45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
Both the title itself and other reviewers' comments provide you with an overview of the subject matter of this novel so I won't dwell on that. What I would say however is that I disagree with the notion expressed by other reviewers that this book is applicable to any war and supports the notion that all conflicts are futile. (Although I appreciate that the latter was the...
Published on 11 Jan 2001
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a vintage edition - 'Nothing New On The Western Front'
Not thinking or knowing and with a name like Vintage I heedlessly purchased this edition, believing that I would be reading the original translation - the one closest in time, in sympathies, in a general approach to life - simply the translation most likely to preserve a feeling of the early 20th century.
At the beginning Brian Murdoch generously acknowledges...
Published on 27 Aug 2010 by the antiquary
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5.0 out of 5 stars A sombre Masterpiece,
It is not surprising that the Nazis burnt this book and deprived the author of his citizenship. Anyone reading it would have seen the futility and depravity of their militarism. The book sums up the First World War as a tragic catastrophe in a very meaningful way.
It is gloomy reading but not heavy and poignant without being sentimental. We see the unfortunate soldiers toiling and dying in the mud, whilst back home they are referred to as "men of iron" by chauvinist non-combatants: as happened on both sides of the conflict. They are portrayed as pawns in a gruesome game. Of course no-one really knew, or knows, quite what the First World War was about, in spite of the initial cheering and jingoism. The idea in the book of putting the politicians in the boxing ring and letting them slog it out has much to commend it in the case of that War.
5.0 out of 5 stars All quiet on the western front,
Excellent book at an excellent price (used copy)
I Thought this book might be boring as it was written years ago but it comes across quite clearly that war is futile, often started by people who will never go and fight it but encourage the young to go and do the fighting.
Written from the German view of the war but that is irrelevant as the same points could be made which ever side you were on.
In one part there is a comment about killing people on the opposite side who if you met in different circumstances might well become your friends but here you are trying to kill them, with no choice in the matter, fail to do so and they will kill you, refuse to fight and be shot by your own side.
Everyone should read this book.
Unfortunately my first copy went astray in the post but a second copy was sent out quickly, very good service !!
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning,
I've been aware of this book for a very long time and unfortunately did judge the book by its cover. I expected something poetic and etheral but got nothing of the sort.
This book reveals the pure horror of trench warfare minute by bloody minute. Survival is purely through luck and experience. Some of the scenes described are horrific yet so well written that the pages simply poured through my fingers.
Life is at its most vivid in times of immense stress. The author portrays this and much more.
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh what an unlovely war,
The great strength of this book is that there are no histrionics, no jingoism, no hatred, just the author Paul telling his story of the War in a low-key matter-of-fact way, a way that stretches our emotions to the limit. The horror (and stupidity) of war can never have been portrayed in a more convincing way: war dehumanises; kill or be killed; life is cheap.
And, yet, basic human instincts remain, as is exemplified by Paul's various reactions to his killing of the French compositor, Gerard Duval-writing which will remain in my mind for some time.
Particularly poignant is the fact that Paul's horrible experiences at the front are not believed or recognised by family or friends at home when he is on leave. The civilian population is still gung-ho, perhaps an early example of the triumph of propaganda over reality. Shades of Blair's "weapons of mass destruction"?
This book preaches a powerful anti-war message, but is anyone listening? Today's politicians have no experience of the horrors of war and show little sign of having learned from the past. Surely no survivor of Ypres would have thought invading Iraq was worthwhile.
A must-read and an easy read.
5.0 out of 5 stars Memorable read,
This review is from: All Quiet on the Western Front (Hardcover)
I purchased this book having heard it was an enlightening read having been written by a then enemy soldier, the book outlined fully the horrors of that ghastly conflict which to me served to fully endorse the horrific mutual experiences of soldiers on both sides, a thoroughly good read.
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly written and harrowing book,
This is a fantastic book. It achieves in 200 pages what many other other authors have tried and failed to achieve. I have enjoyed many books about either the 1st or 2nd world war and many of them are great, such as Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks. However, this book is wonderfully written and every word written isn't wasted. The futility and chaos of war is depicted in such an honest, matter of fact but harrowing way. The battles that the main character and his comrades have to survive both physically and mentally are humbling, horrifying and amazing. Not once, as an english reader, do you despise or have any animosity for a group of german soldiers. Instead you sympathise and admire all of those in the book as well as their opponents. A great book all round.
5.0 out of 5 stars All QT on the Western Front,
I read this book as a child and it's stunning. I'm going to buy it for my sons, something different than the children books they normally receive at birthdays etc.
5.0 out of 5 stars You are there,
This review is from: All Quiet on the Western Front (Library Binding)
Erich Maria Remarque did a great job with his story. Being first person in view gave you the feeling that you were there. To add to this he is a very good writer.
Not being in the Great War, I can only imagine the technology of the time and trust in old war movies. In addition, this is a foreign culture in a foreign time. People there had a tendency to trust and respect their elders unquestionably.
Being of the Vietnam era, I could however relate to the parts about the different personalities and some of the war situations and attitudes. I could appreciate the river crossing at night and the defending of the deserted town. I even liked the cat that they befriended in the story. We had a dog that was named Followme, which was one of the few that did not end up in a pot. I even could feel the anxiety of not fighting and just waiting for action. The only major difference is the question of do you want the people to be behind you to push you on or cheer you on, or doing the same job with people that are indifferent or not supportive?
Anyway even with the graphic description of the actual battle is more of a description of war, not a reason to sue for peace at any cost. The story is more of a, "don't let someone pull the wool over your eyes," with the talk of the glory of war. A movie with that theme is "The Americanization of Emily" (1964)". Also, don't let Authority blindly lead you into the army with the condos as in, "Private Benjamin" (1980).
This is not the end but the key statement that pretty much sums it up, "He fell in October 1918, on a day that was so quiet and still on the whole front, that the army report confined itself to the single sentence: All quiet on the western Front."
All Quiet on the Western Front (Universal Cinema Classics)
5.0 out of 5 stars Allquiet on the Wstern Front - a timeless classic for this time of year,
This review is from: All Quiet on the Western Front (Reading Guide Edition) (Paperback)
This novel is over 70 years old, but its message is as clear today as it ever was - war is futile, wasteful, brutal and unneccessary. It is a beautifully evocative message from 'the enemy', although Remarque never uses the words 'the enemy' in his story. The hero and narrator is a teenaged German boy, torn with his classmates from the environs of his High School and thrown into the senseless carnage that is the Western Front. Essential reading for those that would glorify war.
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful,
This tear-jerking allegorical account of a group of young German soldiers in the First World War makes a powerful and memorable read. Remarque's biggest strength is how he makes a story about the past seem so immediate and so real. The characters are engaging and plausible, which makes the inevitable body count all the more heart rending. This is a fine lesson about the horrors of war.
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All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque