Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Triumfal'naja arka

Availability: Ready to download

It is 1939. Despite a law banning him from performing surgery, Ravic--a German doctor and refugee living in Paris--has been treating some of the city's most elite citizens for two years on the behalf of two less-than-skillful French physicians. Forbidden to return to his own country, and dodging the everyday dangers of jail and deportation, Ravic manages to hang on--all the It is 1939. Despite a law banning him from performing surgery, Ravic--a German doctor and refugee living in Paris--has been treating some of the city's most elite citizens for two years on the behalf of two less-than-skillful French physicians. Forbidden to return to his own country, and dodging the everyday dangers of jail and deportation, Ravic manages to hang on--all the while searching for the Nazi who tortured him back in Germany. And though he's given up on the possibility of love, life has a curious way of taking a turn for the romantic, even during the worst of times.


Compare
Ads Banner

It is 1939. Despite a law banning him from performing surgery, Ravic--a German doctor and refugee living in Paris--has been treating some of the city's most elite citizens for two years on the behalf of two less-than-skillful French physicians. Forbidden to return to his own country, and dodging the everyday dangers of jail and deportation, Ravic manages to hang on--all the It is 1939. Despite a law banning him from performing surgery, Ravic--a German doctor and refugee living in Paris--has been treating some of the city's most elite citizens for two years on the behalf of two less-than-skillful French physicians. Forbidden to return to his own country, and dodging the everyday dangers of jail and deportation, Ravic manages to hang on--all the while searching for the Nazi who tortured him back in Germany. And though he's given up on the possibility of love, life has a curious way of taking a turn for the romantic, even during the worst of times.

30 review for Triumfal'naja arka

  1. 5 out of 5

    Agnieszka

    I‘ve tried to write review for Arch of Triumph and I’ve failed. So instead of it some impressions. It’s a love story and grief story; it’s Paris of expatriates, cheap brothels and shabby cafés; it’s hotel International, mecca for fugitives from every corner of Europe, with its rooms embellished with portraits of fascists or their democratic counterparts, depends on whom current exiles are; it’s sea of calvados, nocturnal wanderings, ambience of nostalgia and decadency and harbinger of impendin I‘ve tried to write review for Arch of Triumph and I’ve failed. So instead of it some impressions. It’s a love story and grief story; it’s Paris of expatriates, cheap brothels and shabby cafés; it’s hotel International, mecca for fugitives from every corner of Europe, with its rooms embellished with portraits of fascists or their democratic counterparts, depends on whom current exiles are; it’s sea of calvados, nocturnal wanderings, ambience of nostalgia and decadency and harbinger of impending disaster. It’s doctor Ravic, somewhat cynical and disillusioned refugee from Germany. It’s not his real name but it has brought him luck for last two years so he sticks to it. He needs neither your support nor pity and tries to not become accustomed to anything, neither place nor people, things or love, not even to a body , after all you never know when you again will have to run away. It’s an old porter Boris, émigré from Russia driven by desire for revenge on executioners of his father. It’s a second-rate actress and singer Joan Madou, at first glance fragile and helpless poor thing. But that's an illusion. She is all primary strength and instinct. She gave herself to whatever she did …Such women were nothing but drinking, when they drank ; nothing but love when they loved; nothing but desperation when they were desperate; and nothing but forgetfulness when they forgot . Sometimes love catches us off guard and unsolicited falls in our arms. We can defend against it with harsh words and apparent indifference, though nothing works better than bottle of cognac or calvados, or both, and then one more bottle since night is still young, you can say whatever you want, nobody’s listening, pour me calvados, your place or mine ?, let’s drink, salute ! And sometimes it doesn't work. Remarque masterfully rendered city at the brink of war, inhospitable hotel rooms like poor substitutes for homes, brothels with its makeshift love, sordid cafés you can hide in before loneliness. I’m not sure why this novel appeals to me that way. Am I attracted by that dark aura of pre-war Paris that still doesn’t believe that war it’s just at it gates, or that existential sadness that protagonists try to suppress in spouts of alcohol, or this impossible love and shared solitude, or that Ravic despite his skepticism, cynicism even remains so righteous and idealistic in his deeds, or perhaps these scenes like from kitschy melodrama and love words sometimes so clichéd that you eventually have no other choice like to believe them ?

  2. 5 out of 5

    Duane

    Erich Maria Remarque is best known for his classic masterpiece All Quiet on the Western Front. Arch of Triumph may not be equal to that but it is very good, a beautifully written novel that stands on it's own merit and one that I enjoyed reading from start to finish. The setting is 1938 Paris, nervous about the unrest in Europe prior to the start of World War II, and filled with expatriates and refugees of many nationalities. Ravic is an accomplished German surgeon, and having fled Nazi Germany, Erich Maria Remarque is best known for his classic masterpiece All Quiet on the Western Front. Arch of Triumph may not be equal to that but it is very good, a beautifully written novel that stands on it's own merit and one that I enjoyed reading from start to finish. The setting is 1938 Paris, nervous about the unrest in Europe prior to the start of World War II, and filled with expatriates and refugees of many nationalities. Ravic is an accomplished German surgeon, and having fled Nazi Germany, he is living in Paris without passport or documantation. He finds work by performing surgery for two, less than average, French doctors. Really his main goal is to avoid capture and deportation, and survive the coming maelstrom of war. Amid all this turmoil, just when he should least expect it, he falls in love with Joan, an actress. The characters are few in this novel, really Ravic and Joan drive most of the stories plot, so Remarque has time to fully develop these very interesting characters and this intriguing story line. The reader can feel the tension of the city and fear of it's people in the words of Remarque, and you are left with a feeling of hopelessness for everyone. Remarkable book, I loved it. 4.5 stars. Review revised November 2017.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    An exiled German doctor living in Paris in 1939. This had all the indicia of a great novel and it was very good, I enjoyed reading it. The first half sets up the plot of a German, Ravic, though that is not his real name – he is literally a man without a country; Germany has exiled him and France will not recognize his medical license because of his political status. He earns a living “assisting” French physicians, though he does the surgeries for them and receives a quarter or a tenth of the pay An exiled German doctor living in Paris in 1939. This had all the indicia of a great novel and it was very good, I enjoyed reading it. The first half sets up the plot of a German, Ravic, though that is not his real name – he is literally a man without a country; Germany has exiled him and France will not recognize his medical license because of his political status. He earns a living “assisting” French physicians, though he does the surgeries for them and receives a quarter or a tenth of the pay treating prostitutes and performing abortions and forced to live in a shady hotel because of his legal status. Set just before World War II, but with the specter of war shadowing everything, this also references his exile into Spain and there are many allusions to Franco’s autocratic reign and his affinity with German fascism. Introspective and dark, Remarque’s prose is stark yet descriptive, reminiscent of Hemingway. His descriptions of 1930s Paris is noteworthy. This is also in some ways antithetical to Donne’s famous notion that “no man is an island” as Remarque has cast his protagonist as a post-modern isolated man – separated from his nationality, and this then raises many questions about a person’s relationship with his country, his fellow man, his ideals, morals and religion. Fans of his masterpiece All Quiet on the Western Front will want to read this to realize his considerable ability.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chrissie

    My thoughts a bit into the book: THIS is fantastic! What lines! Did you know that Remarque died in 1970? He didn't JUST write about WW1. Here the year is 1938. The Spanish Civil War, the build-up to WW2 and refugees in Paris are all part of this book. Interesting and exciting and marvelously written. And you want to know why the main character is as he is. You simply MUST understand. Slowly it unfolds. Good stuff. Me, I am enjoying myself as I read this. And on completion? Everything that I loved w My thoughts a bit into the book: THIS is fantastic! What lines! Did you know that Remarque died in 1970? He didn't JUST write about WW1. Here the year is 1938. The Spanish Civil War, the build-up to WW2 and refugees in Paris are all part of this book. Interesting and exciting and marvelously written. And you want to know why the main character is as he is. You simply MUST understand. Slowly it unfolds. Good stuff. Me, I am enjoying myself as I read this. And on completion? Everything that I loved when I began the book remained valid through to the very end. Ravic and Joan are the two main characters. Ravic is a stateless refugee and an accomplished German surgeon. He is not Jewish; he is not a supporter of the Nazi regime. He is living in Paris without papers and thus forbidden to preform surgeries. His surgical skills are excellent; he has to make a living so he performs surgeries for "acclaimed" French doctors who are inept. They get the acclaim of his prowess, but he survives. He is about 40. He is stateless because he is wanted by the Nazis for hiding two people - a Jewish writer and a man who saved his life fighting in WW1. He has been mercilessly tortured and sent to concentration camp, from which he escaped. All of this explains why at the beginning of the story he is stateless, without papers and living in France, Paris to be exact. The year is 1938 and the story continues through to 1939. Ravic has one aim beyond simply surviving, to get revenge on that Nazi who has tortured him and those he loved. Is it just revenge or is it his duty to shoulder punishment of crimes committed ? Doesn't each and every one of us have to share the burden of retribution? This theme turns the book into a crime novel and the tension mounts as you reach the end. Another central theme is how war forever alters those who living through them. Ravic took part in the Spanish Civil War too. The book is NOT about war experiences per se but rather about their personal consequences, and the larger perspective of the many who lived through the 20th Century. Through Ravic you see the consequences of history on an individual. I came to understand Ravic. There is another central character - Joan, who he falls in love with. Joan is another completely different story and I felt the book did not explain as well why she was who she was. This is why my appreciation of the book was less than magnificent. Really gorgeous writing. Remarque draws Paris superbly, Paris and how it looks and smells and the tension of those times. You follow the events of history through the life of Ravic, his one year hidden in France. The narration by Ralph Cosham is totally fantastic. It was never too exaggerated to increase tension, but boy does it mount. The excellence of the narration was a total surprise for me since when I listened to the sample I thought it would be way too old-fashioned. No, it was just perfect. And the voices of the women were perfect too. Smooth, calm, pitch-perfect! I loved the narration, and I highly recommend listening to this book rather than reading a paper copy. And the ending? It fit; it ended as it had to end given Ravic's character and what he had lived through.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Agnes

    One of my favorite books. Remarque at it's best. This book transforms you back in time to post war Paris. You can small the dusty streets, cigars and Calvados in the air when you read it. It will leave you nostalgic and hungry for true love and romance straight from the vintage 30s.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Al

    Remarque has a great humanistic way to tell a simple story, while inspiring a greater idea or a state of mind. While Arch of Triumph is definitely mainly a love story between German refuge Ravic, and wannabe actress Joan Madou, it is also a dooming testament to the injustices of life. And it is also a stark witness to the tragedy of war, and the dark human instincts that precipitate it. Being a strong pacifist, Remarque, who served in World War I, tries once again to present not only the useless Remarque has a great humanistic way to tell a simple story, while inspiring a greater idea or a state of mind. While Arch of Triumph is definitely mainly a love story between German refuge Ravic, and wannabe actress Joan Madou, it is also a dooming testament to the injustices of life. And it is also a stark witness to the tragedy of war, and the dark human instincts that precipitate it. Being a strong pacifist, Remarque, who served in World War I, tries once again to present not only the uselessness of war, but its inevitability too. I really liked the characters in this one, which are mainly Ravic and Joan, since the plot is so centered on the love story. They felt so close to me, and even if Joan is made to look artificial at times, I could almost feel her inner instinct to charm and seduce, while posing off as innocent at the same time. But at the end, those people are just caught up in the turmoil of their times, trying their best to adapt and live their lifes. And be it the boy with the cut leg, or the American Kate who has incurable cancer, life keeps beating them up, but they never give up. Because the Arch of Triumph stands at the end, sometimes gloomy, but always magnificent.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    310514: this is a later addition: i think of books read this year, ones that might become rereads- become 'comfort reading'- and this is a prime candidate. why? i do not know, perhaps in clarity, in artlessness, i can concentrate on the characters. i tried one other book by remarque, very disappointed, and i have read 'all quiet on the western front'- but this was spoiled by having seen the old film. now i know the plot, but this is never important, this is bittersweet, romantic- yes it must be 310514: this is a later addition: i think of books read this year, ones that might become rereads- become 'comfort reading'- and this is a prime candidate. why? i do not know, perhaps in clarity, in artlessness, i can concentrate on the characters. i tried one other book by remarque, very disappointed, and i have read 'all quiet on the western front'- but this was spoiled by having seen the old film. now i know the plot, but this is never important, this is bittersweet, romantic- yes it must be the romantic aspect that appeals. i cannot claim it is great art, only that it is the people i want to read about... first review: now it has been a few days, a few books, since read and rated so the question is: why give this a five? why put it on the favourites shelf? thinking of it in comparison to llosa's feast of the goat, which is perhaps more literary in shape, in writing, but this is the one better recalled and more likely to be read again. this one has somewhat more average characters, ordinary sort of plot- and i think this is why. this book, set in 1939 France, written in 1945, does not fail to recall the movie Casablanca. indeed, i can see Bogart as the protagonist, and in Paris, where everyone is waiting in disbelief that another war will come... and character revealed simply, directly, in action, not introspection or close emotional reading, only gradually. i did not think to like this book, as it is long, it is not uniquely told or structured, not surprising characters or plot. i did not think i could be so attached to the man and woman, the world, the politics there but not too there. the young woman who knows she is not a good actor, but pretty enough to be a mistress, the good german doctor living and operating illegally, the petty conniving french doctor who depends on his skill to fix mistakes, the friendlier doctor who pays him better, who becomes something like a friend. the quiet satire of the hotel, the rotating pictures, the rotating refugees, the russian who uniquely does not claim aristocratic heritage... then, i like the occasional dash of mordant humor, i like the mundane, realistic, rather mature portrayal of romance. these are real people, good people, caught in a very bad time. would this work if set anywhere and -when else? made me also think of the stripped prose of Hemingway, how this is not his style but quieter, how this story is told without stylistic pyrotechnics, this story told directly, without excess of emotion or art... perhaps i would not have liked it so much if it was striving for effect. it is almost like reading two books, as the first half is heavy in dialog, thus easy to read, the second half more description, more thought... but in the end, this works. so maybe it is a bestseller of its time, maybe it is middlebrow, but the looming history is not overplayed, the story is ultimately down to a romance anyone can imagine, anyone could live, and an exactly right ending... and why did i even read this book, as it is not from a rec, not immediately interesting me, not much liking longish books...well actually, because the last book on philosopher merleau-ponty quoted it at a significant point, quoted it at length, so i decided to read its context... and while looking for that passage, i got sucked into this book. remains a five...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    I put this book aside to read A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains but I was already getting tired of it and I'm not in the mood to finish it right now. The story is about a German refugee living in Paris during WWII but before the Occupation. He had been a surgeon in Germany but as he is living illegally without papers, he has to take whatever work a few French doctors give him work that they don't want to do such as trying to save a woman's life after a botched abortion. I found this all very I put this book aside to read A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains but I was already getting tired of it and I'm not in the mood to finish it right now. The story is about a German refugee living in Paris during WWII but before the Occupation. He had been a surgeon in Germany but as he is living illegally without papers, he has to take whatever work a few French doctors give him work that they don't want to do such as trying to save a woman's life after a botched abortion. I found this all very interesting, how he had to live a solitary life, on the fringe and under the radar. Then he falls in love and its just blah blah blah about what love really is and can we ever really be happy and who is going to leave the other one firt. I know Remarque is well regarded (All Quiet On The Western Front) and I feel a bit like "who am I to criticize" but these two characters just went round and round in circles and I lost interest.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Kennedy

    It's Paris months before WWII. The darkness of nights mask the arrival of refugees from Germany to hotel rooms and abandoned flats by Parisians reading the headlines warning of a second catastrophe in just twenty years. The suspense is palpable as Ravic's existence as an undocumented surgeon builds. This story like Remarque's "All Quite on the Western Front" tells the cautionary tale of the costs of war to the lives of human beings. As normality becomes unrecognizable, choices evaporate, what is It's Paris months before WWII. The darkness of nights mask the arrival of refugees from Germany to hotel rooms and abandoned flats by Parisians reading the headlines warning of a second catastrophe in just twenty years. The suspense is palpable as Ravic's existence as an undocumented surgeon builds. This story like Remarque's "All Quite on the Western Front" tells the cautionary tale of the costs of war to the lives of human beings. As normality becomes unrecognizable, choices evaporate, what is left of the spirit? Who will hold to their own values under maximum stress? I especially was drawn to the author's simple, direct phrasing of the story in contrast to the complexity of the circumstances of war. Highly Recommended

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lora Grigorova

    Arch of Triumph: http://readwithstyle.wordpress.com/20... A huge fan of Erich Maria Remarque as I am, surprisingly I hadn’t read two of his most famous novels – Arch of Triumph and All Quiet on the Western Front. After 5 novels (Shadows in Paradise, Three Comrades, A Time to Love and a Time to Die, The Night in Lisbon and The Black Obelisk), his voice sounds so familiar, that while reading I feel an overwhelming calmness. In a world where nothing is right, where humanity has continued on the path Arch of Triumph: http://readwithstyle.wordpress.com/20... A huge fan of Erich Maria Remarque as I am, surprisingly I hadn’t read two of his most famous novels – Arch of Triumph and All Quiet on the Western Front. After 5 novels (Shadows in Paradise, Three Comrades, A Time to Love and a Time to Die, The Night in Lisbon and The Black Obelisk), his voice sounds so familiar, that while reading I feel an overwhelming calmness. In a world where nothing is right, where humanity has continued on the path to self-destruction, and where hopelessness and despair become everyday sentiments, Remarque’s fiction is a reminder, a sort of wake-up call to beauty and love. Even on the verge of a second World War, people are still fighting the same problems – hatred, jealousy, envy – and people are still able to love – completely, selflessly, passionately. Erich Maria Remarque’s involvement in WWI largely determines the main theme of his fiction. The anti-war and anti-fascism sentiments of the author are present in all the novels I’ve read but it seems they are the most palpable and evident in the Arc of Triumph. On the eve of WWII Europe is in the atmosphere of spiritual stagnation and despair. A certain disillusionment hovers in the air; the exiles leave by habit, surviving every day as if it might be their last. One of these nameless, faceless souls is Ravic, a German doctor hiding in Paris. Fascism has taken everything from him – his home, his practice, his passport, his identity, his belief, and even his ability to love. Arch of Triumph is a story of the difficult path of spiritual, moral and physical preservation in a world of political persecution and uncertainty of what tomorrow might bring. Read more: http://readwithstyle.wordpress.com/20...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Signe

    I was blown away by this book. It is very old and still it touches on some things that are universal and beyond restraints such as time. It's set in the illegal refugee community in Paris during the second world war, and the protagonist is a not too sympathetic doctor, who practises illegally for pittances, drinks himself down more or less every night because of his insomnia, has casual relationships when he doesn't play chess with a Russian refugee friend of his, has countless political discuss I was blown away by this book. It is very old and still it touches on some things that are universal and beyond restraints such as time. It's set in the illegal refugee community in Paris during the second world war, and the protagonist is a not too sympathetic doctor, who practises illegally for pittances, drinks himself down more or less every night because of his insomnia, has casual relationships when he doesn't play chess with a Russian refugee friend of his, has countless political discussions and can't seem to stop thinking about all the really big issues of life. As a black cloud over the illegal community is the ever-present risk of getting found out and deported to Nazi Germany, torture and death. I don't know what happened to Remarque when he wrote this book, because it far, far better than anything else I have read by him.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rick Slane

    Paris is always popular. The prose in this translation is often poetic. WWII is looming and almost everyone knows it. A great deal of alcohol is consumed.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jonnu

    I'm just going to say that 'til now this is my favourite book of all times..

  14. 5 out of 5

    S.

    Rediscovering the books that I read when I was too young. Read in 2 nights. One of my favourite books definitely. It was like I could almost feel how the author felt when he was writing it. Everything is so complicated and yet brought to us so simply. Must read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    Now for the Film with Anthony Hopkins: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAFAf... Bettie's Books

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mariya

    Reading this novel was devastating, heartbreaking, and heartwarming. It's now one of my treasured books.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Olesya Razuvayevskaya

    This novel has it all, all the attributes one can expect from Remarque's novels: war, cynical romantic with strong caring tendencies as a protagonist, unconditional friendship, and, of course, a young woman that should either be mortally ill (suffer from cancer, tuberculosis, severe form of schizophrenia), or be killed. One way or the other, she must die, little suspense here. But every single time, it is somehow fresh and catchy, not sure how he does it!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nadia

    Absolutely excellent! At first, after reading half way through I gave it 4 stars. Big mistake - it is definitely 5 plus. Remarque put human face on pre WW2 Europe and France in particular. The characters, their life stories and pre war spirit of that time builds up tension and anxiety in the reader. It is more than a love story. In fact, I think love story is not central point of the book. It is there to examplify one of the inevitable feelings and to support the main underlying theme of how imp Absolutely excellent! At first, after reading half way through I gave it 4 stars. Big mistake - it is definitely 5 plus. Remarque put human face on pre WW2 Europe and France in particular. The characters, their life stories and pre war spirit of that time builds up tension and anxiety in the reader. It is more than a love story. In fact, I think love story is not central point of the book. It is there to examplify one of the inevitable feelings and to support the main underlying theme of how important human life is despite seeming small and insignificant in the face of upcoming tragedy of war.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nikos79

    One more excellent book by Remarque for the collection and for sure not the last. I 'll continue reading him. The German writer has such a warm prose full of kindness that make a reader love him, despite the fact that he is dealing with hard, cold and cruel times and topics in his books. In the "Arch of Triumph" he focuses on refuges' life from all Europe, in a pre-ww2 Paris. More specifically his main hero German doctor whose opposite ideology to uprising Reich troubles him, finds in Paris a te One more excellent book by Remarque for the collection and for sure not the last. I 'll continue reading him. The German writer has such a warm prose full of kindness that make a reader love him, despite the fact that he is dealing with hard, cold and cruel times and topics in his books. In the "Arch of Triumph" he focuses on refuges' life from all Europe, in a pre-ww2 Paris. More specifically his main hero German doctor whose opposite ideology to uprising Reich troubles him, finds in Paris a temporary (or not?) oasis but without passport and official papers has to live with different names and work illegally although he is an expert in what he is doing, a great surgeon. In the same situation live more or less a big cast of characters of the book, one of them a young Italo/Romanian singer and wannabe actress. Ravik and Joanna meet under those strange times and start a unique relationship which in the beginning is not easy to define if it can be love or an affair but certainly is something beautiful which makes them both feel live and human. The same time clouds of war are gathered more and more over France and the worst nightmare of doctor's life in Germany seems to show up when he was sure that he had escaped from his demons. All these in a depressing but the same time unexpectedly for the times lively Paris where people live like there is no tomorrow. One of the best 4 star books of the year, shines in its simplicity.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Valērija Garaščenko

    This book is simply amazing.I usually try to stay away from these kind of books because they make me feel heartbroken and uncontrollably sad,but this one was worth my tears and time. Well written and lots of beautiful descriptions of Paris.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Vusal Rasulzade

    Erich Maria Remarque is one of the greatest novelists i have ever read. This is third book of Erich Maria Remarque i read. I am sure i will read it again....

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nastya Ostap

    Truly, It’s my first touch to Remark’s works. I’ll keep reading all other works for sure, because I’m deeply in love with his style. Some phrases are needed to be written down to remember! Very touching for me!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Leah Bayer

    I was trying to remember a book I read as a teen and the only details I could think of were "they were in Paris and they drank a lot of cognac." My mom goes "oh yeah The Arch Of Triumph!" so now I can finally add it to my Goodreads after years of wondering.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nikola Jankovic

    Set in 1938-39, with war fast approaching, novel follows excellent German surgeon Ravic, a refugee from Nazi regime, who is living in Paris illegally and without documents. Beyond surviving, working for two Parisian below average doctors and not getting caught, Ravic has one more wish - to get revenge on Gestapo officer which tortured him, his girlfriend and friends at his time in Berlin. I loved Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front. It was one of the best books I read in past few years. In Set in 1938-39, with war fast approaching, novel follows excellent German surgeon Ravic, a refugee from Nazi regime, who is living in Paris illegally and without documents. Beyond surviving, working for two Parisian below average doctors and not getting caught, Ravic has one more wish - to get revenge on Gestapo officer which tortured him, his girlfriend and friends at his time in Berlin. I loved Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front. It was one of the best books I read in past few years. In it, he succedeed in creating an atmosphere like no other war book. The atmosphere of pointlesness of war, of lost generation and lost youth. Despite Arch of Triumph is not on the same level as his classic, it is beautifully written (I like literary fiction, but sometimes he goes over the top with his lyrical sentences) and creates romantic, but slow atmosphere of main character's depression, total inevitability of the war and normality of everyday life in 30s Paris. Makes you go out and order Cognac or Calvados.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Maria Marinas

    EMR manages, once again, to deliver a superb, claustrophobic account of the subject. In this case, the year before the outbreak of WW2. An in-depth study of life in Paris at the time, focussing on the diversity of emigrants of the time and the diverse outcome in their lives. Coming from different backgrounds and going to different futures, they are all linked by the present situation. The main character is complete, deep and powerful. With a good dosage of black humour, I particularly enjoyed th EMR manages, once again, to deliver a superb, claustrophobic account of the subject. In this case, the year before the outbreak of WW2. An in-depth study of life in Paris at the time, focussing on the diversity of emigrants of the time and the diverse outcome in their lives. Coming from different backgrounds and going to different futures, they are all linked by the present situation. The main character is complete, deep and powerful. With a good dosage of black humour, I particularly enjoyed the stories immigrants of the hotel.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Arch of Triumph is an atmospheric cusp-of-WWII period piece. Our hero is Ravic. He traverses three main plot threads over the course of the book (which weave together here and there): his living situation as a refugee from Nazi Germany who is secretly practicing as a surgeon in Paris, his love affair with a woman he meets on the Pont de l’Alma, and his hoped-for revenge upon the Gestapo officer who tortured him for information in Germany and killed his friends. For once I feel like I might actua Arch of Triumph is an atmospheric cusp-of-WWII period piece. Our hero is Ravic. He traverses three main plot threads over the course of the book (which weave together here and there): his living situation as a refugee from Nazi Germany who is secretly practicing as a surgeon in Paris, his love affair with a woman he meets on the Pont de l’Alma, and his hoped-for revenge upon the Gestapo officer who tortured him for information in Germany and killed his friends. For once I feel like I might actually understand the book’s title as the author intended. Most obviously, a lot of the action is set on the Right Bank of Paris, with the Arc de Triomphe physically presiding over it all. The Arc de Triomphe (and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier underneath) is also a monument to France’s citizens who died in war, which lends the title a touch of despairing irony, since the book’s set at a time when France is again about to be engaged in war. Ravic’s own story arc can also be considered an “Arch of Triumph,” at least the way he explains it to himself (though the rest of us might still be damned depressed at the end). The book has a real noir aesthetic: disaffected brilliant surgeon hiding out from a repressive regime; torch-singing femme fatale perfectly embodying the “can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em” trope; late-night rambles and drinks in dim cafes all over the Right Bank and beyond; illicit midnight operations; humorless speechifying about the impossibility of love and unredeemability of the world; lots of fateful coincidences. Though maybe people could take this book seriously in its publication year of 1945, it reads today as not without melodrama. I can barely remember All Quiet on the Western Front (the only other Erich Maria Remarque book I’ve read), but I do remember being impressed and moved by it in a way that I was not by Arch of Triumph. All Quiet on the Western Front has the advantage of being shorter, so is therefore probably tighter, and I think it had just one main plot thread—being a soldier! The three threads in Arch of Triumph aren’t balanced and woven together as well as they might have been. The middle is very heavy with love story, and the revenge story only really comes to the fore near the end. I also don’t remember many female characters in All Quiet on the Western Front, so sexist observations and situations were probably a lot less prominent in that one. Nevertheless, I did enjoy reading Arch of Triumph. Remarque can write lovely descriptive passages, and he makes some insightful observations about human nature and relationships. I probably enjoyed the book most as a way to engage with the layout of Paris in the context of a dramatic narrative. You can follow Ravic around on a city map pretty well. I’ll be visiting Paris for the first time in a few months, and this book has enhanced my sense of the romance and history of the city. It’s also a good advertisement for calvados—Ravic and Joan drink it in quantity, day and night. I am looking forward to doing the same.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    There was so much about this story that I found interesting... the inevitable buildup to war in 1938-39 France... the interaction between French and refugees... refugee culture in the late 1930s... life in Paris in the 1930s... people who live in hotels... all of those components of this story fascinated me. But over half of this book is the love story between Ravic and Joan which was mind numbingly boring. The sections about love and breaking up and love again and breaking up and doubts are jus There was so much about this story that I found interesting... the inevitable buildup to war in 1938-39 France... the interaction between French and refugees... refugee culture in the late 1930s... life in Paris in the 1930s... people who live in hotels... all of those components of this story fascinated me. But over half of this book is the love story between Ravic and Joan which was mind numbingly boring. The sections about love and breaking up and love again and breaking up and doubts are just terribly boring. And the reason it’s so boring is because Remarque expends zero effort building Joan’s character... we know virtually nothing of her background, or really much of anything besides how she looks and what she does for a living, despite spending page after page chronicling their romance and the fallout of its destruction. The last pages are some of the most graphic and heart wrenching descriptions of death from trauma that I’ve read. Remarque can really write, don’t get me wrong. His descriptions of Paris, the nightlife, surgery, the fear of another annihilating world war, the Riviera in winter, were stunning. But he can’t build characters. I also think there is a misogynistic bent in this book... all main characters of substance except for Joan are male. The men (Ravic, Morosow, Veber) for the most part see through petty differences of nationality or religion to examine the true character within. The women (Eugenie, Joan) are conniving, impetuous, back-stabbing. The book was written in 1947 so sign of the times. But it really impacted the (non) development of Joan’s character.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Marija Andreeva

    4.5 Great book, great story, the melancholic pace of the writing gives such a deep insight in a world that is shattered by war, and also shows the deep need for love even when everything else falls apart. The whole book deeply touched me in a way I really didn't expect it. Ravik, Boris have such great dialogues... Extraordinary writing...

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mandeep Singh

    This has been my hundredth book on goodreads and I am happy that it was this book. This book is pure emotion, it moves slowly but in every communication there is something deep which author is conveying. I will recommend it to all generations. Please read Remarque

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nataly

    Ravic reminds me of the Doctor Pascal (by French classic Emile Zola) - both are doctors, both non-religious, both cure some poor patients for free and even help them with money, both suffer due to vile religious people. The book is great! Though all the books by Remarque are great.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.