Create New "Those first few weeks home from the war, I moved through the house like an astronaut lost in an alien landscape. Even in the air.
I wish, after spending many months reading around this subject, that I could pick out some obscure classic to recommend and perhaps I will still find some, because I intend to keep reading about —18 throughout —18but I have to say that this novel, famously one of the greatest war novels, is in fact genuinely excellent and left quite an impression on me, despite my trench fatigue.
Remarque has the same elements as everyone else — because pretty much everyone in this war went through the same godawful mind-numbingly exhausting terror — but he describes it all with such conviction and such clarity that I was sucker-punched by the full horror of it all over again.
The story is studded with remarkable incidents that linger in the mind: They seem to be really hungry.
Detering tried to outwit them; he fixed a thin wire to the ceiling and hooked the bundle with his bread on to it. During the night he puts on his flashlight and sees the wire swinging backwards and forwards.
Riding on his bread there is a great fat rat. There is also a fair bit of philosophising.
While guarding a group of Russian prisoners-of-war, our narrator is overcome by the arbitrariness of the whole situation: An order has turned these silent figures into our enemies; an order could turn them into friends again. On some table, a document is signed by some people that none of us knows, and for years our main aim in life is the one thing that usually draws the condemnation of the whole world and incurs its severest punishment in law.
How can anyone make distinctions like that looking at these silent men, with their faces like children and their beards like apostles? Any drill-corporal is a worse enemy to the recruits, any schoolmaster a worse enemy to his pupils than they are to us. When the Nazis came to power in — just four years after this was published — they set about burning the book, which tended to be their first response to any problem.
He took the hint, and sailed to the US in The insights that Remarque and Barbusse and Sassoon and Genevoix and Manning found in extremis — of the essential commonality of human beings — are, we like to think, now accepted by society over the alternatives, despite what we sometimes have to infer from the content of our newspapers.
With all of that said, this is a novel. It is not a memoir. This translation from Brian Murdoch is excellent and reads entirely naturally; he also contributes a thoughtful and unassuming essay which — finally, a publisher that gets it!
All in all a very powerful and moving piece of writing:I cannot overstate how fantastic this book is. Junger's writing style is both easy to read and beautiful at the same time.
He brings the reader into the world of a German solider in the most gruesome, intense and awesome (in the traditional understanding of the world) conflict in history up to that point.
"All Quiet on the Western Front" by Erich Maria Remarque, is a novel about World War II from the German soldier prospective.
Narrated by Paul Baumer, the story depicts the culture of the lower ranking soldiers if the time. The Most Loved and Hated Novel About World War I An international bestseller, Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front was banned and burned in Nazi Germany.
“The definitive World War I account from the German point of view.” —Margaret Atwood, Entertainment Weekly “Storm of Steel is what so many books claim to be but are not: a classic account of war.” —London Evening Standard “Extraordinary Michael Hofmann’s superlative translation retains all the coruscating vitality of the original.”.
Erich Maria Remarque (born Erich Paul Remark; 22 June – 25 September ) was a German novelist who created many works about the horrors of war. His best known novel All Quiet on the Western Front (), about German soldiers in the First . Remarque went on to have a long and lauded literary career, but he never again published a book as wildly successful (or as controversial) as All Quiet on the Western Front.
Most of the time, we'd dismiss a career trajectory like that by saying "Yeah, he was a one-hit wonder" or "He got lucky with one book.".