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To mark the 50th anniversary of the original publication of this runaway best-seller, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, along with Grass's publishers all over the world, offer a new translation of this classic novel. Breon Mitchell, acclaimed translator and scholar, has drawn from many sources. The result is a translation that is faithful to Grass's style and rhythm, restores omissions, and reflects more fully the complexity of the original work. After 50 years, The Tin Drum has, if anything, gained in power and relevance.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Barry on 08-11-12
It's a metaphor, right?
One thing is for sure: this book is never boring. Funny, annoying, weird, and a lot of other things, but not boring. It's clear that a lot of things in the book are supposed to be metaphorical. I never did figure out what the tin drum was supposed to be. I did learn a lot about the German mindset through the first half of the 20th century. Or at least, I think I did. There's enough ambiguity that it's hard to tell what Grass's opinions are, what his countrymen actually thought, whether Oskar represents what people really thought or what they thought they thought, or something else. Which is probably true of most people in most places and times. That Grass is able to capture that essence is an accomplishment. That Oskar is perhaps the most aggravating protagonist in literature doesn't diminish that in any way.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
By Angel on 09-17-10
Grows on You
Upon listening to the first third of the Tin Drum, I scurried to my library and gave it a one star rating. I tried again, listening to the second section, and the rating went up to four stars. The book confounded me with the confabulations of the demented musings of a diminished man, who matures inside the body of a person who never grows any larger than a three-year-old. He takes refuge under women’s skirts, as he bears witness to the events of World War II during the invasion of Poland. Each and every of his mental constructs is made up of multiple, arcane, and original analogies. Freud and Young could have spent years arguing over whether coalescing “though bubbles” in his “steam of consciousness” tirades were really the apex of a series of “transferences,” harking back to some unconscious landscape of repressed memories or uncatalogued “archetypes” describing the most eclectic features of the collective unconscious. Such are the ravages or warring camps in the field of psychology, warring cognitions of adult and toddler occupying the same mind, tossed unwittingly about by the warring parties of World War II. Such carnage! It’s brilliant and bogus and you have to love it or hate it. I grew to love what I started out hating.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful