All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front

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All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

Paul Baumer 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 men of the same generation but different uniforms against each other--if only he can come out of the war alive.
"The world has a great writer in Erich Maria Remarque. He is a craftsman of unquestionably first trank, a man who can bend language to his will. Whether he writes of men or of inanimate nature, his touch is sensitive, firm, and sure."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780449213940
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/28/1987
Series: Book Notes Series
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 470
Product dimensions: 4.16(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.78(d)
Lexile: 830L (what's this?)

About the Author

Erich Maria Remarque, who was born in Germany, was drafted into the German army during World War I. Through the hazardous years following the war he worked at many occupations: schoolteacher, small-town drama critic, race-car driver, editor of a sports magazine. His first novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, was published in Germany in 1928. A brilliant success, selling more than a million copies, it was the first of many literary triumphs. When the Nazis came to power, Remarque left Germany for Switzerland. He rejected all attempts to persuade him to return, and as a result he lost his German citizenship, his books were burned, and his films banned. He went to the United States in 1938 and became a citizen in 1947. He later lived in Switzerland with his second wife, the actress Paulette Goddard. He died in September 1970.

Read an Excerpt

Introduction by Norman Stone

Excerpted from "All Quiet on the Western Front"
by .
Copyright © 1987 Erich Maria Remarque.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction     7
Biographical Sketch     9
The Story Behind the Story     17
List of Characters     20
Summary and Analysis     23
Critical Views     52
Brian Murdoch on All Quiet on the Western Front as a Weimar Antiwar Novel     52
Brian Murdoch on Remarque and Homer     57
A.F. Bance on the Novel's Best-seller Status     63
Chris Daley on the Force of Silence in All Quiet on the Western Front     68
Hildegard Emmel on All Quiet on the Western Front as a Weimar Novel     71
Vita Fortunati on the Representation of World War I in Hemingway, Remarque, and Ford Madox Ford     75
Dorothy B. Jones on the Film Version of the Novel     79
Helmut Liedloff on A Farewell to Arms and All Quiet on the Western Front     83
Alfredo Bonadeo on Paul Baumer's Relationship to German Culture     87
Modris Eksteins on the Novel as a Postwar Commentary     92
Hans Wagener on the Final Chapter of All Quiet on the Western Front     96
Robert Baird on Hollywood's Ambivalence to World War I Novels     100
Wilhelm J. Schwarz on Remarque's Memorial to the Unknown Soldier     105
Works   Erich Maria Remarque     110
Annotated Bibliography     111
Contributors     120
Acknowledgments     123
Index     125

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All Quiet on the Western Front 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 281 reviews.
kyuen1 More than 1 year ago
I first found this book in the library and didn't think much of it: a small, worn thing, bound in battered blue leather. Nothing but the faded gilt words of the title on the front. I vaguely remembered that there was a movie made about it, but I had no idea what the story was about. Little did I know, it turned out to be a deeply moving coming-of-age story, on par with The Catcher in the Rye and The Wars. It's the story of a twenty-year-old soldier, not much more than a boy, who struggles between his duty as a soldier and his own value for life, regardless of which side of the trenches it comes from. The novel is quietly poignant and at times devastating, with moments of beauty and horror that could only have been told by someone as an actual witness of that war. A true classic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very upset. Bought this copy for 2.99 and was excited to pay such a good price until I doscovered it only has the first 135 pages! What a ripoff. Wish I could get a refund...
Prince_Lillyan More than 1 year ago
I'm a sophomore in high school, and this was one of our required readings, and I just have to say that this book is amazing! It has various types of literary devices flowing through its pages, and the plot keeps you entangled within its words. It brings out every feeling in you and is a very good choice for a required reading, (if you're a teacher). Recommended to all, but more particularly, people that would like to experience the reality of war, the effects of war, and a fight between the myth of war and the real thing as the truth is revealed during your reading. Enjoy! :)
FredWoodrum More than 1 year ago
In my opinion All Quiet on the Western Front is a great book. It is one of the most popular war novels and I agree with people who say it's good. I am not a huge fan of reading unless it is an interesting book, and I can say this definitely is. This book kept me reading and I had a lot of fun with it. However, some people might find this book too violent. It is hard for me to get into a book unless it starts off interesting. This book did and I loved it from the start. I found myself not able to put it down at times. Erich Maria Remarque does a great job of painting a picture of the action-packed fighting scenes. He also takes us inside the minds of the soldiers and the reader can really understand how the characters feel. Another good thing about this book is it's realistic. It's not your average war story where one man is the hero and everything is easy. The main characters face many struggles. Seeing how they overcome these struggles makes this book fun to read. There also many themes in this book. The author focuses on the horror of war, and the effects it has on everybody's lives. I think this book is fun and there are important lessons to be learned from it. Some people might find this book too violent or graphic. In the fighting scenes, the author goes into great detail. He describes everything from the sights and sounds to the blood and gore. Some readers may not be big fans of this. For example, when the soldiers are camped out waiting for an enemy attack, the author describes the horrible conditions and talks about the sound and smell of dying men. In conclusion, I think this book is great. There are many different aspects that make this book enjoyable for a large audience. Some people may be turned off by the violence but other than that, they may find this book suitable. I definitely recommend it to anybody who wants a quick fun read, with important lessons to learn.
GuardianMom More than 1 year ago
This book is very powerful. We all know WW I was fought over 100 years ago but the ugliness of war still persist. Adults of loved ones coming home from war need to read this book because a soldier is not going to tell a civilian the true hell that they lived with and will carry with them forever. Maybe parents, brother/sister, boyfriend/girlfriend, fiances/spouse will realize the pre-soldier doesn't exists any more. The newly released soldier has memories, dreams, frights, and horrors that a civilian can not possibly understand. The post-soldier has many questions about himself as he did as a child, as young teen, as an older teen but society won't give him 15 years to figure it out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The single best war novel ever written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
War is idiocy, mostly entered into by those who will never witness it close up, its daily battles struggled through by those who had no say in whether it should have been started nor when and how it will end. I was a soldier who fought and was wounded, nearly killed, in a different war decades later. I was also an officer, but All Quiet tells my story and the story of the men in my platoon as well as it tells the story of the young German, Paul and his friends. As a soldier, you may begin your fight for your country, but once in combat, you fight for your friends and often find you have more in common with the "enemy" soldier than with the folks back home. This book should be required reading for every person in a position to forge a decision to go to war. Some circumstances may leave no other option, but reading this book should help make it clearer to those who decide to take a ecountry to war just what burden they are placing on the shoulders, hearts and minds of those who will live the battles, during the hell of the fighting and long after the bombs have stopped falling.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A teacher of mine recommended me too read this book. At first I wasn't all excited to hear about it because it is a war novel and I'm not into these kind of books. However, after reading just the first chapter I was already hooked. As I began to read more of this book I started to get more interested. This book is very detailed in a lot of parts of the book. What I do love most is how easy it is to follow along and understand what is going on in the book. Even though this is a book about war it is not always based on fighting. Matter of fact you'll even crack a smile every once in a while. This book also got me motivated because how the main character holds him self. The author Erich Maria Remarque has written many good books but, this is by far one of the best. A Great book and would defiantly recommend to others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been a soldier in the U.S. Army for 11 years now, with multiple deployments under my belt. As a veteran, this book left me with an overwhelming gratefulness for the fact that my wars have been comparatively easy. Furthermore, it reinforces the fact that soldiers are the same. Different sides, different wars, different times, but there is an undeniable sameness between us. The same lusts and fears, the same profanity and profoundness, the same humor and horror - and the same desperate hopelessness in trying to explain the experience to those that haven't had it for themselves. But most of all, I sympathized with the unavoidable change that military service brings about in a person. I won't go so far as to say that war leaves all soldiers "damaged" (like I said, my wars have been comparatively easy), but the change is inescapable and absolute.
PaqiPR More than 1 year ago
By telling this story in first person, present tense, Remarque achieves a great sense of intimacy. For me it has always been a "quiet" book. The emotions of Paul in the war (and out) seem true and timeless to me (and much better than Crane's The Red Badge of Courage), and the evocation of comradeship is beautiful. It is short and simple, and is one of my top ten all-time favorite books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
 Overall I feel pretty mixed about the book. I liked it but at the same time I did not. For every chapter there was always a golden nugget of a sentence or two that I had to break out my pen and underline for later pondering on and review.        One of the most distracting things about reading AQOTWF was the inconsistent tone I felt it gave off. It wasn't just chapter to chapter, it was event to event. I understand that each event in the book has it's own particular feel, whether it light-hearted and humorous or down right heart breaking. Even with that said, this was written as an autobiography, from Paul's perspective, and with that, I had assumed consistent personality and tonality. It may be just me, but it was bothersome as it messed with the flow at which I read this book.1 But this tone could have also been done on purpose to show Paul's instability in his life.        I did not feel any deep connection or overall sympathy to AQOTWF like I had felt With The Old Breed.2 I did try to tone down my expectations because of WTOB set the bar fairly high in my mind about what an autobiography on war should include.        Being from a German perspective didn't effect the story any. If AQOTWF had been written from any side at the time, not much would change. War is war. Soldiers of the time are all in a trench -different ones, but equally miserable.        All Quiet on the Western Front was a read I'm glad I read, but I am not blown away by the book that has claimed the title "The Greatest War Novel of All time".
Historyoholic More than 1 year ago
A recent radio piece mentioned "All Quiet on The Western Front" during a book review for "The Yellow Birds." I'd not yet read AQOTWF and so ordered both titles. AQOTWF proved one of the most powerful books I've read in my six decades, gripping and poignant beyond words. Having completed AQOTWF, I'm now engrossed in "The Yellow Birds." Both authors are combat veterans from the enlisted ranks. From wars six generations apart, they paint notably parallel portraits through soldiers' eyes, both on and away from the battlefield. One could argue that everyone should read both books, and re-read them at any time a nation considers waging war without having first been attacked.
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Anonymous 9 months ago
One of the greatest books ever written.
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It's a definite classic for good reason
Runner510 More than 1 year ago
For Adolph Hitler, the Great War was a blessing. From an aimless existence--”futilely angry at a world that had rejected him,” according to biographer Ian Kershaw--his 4 years in the German army set him on his well-known path. Hitler, despite being temporarily blinded in a gas attack and ending the war in a hospital, at one point called his war years “the greatest and most unforgettable time of my earthly existence” and “the one time I had no worries.” He was unswerving in his faith that Germany’s survival depended on victory, disapproving of any hint of defeatism. Erich Maria Remarque, drafted at age 18 and who served in the field briefly before being hospitalized with shrapnel wounds for the duration, relates his view of war experience through narrator Paul Baumer, whose impressions convey mostly fear, hunger, filth, mangled bodies, hopelessness. The one positive aspect that he can point to: comradeship,  “the finest thing that arose out of the war.” This theme persists through the novel, and there are a few comical incidents that lighten the overall tone, but ultimately there’s despair rather than anything redemptive in them, as one by one Baumer’s comrades are killed or wounded. There’s not much in the way of geographical or historical detail in the novel--I could never tell where exactly Baumer’s unit was, and there are no mentions of famous battles. The book's strength lies in its observations and reflections. For example, Baumer gives voice to the degradation of his generation: “We are not youth any longer. We don’t want to take the world by storm. We are fleeing. We fly from ourselves…. We were eighteen and had begun to love life and the world; and we had to shoot it to pieces.” In a passage that has a cinematic sweep, Baumer portrays the scene in a hospital: “A man cannot realize that above such shattered bodies there are still human faces in which life goes its daily round. And this is only one hospital, one single station; there are hundreds of thousands in Germany, hundreds of thousands in France, hundreds of thousands in Russia. How senseless is everything that can ever be written, done, or thought, when such things are possible…. A hospital alone shows what war is.” What must have been particularly galling to the Nazis and other nationalists about the book is that it tacitly refutes the “stab in the back” myth that perfidious forces at home undermined the military’s efforts on the front. Baumer sees that Germany is over-matched in material terms: “There are too many fresh English and American regiments over there. There’s too much corned beef and white wheaten bread. Too many new guns. Too many aeroplanes.” As for the Germans, “we are emaciated and starved. Our food is bad and mixed up with so much substitute stuff that it makes us ill.” Little wonder that in May 1933, when students in university towns across the country seized “un-German” books and burned them, All Quiet in the Western Front was on the pyre. Richard Evans in The Coming of the Third Reich, recounting this episode says, “A particular category in itself was reserved for Erich Maria Remarque, whose critical novel … was thrown onto the fire ‘against literary betrayal of the soldiers of the World War, for the education of the nation in the spirit of military preparedness.’”  Remarque saw betrayal, surely, but not of the literary variety, and though All Quiet first appeared in 1928, the education it offered could not forestall the next war.
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A must read, such a great classic book!
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