Title: All Quiet on the Western Front
Author: Erich Maria Remarque
Page Count/Review Word Count: 214
This is one of those rare books that everybody just ought to read, without question. Remarque’s depiction of the realities of the First World War hones straight in on the human cost of the conflict, and although it focusses on a group of German schoolboys, the nationality is irrelevant. So is the politics. Here, our characters are simply struggling to survive, and to maintain their humanity throughout the ordeal. It’s a great demonstration of the way that the author championed our basic human rights, even in a war zone.
I’m not going to lie, the characters are in for a tough old time, which is a shame. You’ll grow to know and love them, but war zones aren’t exactly great news if you want them to stay in one piece for long. And I’m not necessarily referring to death, here – sometimes an experience can change a man, and Remarque shows that happening here with great aptitude. As a writer myself, it was fascinating to see how he handled it, but I’d recommend this book either way, whether you’re a writer, a reader or both. Top stuff!