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Book 11 (2014)

  1. Berger, John — Ways of Seeing (149 pages)
  2. Vonnegut, Kurt — God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian (72 pages)
  3. Roth, Joseph — The Legend of the Holy Drinker (100 pages)
  4. Hrabal, Bohumil — Closely Observed Trains (87 pages)
  5. Bloomfield, Barbara & Chris Radley — Couple Therapy: Dramas of Love and Sex (171 pages)
  6. Feist, Raymond E. — Magician (689 pages)
  7. Feist, Raymond E. — Silverthorn (424 pages)
  8. Faber, Michael — Under the Skin (296 pages)
  9. Gourevitch, Philip — We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families: Stories from Rwanda (351 pages)
  10. Feist, Raymond E. — A Darkness at Sethanon (518 pages)
  11. Remarque, Erich Maria — All Quiet on the Western Front (215 pages)
Page count
3072
book cover: All Quiet on the Western Front.

As most of us did, I first read All Quiet on the Western Front when I was in high school. 2014 was the hundredth anniversary of the beginning of World War One, and so I kicked off my WWI reading by revisiting Remarque's famous novel.

As so many of us have read it and there is so much analysis available, I won't waste my "breath." But I will remark how so many of the same tropes of life in the trenches come up in WWI books.

It's inevitable, I guess, but as I read other WWI novels this past year I was struck by the similarities between episodes in those books and All Quiet on the Western Front, not just the squallid conditions in the trenches and horrific experiences between them, but the sojourns in town, the requisite visit to the local whorehouse, even scenes reminiscent of the men sitting around killing time while squatting on their port-a-potties. Directly or indirectly, so many war books owe a debt of gratitude to Remarque's work.

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