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All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front


Book Overview: All Quiet on the Western Front

From the perspective of Paul Bäumer, a young German soldier in World War I, comes an unsettling tale of the mundanity and misery of trench warfare on the Western Front. When Paul and his comrades volunteer for the Imperial German Army, pressured into this act of patriotism by idealistic parents and a steely schoolmaster, they quickly learn that the authorities they trusted to shape their minds and guide their growth were condemning them to unimaginable danger and squalor, in the name of duty to an old world in its death throes.

Bombarded by shells and bombs, by horror after horror, Paul absorbs the sordid lessons of combat and reflects upon the strangers on the arbitrary other side, transformed into enemies by a distant "word of command." With timeless insight and searing prose, Erich Maria Remarque draws readers into the embattled consciences of soldiers on the frontlines, enlivening a tragic story with characters whose survival one hopes for against all odds.

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PublisherRandom House Publishing GroupBallantine BooksLittle, Brown and Company
Publication Date1987-03-121975-01-01
Dimensionsin x in x in
Weight lbs
Erich Maria Remarque, born on June 22, 1898 in Osnabrück, Germany, grew to be one of the most recognized and influential authors of the 20th century. Throughout his life, he achieved global acclaim for his earnest and poignant depictions of the horrors of war, drawn from his own experiences as a soldier in World War I. As a figure of literary significance, Remarque used his powerful storytelling skills combined with his insightful analysis of human nature to convey the devastating effects of war, particularly focusing on the generation referred to as "the lost generation". Remarque’s magnum opus, "All Quiet on the Western Front," published in 1928, immediately clutched international attention for its profound and pivotal examination of war from an ordinary soldier’s perspective. Not merely projecting sentiment and suffering, his works provoked a stirring reflection on war's destructiveness. Although his pacifist stance and candid portrayal of war resulted in his works being banned and even burned in Nazi Germany, his legacy thrived globally. Remarque's commitment to representing the reality of the human condition, laid bare by war, has cemented his place in the annals of literary history. His vivid and empathetic character portrayals continue to touch the hearts and minds of readers. He passed away on September 25, 1970, yet his works remain quintessential reading, carving out an enduring legacy that transcends both time and geographical boundaries. His contribution to literature offers a cathartic exploration of the absurdities of war, underlining a universal yearning for peace.

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