All Quiet On The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
reviewed by Sarah
These are the thoughts and experiences of Paul Baumer, a young German soldier who enlists in World War I. He is just a young man, only twenty years of age, but all he knows is the terror and despair of the front lines. As the war breaks him, he keeps fighting to keep a single promise, a promise to "fight against the hatred that meaninglessly pits young men of the same generation but in different uniforms against one another". But the front is a merciless and perilous place and Paul must first survive.
This is an extremely dense and deep book but I love this book so much because it reveals the reality of war. It was a brutal war, and Paul experiences the effects of mustard gas, goes through the trauma of seeing the ones he cares for in pain and dead, only to go back out on the front and fight a war that he had nothing to do with. This book has no clichés about a heroís duty, itís real, and itís powerful. Everyone should read this book, whether they are an adult or teenager and should remember the Lost Generation.
The movie version of All Quiet on the Western Front is a great classic.
A complete edition of Remarque's last book, The Promised Land, has finally being published in English translation.