War

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

Date of Publication: 1928 (my edition, 1982 Ballantine Books)

Number of Pages: 296

Synopsis (from back cover): This is the testament of Paul Bäumer, who enlists with his classmates in the German army of World War I. These young men become enthusiastic soldiers, but their world of duty, culture, and progress breaks into pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches.

Through years of vivid horror, Paul holds fast to a single vow: to fight against the hatred and meaninglessly pits young men of the same generation but different uniforms against one another…if only he can come out of the war alive.

Review: This has been called the greatest war novel of all time, and it certainly deserves this praise. Not only does the author accurately portray the experience of a soldier during World War I (Remarque himself served in the German army during the war), but he delves deeply into the emotional toll of war that is universal to all soldiers: the loss of hope, the feeling of foreignness at home, and the joy of companionship with your comrades. Paul and his fellow soldiers quickly become accustomed to the horrors of war, and even going home seems to be no longer an option. The story remains relevant today, as thousands of our troops remain in Iraq and Afghanistan, and will remain so as long as there is still war.

Rating: 9/10