Thursday, January 26, 2017

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

All Quiet on the Western FrontAll Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 I read this book in high school and I have probably read it three or four times over the years. I've also viewed the movie based on the book probably a half a dozen times. It is a very depressing book about war, human nature and the slaughter of young men. Unlike today's combat, World War I was often fought hand-to-hand and in the trenches. The language and emotions in the book are simple yet profound.

Old men send young men to die. The reader follows the of Paul Baumer, a German university student turned soldier and views the carnage through his eyes. He sees his friends killed and wounded. He sees the worst in human nature. He becomes inured to the violence and carnage.

The feelings that I had reading this book 50 years ago are still with me today as I reread the story. Profound sadness. And less than 20 years after the end of World War I, Europe was engulfed in violence again.

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