All quiet on the Western Front


This book is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who even though they may have escaped its shells, were destroyed by the war.

This book must have been my father’s.  It is an old hardback “cheap edition”, that has been on the shelves as long as I can remember. I don’t think I have ever made a serious attempt at reading it before and given  the state of the book it is possible Dad didn’t either. Maybe he was was just more careful with his books.

It is my first choice simply because it is book of the month at the Arts Centre on the 13th and it may help this endeavour to have a focus – who knows if anyone will read this. Anyway it seems appropriate to start this year with a First World War book. On 12th January it will be 98 years since my great uncle was killed by Immelmann for which triumph the German ace became the first recipient of the  Pour la Merite or Blue Max medal.  My great uncle had lied about his age to join up and served for a year in the Motor Cycle Corps before transferring to the RFC . He survived for three days post training .


So… a resolution.

I love reading. I have degrees in literature and more books than I have shelf space for but in recent years I seem to have lost the habit and find I can go a long time without reading something new.  So I am going to try to read a book a week for a year.  It may not be exactly a book a week. I was working on the basis of a threehundred page volume but one of the first on my bought not read pile is six hundred. Eek.

Here goes.