Category: Authors

Lawrence Block, S.A. Cosby, Joe R. Lansdale, David Morrell & 13 Others are PLAYING GAMES!

What would you call a book with stories by Lawrence Block, S.A. Cosby, Joe R. Lansdale, David Morrell and 13 others?  Must Buy?  It is actually called Playing Games.  Here’s the lowdown…


Whether it’s child’s play or for the highest stakes, whether we stick to the rules or cheat, we all play games — for fun, for thrills, for love or money, to prove we’re the best or make an opponent knuckle under. And the games we play, with cards or dice or nothing but our wits, reveal something deeply personal about the players.

In this powerful new anthology, Mystery Writers of America Grandmaster Lawrence Block has assembled an all-star team for the ultimate game night. Sit down at the checkerboard with S.A. Cosby, assemble jigsaw puzzles with David Morrell, or play marbles for the fate of the world with Joe R. Lansdale. In Jeffery Deaver’s hands, an innocent game of Candyland takes twists the Parker Brothers could never have imagined. Science-fiction grandmaster Robert Silverberg uncovers painful truths about destiny while betting on the turtle races in a Caribbean resort. And Lawrence Block himself out-Hitchcocks Hitchcock with his classic story of murder victims swapped by strangers on a handball court.

From hide-and-seek to Russian roulette, from mahjong to Mouse Trap, it’s a game lover’s dream — but beware: your turn is coming, and while winning isn’t everything, sometimes losing can be deadly…

And here’s the starred review from Publishers Weekly:

One of the most impressive of the 17 crime stories involving games in this stellar anthology from MWA Grand Master Block (In Sunlight or in Shadow: Stories Inspired by the Paintings of Edward Hopper) is Block’s own “Strangers on a Handball Court.” It riffs on Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, as the title suggests, and provides a wholly fair plot with a gut-wrenching surprise. Even knowing that multiple twists are coming doesn’t negate their impact in Jeffery Deaver’s devious “The Babysitter,” which opens with a classic trope: the innocent everyperson who stumbles on a deadly secret. When the charges of 17-year-old Kelli Lambert get bored playing Candy Land, Kelli’s search for another board game leads her into peril after the parents of the kids she’s watching suspect she’s spotted their secret plans to torch a casino so they can establish their own casino. David Morrell shines with the subtle and creepy “The Puzzle Master,” in which a couple become addicted to jigsaw puzzles by a particular artist, only to find potentially ominous clues linking disparate bucolic scenes. The wide range of stories and games in them begs for a sequel.

Playing Games is available now.

Playing Games Paperback

Playing Games Kindle

SPILLANE: KING OF PULP FICTION by Max Allan Collins and James L. Traylor

SPILLANE: KING OF PULP FICTION by Max Allan Collins and James L. Traylor is coming!

The first-ever biography of the most popular and most influential pulp writer of all time, written by the collaborator who knew him best

There has never been a full-length biography of Mickey Spillane, the most popular and influential mystery writer of his era―until now.

Beginning in 1947 with I, the Jury, and continuing with his next six novels, Spillane quickly amassed a readership in the tens of millions, becoming the bestselling novelist in the history of American publishing. Surrounded by controversy for the overt violence and suggestive sexual content of his iconic Mike Hammer private eye novels, Spillane was loathed by critics but beloved by his readers.

There is, however, more to Spillane’s life than the books. He also starred as Hammer in a movie, was a circus performer, worked with the FBI in capturing a notorious criminal, and starred in Miller Light beer commercials that were so popular they ran for a quarter of a century.

Max Allan Collins became Spillane’s friend and collaborator, continuing the Mike Hammer series for years after the author’s death, building upon unfinished manuscripts the writer left behind. Now, with co-author James Traylor, Collins has produced the first comprehensive and authoritative profile of the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master. It is a must-read for any fan of the author―or of the generations of crime writers that were influenced by his work.



CAVE 13: A JOE LEDGER & ROGUE TEAM INTERNATIONAL by Jonathan Maberry is Coming!

Jonathan Maberry’s Joe Ledger and Rogue Team International will be back in a new adventure titled CAVE 13.  Here’s the synopsis…

After years of searching, a new cave filled with Dead Sea Scrolls is found, and among them are bizarre books of actual magic. Terrorist groups and multinational corporations scramble to acquire these treasures in the hopes that magic is the true WMD of the 21st Century. But everyone who goes near those scrolls goes insane. The fabric of reality is shredding. Is this the result of ancient magic, or is it a new bioweapon that fractures the mind of anyone exposed?

Joe Ledger and Rogue Team International plunge into mortal peril as this new and deadly arms race threatens to ignite new wars throughout the Middle East.

Cave 13 pits Joe Ledger against warring factions of ideological terrorism, corporate greed, and massive international crime syndicates in what might well become a new Age of Miracles.

Jonathan Maberry like Joe Ledger never disappoints.  Pre-orders for CAVE 13 are available now for the August 29, 2023 release.

Cave 13 Paperback

Cave 13 Kindle


Things Get Ugly: The Best Crime Stories of Joe R. Lansdale will be available August 15, 2023!  352 pages of Lansdale goodness.  Here’s the preview…

Edgar Award winner and bestselling author Joe R. Lansdale (the Hap and Leonard series), one of America’s most essential crime writers, heads back to the dangerous woods of East Texas. In his first crime career-retrospective, including previously uncollected work, Lansdale shows exactly why critics continue to compare him to Elmore Leonard, Donald Westlake, Flannery O’Connor, and William Faulkner.

“Pulpy, blackly humorous, compulsively readable, and somehow both wildly surreal and down-to-earth. Lansdale is a national fucking treasure.”
―Christa Faust, author of Money Shot

In the 1950s, a young small-town projectionist mixes it up with a violent gang. When Mr. Bear is not alerting us to the dangers of forest fires, he lives a life of debauchery and murder. A brother and sister travel to Oklahoma to recover the dead body of their uncle. A lonely man engages in dubious acts while pining for his rubber duckie.

In this collection of nineteen unforgettable crime tales, Joe R. Lansdale brings his legendary mojo and gritty, dark humor to harrowing heists, revenge, homicide, and mayhem. No matter how they begin, things are bound to get ugly―and fast.

Pre-orders are available now.

Things Get Ugly  Paperback
Things Get Ugly  Kindle

TO BRING MY SHADOW by Matt Phillips

Anthony Neil Smith posted The Independent Fiction Alliance’s choices for the best books of 2022 published by small independent presses or independent writers.

To Bring My Shadow by Matt Phillips is one of them.  Here’s the lowdown…

This haunting, hardboiled tale follows detective Frank “Slim Fat” Pinson and his partner as they try to unravel the vexing mystery surrounding a who-done-it drug murder in San Diego.

Frank “Slim Fat” Pinson is your regular hardboiled murder cop—hell, Frank’s a cliché. His wife is dead after jumping from a bridge and he’s a mal-practicing Catholic. He’s tough as nails. Hard as sin. Except not.

When Frank and his partner, “Skinny” Slade Ryerson, catch a cartel murder case, they’re sucked into a black hell of political corruption with ties to Santa Muerte. And Frank—a man who knows himself so well—spins into an epic crisis of faith.

The first detective novel from acclaimed pulp writer Matt Phillips introduces readers to a fascinating character of indefensible fault, immense morality, and incalculable demise.

To Bring My Shadow Paperback
To Bring My Shadow Kindle

CANARY IN THE COAL MINE by Charles Salzberg

Anthony Neil Smith posted The Independent Fiction Alliance’s choices for the best books of 2022 published by small independent presses or independent writers.

Canary In The Coal Mine by Charles Salzberg is one of them.  Here’s the lowdown…

PI Pete Fortunato, half-Italian, half-Jewish, who suffers from anger management issues and insomnia, wakes up one morning with a bad taste in his mouth. This is never a good sign. Working out of a friend’s downtown real estate office, Fortunato, who spent a mysteriously short, forgettable stint as a cop in a small upstate New York town, lives from paycheck to paycheck. So, when a beautiful woman wants to hire him to find her husband, he doesn’t hesitate to say yes. Within a day, Fortunato finds the husband in the apartment of his client’s young, stud lover. He’s been shot once in the head. Case closed. But when his client’s check bounces, and a couple of Albanian gangsters show up outside his building and kidnap him, hoping he’ll lead them to a large sum of money supposedly stolen by the dead man, he begins to realize there’s a good chance he’s been set up to take the fall for the murder and the theft of the money.

In an attempt to get himself out of a jam, Fortunato winds up on a wild ride that takes him down to Texas where he searches for his client’s lover who he suspects has the money and holds the key to solving the murder.

Canary In The Coal Mine Paperback
Canary In The Coal Mine Kindle

BELOW THE LINE by Steven Jankowski

Anthony Neil Smith posted The Independent Fiction Alliance’s choices for the best books of 2022 published by small independent presses or independent writers.

Below The Line by Steven Jankowski is one of them.  Here’s the lowdown…

In between gigs as a Hollywood movie Teamster, self-proclaimed sailing bum Mike Millek moonlights as a freelance, armed chauffeur to the stars. When Mike arrives one night to pick up his deadbeat client, rap music producer Pays Lee, at his private jet Mike finds him freshly murdered with a satchel full of cash. Mike makes the critical decision to take what is owed him before reporting anything to the police.

More money than he ever expected, this turns out to be Mike’s biggest payday in his life, but not without consequences. Opening this Pandora’s box not only costs him his best friend’s life and leads him down a road of deception with his newly found love Molly, but thrusts them both into a dangerous conspiracy entrenched in the sordid underbelly of the Hollywood power elite.

Below The Line Paperback
Below The Line Kindle

MIDNIGHT DRIVE by Kenneth Price

Anthony Neil Smith posted The Independent Fiction Alliance’s choices for the best books of 2022 published by small independent presses or independent writers.  This is one of them…

Midnight Drive by Kenneth Price is the first novel in the Logan Claybourne series.  Here’ the lowdown…

Kenny Prince enjoyed the finer things in life – namely cocaine, strippers, and a 1976 Corvette Stingray. But Kenny wound up dead on his couch with two bullet holes in him and a QR code slapped onto the wall above his body. So now it’s up to Logan Claybourne to find who did it. Not that Logan gives a rat’s ass. He’s not a detective. He’s a repo man. And if he wants money to fund his unhinged gambling addiction, he’s going to have to find the Stingray before the police do. The mystery will take him around the cold and unforgiving streets of Edmonton, Canada’s northernmost city, where everyone seems to know Logan’s secrets and answers can only be found in the middle of the night.

Midnight Drive is the first book in the Logan Claybourne series by Kenneth Price. Set in a world of pawn shops, casinos, and hardscrabble people trying to get by, this novel peeks down the dark alleys we instinctively look away from. Questions around fate and the gears operating in the background of our lives weave through its pages while throughout the rough and tumble streets of Edmonton are tooled into a tale of high-octane crime fiction.

This is noir with a V8 engine under the hood.

So get in. Shut up. And hold on!

Midnight Drive Paperback
Midnight Drive Kindle 

CALIFORNIA BEAR by Duane Swierczynski is Coming!

Duane Swierczynski’s new novel California Bear sounds like a must-buy.  Here’s the synopsis…

A cinematic new mystery from an award-winning crime writer, California Bear follows two unlikely vigilantes whose decision to take justice into their own hands pits them against the villains behind California’s coldest cases—and their own twisted histories.

California Bear drops on September 5, 2023.  Pre-orders are available now.

California Bear Hardcover
California Bear Kindle

Craig’s “The Best of 2022”

As we start 2023, let’s pause for a look at the BEST OF 2022. I hope you you see something that you enjoyed or gets you interested to check it out. Here we go…

Movies and Limited Series

In 2022, I watched 409 movies and limited series. That number is up 37 from last year. None were seen in a theater! My favorite films and limited series released in 2022 included (in alpha order):

  • The Batman
  • Better Call Saul: Final Season
  • The English
  • God Forbid
  • Interceptor
  • Interview with a Vampire: Season 1
  • Ozark: Final Season
  • The Patient
  • Primal: Season 2
  • Reacher: Season 1
  • RRR
  • Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
  • Top Gun: Maverick
  • Werewolf By Night

Tulsa King would have made the list, but since the season hasn’t finished yet, I haven’t added it. It will definitely make next year’s Best Of list.


In 2022, I read 37 books (2 less than last year). My favorites from this year included (in the order I read them):

  • Love & Bullets Megabomb Edition by Nick Kolakowski

  • Boise Longpig Hunting Club by Nick Kolakowski

  • The Devil’s Own Piss… by Whiskey Leavins

  • 61 Hours by Lee Child

  • Ice Station by Matthew Reilly

  • At Their Own Game by Frank Zafiro

  • IQ by Joe Ide

  • Murder in Grease Paint by Whiskey Leavins

  • And Sometimes I Wonder About You by Walter Mosley

  • Righteous by Joe Ide

  • Trouble is What I Do by Walter Mosley

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood by Quentin Tarantino

  • Later by Stephen King

  • Down the River unto the Sea by Walter Mosley

I’m surprised I didn’t read anything by Joe Lansdale this year. How did that even happen??

My Most Popular Posts of the Year

I continue to find some surprises in what became my most popular posts each year. Here are the top ten for 2022 and some thoughts for each…

10. Top 10 Most Iconic Horror Movie VillainsDropped from #7 last year. Second year in a row to drop.

09. Batman & Manbat by Marshall Rogers & John Beatty! New to the list!

08. The Different Covers for David Morrell’s First Blood. New to the list!

07. “Clean” starring Adrian Brody – The Poster and Trailer are Here! New to the list!

06. Gadot & The Rock Strike a Pose – was in the 8th spot last year.

05. Evidence Points to NEW Suspect as the Zodiac Killer. New to the list!

04. Louis Meyers: Evidence He was the Zodiac Killer – came in the #3 spot last year and #2 the year before.

03. Dracula Through the Ages – was in our 4th spot last year. Flipped places with Louis Meyers.

02. The TWILIGHT ZONE New Year’s Eve Marathon is Coming and the Full Schedule is Out!was the most popular post last year but was beat out this year by Schwarzenegger and Williams.

01. Schwarzenegger in “King Lear” & Robin Williams in “Jack and the Beanstalkregains the #1 spot for the year.

My All-Time Most Popular Posts

The top 4 didn’t change and only one new post broke in to the All-Time most popular posts. Let’s see how things shook out…

10. Joel Osteen in Jacksonville – dropped one spot from 7th to 10th. Two years in a row of drops. May not make the list next year.

09. Gadot & The Rock Strike a Pose – was in the 9th spot for the last two years.

08. The TWILIGHT ZONE New Year’s Eve Marathon is Coming and the Full Schedule is Out! New to the list!  I love the love that the TZ is getting!

07. Steve Reeves as Superman – was the #5 all-time most popular post last year.

06. Dracula Through the Ages up from the 10th spot. Vampires are in.

05. TOP 10 MOST ICONIC HORROR MOVIE VILLAINS! – from 6th to 5th. Two years in a row of moving up!

04. New Billy the Kid Photo Discovered – No change!

03. Zodiac Killer Code Cracked? – No change!

02. Louis Meyers: Evidence He Was the Zodiac Killer – No change!

01. Schwarzenegger in “King Lear” & Robin Williams in “Jack and the Beanstalk” – was #1 last year and continues to be our most popular post of all-time.

It’s always interesting to see which topics resonate with fans and continue to be popular long after their initial post.

SON OF THE POISON ROSE (A KAGEN THE DAMNED Novel) by Jonathan Maberry is Coming Soon!

Jonathan Maberry’s sequel to Kagen the Damned, Son of the Poison Rose will be available on January 10, 2023.  Here’s the synopsis…

Son of the Poison Rose marks the second installment of New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry’s epic, swashbuckling Kagen the Damned series.

The Silver Empire is in ruins. War is in the wind. Kagen and his allies are on the run from the Witch-king. Wild magic is running rampant everywhere. Spies and secret cabals plot from the shadows of golden thrones.

Kagen Vale is the most wanted man in the world, with a death sentence on his head and a reward for him―dead or alive―that would tempt a saint.

The Witch-king has new allies who bring a terrible weapon―a cursed disease that drives people into a murderous rage. If the disease is allowed to spread, the whole of the West will tear itself apart.

In order to build an army of resistance fighters and unearth magical weapons of his own, Kagen and his friends have to survive attacks and storms at sea, brave the haunted wastelands of the snowy north, fight their way across the deadly Cathedral Mountains, and rediscover a lost city filled with cannibal warriors, old ghosts, and monsters from other worlds. Along with his reckless adventurer brothers, Kagen races against time to save more than the old empire… if he fails the world will be drenched in a tsunami of bloodshed and horror.

Son of the Poison Rose weaves politics and espionage, sorcery and swordplay, treachery and heroism as the damned outcast Kagen fights against the forces of ultimate darkness.

Pre-orders are available now.

Son of the Poison Rose Paperback
Son of the Poison Rose Kindle

“The Raven” (1935) starring Boris Karloff & Bela Lugosi / Z-View

The Raven (1935)

Director:  Lew Landers aka Louis Friedlander

Screenplay: David Boehm based on the poem by Edgar Allan Poe

Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lester Matthews, Irene Ware, Samuel S. Hinds, Spencer Charters and Ian Wolfe

Tagline: While this mad surgical genius chanted “The Raven,” horrible screams rose up from his torture chamber below!

The Plot…

Dr. Richard Vollin (Lugosi), who is obsessed with Edgar Allan Poe, is called out of retirement to perform a life-saving operation on Jean Thatcher (Ware).  The operation is a success.  Jean and Dr. Vollin become friends.  As the friendship grows, Vollin becomes obsessed with Jean.

When escaped killer Edmond Bateman (Karloff) shows up at Dr. Vollin’s mansion asking for a facelift, Vollin comes up with a sick plan.  He performs the operation, but turns Bateman into a hideous looking monster.  Vollin says he will fix Bateman’s face if Bateman will help him kill Jean’s fiance and father.  Vollin plans to murder them using methods based on Edgar Allan Poe stories.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Although Bela Lugosi had the leading role in The Raven, Boris Karloff got top billing.  In addition Karloff earned $10,000 to Lugosi’s $5,000.  Lugosi was reportedly unhappy to learn this news.

The idea of disfiguring an escaped murderer to make him do your bidding is an interesting take.  Credit to the writers to wrap that idea around an obsession with Edgar Allan Poe.   I wish the end result was as good as the ideas.

The Raven earns 2 of 5 stars.

“Interview with the Vampire” Season 1 (2022) starring Jacob Anderson, Sam Reid, Eric Bogosian, and Bailey Bass / Z-View

Interview with the Vampire Season 1 (2022)

Directors:  Alan Taylor (episodes 1-2); Keith Powell (episodes 3-4); Levan Akin (episodes 5-6); Alexis Ostrander (episode 7)

Teleplay: Rolin Jones (episode 1); Jonathan Ceniceroz & Dave Harris (episode 2); Rolin Jones & Hannah Moscovitch (episode 3); Eleanor Burgess (episode 4); Hannah Moscovitch (episode 5); Coline Abert (episode 6); Rolin Jones & Ben Philippe (episode 7)

Stars: Jacob Anderson, Sam Reid, Eric Bogosian, Assad Zaman, Bailey Bass, Rae Dawn Chong and Dana Gourrier

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

Interview with a Vampire is an adaptation of Anne Rice’s novel, Interview with a Vampire.

In 1910, Louis de Pointe du Lac (Anderson) is a successful black business man.  He owns several brothels and rubs shoulders with many of the city’s civic leaders.  Louis meets and befriends  Lestat de Lioncourt (Reid).  Lestat is handsome, charismatic and somewhat mysterious.  He’s also a vampire! As Louis and Lestat spend time together, their friendship grows.  Ultimately, Lestat turns Louis into a vampire.

Louis is shocked and sickened by what he’s become.  He vows to never see Lestat again… but that doesn’t last.  Lestat teaches Louis how to hunt, the things that will kill a vampire, and how to blend in among humans.  Louis makes Lestat agree to some concessions.  They will prey only on the worst humans.  Lestat agrees, but he’s a remorseless killer.  The promise is a sham. There is more that Lestat keeps secret.

When a fire breaks out in a poor part of town, Louis pulls Claudia (Bass), a young girl, from a burning building.  Claudia is on the verge of death.  Louis saves Claudia by turning her.  Louis and Lestat become her “uncles” and the three vampires live together.

Over time Claudia sees the differences between Louis and Lestat. Louis is compassionate and caring.  Lestat is self-centered and heartless.  A rift forms.  Louis and Lestat are already having issues with their toxic relationship.  Problems increase with Claudia’s need for independence. Plus rumors are growing about strange goings on in Louis and Lestat’s mansion…

All of this is relayed in flashbacks as Louis is interviewed by Daniel Malloy (Bogosian), a cynical writer planning a book on Louis’ life.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Interview with the Vampire Season 1 is a tour de force.  Well written with extremely well cast actors joined by top notch direction results in a wonderful viewing experience.

Jacob Anderson (Louis) and Sam Reid (Lestat) have chemistry.  I knew Anderson from his impressive role on Game of Thrones.  I had seen Reid a decade ago in the mini-series Hatfields & McCoys, but didn’t remember him until looking up his credits.  Reid makes an impact here! Baily Bass as Claudia is an actress to watch.  I’d never seen her before, but imagine she’ll be a household name soon.  She’s that talented.  Eric Bogosian is great as the cynical writer.  I’ve never been a big fan of Bogosian’s but he’s perfect here.

Interview with a Vampire isn’t your typical vampire tale.  These vampires have more desires than just drinking blood. It’s interesting how different aspects of a vampire’s life are explored.  First there’s the loneliness. A vampire is a rare creature that if discovered by humans would be killed.  All of a vampire’s relationships change.  Family and friends know something is different.  Vampires never age.  They are rarely seen during the day.  How  to get rid of the bodies they feed on?  How long before missing people are linked to the vampire?

Interview with a Vampire Season 1, like Anne Rice’s novel, doesn’t shy away from the homosexual aspects of Louis and Lestat’s relationship.  Nothing graphic is shown.  Louis was a closeted homosexual in 1910.  Lestat was uninhibited and took whatever he desired whether it was a woman or a man.  Who’d think that a toxic vampire relationship would make great television.

I loved every episode of Interview with a Vampire Season 1.  There’s a lot of ground to cover between 1910 and 2022.  While many questions were an answered even more were not.  I look forward to Season 2.

Interview with the Vampire Season 1 earns 5 of 5 stars.

RIP: Mike Hodges

Mike Hodges, the British writer, director and producer died on December 17, 2022.  Mr. Hodges was 90.

Mike Hodges began his career as a teleprompter operator for British television.  In his down time, Mr. Hodges began writing scripts. His writing was good enough to get him noticed. Mike Hodges directing career began with episodes of British television shows.  He continued writing screenplays.

Suspect (1969) and Rumour (1970) were two scripts that he wrote and directed for Thames Television.  The strength of his work on those two films led to him getting to adapt Ted Lewis’ novel Jack’s Return Home.  Mr. Hodges directed his adaptation which was retitled, Get Carter.  If he never made another film, Mike Hodges would be remembered for this crime classic.

Mike Hodges continued directing, but he also branched out to write stage plays, radio plays and novellas.

Some of Mr. Hodges’ feature films include: Get Carter; The Terminal Man; Damien: The Omen II; Flash Gordon; A Prayer for the Dying; Croupier and I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mike Hodges’ family, friends and fans.

“All Quiet on the Western Front” (2022) / Z-View

All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)

Director:  Edward Berger

Screenplay: Ian Stokell, Lesley Paterson, Edward Berger based on the novel  All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

Stars: Felix Kammerer, Albrecht Schuch

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

Paul Bäumer (Krammerer) is about to graduate high school when he and his classmates hear a rousing patriotic speech about joining the service.  Paul and his friends enlist thinking that the war will be over soon and they’ll come back heroes.  They will learn how wrong they are… if they survive.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

All Quiet on the Western Front is based on Erich Maria Remarque’s anti-war novel of the same name.  Written in 1929, it was banned when the Nazis took over Germany.  All Quiet on the Western Front has been adapted three times.  Twice for feature films and once for television.  It’s a timeless story about the harsh realities of war.

This 2022 adaptation is excellent.  It won National Review awards as one of the Top Five Foreign Language Films and for Best Adapted Screenplay.  It won for Best Makeup and Hairstyling as well as Best Visual Effects in the European Film Awards.

All Quiet on the Western Front contains powerful, tense scenes of war that are heightened by quiet moments before and after the carnage.  There are scenes that will stay with you.  For me, one of the most telling is when the new recruits are unknowingly given uniforms taken off dead soldiers.  The bullet holes having been sewn together by scores of women at sewing machines.

It’s also a sad comment when young soldiers on both sides are in the elements with little to eat, fighting the weather as well as each other. Meanwhile diplomats and high ranking soldiers are getting the best food and amenities as they argue the terms of surrender.  Then when an agreement to end the war at 11:00 is reached, one power-hungry commander orders his soldiers to make a last minute attack that will cost many, many lives but have no positive outcome to the war.

If I was to nitpick, I might say that All Quiet on the Western Front was a bit long, but not long enough to kill my enjoyment of it.

All Quiet on the Western Front earns 4 of 5 stars.