All the way throughout school, they never told us to read this book. Perhaps if they had, we'd have been given a better education about WW1 and what life was like in the trenches.
Every school pupil should read this in history class rather then waste time scribbling meaningless lesson notes into exercise books.
The English translation at least is beautiful, graceful - it does not need to go into girsly detail - but the horrors of trench warfare are more real and more terrible in this book then in any war film.
When I read this book, I became the narrator for a while and I shared his feelings. You will get more from this book, then in every gritty, grisly, muddy war flick filmed.
It isn't a story of courage or men being heroes. It is a very real and human story - showing what it really must have been like.
You can't walk away from this book unaffected though. It digs its way down under your skin. When I finished it, I felt so alone, so empty and sad - in a way that I will never forget.
This book shouldn't be read to gain a better understanding about German history, it is human story - not a war story, or a history story. The main character could be English, German, French, anyone - the story, the feelings would probably still apply.