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All Quiet on the Western Front is the most famous anti-war novel ever written.
Erich Maria Remarque was born in 1899. He fought and was injured in the trenches in the First World War when he was eighteen years old. He was exiled and his works were burnt by the Nazis. He lived in America and Switzerland and married and divorced his first wife twice before marrying the celebrated Hollywood actress Paulette Goddard. He published several novels after All Quiet on the Western Front, the most famous of which is The Road Back. He died in 1970. Brian Murdoch was born in 1944. He is Professor of German at Stirling University.
"Remarque's evocation of the horrors of modern warfare has lost none of its force" * The Times * "Remarque is a craftsman of unquestionably first rank" * New York Times Book Review * "There are some books that should be read by every generation... Remarque's story of German trench soldiers of the 1914-18 war gains even more authority in the context of the loss of life in wars that still rage" -- Chris Searle "Brian Murdoch's new English translation shows that Remarque's evocation of the horrors of modern warfare has lost none of its force" * The Times * "The book conquers without persuading, it shakes you without exaggerating, a perfect work of art and at the same time truth that cannot by doubted" -- Stefan Zweig
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.