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All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque

 
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Posted September 4, 2016 by

All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque – 1929

Reviewed by: Linda          Date: 5 May 2002

“This book should be neither accusation nor confession.”

This is how this classic by Remarque starts. The book tells the story of the schoolboy Paul, who together with his classmates enlists as soldier to fight in WW I. They end up in the trenches in Belgium where they have to fight a long and meaningless fight for a little piece of no man’s land.

This is a novel with a first-person narrator, which makes the book all the more impressive: Paul describes the degeneration of a generation of youngsters: the fear, the dullness, the gas, the lice, the dysentery, the hunger, the shooting of countless people and the way in which he loses his friends one by one.

 Two times he is allowed to leave the front. The first time he visits his parents, but he cannot really get used to the civil society anymore because he misses the comradeship among the soldiers. The second time he has been shot and has to recuperate in a catholic hospital.

This book shows as no other book I have read so far the pointlessness and horrors of war. No wonder this book was banned by Hitler in 1933. Because of its simple description of the real events, it is the best possible accusation against war.


ReadLit Team

 


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