Book Review: All Quiet on the Western Front (Remarque)

Have I read this before: Yes! I want to say I read this in junior high or high school. I remember reading it in the eye doctor’s waiting room at some point, haha.

Man, what a sharp contrast from Walden, eh? This book follows Paul Baumer, a German soldier who is on the frontlines during WWI. It is a very detailed, graphic, and seemingly accurate portrayal of the horrific things that the soldiers had to do and had to go through. I liked how it was told in a way that seemed to be both full of emotion and very detached. I suspect that was intentionally done to show how detaching oneself from the actions and events of war is probably a very common coping mechanism for soldiers who go through so much physical and mental trauma.

Favorite part: The portrayal of the anguish of Paul and the anguish of the man who (eventually) dies by his hand is drawn out in a way that really makes both of their suffering very real and impactful. You can feel Paul’s remorse and devastation grow as the man he’d injured dies a slow and painful death near enough to him for him to hear it all. Very jarring.

Rating: 6/10

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