My Rating: 4.5/5
Buy: The Book Depository
One by one the boys begin to fall...
In 1914 a room full of German schoolboys, fresh-faced and idealistic, are goaded by their schoolmaster to troop off to the 'glorious war'. With the fire and patriotism of youth they sign up. What follows is the moving story of a young 'unknown soldier' experiencing the horror and disillusionment of life in the trenches.
I decided to read this as part of my 1001 Books you must read before you die challenge where I try and read one book from the list per month. I thought because of Remembrance Day, this would be the perfect pick for November.
This book was both vivid and compelling. It was obvious that the author was writing from experience as it was high quality and seemingly accurate.
The relationship between the young German 'boys' who have known each other since childhood was fascinating because of how their relationship changes over the course of the novel.
My favourite scene in the book is when the narrator goes out into the trenches as a scout and ends up getting lost. This scene had me on the edge of my seat and it was extremely vivid.
The only negative things I can say about this book is when the narrator goes home on leave in around the middle of the book I felt like this disrupted the flow of the story and I became a little bored. Also, the ending was a little rushed and vague.