Rose's Reviews > All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
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Dec 26, 2008

bookshelves: 2008
Read in December, 2008

Fantastic, and great to read a book set during the Great War from the "other side"; it only demonstrates how little difference the side they were on - supposedly the be-all and end-all of war - made to the soldiers themselves. Paul seems to see the main difference between them as one of equipment and supplies, rather than nationality, philosophy, patriotism, or any of the more abstract concepts similar to those his teacher expounded upon to encourage the class to enlist. It's humane while being utterly inhumane, darkly comic while horrific and tragic. Remarque excels in making you begin to think like Paul and the others. You begin to become desensitised, like Paul, to his friends' deaths, until the death of Katz brings you back to a true appreciation of it. I would like to think that this book helped others to understand the damaged men returning home from the Great War, although it came late for that. It is easy to see why the Nazis banned it.
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Quotes Rose Liked

Erich Maria Remarque
“Katczinsky says it is all to do with education - it softens the brain.”
Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

Erich Maria Remarque
“We came to realise - first with astonishment, then bitterness, and finally with indifference - that intellect apparently wasn't the most important thing...not ideas, but the system; not freedom, but drill. We had joined up with enthusiasm and with good will; but they did everything to knock that out of us.”
Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front


Reading Progress

12/29/2008 "Really enjoying this. Despite the death and horror, there's a darkly humourous core."
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