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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Thoughts on 'The Road Back' by Remarque


Guest Jakob

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Hi,

I was wondering what others' thoughts were on the book 'The Road Back' by Remarque. It's one of my favorite novels (currently being lent to a friend to read).

I noticed, after doing a search, that the book's title wasn't mentioned, so I thought I'd start a thread on it.

Jakob :)

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Jakob,

I have not read this book. Could you give a quick resume of the book?

regards

Arm

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Hi,

Since I'm not too awful good at giving book descriptions, from amazon.com's site the book's description is:

"Book Description

THE ROAD BACK

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."

Jakob :)

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Second of the informal trilogy ... followed by Drei Kameraden ... I like Remarque ... his later novels and his hollywood work is so spledidly EuroBTW (between the wars) ... personally despondent, romantic, pessimistic. It is a wonderful comparison to post WWII German literature of say ... Grass ...

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Hi Jakob and welcome to the forum.

I know The Road Back has been discussed here before, most reviews are pretty positive. I personally found it a little heavy-handed and obvious. Certainly didn't dislike it though.

I can't seem to find the prior threads it was discussed on though.

Neil

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Not being a great fan of Remarque's work (am I the only person in the world who actually didn't think that "All Quiet..." was much cop? :unsure: ), I was pleasantly surprised by "The Road Back". I found it easier to read and, dare I say it, more interesting than "All Quiet...".

Dave.

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Hi,

I've read All Quiet, The Road Back, The Three Comrades, and most of the Black Obelisk, and The Road Back happens to be my favorite out of them all simply because, to me, it brings forth the issues that soldiers have when returning from war (whether in the past or now). I'm surprised that the book doesn't seem to get more acknowledgement than it should (at least where I live).

Neil,

Yeah I did a search to make sure I wasn't going to wind up being redundant, but it didn't come up in the search at all. :huh::unsure:

As for a book that deals with war experiences as they happen, I'm a Storm of Steel fan.

Jakob :)

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After "All Quiet..", "The Road Back" offers what I believe is an accurate view of the futility that Germans had to deal with in the post-war days. It isn't, in my opinion, a sequal: it is the other half of the story. Not having read "Three Comrades" I may be corrected, but "Road Back" reads perfectly as the end of the story.

I think it is a very good read.

Regards,

Bruce

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Hi,

I think that it makes 'the other half' of the story too. It was kind of hard for me to put 'The Three Comrades' with 'All Quiet...' and 'The Road Back'. My friend just got done reading it not long ago and she told me that it really got her to thinking what soldiers deal with when coming back from a war. :blink:

Jakob :)

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  • 1 month later...

I've just finished reading this, and thoroughly enjoyed it - I thought it was much better than AQWF, although it's years since I read that. I find Remarque's writing style much easier than, say Blunden's who I'm struggling a bit with at the moment. What comes over best in the book, is I think the sense of despair and alienation, that grows over the months of the story as the comradeship of the trenches begins to shatter. I did find it hard to grasp the timescale over which the novel takes place - a year, two years? - and I do like to have a feel for this.

Cas

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