All Quiet On The Western Front

My version of this book is ripped. And yet so incredibly beautiful. Literally. This book truly is the most beautiful book I have ever read.

Writing something about it is mostly for me, I have to admit. For why do we read books if it’s not to go below our surface and graze, dig out new feelings we might keep hidden even from ourselves. Reading is a way of exploring oneself. After reading “All Quiet On The Western Front” I felt like an entirely new set of feelings came out and immortalising them here seems only fair.

If you hate books about war …

… I can perfectly understand that feeling. For who wants to empathize with horror? I don’t. Some madness probably made me pick up this book and start reading it. And after I did … I just couldn’t put it down, my mind couldn’t give it a rest.

As simple as the introduction is, as little as I know about war, historically, logistically, this book is so well written. Captivating and yet so emotional it made me repeatedly cry or just lay there on my chair with eyes wide open, staring into thin air, holding my breath. For the Elegance with which Remarque describes the Awful is simply sublime. Heartbreakingly noble.

Remarque has simply stripped the gangrene and the left a clean red flesh wound, which, as vividly horrible as it sounds, it also means health and, therefore future.

Reading this book is like finding myself on Remarque’s operating table. Revolted at first. Then alive, wounded, and incredibly strong. At the end of it, I realised there is no point in finding war appalling. Resignation, submission and finally understanding and acceptance of it are the natural consequence. And not that this is a justification for the lives lost. It’s just the absolute naked crude truth of the reality we live in.

Please, please, please read this book.

It’s like meditation. It will make you see and understand the world differently, it will bring you closer to reality, it will help you grow.