This is the next of the books that detail human suffering between its covers that I have enjoyed reading. I did enjoy this read, however the tone of the novel was significantly different from the others I have read.
This novel is much more forlorn and melancholic than the previous novels. It does not skimp on the grisly details of trench warfare; there are plenty of body parts and gross details in the novel, however there is more of a focus on the mental state of the soldiers and the futility of their existence. It is a depressive novel in many ways, though that did not detract from the enjoyment of the book and the insight into this different aspect of warfare.
That this novel is written from the German side, rather than the English, or indeed French, is a change too. Of course, we know the outcome of the war now, and to follow the journey of the soldiers as the unit withers and dies – both from shells and starvation is enlightening in different ways.
The novel is not all depressing however, there are some heart-warming tales of capers and fleeting. moments of ‘relaxation’ that lighten the tone somewhat. Inevitable though, the reader is reminded of the horror of war when these moments are dashed away.
Gross factor: 5/10
This one scores high on the grit for the overall bleak tone, which outweighs the grossness factor. It is well worth the read though!
2 thoughts on “Book Review: All Quiet on the Western Front – Remarque”
All quiet on the Western front is A classic and probably sits in the top ten war stories of all time. It’s certainly in my top ten. For a non-fiction choice why not consider The Rape of Nanking; The forgotten Holocaust of WWII by Iris Chang. The book offers 3 different perspectives and documents brutality on a scale rarely reached. Best Wishes. Mark R.
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Thank you for the suggestion Mark. I shall add that to the wishlist and read it in the future. I have quite a few now 🙂