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The Tin Drum Audio CD – Audiobook, May 2008


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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks; Unabridged edition (May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433245868
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433245862
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 17.3 x 5.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Review

"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 Günter 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) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

'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.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Jun. 2004
Format: Hardcover
I have been meaning to read this book since it came out in 1959, but only did so recently. My reason for delaying was that the reviews I had read of the book made it sound unappealing to me. Why did I want to read the unrealistic ramblings of an insane dwarf?
Having been impressed with Mr. Grass's recent work, Crabwalk, I finally decided to give The Tin Drum a try. I'm glad I did. Let me explain why.
In my studies of the Nazi era, I was always struck by comments that observers from that time made about how banal the evil of it all was. Yet much of the propaganda from that period (such as The Triumph of the Will) that we can see today makes the Nazis seem like mythic figures. What were the observers trying to say? I finally felt like I understood the point through reading The Tin Drum. Reading about distant battles while living in Germany before the bombing became great seems a lot like reading about attacks on coalition troops in Iraq now. Going to party meetings seems a lot like how people here go to lodge meetings now.
In the first 100 pages, I kept wondering why Mr. Grass had chosen to write the novel in the form of an autobiography of an insane dwarf pretending to have a mental age of 3 who had been convicted of a murder he did not commit. Eventually, it hit me. He needed a narrator who could not be considered complicit in what the Nazis did, or we could not trust his voice. In addition, how can you portray banal evils as insane unless you see them through the eyes of an "insane" person who makes all too much sense? Once I accepted the brilliance (perhaps even the inevitability of his choice), I settled back and really began to enjoy the story.
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By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback
Gunter takes the brutality of German/Polish relationships and then paints a strong adrenaline canvas of an immoral world, lying immersed in a land beyond good and evil; Jesus and Satan. Instead he based his picture upon exposing the myths upheld as true beliefs. In this respect Christianity differs minimally from all other forms of meaning people wish to believe in.

The book is set in the Polish corridor where Danzig, a city split between German and Polish inhabitants,given to Poland after WW1, became the centre of ethnic dispute. This finally becomes centred on the Post Office.

The little man Oskar refuses to become complicit with an adult world, veering and tottering within a straw basket of various forms of insanity. Every action within the diorama stems from what took place between the grandmothers skirts at the beginning of the book. Reality always emerges from this picture. They tumble out from beneath her to act their part in the tragedy.

In the real world people were sucked into a vortex of faith to find meaning and were then spat out again as corpses. Little Oskar is the man who pins the labels on the damned with child like innocence as he whirls the adults around in his head. The acts of faith revolve around various forms of patriotism and deceit. Sexual tension plays its role as Oskar seduces his stepmother creating the first adult/child love scene albeit depicted as a man trapped in a child's body. This book is concerned with pulling apart perception.

Gunter Grass has created a novel beyond the usual moralising of WW2 with its good versus bad mythologising. The Nasties were irredeemable but Gunter shows the complicit nature of the average citizen in sustaining the idealised dream.He later admitted his adolescent role in the madness.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Josh on 31 May 2011
Format: Hardcover
When I was at school, my English teacher told me to wait until I was twenty-one (because until then I wouldn't understand it)and then I should read this book. I did so. Furthermore, i did so immediately after reading Joachim Fest's biog of Hitler which adds enormously to one's understanding of many of the jokes etc. For all its flaws and, like much by GG it could have been pruned by a third, it is a work of genius as far removed from what came before as Sterne's Tristram Shandy. Unlike many innovative novels (eg James Joyce, B S Johnson) it not only opened up doors for subsequent authors, but is so great that they look like imitations. Midnight's Children is the most obvious "copy", excellent though it is. Even tighter, more honed books than Tin Drum such as 100 Years of Solitude or Owen Meaney (or indeed anything by the fabulously talented John Irving) owe everything to GG.
I may be wrong but, once GG dies and we re-evaluate his work, I reckon this will come to be regarded as the C20th's greatest novel. Yes, it has flaws, but it's a mad, wonderful feat of creativity, full of wit, humanity and astonishing imagery.
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41 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Jun. 2004
Format: Paperback
I have been meaning to read this book since it came out in 1959, but only did so now. My reason for delaying was that the reviews I had read of the book made it sound unappealing to me. Why did I want to read the unrealistic ramblings of an insane dwarf?
Having been impressed with Mr. Grass's recent work, Crabwalk, I finally decided to give The Tin Drum a try. I'm glad I did. Let me explain why.
In my studies of the Nazi era, I was always struck by comments that observers from that time made about how banal the evil of it all was. Yet much of the propaganda from that period (such as The Triumph of the Will) that we can see today makes the Nazis seem like mythic figures. What were the observers trying to say? I finally felt like I understood the point through reading The Tin Drum. Reading about distant battles while living in Germany before the bombing became great seems a lot like reading about attacks on coalition troops in Iraq now. Going to party meetings seems a lot like how people here go to lodge meetings now.
In the first 100 pages, I kept wondering why Mr. Grass had chosen to write the novel in the form of an autobiography of an insane dwarf pretending to have a mental age of 3 who had been convicted of a murder he did not commit. Eventually, it hit me. He needed a narrator who could not be considered complicit in what the Nazis did, or we could not trust his voice. In addition, how can you portray banal evils as insane unless you see them through the eyes of an "insane" person who makes all too much sense? Once I accepted the brilliance (perhaps even the inevitability of his choice), I settled back and really began to enjoy the story.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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