Here are a few reasons to love this book:
1. It’s a war book that’s not really about war. It’s about 19-year-olds so far out of their element that it is scary.
2. It reminds me of all the reasons why I do not want to be in a ground war like Vietnam or either of the World Wars.
3. It’s about World War I. How much do you really know about that war? Quick, who were we fighting?
4. The book is written in plain, simple prose to comment on the plain, simple boys fighting this war.
5. There are a few funny scenes when the men try to gain the attention of French women. Don’t try this at home…please.
6. It displays the inner conflict of being patriotic for one’s country and being scared as hell to fight.
7. It is a much better anti-war book than Slaughterhouse-Five, and I liked Slaughterhouse-Five.
8. It has a self-imposed subtitle: “The Greatest War Novel of all Time.” You gotta love that bravado.
9. It is told through the point-of-view of Paul Baumer, a German. How many books have you read with a sympathetic narrator of the enemy?