A compelling set of short stories from the author of World War I classic, All Quiet on the Western Front
German-American novelist Erich Maria Remarque captured the emotional anguish of a generation in his World War I masterpiece, All Quiet on the Western Front, as well as in an impressive selection of novels, plays, and short stories. This exquisite collection revives Remarque’s unforgettable voice, presenting a series of short stories that have long ago faded from public memory.
From the haunting description of an abandoned battlefield to the pain of losing a loved one in the war to soldiers’ struggles with what we now recognize as PTSD, the stories offer an unflinching glimpse into the physical, emotional, and even spiritual implications of World War I. In this collection, we follow the trials of naïve war widow Annette Stoll, reflect on the power of small acts of kindness toward a dying soldier, and join Johann Bartok, a weary prisoner of war, in his struggle to reunite with his wife.
Although a century has passed since the end of the Great War, Remarque’s writing offers a timeless reflection on the many costs of war. Eight Stories offers a beautiful tribute to the pain that war inflicts on soldiers and civilians alike, and resurrects the work of a master author whose legacy – like the war itself – will endure for generations to come.
About the Author
Erich Maria Remarque (1898-1970) was a German-American novelist. He was the author of numerous plays, short stories, and novels, most notably All Quiet on the Western Front.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I haven’t read All Quiet on the Western Front. These eight short stories by Erich Maria Remarque suggest it would be a good book to read. Veterans return from war in emotional distress, physically and socially impaired, and psychologically ill-equipped to manage life. Remarque has empathy for the enemy. They are men like themselves, bewitched by the strong words of their leaders. “Josef’s Wife” is haunting, yet ends on a bright note. Josef comes home with amnesia and a strong case of post traumatic stress disorder. His wife stays with him, eventually taking him back to the battlefield, where he regains memories and can function again. “The Strange Fate of Johann Bartok” is sad. A group of German POWs take over a ship, but are then recaptured. Johann is kept as slave labor for 15 years. By the time he returns home, his wife, believing him dead, has remarried. Metal scavengers often meet death or cruel injury when unexploded ordinance explodes. The narrator of “Silence” believes they are also violating the dead who remain buried on the battlefields. These are quick to read, and offer a glimpse of the horror that took place a hundred years ago.