With All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque wrote one of the most famous and most successful novels of the 20th century. Beyond his literary achievements, he was a drunk and a lover of women; he had affairs with Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo, among others. In his biographical novel, Hans Boeters makes the writer come to life once more, from his childhood in Osnabrück to the urban canyons of New York.
It’s Erich Maria Remarque’s love affairs in particular that Hans Boeters dedicates his novel to: the dancer Ilse Jutta Zambona, whom he ends up marrying, Marlene Dietrich, the »divine« Greta Garbo or the Tsar’s niece Natasha Paley; and finally, Paulette Goddard, whom he meets at Charlie Chaplin’s side and with whom he spends a liberating and happy time. By contrasting Erich Maria Remarque’s love life with his wartime experiences, Hans Boeters accomplishes a fascinating literary portrait of the author – and an extraordinary acknowledgement 100 years after the end of World War I, so powerfully described by him.