Road Back

Road Back

Paperback(Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780449912461
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/27/1998
Series: All Quiet on the Western Front Series , #2
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 181,740
Product dimensions: 5.53(w) x 8.21(h) x 0.66(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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Part One
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "The Road Back"
by .
Copyright © 1998 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.

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Road Back 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
in a way, this book was a sequel to all quiet on the western front. it cearly demonstrated the life that soldiers had to endure after returning from the front. was really interesting to read...as always remarque demonstrated his excellent ability to bring characters and emotions alive.
lostinalibrary on LibraryThing 10 months ago
The Road Back, although less well known than All Quiet on the Western Front, is just as thought-provoking and, in some subtle ways, even more heart-breaking.The story begins during the last few days of WWI. As the final battles surge around them, a group of young German soldiers contemplate what peace will be like and dream of returning home with both hope and fear. They grieve for comrades who will not be returning with them but anticipate the joys of being back with friends and family.When the war finally ends and they head home, they anticipate a hero's welcome but, instead encounter only indifference and misunderstanding. Those who have not gone to war have continued their lives without them and, from their perspective, nothing has changed. It is these young men who have changed and they no longer fit into this world. They had left home as boys, hardly more than children, with all the dreams and joys of youth; they are returning as men, old before their time, damaged both physically and psychically and they cannot understand how the world, their world, can be so different from what they remembered. Their families and friends cannot understand these changes in them - how can they - and so they expect them to behave as they did before. At one point, Ernst, the narrator of the story, swears in front of his mother, something he would never have done before. She is 'pale and horrified' and he tries to explain:" 'Our language was a bit rough out there, mother, I know - Rough but honest...Soldiers are always like that.''Yes, yes, I know,' she protests, 'but you - you too.' "Ernst realizes that, to his mother, the war had meant "only a pack of wild beasts threatening the life of her child...It had never occurred to her that this same threatened child has been just such another wild beast to the children of yet other mothers."All of the young men who have returned with Ernst feel lost. They don't fit in and they are unable to settle down. They suffer from shell-shock and depression. Wives have taken lovers, jobs are already occupied by those who stayed back, and they are no longer respect those who used to have authority over them - school teachers, parents, police. They cannot break the habits they developed to survive in the trenches, they steal to eat even though food is available, they have flash backs, jumping at every loud noise, and they have nightmares. Things which had seemed so important before seem pointless now and there are no new dreams to replace them. One of Ernst's companions reenlists, seeking the companionship they had enjoyed during the war only to discover it no longer exists in a peacetime army, for another, the solution lies in revolution, only to be killed by the same soldiers he once called friends, for some, suicide is the only answer, and for a very few, including Ernst, the answer lies in nature where, finally, true peace is found.The Road back is, possibly the hardest, the most gut-wrenching book I have ever read. It is a must-read for anyone, whether pro or anti war, who really wants to understand the effects that war has on young soldiers.