Erich Maria Remarque’s “All Quiet on the Western Front” is an unabridged, in-your-face, brutally gripping war story that shines brightly alongside Hemingway’s “Farewell to Arms” and Norman Mailer’s “The Naked and the Dead.”
I do not use the word “masterpiece” loosely when describing literary works, but I can say, without any reservation that “All Quiet on the Western Front” is a literary masterpiece. If “honesty” is the true ingredient, the one essential mix, that is the foundation for any piece of literature to be considered great, well, then Mr. Remarque’s novel about World War 1 meets and surpasses that test like very few novels have ever done.
Only a person who has lived through the nightmare of World War 1, could have written such an amazing and uncompromising novel about the horrors of that war. The enemy in this novel is WAR itself. Humanity, the earth with its streams and gardens, animals, and innocence are the real victims of war. Mr Remarque served during World War 1 and was wounded five times.
I decided to re-read this book, after nearly forty years, because I read a review by a young lady, Maureen”about the book in which she sums up her review with these beautiful words of poetry which she wrote in relation to this marvelous piece of literature. She wrote:
Bright red poppies in bloodied fields
Where death stalked its victims.
It cared not for age, creed, or nationality
What would they have achieved in life,
These young men, with so much yet to experience,
So many dreams to fulfil
If duty hadn’t called, and they hadn’t answered
When the sun set for one final time
It set on the lives they never lived
Maureen (a reviewer on Goodreads)