Paul Bäumer is just 19 years old when he and his classmates enlist. They are Germany’s Iron Youth who enter the war with high ideals and leave it disillusioned or dead. As Paul struggles with the realities of the man he has become, and the inscrutable world to which he must return, he is led like a ghost of his former self into the war’s final hours. All Quiet is one of the greatest war novels of all time, an eloquent expression of the futility, hopelessness and irreparable losses of war.
©1958 Erich Maria Remarque (P)1994 Recorded Books, LLC
A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.
A novel's greatness can often be seen in its timelessness and it globalness. This novel escapes the boundaries of time and place. It is as real today as it must have been when first publlished. There is something both poetic and banal in the solidarity and brotherhood that surrounds war, death and the madness of man's struggle for survival in the midst of the dark and chocking abyss that floats in the trenches of war.
An alpaca farmer in Oregon.
I wish it were possible to award six or seven stars for a book and reader. This would be my choice for that combination. Listen and weep.
This is a classic book. Frank Muller (narrator) performance elevates this book to a five star.
Love to read, and Audible has made the two-hour daily commute enjoyable!
Phenomenal depiction of the horror and monotony of war.
Paul Bäumer at 18 is convinced along with his classmates to join the WWI war effort. They meet an older soldier, Stanislaus Katczinsky or Kat, who becomes a mentor and helps them survive initially.
Overall the grisly descriptions and absolute hopelessness is relentless. It's easy to see why the Nazis banned and burned this book.
Frank Muller is one of my favorite narrators, and his work on this book made it even more incredible.
This is an old book about a German soldier going through the machine of war on the Western front. Due to how old it is, I did not expect it to be that brutal, but it was actually pretty tough at parts. It is like a more raw, stripped down version of For Whom the Bell Tolls. It has a few funny parts to break up all the horror, but overall it successfully brings you into a battle and does not let you out alive. It was almost too heavy, but I liked it.
This book, from the story to the narration, was pure perfection. I have read hundreds of books and seen thousands of films in my life, yet none came close to the the horrors of war depicted in this book. No wonder the Nazi's wanted the author's head! This book gave me a whole new perspective on WWI that I never had before. I cannot recommend enough. Should be required reading for all the peoples of earth.
I have downloaded almost 200 audiobooks from Audible - this ranks in the top 10.
The truth of it......sad, but compelling. The futility of war....so much pain and loss at the human level. Kids killing kids - dreams shattered, and for what? But it was a very well done story, despite the grim subject matter. And also very thought provoking.
The evenness and matter of factness of his tone really brought out the truth of the story. He expressed the reality of the characters lives very well. I thought he was top notch, and did a fantastic job.
The main character, Paul. It was HIS story, but it could have been any one of the character's story, or any soldier's story. I think that was possibly the author's point.
Everyone should read this, particularly any young person considering joining the military. This story may have been about WW1, but I think it is just as relevant in today's world. War is war. And war is hell.
My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
Frank Muller was a great audiobook reader. But first I should talk about the book.
This is a great book. A first person account by an average soldier with no apparent exaggeration or didacticism. Pretty much every situation you can imagine a soldier would get into is presented but it never feels contrived. In fact, very little of the book involves actual fighting, which only adds to the realism. We have seen this so many times in the years since this book was written. We probably don't even realize how influential this book has been. And if some things in this book feel clichéd, you can probably blame all those imitators that came afterwards.
But what makes the book stand out is the character of its narrator. His feelings about his situation, his feelings about his comrades, his reactions to what happens, his observations about the war, his recounting the opinions of the people he meets. Whatever illusions he may have had about fighting for his country, they are soon replaced by the reality of modern warfare. His loyalty is to his comrades. His main concerns are about things like getting enough to eat keeping his feet dry. These observations build quietly and powerfully through the whole book, and that is what makes it such an effective statement about war and the universality of mankind.
I'll shut up now and let the book speak for itself.
Frank Muller does a terrific job of conveying the tone of the bored soldier struggling to preserve his personhood. I only recently discovered this reader and am sorry to learn that he is no longer with us.
All Quiet on the Western Front reaches much farther than the battlefield and stretches to ages well beyond youth. There is much about the nature of life and the loneliness that comes with understanding that no one can truly know the depths of our experiences... also, how do we live during times when all actions are futile, when the world becomes a prison-- such situations and realizations occur again and again through life, and the book intensifies this understanding because it takes place in horrific circumstances.
It's easy to see why the Nazis banned and burned the book. Not many books are so eloquently anti-war, both in overt statements and also structured into the story. Hitler didn't want citizens or soldiers to know the truth of war, or be exposed to questioning of authority and breeches of discipline.
I don't know German, but this translation is often poetic. The excellent narrator senses and brings out the beauty of such passages.
The book details the life of a soldier enduring trench warfare. While this style of war is unlikely to be carried out on a large scale in the future, the psychological impact of war and the suffering of the individual are important issues that should be considered.
The enduring life of this book is evidence of the effective story telling.
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