The Tin Drum
On his third birthday, at three feet tall, Oskar decides to stop growing. On the same day, he receives his first tin drum. Together with his piercing scream, he wields his drum as an anarchic weapon, drawing forth memories from the past and passing judgement on the horrors, injustices, and eccentricities he observes through the long nightmare of the Nazi era. Oskar participates in the German post-war economic miracle - working variously in the black market, as an artist's model, in a troupe of travelling musicians - yet he remains haunted by the deaths of his parents, and afflicted by his responsibility for past sins.
'Thus my task was destruction' To mark the centenary of the First World War, Vintage is launching a unique collection of war fiction. April 2014 will see the publication of twelve works by the greatest writers of the last century, each tackling this most powerful and universal of subjects.
Given Grass's close involvement with this new translation, it is fair to call this the definitive version of arguably the most important German novel of the post-war era. Observer Grass published his milestone of postwar literature 50 years ago, and the event is being celebrated with new translations...Mitchell's excellent translation reveals the novel as a timeless masterpiece. The Times Funny, macabre, disgusting, blasphemous, pathetic, horrifying, erotic, it is an endless delirium, an outrageous phantasmagoria in which dust from Goethe, Hans Andersen, Swift, Rabelais, Joyce, Aristophanes and Rochester dances on the point of a needle in the flame of a candle that was not worth the game Daily Telegraph At the ages of fourteen and fifteen, I had read Great Expectations twice - Dickens made me want to be a writer - but it was reading The Tin Drum at nineteen and twenty that showed me how. It was Gunter Grass who demonstrated that it was possible to be a living writer who wrote with Dickens' full range of emotion and relentless outpouring of language. Grass wrote with fury, love, derision, slapstick, pathos - all with an unforgiving conscience. John Irving, New York Times Book Review
Gunter Grass, born in Danzig in 1927, is Germany's most celebrated contemporary writer. He is a creative artist of remarkable versatility: novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, graphic artist. Grass was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1999.