Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Too Far Afield” as Want to Read:
Too Far Afield
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Too Far Afield

3.16  ·  Rating details ·  175 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
From the Nobel Prize-winning author of My Century and The Tin Drum, a novel of broad historical proportions set in Berlin during the years of German reunification.

Two old men roam through Berlin observing life in the former German Democratic Republic after the fall of the Wall in 1989. Theo Wuttke, a former East German functionary, is a keen observer and a gifted speaker.
Paperback, 672 pages
Published October 5th 2001 by Mariner Books (first published January 1st 1995)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Too Far Afield, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Too Far Afield

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Ίσως αν ήμουν Γερμανός να το εκτιμούσα περισσότερο...
Ίσως αν ήμουν πιο εξοικειωμένος με την γερμανική ιστορία και λογοτεχνία να το εκτιμούσα περισσότερο...
Ίσως αν το είχα παρατήσει από την αρχή (αφού έβλεπα ότι δεν τραβάει το πράγμα) και να είχα επενδύσει διαφορετικά την ώρα που προσπαθούσα να καταλάβω τι διάολο θέλει να πει ο πεζογράφος να είχα διαβάσει 4-5 άλλα βιβλία που να μου άρεσαν περισσότερο.
Ίσως ο Γκρας να αποφάσισε να γράψει ένα βιβλίο για Γερμανούς που δεν αφορά κανέναν άλλο.

Ian Rogers
Mar 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
I am a big fan of Gunter Grass, and have read nearly everything he has written that has been translated in to English, including his essays. I count some of his novels like "the Tin Drum" & "Dog Years" amongst my favourite reads of all time. This book, however, is not among them. Long, drawn-out, meandering, heavy-handed... I was quite excited to read this book and am left feeling quite disappointed.
Jul 15, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: germany
Reich Ranicki hat recht; Autoren, die Ruhm und ein gewisses Alter erreicht haben werden nicht mehr vernünftig lektoriert. Der Roman hat viele charmante Ansätze aber es hapert 1. an einem Plott und 2. ist er viel zu lang-weilig. Eine Kürzung um ca. 400 Seiten, um sich auf einen Kern zu konzentrieren wäre hilfreich gewesen.
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This one was very much of direct interest to me, because of the subject matter. Also, the author is one of my favorite 20th century German thinkers, and he had only died recently. I found the story, the experiences they were conveying, the whole ambience captivating. This is one of the rare books I will probably read again sometime.
Nov 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
At the risk of turning my list into an extended love affair with Gunter Grass, I must say a few things about this recent novel. This is a major work, first published in 1995, 670 some odd pages in English. I must admit that for the first few hundred pages I fully intended to get rid of the book after finishing it, because the "subject," nineteenth century German novelist Theodor Fontane, was not very interesting to me. But let me explain the sense in which he is the subject. The context of the n ...more
James H
Feb 09, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
As I completely enjoyed Grass' older well known works (der Blechtrommel, Katz und Maus..) I was looking forward to this book. I recall both "Ein Weites Feld" and Grass himself were embroiled in controversy at the time after publishing due to some revelations about his SS past and so I expected it to be at least an interesting read. Unfortunately this book didn't live up to that expectation. It took me an eternity to read since it is, frankly, boring and repetitive and steeped in difficult to und ...more
Parallele und verwobene Handlungsstränge aus der Wendezeit der DDR und der Wiedervereinigung und vom Ende des 20. Jahrhunderts. Die beiden Hauptfiguren aus der DDR, der Querdenker Theo Wuttke und sein Spitzel Hoftaller, sind Spiegel zweier historischer Gestalten: Theodor Fontane ( und Tallhover ( Die Beziehungen und Verstrickungen bis hin zu ihren Familiengeschichten wiederholen und vermischen sich und nehmen ständi ...more
Jan 05, 2015 rated it did not like it
“Just recently he wrote to me: “It was Marx’s mistake to cast the pearls of his insight before the swine of a party.” He may be right, even if I must add that I didn’t care one whit for Marx, not even during the time we shared in London; Dickens had more to say.”

Social and political changes never happened without painful or tragic costs, and in reality normal people are the ones who are suffering most. Although history books discuss the details of the events with obsession but there are rarely a
Jul 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
It is with great sorrow that I come to the finish of "Too Far Afield." With the help of Wikipedia this book taught me volumes of German history and literature. For non-German readers, I highly recommend researching all the unknowns you will find in each paragraph of this large tome. The rich overview of 100+ years of Germania will leave you satisfied. You will need months in which to plow your way through, however.

**** you will benefit in your understanding of this novel if you read "Effi Briest
May 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
As mentioned in previous reviews, a broad and deep understanding of German history would benefit appreciation of this book. I found myself consistently putting it down and picking it back up. Why? I wondered. Grass does a fantastic job of character development in Too Far Afield, and I always came back to it in order to return to these characters. Even so, I often felt bored reading Too Far Afield and complained fairly bitterly and openly about how much I disliked reading it, because I found it s ...more
May 13, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: littkreis
Ich hielt nach dem zweiten Buch: Deutsch zu schwierig und ich verpasst auch die ganze Hintergrundinformationen über die Geschichte von Preußen ab. Update: ich habe es bis zum Ende gelesen, aber auf English.

Mi sono fermata dopo il secondo libro (che sono quasi 300 pagine comunque) perché il tedesco alla fine era difficile e mi mancavano tutte le informazioni sulla storia della Germania dal momento in cui aveva smesso di chiamarsi Prussia in poi. Update: a causa del mio disturbo ossessivo ho dovut
Sep 19, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Είναι η τρίτη φορά που προσπαθώ να το διαβάσω, δυστυχώς δεν τα κατάφερα πάλι, απλά... δεν είναι για μένα... με κούρασε πάρα πάρα πολύ και δεν είμαι τόσο ψυχαναγκαστικός ώστε να πρέπει οπωσδήποτε να το τελειώσω.
Jun 18, 2010 rated it did not like it
I guess this book would be OK for a German citizen or a German historian, which I am not, who would be acquainted with the many people talked about in this story. I really liked The Tin Drum and hoped this would be an equal.
Jul 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I think I liked this better than The Tin Drum, although I would understand if most people thought I was crazy. Two men, tied together through history, and making their ways through a Nazi, a communist, and a capitalist regime. They push and pull, and are utterly flawed. And random.
ok read. some things lost in translation though. the humor was entertaining.
William Mitchell
Mar 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Great book depicting life after the fall of the Berlin Wall . Gripping
Oct 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Brought back great memories from Berlin. He is one of the great German writers, but it is better in German.
Jun 16, 2009 rated it liked it
You should have a thorough knowledge of German history and literature for this novel to have any context (which I don't).
Aug 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Rambles on a bit, nevertheless an interesting view of life in the Zone.
David Cain
Jul 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Marvelous, fascinating, unique and simply Grass.
rated it it was ok
Oct 24, 2012
Chiara Peveri
rated it liked it
Oct 02, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Oct 15, 2011
rated it really liked it
Sep 26, 2014
Robert Collins
rated it it was ok
May 22, 2012
Ye Lwin
rated it it was amazing
Sep 29, 2017
Werner Camps
rated it liked it
Mar 06, 2017
Paul Gleason
rated it liked it
Mar 31, 2012
Mike Dominelli
rated it it was ok
May 31, 2017
rated it liked it
Nov 27, 2009
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Doktor Murkes gesammeltes Schweigen und andere Satiren
  • The Riverside Milton
  • Historical Romances
  • Nadirs
  • Road-side Dog
  • The Stechlin
  • The Interrogation
  • Deutschland schafft sich ab
  • Deutschland, ein Wintermärchen
  • The Collected Stories
  • Professor Unrat
  • Little Man, What Now?
  • Transit
  • Where Europe Begins
  • The Old Man and the Sea/The Sun Also Rises/A Farewell to Arms/For Whom the Bell Tolls
Günter Wilhelm Grass was a Nobel Prize-winning German novelist, poet, playwright, illustrator, graphic artist, and sculptor.
He was born in the Free City of Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland). Since 1945, he lived in West Germany, but in his fiction he frequently returned to the Danzig of his childhood. He always identified himself as a Kashubian.

He is best known for his first novel, "The Tin Drum" (1959)
More about Günter Grass

Fiction Deals

  • Echoes of Family
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Checking Out
    $4.99 $1.99
  • This Is the Story of You
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Outlaw
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Transit
    $9.99 $3.99
  • Class Mom
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Drawing Lessons
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Revolution 2020
    $3.99 $0.99
  • A General Theory of Oblivion
    $13.99 $1.99
  • The Bloom Girls
    $3.99 $1.99
  • So B. It
    $6.74 $1.99
  • Island Beneath the Sea
    $10.49 $1.99
  • Petersburg
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Life is What You Make It: A Story of Love, Hope and How Determination Can Overcome Even Destiny
    $1.99 $0.99
  • As Good as True
    $4.99 $1.99
  • First Comes Love
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Last Telegram
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Spinning Heart: A Novel
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Ocean Liner
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Every Day Is Mother's Day
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Breakdown: A Love Story
    $3.99 $0.99
  • A Blaze of Glory (Civil War: 1861-1865, Western Theater, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The House Girl
    $8.24 $1.99
  • The Shepherdess of Siena
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Man Who Could Be King
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Challenger Deep
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Wildflowers (Glenbrooke, #8)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • A Mother's Secret (Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Great Man
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Chasing Rainbows: A Novel
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Vagrants
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Perfect Son
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Winnowing Season (Amish Vines and Orchards, #2)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Feathered Bone
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Secrets of the Tudor Court
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Things They Carried
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Woman Last Seen in Her Thirties
    $3.99 $1.99
  • A Reunion Of Ghosts
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Crooked Little Lies
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
    $12.99 $1.99
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »