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Erich Maria Remarque: The Last Romantic
by Hilton Tims
For more than seventy years Erich Maria Remarque's startlingly realistic and intensely moving anti-war novel All Quiet on the Western Front has remained a worldwide best seller. A political and literary sensation when it was first published, Remarque's masterpiece was banned and burned in the 1930s by the Nazis. Remarque was forced to flee Germany, and eventually, in 1939, ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published June 20th 2004 by Da Capo Press
(first published June 2nd 2003)
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I've read the novel and seen two movie versions of All Quiet on the Western Front, but I knew nothing about its author. His life was really rather tragic, despite his fame, fortune, and romances; his sister was beheaded by the Nazis; he was vilified in Germany, and he was stripped of his German citizenship. I think I'll visit his home town of Osnabruck when I visit Germany next summer, just to honor him.
I have changed my first rating. While I learned some interesting facts about Remaeque's personal life such as his affairs with Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo...., etc., the book did not came across as a complete biography but rather as separate peaces combined into a book. I just could not connect Remarque, the person, with the author of some of the most beautiful books I have read.
A pretty basic biography of Remarque, not particularly well-written or analytical about either the man or his works. Provides the fundamental details of his life, but little more. It did remind me of how much I like Remarque's work, and inspired me to want to read to some of his latter, post-WWI trilogy stuff.
I knew nothing about Remarque other than that he wrote All Quiet on the Western Front. I was happy to learn about some of the facts of his life, but overall this biography portrayed Remarque as a rather pathetic human being. It didn't "feel" feel balanced to me, but I have nothing to base that on. Perhaps I just wanted him to be more of a heroic, Hemingway-esque type of writer. I'd love to hear from others who have read this biography.