man at first hand is very powerful and emotion, the author’s writing style is simple, but the realism of it and his characters created a very powerful mood.

A fantastic story of the harsh realities of war, it’s a book that lingers with you, even after your finished.

Would I recommend it to read: I would definitely recommend this book to read. Another book of the 1001 books to read before you die list, and rightly so to be on the list, like I said before it’s a book that lingers with you even after you have finished, it really makes you think, and it’s a wonderful story to read, even if it’s depressing and shocking, it’s a story that needs to be told.

What to read next: Guns of August, Atonement (mainly for the second part of the book)

Challenges: 1% Well Read, 100+ Challenge, 2009 Support Your Library Challenge,
999 Challenge, A - Z Challenge, New Author Challenge, Spring Reading Challenge

2 comments:

  1. I've always wanted to read this book, but have never gotten around to it. I do have it on my shelves, so I think I will bump it up a bit.

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  2. I've also wanted to read this book for years. Your review has convinced me that I need to go and do it already. :)

    --Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

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