The publication of The Tin Drum in 1959 launched Günter Grass as an author of international repute. Bitter and impassioned, it delivers a scathing dissection of the years from 1925 to 1955 through the eyes of Oskar Matzerath, the dwarf whose manic beating on the toy of his retarded childhood fantastically counterpoints the accumulating horrors of Germany and Poland under the Nazis.
This is a big book in every sense, full of extraordinary scenes and characters: even on a single reading it seems prodigally rich in comic invention, and demands to be worried at time and again
Grass wrote with fury, love, derision, slapstick, pathos - all with an unforgiving conscience
Grass is one of the master fabulists of our age
The novel is as monstrous as its hero, pullalating with a kind of anti-life... Gunter Grass may have written the nearest thing to a literary masterpiece his generation is capable of producing
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