James's Reviews > All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
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Sep 30, 08

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, lplib-classics, mitteleuropa
Read in January, 2005

Rereading Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front , I was moved by his contrast of the innocence of the 19 year-old (teenage!) boys and the horrific scenes of trench warfare. The opening chapter, especially, where the one young boy who had the temerity to disagree with the military mindset of his schoolteacher was the first to be slain. But not just slain, rather left to die and only shot as he dragged himself back toward his comrades. This was bitter scene, but it would soon to get worse, much worse. The novel is "neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure. . ."
This is by far the best fictional account of the Great War, or of any war (although I would recommend that you consider viewing Paths of Glory, Stanley Kubrick's exceptional film about the Great War mutinies). I wonder if it is any easier being taken out by a sudden explosion from a roadside bomb? I wonder.
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