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The Flounder Paperback – 21 Jul 1997

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics; New Ed edition (21 July 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749394854
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749394851
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 242,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A masterpiece by one of the most gifted and original of contemporary writers. It is a book that will repay study and rereading. Only a churlish, insular reader could fail to respond to its bold and exhilarating historical sweep, its poetic celebration of food and the arts of cooking" (New Statesman)

"Grass spices his potent brew with a juicy concoction of tales and anecdotes, and a rich, Rabelaisian humour" (Daily Telegraph)

"I know of no one else capable of writing anything like it" (Sunday Times)

"Grass is one of the few great writers in Europe today" (Sunday Telegraph)

Book Description

Nobel Prize-winning author Günter Grass takes as his theme the relationships between food, women and war as he re-imagines the fairy tale of The Fisherman and His Wife.

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3.9 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If this is what they give Nobel Prizes out for then the currency of the Swedish Academy has devalued since the days they gave it to Pirandello (if not Proust).

Fun in places, the Flounder himself has a 'voice' a bit like Mel Brooks in The 1000 Year Old Man sketch. Unfortunately the Flounder is not quite so funny. The book is long and meandering and although much publicity at the time referred to its 'Rabeliasan humour' (had it been written in English the cliche would have reversed polarity to 'Joycean humour', trust me!) but the laughs are few and far between.

The passages that are set in the (then) contemporary 1970s have aged the most.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's a sprawling story,loosely divided into 9 parts,each one marking a month of the narrator's wife's pregnancy,and also the lives of nine women who lived in the Danzig/Gdansk area,starting from the end of the Ice Ages.
Into this,Grass also adds a talking fish,The Flounder,who has observed life on the Baltic coast for this time,and has advised and criticised both men and women over this age.The flounder is of ccourse the fish from the fairy story"The Fisherman's Wife".
The novel evolves into a very funny and well-written account of the relationship between men and women over the ages,from Stone Age matriarchy to a feminist tribunal judging the Flounder in 1970s West Berlin.Add in some poetry,a side-trip to India and making a TV documentary about restoring Baltic architecture(amongst other things)and you have one of Grass's best novels.Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
One of the best books I've ever slogged my way through. The way he picks apart man verses woman, via the diplomacy of a fish... well you have to read it to believe it. Funny & bizarre. History, myth, magic, folklore & a love of all food. Fill your belly.
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Format: Paperback
There is no doubt that this book is well written. Grass clearly demonstrated his literary abilities in The Tin Drum, but this book is so hard to plough through, I couldn't even finish it. I also found it annoyingly misogynistic. The most annoying thing about it is that there are lots of interesting ideas, and gripping parts, but the constant change from theme to theme and character to character with no logical thread makes this very hard to read.
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