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Literature for life
This World War I narrative was originally published in 1929, while the senseless destruction of the Great War was still fresh in the minds of those who lived through its horrors. Hearing 19-year-old Paul Baumer describe his experiences as a German recruit, the depth of his deprivation in the trenches, the cruel loss of life, and the cumulative devastation on mind and body is heart wrenching. Muller's understated performance, with its steady pacing and paradoxically soothing vocal timbre, enhances the lyrical language and elicits a palpable sense of the terror faced by Paul and his friends through the unrelenting close combat. In 1930, the movie adaptation won the Academy Award for best picture and best director and is now in the Library of Congress's National Film Preservation Board's Film Registry (http://ow.ly/kwRp2). (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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