Saturday, 18 April 2009
All Quiet on the Western Front
Title: All Quiet on the Western Front
Author: Erich Maria Remarque
Number of pages: 215
Started: 16 April 2009
Finished: 18 April 2009
“This book is intended neither as an accusation nor as a confession, but simply as an attempt to give an account of a generation that was destroyed by the war - even those who survived the shelling.”
'We are in camp five miles behind the line. Yesterday our relieve arrived; now our bellies are full of bully beef and beans, we've had enough to eat and we're well satisfied. We were even able to fill up a mess-tin for later, every one of us, and there are double rations of sausage and bread as well ' that will keep us going.'
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.
What I thought:
This was an excellent book. I wasn’t actually sure that I wanted to read it, as I thought it might be a bit morbid. In reality it was an incredibly readable book that gave an account of the First World War from the perspective of a German soldier. It showed his humanity and how similar those in the trenches were, regardless of which side they were fighting on. It was a simple (but sometimes horrifying) read with a very powerful message behind it. Well worth reading.