Told by German soldier Paul Bäumer, All Quiet on the Western Front is the story of a group of schoolmates who enlisted in the German army during World War I. We watch as these young men fight at the front lines, and entertain themselves between battles. We see the losses, and the hardness that overtakes them as the years pass, until they all begin to wonder if they will ever see the end of the war.
The author, Erich Remarque, was a soldier for Germany during the First World War, and was wounded several times. This is something to think about as you read the accounts of the horrors of war within these pages.
The novel is written in present tense, which is usually a big negative for me. Yet, somehow, it works here. Though it did take some time for me to get adjusted to it.
What won me over most with this novel is the imagery. Passages of description, whether of a place or a feeling, brought a lump to my throat many times.
Overall, this novel reminds us that, at the end of it all, we are all human. Even our enemies. We experience the same fears and love. And if human compassion could drive all of our efforts, there would be no war.
1) Overall Plot = 5
2) Characters = 4.5
3) Flow/Pace of the story = 4.5
4) Is the story easy to follow? = 4.5
5) Overall Enjoyability = 4.5
Average score: 4.6 out of 5