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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Words cannot do it justice.
It is a crime that Remarque is only widely known for All Quiet on the Western Front in America. Not that that's a bad book or anything; it's one of the best books of all time. I like it very much indeed. But the fact is that Remarque never wrote a bad book, and that he wrote a great many books after Western Front. All of them are worth reading. Black Obelisk, A Life for a...
Published on May 3 2002 by Angry Mofo

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3.0 out of 5 stars Mostly For Remarque Lovers
Except for All Quiet On The Western Front and Spark Of Life, there is a strange sameness to all of Remarque's novels. It's as if he spent his life attempting to perfect a specific theme populated with a specific set of characters. Invariably, the main character is a life-torn man, outwardly bitter and cynical, yet emotionaly informed by a romantic core which allows...
Published on Oct. 24 1999


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Words cannot do it justice., May 3 2002
This review is from: Three Comrades: A Novel (Paperback)
It is a crime that Remarque is only widely known for All Quiet on the Western Front in America. Not that that's a bad book or anything; it's one of the best books of all time. I like it very much indeed. But the fact is that Remarque never wrote a bad book, and that he wrote a great many books after Western Front. All of them are worth reading. Black Obelisk, A Life for a Life, A Time to Live and a Time to Die, Shadows in Paradise...all of them. But above all, there is Three Comrades, very much my favourite book of all time. Have you read Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises? What about Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby? Those are always the books one names when talking about literature of the Lost Generation. And they're great books too. But why isn't Three Comrades ever mentioned? It is a mystery!
Three Comrades takes place in Weimar Germany. We see hints of Hitler's rise to power. They help us picture said rise, even if they don't explain it. But the book isn't about politics - like The Sun Also Rises, it's about genuine people caught trying to find love, grace and dignity in a world increasingly devoid of all three. And they succeed, finding strength in love and friendship. And that's what this book is about - human friendship and human love, the two most important and beautiful aspects of life. The works of Remarque always feature an odd dichotomy - a sort of clash between a Romantic, highly idealized worldview and grim, bland, prosaic reality. It is this that makes his works so great - the promise that it's possible for the former to exist surrounded by the latter, hard though it may be. It is this that also allows Remarque to see the humanity present in any individual, no matter how debased or outcast (witness his attitude towards the prostitutes). It is this that makes Pat and Robert's romance the sweetest and most believable one in any book I've read. It is this, all in all, that made me genuinely sad, not only at the ending, but at having to leave the world and the people Remarque created. And no higher praise is possible.
My words can't do it any justice, so I won't go into further detail; you'll just have to read it. Hey, Mr. Publisher: how about releasing a new edition that's priced a little lower so people will actually want to buy a great book? Is that so much to ask?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarque is Remarque, Dec 11 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Three Comrades: A Novel (Paperback)
If you love Remarque's work, and have yet to read Three Comrades, it is one of his best.. If you've never read Remarque, this book is as good as any as a place to get "hooked." I realize we all had to read All Quiet on the Western Front, but this remarkable writer captures and expresses not only a particular, and personal, feeling for and of an important period of our history, he also brings it alive for us in a haunting, poetic manner. Indeed, The Road Back should be every bit as required reading when it comes to Remarque's work as "All Quiet." Still, you cannot go astray if you begin your journey reading in Remarque with Three Comrades. After you've finished with Remarque, read all of Graham Greene; these two writers are kindrid spirits--true 20th C. "romance" (and I do not mean Harlequin) writers of the highest order.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant - A True Classic, Feb. 4 2004
By 
Richard A. Mitchell "Rick Mitchell" (candia, new hampshire United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Three Comrades: A Novel (Paperback)
This is a book of three veterans of World War I trying to continue life in Germany after the war. They are like the Three Musketeers - all for one and one for all. When the narrator character falls in love, the girlfriend becomes the D'artagnon.
The characters think they have seen all that can be seen of death and are immune from any feeling relating to it. They learn otherwise as the girlfriend has a terminal injury and there is another death close to them.
Remarque is a terrific writer. He captures so well the characters and the times in which they live. The characters - both main three-four and the supporting cast jump out of the pages at the reader. (He reminds me of a German Steinbeck in the way he able to portray characters.) As the three friends plod on fighting to live well and happily in a depressed economy and a depressing time, one finds himself rooting them on.
Somehow, Remarque makes the reader have complete empathy with characters - even though we are now eighty plus years away from when they lived. Only one of the best writers of the last century could accomplish such a feat.
I rate this above Night in Lisbon and as good, if not better, than All Quiet on the WEstern Front
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best of the lost generation..., Jan. 4 2002
By 
G. Shkodra (Montreal, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Three Comrades: A Novel (Paperback)
...the other one being (for me) "A farewell to arms" by Hemingway.
"No passionate, happy love relationship between two common human beings possible as the entire world is about to experience one of the most brutal and violent spells of it's long and tormented history". This seems to be the main leitmotif of the lost writers, an idea taken and retaken over and over again by the great Hemingway himself and others writers of his generation.
The story takes place in 1928 in the Weimar Republic right before Adolf Hitler's coming to power at the dawn of the Third Reich, just when the survivors were trying to heal the wounds caused by the WW1 and starting to hope for a better life, with another havoc hanging over their heads. Remarque writes about a life-torn, cynical man, a story of friendship and love, both being the only things that matter to him, as the world seems to go towards destruction and there's little to love or live for. Going quickly and easily through this novel pages (Remarque's writing style is simple and yet so fluid and attractive), one can almost smell the violent, melancholic, hopeless atmosphere of the pre-war hyperinflation period.
Fatality and pessimism - that seems to be the frame of almost every single work of this great writer, like "The Arch of Triumph" and "The Black Obelisk" for instance. But if one knows well the life he lived and all that he's been through, one can't argue at the idea that he had no much of a choice of writing about anything else.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Inspiring Book, Oct. 24 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Three Comrades: A Novel (Paperback)
I have just read this book for the second time in about five years and I again have been so moved by it, I need to write a brief note here. "Three Commrades" is as good and fulfilling on every account as any book I have ever read. It is well written, poetic and absorbing. It weaves itself deeply into the fabric of human existence with great skill and deceptive simplicity. There is nothing contrived and the reader must believe that Remarque himself lived what he wrote.
I recommend the reader first read "All Quiet On The Western Front", Remarque's more famous masterpiece. I believe that it is essential to lay the ground work for "Three Commrades" with "All Quiet", and to take the necessary time to absorb it's impact. "The Road Back" is the middle piece of this unofficial trilogy. I read it after my first read of "Three Commrades" and did not feel at a loss for reading it out of chronologic order. The book is very good however, and fits in perfectly with it's brothers.
Minor note: Remember that this book was written in 1930's German and translated into 1930's British English. Be patient in some places. Besides, it adds an even deeper patina to the writing.
Thanks for the interest.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Love Story, June 8 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Three Comrades: A Novel (Paperback)
Remarque writes a great tragic love story, set in Germany prior to Hitler's ultimate rise to power. Much of the turmoil of pre-World War II Germany is left out and plays only a minor role, unlike Remarque's "The Black Obelisk". This first person narrative, starts off with Bob -- a thirty-year-old mechanic and his two friends. Together, they own an auto repair shop and gas station. The bleak economic conditions at the time, force them to be taxi drivers and used car sellers as well. The friends are pretty tight and spend their time drinking, auto racing and supporting one another.
Through a chance encounter, Patricia comes into Bob's life on day -- she is a mysterious and beautiful woman. Patricia and Bob eventually fall in love and much of the novel chronicles their adventures and their caring for one another. There are some several side jaunts that discuss Bob's relationships with his friends and acquaintances. The crux of the story, however, is that all is not well with Patricia and Bob's relationship with her is limited by time.
The story bordered on being excellent. I burned through the pages and had a hard time putting it down. Remarque's masterful dialog and narratives kept me captivated; some of them were poetic. I became attached to the characters and cared what happened to them, especially to Bob and Patricia. I was a bit spoiled on account that I had read Remarque's "Heaven has no Favorites," which has a very similar plot and ending. The last quarter of the book was almost duplicated from that story. Remarque's message is clear though: live life to the fullest and take advantage of every moment, good and bad.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Mostly For Remarque Lovers, Oct. 24 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Three Comrades: A Novel (Paperback)
Except for All Quiet On The Western Front and Spark Of Life, there is a strange sameness to all of Remarque's novels. It's as if he spent his life attempting to perfect a specific theme populated with a specific set of characters. Invariably, the main character is a life-torn man, outwardly bitter and cynical, yet emotionaly informed by a romantic core which allows him to navigate life with great sensitivity. Typically these men find themselves in relationships -- usually sweet, sometimes tempestuous -- with a woman who is doomed to die in either body or spirit.
Three Comrades is the first such book Remarque wrote, and sets the thematic stage for almost everything which followed. To those who have read any of his refugee novels, you will recognize the root characters of all his later work: they who survive life by day, philosophize over drinks at night, and eventually watch each other die for the sin of living in the 20th century. Anyone who knows and loves Remarque's novels will find old friends here, and be delighted with the reunion.
To those unfamiliar with the main body of Remarque's work, you would probably do better reading The Black Obelisk, Night in Lisbon, or Arch of Triumph for an introduction to Germany's Lost Generation. The type of characters he habitually portrays are less compelling here. Possibly it's because the characters are new to him in this novel. Possibly it's because there's less opportunity for them to shine: The 1928 Weimer Republic depicted here is a relatively comfortable period compared to the extremes of rabid inflation or spreading Nazism in his other books. Remarque is only at his best in a completely shattered world -- a vaguely restless one just doesn't suffice for his stories.
If Remarque had any great message, it was "people are to be loved, but humanity is always suspect." Although that point is not shrouded here, it is distracted beneath the fluff of an charmingly iffy love story during a time when, despite shootings in the streets, it could still be an issue of concern whether or not a man's necktie looked too ratty to wear on a date.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brings to life Weimar Germany., May 5 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Three Comrades: A Novel (Paperback)
This is perhaps the most poignant of Remarque's novels. Much like Remarque's other works, it is told from a first person point of view, adding a powerful realism and humanity to the story. Three Comrades follows the story of three World War I veterans and how they survive in Weimar Germany. Robert, Otto, and Gottfried, own an auto repair shop and constantly have to scrape about for funds to stay in business. When Robert meets a mysterious young woman the story catapults into a love story as only Remarque can tell one--with great sympathy and insight into the tragic side of human existence. Using parts of his own life as a template, Remarque masterfully tells the story of Robert and Pat causing the reader to laugh and to cry with the rise and fall of the characters' dreams. Written in 1937, this book is not only a wonderful story, but an insight into the conditions that spawned the rise of the Third Reich. If you like this novel, then definitly read the Black Obelisk.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a journey into the depths of the human spirit, May 2 2000
By 
alexandra (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Three Comrades: A Novel (Paperback)
this is the book that got me hooked on Remarque. the story takes place in 1928. world war 1 is over, but its traces are conspicuously intertwined with the characters' lives and the world around them. the story is told through the eyes of the youngest comrade- Lohkamp. the three lead a monotenous existance in this world of violence and melancholy, an existance sweetened by thecherished bond between the three. later on, Pat, a third party, enters the life of the main character. with her presence, events unfold that bring the comrades to closer to one another, and allow them, as well as the reader, to delve deeply into the intricacy of the human spirit. overall, it is a story of life, love and war's aftermath, and anyone could learn from the humanity and occasional eccentricity i so admire in Remarque's characters.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a journey into the depths of the human spirit, May 2 2000
By 
alexandra (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Three Comrades: A Novel (Paperback)
this is the book that got me hooked on Remarque. the story takes place in 1928. world war 1 is over, but its traces are conspicuously intertwined with the characters' lives and the world around them. the story is told through the eyes of the youngest comrade- Lohkamp. the three lead a monotonous existance in this world of violence and melancholy, an existance sweetened by the cherished bond between the three. later on, Pat, a third party, enters the life of the main character. with her presence, events unfold that bring the comrades to closer to one another, and allow them, as well as the reader, to delve deeply into the intricacy of the human spirit. overall, it is a story of life, love and war's aftermath, and anyone could learn from the humanity and occasional eccentricity i so admire in Remarque's characters.
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Three Comrades: A Novel
Three Comrades: A Novel by Erich Maria Remarque (Paperback - Jan. 27 1998)
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