All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
All Quiet on the Western Front is a book about a group of German schoolboys/soldiers in World War I who discover the horror of life in the trenches.
The book makes you realize that your problems are very small compared to the life of the young boys in the trenches. It’s hard to believe that the boys were not much older than I am now and they’re being confronted with horrifying situations in the trenches where their friends are dead and their young minds are going through all the horrifying scenes of warfare.
I’ve always had a fascination for World War I, when there it’s poetry, fiction or the autobiographies of the men who were there. They were trying to get rid of old standards and attitudes while also tormenting the lives of millions of boys. I also saw a large image in The History Museum when I went to London a few months ago where the artist captured the raw horror of war. I think he was a World War I soldier as well.
What I like about this book is that it doesn’t sugarcoat anything at all. It’s one of the most famous anti war novels ever written. There’s no fluffy metaphors for war, but it is written from the perspective of a young man, which is a lot more haunting, and Remarque saw the First World War first hand. It’s strange how war can wreck a young man. I think that All Quiet on the Western Front was one of the books that were burnt by the Nazis in World War II due to the controversial anti-war nature of the book.
All Quiet on the Western Front has since been made into two film adaptations, the most note able one being the 1930s version.