All Quiet on the Western Front
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All Quiet on the Western Front

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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  161,745 ratings  ·  4,191 reviews
Paul Bäumer enlisted with his classmates in the German army of World War I. Youthful, enthusiastic, they become soldiers. But despite what they have learned, they break into pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches. And as horrible war plods on year after year, Paul holds fast to a single vow: to fight against the principles of hate that meaninglessly pits young...more
Mass Market Paperback, 296 pages
Published March 12th 1987 by Ballantine (first published November 1928)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Daniel
Jul 23, 2009 Daniel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Daniel by: Rose
Shelves: 2009
I don't know why it took me so long to get to "All Quiet on the Western Front," but I'm glad I finally read it and am grateful to my friend Rose for recommending it. The book, first published in the late 1920s, is an absolutely heartbreaking, wonderfully written novel about the permanent damage done to those who fight in wars. Few anti-war novels written since have matched Erich Maria Remarque's unsettling book, and I doubt any have surpassed it.

Given how famous "All Quiet" is, there's little ne...more
Warwick

Man, I need a break. I've been reading about the First World War solidly since December and I've had enough now. There's only so many times you can go through the same shit, whether they're English, French, German, Russian – oh look, another group of pals from school, eagerly jogging down to the war office to sign up. Brilliant. Now it's just a matter of guessing which horrible death will be assigned to them: shrapnel to the stomach, bleeding to death in no-man's-land, drowning in mud, succumbin...more
Ted
… all the memories that come … are always completely calm … They are soundless apparitions that speak to me, with looks and gestures silently, without any word … They are quiet in this way because quietness is so unattainable for us now … Their stillness is the reason why these memories of former times do not awaken desire so much as sorrow – a vast, inapprehensible melancholy. Once we had such desires- but they return not. They are past, they belong to another world that is gone from us.

4 ½

Rem...more
Martine
All Quiet on the Western Front (or, to give it its German title, Nothing New in the West) has been hailed as the best war novel ever, and it's easy to see why. World War I is described in such vivid non-glory in its pages that you are sucked into the story straight away and stay there for the next two hundred pages. It is obvious that the author, Erich Maria Remarque, had first-hand experience of the things he writes about; the details are so right and authentic-sounding that they couldn't possi...more
Dem
Yeah ! My first 5 star read of 2014. Excellent- A mesmerizing and vivid account of war.


I bought this novel as an audio book for $2.95 on Audible's daily deal and firstly I have to say the narrator was excellent but after a few pages I realized I just had to have the physical book as the writing was so beautiful I needed to have the book in my hand and re-read some of the wonderfully constructed sentances.

This is a story about Paul, a young German soldier who goes to war along with some of his...more
Kemper
My copy of this was a paperback that I had picked up somewhere in my high school years. It was printed in the ‘50s and cost 60 cents per the cover price. The pages were yellowed and an old dog of mine (dead 20 years now) chewed on a corner of it at one point, and his teeth marks are still on it. But I held onto that copy over the years through multiple changes of residence and numerous paperback dumps to used book stores and library donations. When I was trying to organize some of my stuff packe...more
Kim

This is a novel I’ve been meaning to read for years and I’m not really sure what took me so long. It may just have been that I’ve never been much of a one for war literature. In any event, I wish I’d read it years ago. Even though Remarque disavowed any political purpose in writing the work, it’s the quintessential anti-war novel. The unspeakable horror of trench warfare, the fear, the boredom and the alienation are all unflinchingly described. This is powerful stuff and while there are lighter...more
Paul
Aug 27, 2007 Paul rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who has seen war firsthand
This book is short, but a must-have read for those understanding the humanity of war. While I cannot even imagine fighting deep in the trenches of WWI, braving shell shock and constant, brazen assaults on my front lines, I can sincerely identify with his feelings as a two-tour veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

All military differences aside (at least this guy knew what his enemy looked like), the deep feelings when you lose one of your own are still dead on--even after all these years. Along wi...more
K.D. Absolutely
Dec 03, 2013 K.D. Absolutely rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2010)
Shelves: 1001-core, war
A good companion to Timothy Findley's The Wars. Why? Both of them are novels about WWI. But All Quiet on the Western Front is the German side and The Wars is the Allied side. Put them side by side in your mind. Run the stories in a parallel manner. You have a whole new novel with complete casts and both warring sides represented. How un-different the young soldiers thoughts are. How much they think that the same war, where their young comrades die left and right, to be senseless. Neither of them...more
Chrissie
I am silent. What can I say? Here I have been, for the last year or two, searching for books on WW1. I have read fiction and non-fiction and biographies. This thin little book has more of an impact than any other I have read.

This is a book to be read many times.

Not only is it profound in message, but the author writes beautifully.

Can humor be incorporated in a book with such a serious message? Yes, Remarque pulls this off too.

This thin book perfectly captures

- war in the trenches
- mustard gas...more
Leonard
The horror of poisoned skin and flesh, mangled arms and legs, whistling shells, hopeless moans, and ubiquitous filth complemented the sterile wall between Paul Baumer and his father and mother and sister when he was on leave. The war had destroyed his youth and any hunger for sunlight, twitter and soft skin. When he turned the schoolbook pages, he realized all the texts’ fragrances sweet or pungent had fled into the misty dawn. His past had fallen away and his future withered, leaving him in a l...more
Marvin
Back in 1986, a friend of mine, who was a Vietnam War veteran asked me to go see the movie Platoon with him. As we walked out of the theater, he was unusually quiet but asked me what I thought of the film. I responded that I thought it was excellent but I also admitted that I thought parts were confusing for a war film. "Often I couldn't tell who was shooting at who." I said. He grabbed my arm and said excitedly."THAT IS WHAT IT WAS LIKE!"

Every war has its own uniqueness. It has its unique horro...more
Jo
"Let the months come, and the years, they'll take nothing more from me, they can take nothing more from me...But as long as life is there it will make its own way, whether my conscious self likes it or not."


This review is part of my Poppies & Prose feature. You can find out more here.
So when I first decided to dedicate my reading this November to books either set in or written during the two World Wars, I decided re-visit some books that I had already read.
But it was only when I picked up...more
Valerie
This book is so raw and grusome that I'm sure a story like Paul's is real. I wasn't sure what to give this book because, well, it was just so hopelessly depressing. It made me so depressed that at times that I just had to put it down and breath. I don't regret reading it because I learned a lot about what war is really like but I just felt so hopeless about everything. If you are anything like me and can't handle a lot of hopelessness then have something like Winnie the Pooh on hand to cheer you...more
Nicole~
This book is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the war - epigraph from All Quiet on the Western Front.

EMR's 1929 bleak depiction of war portrays Germany's fundamental intent on total subjugation, and the patriotic call of the Fatherland to its impressionistic "Iron Youth...more
Larry Bassett
This book is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped its shells, were destroyed by the war.

The author Erich Maria Remarque was a German soldier in the First World War. All Quiet On the Western Front is his story published in 1928 in German.

You are on the front lines. In the trenches and dugouts. In t...more
Saman
رمان معروف (در جبهه‌ی غرب خبری نیست) را مهم‌ترین و مطرح‌ترین کتاب درباره‌ی جنگ و اثرات آن بر روی آدمی و عمر وی می‌دانند. رمانی با داستانی که بسیار روان و ساده روایت شده و در اصل سندی است از وحشت جنگ و خشونت و کثافتی که در آن نهفته است. حال فرقی نمی‌کند این جنگ با چه نامی شروع شده باشد: دفاع از وطن، دفاع از دین، جنگ برای به دست آوردن صلح! جنگ برای ایجاد دموکراسی! و... که در واقع همه‌ی این‌ها یک مشت نام هستند که بر روی این عمل گذاشته می‌شود و تاوان و بهای آن را مردم و جوانان و پدران و مادران پرداخ...more
Mikey B.
Over-rated...

Although this is an intriguing book, I feel that it has been historically over-rated. It is more a series of vignettes describing in detail, events of the war (one could almost say pornographically; but this is admittedly a little harsh): there are scenes of wounded horses screaming, hospital with agonizing amputations, soldiers struggling in the mud…
All of this seems to be pure descriptive; almost like biographical journalistic anecdotes – and none are lengthy. The characters surr...more
Jonfaith
The breath of desire that then arose from the coloured backs of the books, shall fill me again, melt the heavy, dead lump of lead that lies somewhere in me and waken again the impatience of the future, the quick joy in the world of thought, it shall bring back again the lost eagerness of my youth. I sit and wait.

Likely one of the first novels I ever read. My clumsy use of "novel" refers to literature, not simply novelistic genre books routinely purchased at drug stores and discount stores and r...more
Laurel
I thought this book was exceptional. As with any book dealing with the horrors of war, it is not exactly a pleasant book to read. It is not supposed to be. It is full of violence and death and loss and a kind of perpetual suffering and terror that most of us have never and will never experience. What I thought was so extraordinary about this book was the author's ability to so vividly place the reader right there on the front line with the main character -- not just in terms of what he physicall...more
Dave Cullen
I'm rereading this after nearly 30 years (so I put it back in "currently.") It's just as good the second time.

This book had a huge impact on me in my 20s. I read it while recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. I was stunned by how well it rang true to my army experience, and expanded on my understanding of it. (Of course I'd never been to battle, as we were at peace.)

I had only toyed with writing at that point, had never been to writing school or finished a book of my own. So I came back...more
Nazish
I feel like quoting the whole book. It is so simple and direct that it hits right upon the mark! My review can never bring justice to how I read and felt for this book. It was like I was there at the Front myself…with no direction or ambition like those soldiers I met in the text.

“This book…will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped its shells, were destroyed by the war.”

One of the most popular books to be publically burned and banned in the Nazi era...more
Angie
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this very moving story last week and across the Remembrance Day dates made it feel even more poignant for me.

The futility and horror of war is so tangible here; Paul, the narrator and his group of friends, all mostly aged just 19, are suffering the brutality of the trenches during the Great War. At times harrowing and stomach-churning in its graphic description, Paul sees more horror than he could imagine was possible. He sees bitter little men abuse their newly found...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
The edition I read was one with a fine Introduction by one Harry Hansen, who apparently had also served in The War to End All Wars. In it, he quotes Remarque:
I was suffering from rather severe attacks of despondency. In an effort to overcome them I sought quite consciously for the cause of my depression. By this intentional analysis I came back to my life during the war. I was able to observe something quite similar in many friends and acquaintances. The shadow of the war hung over us even when
...more
The other John
Feb 02, 2009 The other John rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to The other John by: Sonlight
What can I say to do justice to this book? The cover blurb calls this "The Greatest War Novel of All Time." It's certainly the best that I've ever read. In fact, I wouldn't be at all surprised if some of the other war stories I've read haven't used All Quiet as part of their research. It's an account of World War I, as seen through the experiences of Paul Bäumer, a young German man serving in France--the "Western front" to the German army. Through his eyes we see the brutality, absurdity, sorrow...more
Zelda
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrea M.
May 08, 2008 Andrea M. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
‘The greatest war novel of all time’ is a huge understatement, possibly even an insult to Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front. It is more than just a great war novel – it is maybe truly the greatest novel ever, period. War is the obvious main theme, but it must not be read as a war novel to fully understand the powerful message hidden behind the actions of war in this novel.
Paul Baumer, the protagonist of this novel is pretty much your typical German nineteen year old teenage...more
Brittany
May 05, 2008 Brittany rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Brittany by: I found it on my own.
Shelves: bedtime-books
This book shows you a different side of war. Instead of the books that show you have great or how noble war is this book does not. This book tries to show how teens the same age as me were more or less tricked into fighting a war they didn't even believe in. Unlike world war two, World War one did not really have a reason to begin. (basically ww1 started when countries made pacts with each other to fight with each other. This with the arms race that had been going on, as well as each country so...more
S©aP
Esiste, a mio parere, un aspetto che non viene valutato, nel pesare questo romanzo: il contesto in cui fu pubblicato. Il testo di Remarque esce nel 1929. Noi tutti, oggi, abbiamo un'idea della guerra e dell'orrore mutuata attraverso letture, racconti, trattati, filmati, reportages; fino ai servizi in diretta della CNN (da Baghdad ad es.). Il nostro concetto di orrore e la nostra abitudine si sono strutturati con la IGm; la IIGm; le guerre successive; le pulizie etniche; le atrocità svelate etc e...more
Fenixbird SandS
Nov 17, 2007 Fenixbird SandS rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: ALL! Truths of war...
Rough translation from the German. Remarque's writing is very deep, and he gives rich characterizations. "All Quiet" made me get to know most of these soldiers rather intimately, for war if nothing else, reminds us of the very basic passion each of us feels for being granted another day or another moment alive. However, a lot the "flow" I believe was lost in this translation. [My essay is below] This book depicts the tragic waste of WWI aka The Great War...never knew anything about it really bef...more
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Why is this a classic? 26 553 May 31, 2014 06:24PM  
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Erich Maria Remarque is one of the best known and most widely read authors of German literature in the twentieth century.

Remarque's biography is essentially marked and his writing fundamentally influenced by German history of the twentieth century: Childhood and youth in imperial Osnabrück, World War I, the Weimar Republic, and most of all his exile in Switzerland and the United States. With the...more
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“I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another.” 353 likes
“But now, for the first time, I see you are a man like me. I thought of your hand-grenades, of your bayonet, of your rifle; now I see your wife and your face and our fellowship. Forgive me, comrade. We always see it too late. Why do they never tell us that you are poor devils like us, that your mothers are just as anxious as ours, and that we have the same fear of death, and the same dying and the same agony--Forgive me, comrade; how could you be my enemy?” 203 likes
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