Friday, August 19, 2011
Thoughts: All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
This book is about Paul, a nineteen-going-on-twenty-year-old German solider, and his experiences on the front during World War I. Here’s the back blurb: This is the testament of Paul Baumer, who enlists with his classmates in the German army of World War I. they become soldiers with youthful enthusiasm. But the world of work, duty, culture, and progress they had been taught breaks into pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches.
I shied away from this book because I view myself as a Jane Austen kind of girl, and All Quiet on the Western Front screams ‘DEPRESSING WAR BOOK’ from ten feet away. Want to know what the funny thing is? I absolutely loved All Quiet on the Western Front, and it just goes to show how classics never fail to surprise me. Yes, it definitely falls under the ‘DEPRESSING WAR BOOK’ category, but it’s also funny, poignant, and so unbelievably BEAUTIFUL at the same time.
This book actually hit me on a personal level. Paul is twenty-years-old, and I just turned twenty earlier this year. He has to worry about surviving, and not getting hit by a stray bullet in the trenches. My biggest worry, on the other hand, is not spending my entire paycheck before the end of the month. Sometimes, I also worry about what I’ll wear the next day (don’t judge me). All Quiet on the Western Front really put things into perspective, and—once again, don’t judge me—I was crying by the time I turned the final page.
In conclusion, GO AND GET A COPY OF THIS BOOK. It is a wonderful commentary on the human experience, and all that other fancy schmancy stuff. Right now, I’m looking at my to-be-read pile, and lamenting the lack of depressing war books, a genre I previously abhorred and stayed away from like the plague.
By the way, have you read this book? If you have, what did you think? Also, how do you pronounce Remarque? LOL.