The evocative story of a man without a country, Arch of Triumph is a World War II–era classic from the author of All Quiet on the Western Front.
It is 1939. Despite a law banning him from performing surgery, Ravic—a German doctor and refugee living in Paris—has been treating some of the city’s most elite citizens for two years on the behalf of two less-than-skillful French physicians.
Forbidden to return to his own country, and dodging the everyday dangers of jail and deportation, Ravic manages to hang on—all the while searching for the Nazi who tortured him back in Germany. And though he’s given up on the possibility of love, life has a curious way of taking a turn for the romantic, even during the worst of times.
“The world has a great writer in Erich Maria Remarque. He is a craftsman of unquestionably first rank, 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.”—The New York Times Book Review
|Publisher:||Random House Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.48(w) x 8.24(h) x 1.10(d)|
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.
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Excerpted from "Arch of Triumph"
Copyright © 1998 Erich Maria Remarque.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the most amazing book I have ever read. It very realistic and dramatic. Once you start reading its hard to stop because its so interesting. What fascinated me the most was the theories on life and philosophy of the main character which can never leave you untouched. Highly recommended book!!!
Love in the shadow of war. This is the basic premise of Erich Maria Remarque¿s tragic romance, Arch of Triumph, 1945, Appleton-Century Co; but if you pass over this remarkable work as just another in a long line of slobbering, pointless and uninspiring love stories you will only cheat yourself of a moving and compelling narrative that starts off slowly, imperceptibly envelops you; then, reaches out and sucks you in. It is a story of two lost and lonely people, brought together by chance who unexpectedly find love. But while love can solidify, redeem and renew the soul; while love can give the affected the strength to combat the elements and achieve unparalleled heights of tenderness, sacrifice, bravery and accomplishment; love itself, can be fragile, and under the weight of the Nazi threat is their love strong enough to survive fate, war, circumstance and the emotional scars of their collective past? Once a respected surgeon in Germany, Ravic, his alias, has become a man without a country; an illegal refugee, living on the fringe of society; reduced to living for the moment and earning a living by clandestinely performing complicated surgeries for lesser doctors in France. Ravic is also harboring a deep seated hatred and an unquenchable desire for revenge against a German officer who tortured him and drove his girlfriend to commit suicide. One night he meets a woman, Joan Madou, a singer with a troubled past of her own. Remarque¿s account of Madou¿s past is quite cryptic and vague. This skillful omission only enhances the story as it enables us discover whom Joan is as Ravic does. While the story centers on the two main characters, it chronicles life in France the uneasiness of its inhabitants under the cloud of possible war and the plight of refugees fleeing German oppression and atrocities shortly before the start of WWII. Remarque¿s descriptive writing style brings pre-war France, from its gleaming hotels and exciting nightlife, to its lurid brothels, vividly to life. Even his description of the many operations Ravic performs throughout the story are described with such intricate eloquence that you feel as if you are actually watching them from the observation room. Remarque, who¿s earlier novel, All quite on the Western Front, would become a staple in the literary world and fodder for book burning parties throughout Nazi Germany, once again shared his passionate anti-war position with his readers. The Remarque philosophy of the senselessness and destructiveness of war; man¿s inhumanity to man; the destructive nature of man¿s unbridled lust for power and the catastrophic result of reckless ambition are all broached in this work; however, these timeless issues are never overdone or done heavy- handedly. Remarque does not preach, but skillfully incorporates these issues into a tight and engrossing fictional story that drips with a realism that grabs and holds your imagination, hopes and fears until the last page. The author strips his narrative of romantic sentimentalism and in doing so give Ravic and Joan's relationship a genuine feel. One of the best aspects of this book is Remarque¿s realistic description of the blissful highs devastating lows of love; especially love held hostage by world events and human frailty. Ravic knows that for a man living as he living, love is not an option, and has all but given up on love; but he is about to learn that love has never waited for an invitation. Joan is also in love. Joan has her own ideas about love, but they don't necessarily align with Ravic's. While I would say that this book is primarily a love story, it is also a political, social and philosophical commentary. Arch of Triumph is simultaneously nostalgic and timely. The themes addressed in the story are still with us and just as relevant and important today as they were then.
My favorite one. A great writer of the world war... E-MR built all his stories on the war, as he was part of the 'unfortunate' generation (born around 1900) that was old enough to be part of the first war... and then the second.Still, all his books are as many love stories - sad though. In every book, at the very end - the woman dies somehow, leaving the man to face the war & crisis all by himself.After reading this one - wishing to try calvados. Haven't tried it yet.
A friend asked me to recommend a Remarque novel. We discussed 'All Quiet...'. My reply follows: 'Sure, in fact one of my favorites of Remarque's books is a thinly veiled portrait of Marlene Dietrich; or rather the intertwining of her life with his in Paris at the eve of WW2, the year before the war broke out,--- the English title is 'Arch of Triumph'. Like with all Remarque's books, the title is full of irony, and undercurrents of double meanings. Naturally, the book is not officially about Marlene, but she is hard to miss. Rather the book is personal,and has a good amount of autobiographical flavor. Yet, it is a captivating and suspenseful novel. Like the two protagonists in the novel, Remarque and Dietrich were themselves at a desparate point in their lives in 1939. Side comment: I am afraid that a lot is lost in the translation of Remarque's books. He only wrote in German, even when he lived in the US. In any case, Remarque is a master of a suspenseful openings, in his novels. This one does not disapoint! Lots of his books are about refugee life of sorts. Another of Remarque's novels I often return to is 'Night in Lisbon', and it is again about escape from a Europe at high noon, just as Europe is going up in flames before WW2.' Review by Palle Jorgensen, September 2004.
It is a great book, I think everybody would enjoy it. I couldn't put it down and even know that I read it I love going back and read it again.
it is remarque's masterpiece.everyone should read it.