All Quiet On the Western Front follows several German schoolboys who are rapidly introduced to the horrors of World War I. Narrated by soldier Paul Baumer, Baumer describes every day in the life of a muddy, rat-infested trench. Baumer often reflects on the savagery and beastliness that arise as a direct result of constantly being in the war zone. He also contemplates the prominent contrast between his war life and past civil life back at home.
As time passes, Baumer struggles to hold onto his humanity, even as he must kill the opposing French soldiers, and as he gradually loses his fellow soldier friends to the horrors of war.
All Quiet On the Western Front is a unique war novel, which defies the glory sometimes connected to war, and instead frankly illustrates the actual terrors that come of war.
The book is fast-paced and gripping, and although fiction, it provides a very accurate experience of a soldier during World War I. I liked the eloquence and honest style of writing which Remarque utilizes throughout the entirety of the novel. Although the subject of the book is intense, the story is surprisingly easy to read, and as I mentioned before, it is very fast-paced.
Review by Nora