All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque Summary
Considered by many the greatest war novel of all time, All Quiet on the Western Front is Erich Maria Remarque’s masterpiece of the German experience during World War I. I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. . . . This is the testament of Paul Bäumer, who enlists with his classmates in the German army during World War I. They become soldiers with youthful enthusiasm. But the world of duty, culture, and progress they had been taught breaks in pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches. Through years of vivid horror, Paul holds fast to a single vow: to fight against the principle of hate that meaninglessly pits young men of the same generation but different uniforms against one another . . . if only he can come out of the war alive. “The world has a great writer in Erich Maria Remarque. He is a craftsman of unquestionably first rank, a man who can bend language to his will. Whether he writes of men or of inanimate nature, his touch is sensitive, firm, and sure.”—The New York Times Book Review
Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front by Harold Bloom Summary
This 1929 novel served as Remarque's attempt to confront and ultimately rid himself of the graphic and haunting memories of his time serving in World War I. A novel with autobiographical overtones, ""All Quiet on the Western Front"" traces the evolution of one man's powerful antiwar sentiments. This new title in the ""Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations"" series features a fresh selection of full-length critical essays, in addition to a bibliography, a chronology of the author's life, and an introduction by esteemed scholar Harold Bloom.
All Quiet on the Western Front by Andrew Kelly Summary
Published to commemorate the centenary of the birth of Erich Maria Remarque, author of "All Quiet on the Western Front", this is an account of the making of the Academy Award-winning film of the novel. When it first appeared in 1928, the book transformed the popular image of war; the film, directed by Lewis Milestone, was released the following year and was instantly acclaimed as a classic. It remains the quintessential view of World War I and of the brutality and waste of war. Like the novel, however, it suffered censorship internationally: it was banned in Italy, and in Germany following violent protests, and cut elsewhere, including Hollywood. This account covers the film's origins and production, and its fortunes on and after release. The author's five years of research included visits to archives around the world, viewings of all extant versions of the film, and interviews with people involved in its production. The book is illustrated with scenes from the film and contains extensive extracts from the screenplays.
The Promised Land by Erich Maria Remarque Summary
From the detention centre on Ellis Island, Ludwig Somner looks across a small stretch of water to the glittering towers of New York, which whisper seductively of freedom after so many years of wandering through a perlious, suffering Europe. Remarque's final novel, left unfinished at his death, tells of the precarious life of the refugee – life lived in hotel lobbies, on false passports, the strange, ill-assorted refugee community held together by an unspeakable past. For Somner, each new luxury - ice cream served in drugstores, bright shop windows, art, a new suit, a new romance - has a bittersweet edge. Memories of war and inhumanity continue to resurface even in this peaceful promised land. A haunting snapshot of a unique time, place and predicament, this is another powerful comment from Remarque on the devastating effects of war.
The Burning Stone by Jack Whyte Summary
From the bestselling author of the Dream of Eagles series and The Guardians trilogy comes a tale of revenge, dark secrets, and a mysterious cataclysm that decimated a Roman legion: the story behind the story that began it all. Fleeing the massacre of his entire family save a single uncle, young Roman aristocrat Quintus Varrus arrives in fourth-century London not knowing who is to blame for the murders nor whom he can trust now. He fears for his life, but when he meets a young Irish woman named Lydia Mcuil, their lives quickly become intertwined and her father offers to set the young Roman up as a smith (under an Irish alias) in the town of Colchester while the young lovers get to know each other from a distance. But the assassins haven't forgotten Quintus and a deadly ambush is barely thwarted, bringing the young Roman into friendship with his rescuer, a hardened former military policeman known as Rufus Cato, who has his own score to settle with the powerful man behind the attack. Quintus is introduced to the secrets of an ancient brotherhood that is trying to halt the rot that is destroying their beloved Empire--secrets that may finally reveal the identity of those who murdered his family, and expose the shocking reason why. Set against the backdrop of a world in turmoil, this prequel to The Skystone, first in the Dream of Eagles series, is richly textured, intricately plotted, and filled with action and adventure: a perfect addition to the works of this master storyteller.
Tender is the Night by Milton R. Stern Summary
Written in an easy-to-read, accessible style by teachers with years of classroom experience, Masterwork Studies are guides to the literary works most frequently studied in high school. Presenting ideas that spark imaginations, these books help students to gain background knowledge on great literature useful for papers and exams. The goal of each study is to encourage creative thinking by presenting engaging information about each work and its author. This approach allows students to arrive at sound analyses of their own, based on in-depth studies of popular literature.Each volume: -- Illuminates themes and concepts of a classic text-- Uses clear, conversational language-- Is an accessible, manageable length from 140 to 170 pages-- Includes a chronology of the author's life and era-- Provides an overview of the historical context-- Offers a summary of its critical reception-- Lists primary and secondary sources and index
Translated from the Gibberish by Anosh Irani Summary
Here are seven superb, subtle, surprising stories that show, through a prism of unforgettable characters, what it means to live between two worlds: India and Canada. Anosh Irani, the masterful, bestselling author of The Parcel and The Song of Kahunsha, knows of what he writes: Twenty years ago, to the mystification of family and friends, Irani left India for Vancouver, Canada, a city and a country completely foreign to him. His plan was both grand and impractical: he would reinvent himself as a writer. Miraculously, he did just that, publishing critically acclaimed novels and plays set in his beloved hometown of Mumbai. But this uprooting did not come without a steep price--one that Irani for the first time directly explores in this book. In these stunning stories and one "half truth" (a semi-fictional meditation on the experience of being an immigrant) we meet a swimming instructor determined to reenact John Cheever's iconic short story "The Swimmer" in the pools of Mumbai; a famous Indian chef who breaks down on a New York talk show; a gangster's wife who believes a penguin at the Mumbai zoo is the reincarnation of her lost child; an illegal immigrant in Vancouver who plays a fateful game of cricket; and a kindly sweets-shop owner whose hope for a new life in Canada leads to a terrible choice. The book starts and ends with a gorgeous, emotionally raw "translation" to the page of the author's own life between worlds, blurring the line between fiction and fact. Translated from the Gibberish confirms Anosh Irani as a unique, inventive, vitally important voice in contemporary fiction.
Under Fire by Henri Barbusse Summary
Henri Barbusse's Under Fire: The Story of a Squad (in the original French Le Feu: journal d'une escouade) was one of the first novels about World War I. Published at the end of 1916, it was based on Barbusse's experiences as a French soldier on the Western Front. The novel, written primarily as the episodic journal entries of an unknown narrator, follows a French squad in the brutal face of the German Invasion. Compared to the many war stories before it, Under Fire is marked by a gritty realism that squares firmly with the death and squalor of trench warfare.
The Road Back by Erich Maria Remarque Summary
After four grueling years the Great War has finally ended. Now Ernst and the few men left from his company cannot help wondering what will become of them. The town they departed as eager young men seems colder, their homes smaller, the reasons their comrades had to die even more inexplicable. For Ernst and his friends, the road back to peace is more treacherous than they ever imagined. Suffering food shortages, political unrest, and a broken heart, Ernst undergoes a crisis that teaches him what there is to live for--and what he has that no one can ever take away.
The Blind Side of the Heart by Julia Franck Summary
Amid the chaos of civilians fleeing West in a provincial German railway station in 1945 Helene has brought her seven-year-old son. Having survived with him through the horrors and deprivations of the war years, she abandons him on the station platform and never returns. Many years earlier, Helene and her sister Martha's childhood in rural Germany is abruptly ended by the outbreak of the First World War. Her father, sent to the eastern front, comes home only to die. Their Jewish mother withdraws from the hostility of her surroundings into a state of mental confusion. Helene calls the condition blindness of the heart, and fears the growing coldness of her mother, who hardly seems to notice her daughters any more. In the early 1920s, after their father's death, she and Martha move to Berlin. Helene falls in love with Carl, but when he dies just before their engagement, life becomes meaningless for her and she takes refuge in her work as a nurse. At a party she meets Wilhelm, an ambitious civil engineer who wants to build motorways for the Reich and to make Helene his wife. Their marriage, which soon proves disastrous, takes Helene to Stettin, where her son is born. She finds the love and closeness demanded by the little boy more than she can provide, and soon she cannot shake off the idea of simply disappearing. Finally she comes to a shocking decision. The Blind Side of the Heart tells of two World Wars, of hope, loneliness and love, and of a life lived in terrible times. It is a great family novel, a powerful portrayal of an era, and the story of a fascinating woman.