THE TIN DRUM by Günter Grass

Great review of a book that SHOULD be read

What Has Been Read Cannot Be Unread

Tin DrumThere are books that I like, books that I like a lot, and books that kind of slap you upside the head and whisper fiercely in your ear, “Now THIS is a book.  THIS is great writing.  THIS is how it is done.”

The Tin Drum is still muttering in my ear, for many reasons.  It’s when I start muttering back that things get a bit sticky.

It is a delicious example of what we might call magic realism, a first-person narration by what soon becomes apparent is an unreliable narrator, Oskar Matzerath.  The book’s first sentence:

Granted: I’m an inmate in a mental institution;

lassoed me in and never stopped enthralling me from then on.  Oskar starts off by first telling about his grandmother who wore 4 skirts, one on top of another, all the color of potatoes.  She had five, and changed the order of the layers daily…

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