All Quiet on the Western Front Erich Maria Remarque Published by Vintage ISBN 9780099532811 For most of us, war is something that lives in films and television. Being lucky enough never to have experienced it, we read about it dispassionately in history books or on news websites. We get ideas about who is good and who is bad, which war was wrong and which war was just. But it's not so simple. Although a fictional story, All Quiet on the Western Front is based on the author's experiences in the front line during the first world war. The Western Front was an area between Germany and France where the bloodiest battles took place. It was trench warfare. But neither side advanced very far from its original positions, even though millions lost their lives. This book offers no glamorous depictions of war. It is a gritty, deeply profound and disturbing account of the reality of conflict. It was banned in Germany during the rise of the Nazis before the second world war. But among all the horror there is a grace and beauty to the sadness of Remarque's writing. And, interestingly, it was written from a German soldier's perspective. Remarque manages to add a human face to war. The book is a moving depiction of humanity, of a generation needlessly destroyed in the trenches, and of death. Many critics consider it the best novel ever written about war. New York University even set up The Remarque Institute of European Studies in his honour. But most importantly, it is about giving voice to a generation that sacrificed themselves for their beliefs - right or wrong.