All Quiet on the Western Front

Remarque

All Quiet on the Western Front is one of those classics more often referred to and talked about than read. It’s one of those books which doesn’t require reading to know the plot, and skimming through the book it almost feels like familiar territory. The book is eminently readable, and despite its brevity, deals with a wide variety of aspects of wartime life, both specific to the Great War and in general. Despite its age, the book has lost none of its meaning, and whilst it proves to be an important work historically, in dealing with everyday German experiences in the Great War and reactions to it during the Weimar years, it is also an enjoyable read and one that should certainly be read more often. It is a simple story told through the eyes of a lad only nineteen years old, pressured into signing up by a jingoistic schoolmaster, who is hardened, desensitised and churned up by the horrors of trench warfare in the Great War.

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