All Quiet on the Western Front

October 31, 2008
The book begins with Paul, a fearless and hopeless WWI experienced recruit. The first chapter is devoted to Paul and his friends watching a squad member slowly die from a wound. Paul's comrade is yellow and white with exhaustion. Paul ends up sitting with him and talking until he notices he's dead.
The first half of the book is about the front lines of WWI and horribly funny pranks that Paul and his friends perform and were most likely performed in WWI. When the fight is getting tough Paul gets a leave and finally gets to temporarily to go home which he would regret. When Paul arrives home he is greeted with nurses calling him comrade, which Paul shall have none of. At home he collapses and cries because he is finally home and this is where all of his soldierly instincts leave him. Hope comes back which is the last thing he needs. The next day Paul walks out for beer. He is greeted by a major, who he despises, because the major made Paul salute him correctly and humiliated Paul in the process.
Paul travels to the front lines again because his leave is over. On Paul's way back he has to guard a prisoners' camp, which makes him feel horrible, seeing how the prisoners are treated, but also realizing that they would kill him if they where on the other side of the trenches. In the end, Paul gives them some of his food. After the visit he has totally lost control over himself, and can't decide if he wants to fight the war or go home.
I thought that All Quiet on the Western Front was an amazing book. It is incredibly good at keeping your attention even when the front (somehow) gets boring with its pranks and hardships that Paul bears. I would give it a nine out of ten and I would certainly suggest that you read it.

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