The Tin Drum (Paperback)
Acclaimed as the greatest German novel written since the end of World War II, The Tin Drum is the autobiography of thirty-year-old Oskar Matzerath, who has lived through the long Nazi nightmare and who, as the novel begins, is being held in a mental institution. Willfully stunting his growth at three feet for many years, wielding his tin drum and piercing scream as anarchistic weapons, he provides a profound yet hilarious perspective on both German history and the human condition in the modern world.
Translated from the German by Ralph Manheim.
"When Günter Grass published The Tin Drum in 1959, it was as if German literature had been granted a new beginning after decades of linguistic and moral destruction. Within the pages of this, his first novel, Grass re-created the lost world from which his creativity sprang: Danzig, his home town, as he remembered it from the years of his infancy before the catastrophe of war. Here he comes to grips with the enormous task of reviewing contemporary history by recalling the disavowed and the forgotten: the victims, losers, and lies that people wanted to forget because they had once believed in them. The unforgettable Oskar Matzerath is an intellectual whose critical approach is childishness, a one-man carnival, dadaism in action in everyday German provincial life just when this small world becomes involved in the sanity of the great world surrounding it. It is not too audacious to assume that The Tin Drum will become one of the enduring literary works of the twentieth century."
-- The Swedish Academy, awarding Günter Grass the Nobel Prize for Literature, 1999