12 best books by Erich Maria Remarque

Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective and does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.

A prominent representative of the 'lost generation', whose youth fell on the years between the First and Second World War, is the famous Erich Maria Remarque. The author's works are devoted mainly to the bloody events of the 20th century, the fragile peace between the armed conflicts of the last century, the fate of people from different countries, the desire to live and love. The novels are devoid of arrogance and sarcasm, and, despite the complexity of the creator's life, they are distinguished by kindness and justice.

Rating of the best books by Erich Maria Remarque

Nomination a place Name of product rating
1 Three comrades 4.9
2 Black obelisk 4.9
3 Triumphal Arch 4.8
4 All Quiet on the Western Front 4.8
5 Spark of life 4.7
6 love thy neighbour 4.7
7 Life on loan, or heaven has no favorites 4.7
8 Tell me that you love me … 4.6
9 Dream shelter 4.6
10 Time to live and time to die 4.5
11 Overnight in Lisbon 4.5
12 Shadows in paradise 4.5

Three comrades

Book author: Erich Maria Remarque

Rating: 4.9

Three comrades

“Three Comrades” is Remarque's most famous novel, his calling card. The work was written in 1936, The action takes place a little earlier – in 1928, when society felt the full weight of the post-war years, hunger reigned almost everywhere. He left an imprint on Pat's health, the girl Robbie is in love with. Two of his other friends, Otto Kester and Gottfried Lenz, run a small auto repair shop. The three comrades are next to each other throughout the course of events. This is a good story of a strong friendship and an inexhaustible thirst for life, despite all the pain that has not subsided from war, hunger and endless deaths, with which the novel is saturated through and through.

The heroes are not just friends, they are bound by a military brotherhood, typical of the 'lost generation'. The novel is adorned with bright secondary characters, creating a generally positive mood from reading. For those who have not read the work yet, the author retains the intrigue of the development of events – it is difficult to guess where the plot will turn and how this or that hero will act.

Three Comrades is a must-read classic of world literature, relevant to all generations.

Black obelisk

Book author: Erich Maria Remarque

Rating: 4.9

Black obelisk

In the second place of the rating is another work about the times between the world wars, the problem of the 'lost generation' with its memory of hunger, war and death is raised again.

Germany, the city of Werdenbrücke, the beginning of the 20s of the XX century. Nationalist unrest is gaining momentum, the economy is hyperinflationary, and people are in poverty. The main character of the work, the seller of tombstones, Ludwig Bodmer, a veteran of the First World War, moonlights playing the organ in the church at the hospital for the mentally ill. Here he meets Genevieve, a girl with a split personality, who calls herself Isabella, and Ludwig – Rudolph (Rolf). A deep feeling arises between them, which they constantly feed with conversations about love and life.

Everything changes when Genevieve recovers and the second personality of Isabella, who loved the main character, no longer returns. She no longer recognizes Ludwig, but she perfectly remembers Rudolph – that was the name of her mother's new husband, whom young Genevieve also loved, which is why she received a moral trauma that led to her illness. The main character is no longer kept in the provinces; he leaves for the capital at the invitation of a journalist in a major publication. In Berlin, he communicates with a fellow soldier inclined to the ideas of Hitler, who, as it later turns out, led a movement of youth with a fascist mood. In the conditions of a fragile peace between the two wars and the emergence of fascism, Ludwig is trying to find the meaning of life, but will he?

Triumphal Arch

Book author: Erich Maria Remarque

Rating: 4.8

Triumphal Arch

Bronze rating for the novel by E. M. Remarque 'Arc de Triomphe', which takes place in pre-war France in 1938-1939. The talented German surgeon Ravik, who went through the front of the First World War, operates on sick patients instead of less talented specialists, despite the lack of French citizenship and even a residence permit in the country. But he cannot return to his homeland – there he helped the 'criminals' escape from punishment, for which he was tortured by the Gestapo. In France, Ravik meets Joan Madou, an Italian actress, on his way. A romance between them cannot be avoided.

The main character manages to avenge himself – he deceived him into the forest and killed the Gestapo tormentor. And then the war … the actress is mortally wounded, but not from soldiers, but from a jealous suitor. Ravik, out of despair and despair, surrenders to the police. When everything was left behind, he immigrated overseas to the United States, where he continued his career as a brilliant surgeon. This will be discussed in another novel by E. M. Remarque 'Shadows in Paradise', which we will talk about later in the rating.

All Quiet on the Western Front

Book author: Erich Maria Remarque

Rating: 4.8

All Quiet on the Western Front

The novel All Quiet on the Western Front is set during the war of Germany against European countries and Russia (1914 … 1918). The hero of the work is Paul Beumer, the commander of a company of conscripts from the ranks of schoolchildren, fishermen, peasants and artisans. They will have to go to heavy battles, despite the lack of preparation, which, of course, led to significant losses from 150 to 32 people. After that, Paul goes to the rear, home, trying to forget the horror he experienced in pubs, avoiding human society. Freedom was short-lived, now he is sent as a guard to the camp of Russian prisoners, where he thinks about the meaning of what is happening, because he knows: ordinary people turn out to be at war, turned into murderers, but why? Then again, return to the native part. The collapse of Germany, the offensive of the regiments of England, France and America, combat injury and death.

All Quiet on the Western Front is an emotionless news report about the calm on the former line of fire following the bloody events. The novel was written based on real events, because Remarque served in the Western Front in 1917 … 1918.

Spark of life

Book author: Erich Maria Remarque

Rating: 4.7

Spark of life

The novel was published in 1952, but the story again sends the reader back to the Second World War. Elfrida, Remarque's sister, did not support the nationalist views of the ruling party, participated in anti-war activities and was not shy about anti-Hitler statements, for which she was arrested in 1943. The court found her guilty, why the punishment followed – the death penalty, which was carried out in the same year. However, Erich learned about the death of his sister only after the end of the war.

The author does not use real cities and names, the action takes place in a fictional concentration camp, but not much different from Buchenwald – his description is taken as the basis. The reader gets acquainted with the heartbreaking scenes of the life of prisoners – people with different fates and views. In the horrors of a confined life, some lose themselves and become like the Nazis, others do not lose faith in the future, they still have a spark of life that helps them survive.

The novel was ambiguously appreciated by critics, because in it the ban on disclosing the topic of fascism was violated. However, the prisoners and former captives accepted the work, and this is the main sign of recognition.

love thy neighbour

Book author: Erich Maria Remarque

Rating: 4.7

love thy neighbour

The novel Love Your Neighbor, which was released in 1941 before the outbreak of World War II, is a story of a Jewish tragedy. The National Socialist German People's Party, headed by Hitler, is in power, the purges of the race begin, the first persecutions of the unwanted, the deprivation of rights, the massive migration of German Jews to other countries in search of a quiet haven. At the same time, a crumbling political system is described – its inefficiency is reflected in all spheres of life in Germany. On the other hand, there is a tightening of the flow of migrants in border countries, entailing the wandering of the illegal population in search of a peaceful and calm life.

For all the complexity of the situation for the Jews, they remain human. The author shows the different destinies that develop according to their scenarios.

Life on loan, or heaven has no favorites

Book author: Erich Maria Remarque

Rating: 4.7

Life on loan, or heaven has no favorites

On the seventh line of the rating is the novel 'Life on loan, or Heaven has no favorites'. It differs from its predecessors by the complete absence of politics and war; the action takes place in the second half of the 20th century. In the center of the story is the race car driver Clerfe and Lillian, a young beautiful woman, but … sick with tuberculosis. She is on the verge of life and death, and he cannot imagine himself without her in this world. A novel about true love, friendship and, as in all the works of Erich Maria Remarque, about the thirst for life no matter what. These feelings give the heroes the strength to live.

The novel 'Life on loan, or Heaven has no favorites' is so emotional and deep that it became the basis for the film of the same name. We recommend reading the work for lovers of romantic and sensual prose – it is a significant competitor to tabloid novels.

Tell me that you love me …

Book author: Erich Maria Remarque

Rating: 4.6

Tell me that you love me ...

The novel in letters 'Tell me that you love me …' is both sensual and sad. This is the love story of Erich Maria Remarque, the preeminent 'lost generation' writer and film rock star Marlene Dietrich. The relationship of two deep and high personalities cannot be simple by definition: outbursts of passion, loud quarrels, distrust, again tenderness, and so endlessly. All of these stages are revealed by letters that Erich and Marlene actually wrote to each other.

The novel seems to be touching to the core, but the relationship will not end with a happy ending. Why? What happened to the lovers, and how did the story end? We invite the reader to independently find out the answers to these questions.

Dream shelter

Book author: Erich Maria Remarque

Rating: 4.6

Dream shelter

The novel is both sentimental and pretentious – these features are characteristic of young impulsive authors, such as E.M. Remarque at the beginning of his career.

The Dreamhouse is the home of Fritz, artist and composer rolled into one. Together with him, the inhabitants live in the house, having little idea of ​​the real life from which they are cut off. However, they are ready to love, their hearts are open to a brighter future. Everything changes when one of the friends leaves this world – only then his friends pay attention to his works. Will they be able to understand the impulses of the soul of a deceased comrade, will they appreciate it?

Love arises between the heroes, they experience betrayal, bright and gray moments in different aspects of life. But how far they are from the reality of modern (at that time) Germany.

Time to live and time to die

Book author: Erich Maria Remarque

Rating: 4.5

Time to live and time to die

The next novel in the ranking is about war again. In the work 'A Time to Live and a Time to Die' Remarque reveals the essence of the fascists, barbarism, which was especially pronounced in the occupied territories of the USSR. Even retreating, the officers and fanatical soldiers showed brutal rage, not sparing women and old people.

The novel focuses on the young Greber, who served in the ranks of the German army in 1944, when the Russians were actively advancing in the western direction, clearing Europe of the Nazis. The hero returns to his hometown, where, as it turned out, bombing regularly takes place. The unwanted were sent to concentration camps, their apartments were transferred to the disposal of the nationalists. Ruins remained from the home, and from the rubble volunteers and rescuers take out the bodies of crushed people. In broken quarters, Greber, in search of his parents, meets young Elizabeth, with whom he is hiding from the bombing in a bomb shelter. Simple interest develops into a deep feeling, Elizabeth and Greber become lovers, and then decide to get married.

After returning to the front, the protagonist takes part in the defense of the retreating army. His platoon suffers losses, while Greber shelters the Russian partisans, preventing Steinbrenner, an ardent member of the NSDAP, from carrying out an amateur execution. Who would have thought that one of the rescued partisans would take up a rifle against the savior.

Time to Live and Time to Die is not for the faint of heart. It contains many descriptions of the atrocities of the fascists against an unwanted person, explicit scenes of bombing, deaths. The aftertaste of the work is ambiguous, but you definitely need to get acquainted with it in order to remember the history as it is. 'Time to die' seems like an eternity, who will live to see 'time to live'?

Overnight in Lisbon

Book author: Erich Maria Remarque

Rating: 4.5

Overnight in Lisbon

This novel intersects the storyline with another work by E. M. Remarque 'Love your neighbor'. Both books define the problem of migration. The narrator Roy, who has been looking for shelter in European countries for almost 5 years, decides to return to the Reich and take his wife, who by that time is seriously ill. Together they are trying to find money to make a fake visa for migration to America, which by that time becomes the only safe place, because military conflicts are brewing everywhere, the world is fragile. Roy meets a man who is ready to give 2 tickets for a steamer to the USA, but on the condition that he listens to the story of one person during one night. It was an amazing consciousness of the narration in the best traditions of drama – a person's life is intertwined with the drama of life in Europe, which suffered from the wave of Nazism.

Shadows in paradise

Book author: Erich Maria Remarque

Rating: 4.5

Shadows in paradise

The novel 'Shadows in Paradise', which was published after the death of the author Erich Maria Remarque, ends the rating. The story is told on behalf of a journalist who migrated to the United States during the years of the end of the Second World War and the establishment of peace. This time the author covers the problem of refugees who have found themselves in search of a peaceful life in the United States, but do not give up hope of returning to their homes one day. Among them is the surgeon from the novel 'Arc de Triomphe' Ravik. People have found themselves in the American “paradise”, but they cannot live a full and happy life after the experienced military shocks, being in a foreign land, being only their “shadows”.

The writer shows many different fates: someone under the yoke of the situation begins to drink, others work hard, and still others commit suicide. People got out of stressful situations in different ways, as best they could. At the same time, even the most cynical individuals are able to retain the ability to love and be friends.


Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.

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