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 All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

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Paul
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PostSubject: All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque   Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:27 pm

It was amazing to me how much this book, written just after World War I, had a tone and overall attitude of something that might have been written about the American Vietnam experience in the 1960's. The quick and immediate distrust the young soldiers feel toward their parents' generation and the alienation they feel toward civilians and non-combatants reflect everything I had heard and read about that later time. Which of course is an accurate statement that war, no matter in what time, no matter in what country, produces the same results in those who are forced to fight it.

Trench warfare was a particularly horrific and seemingly pointless form of prolonged combat, and the author does not flinch in describing these horrors. Remarque calls upon his own experiences in WW1, which makes the scenes even more real and authentic. There is no doubting the emotional and mental turmoil of these young men, especially the MC. They know that, even if they survive the war, which becomes an increasingly tall order, they will never be the same. Their youth, and their dreams, have been wiped away forever.

This is an excellent novel that I am glad I finally got to. My favorite line: "We are forlorn like children, and experienced like old men, we are crude and sorrowful and superficial-I believe we are lost."

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PostSubject: Re: All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque   Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:36 pm

I remember reading the novel in school, it must have been 12th grade. I took it with me to the Canary Islands to read on holiday.

I had to finish it in two days, or I wouldn't have been able to enjoy my vacation. The way in which Remarque describes the events at the front is unbelievable. There were moments when I believed I heard the soldiers scream. It terrified me to no end, and I haven't touched it since.

However, I would recommend it to anyone - it is a text that will teach everyone why exactly war is madness.

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