Dracu's Reviews > Toba de tinichea

Toba de tinichea by Günter Grass
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's review
Oct 06, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorite-books
Read from October 15 to November 07, 2011

"What more shall I say: born under light bulbs, deliberately stopped growing at age of three, given drum, sang glass to pieces, smelled vanilla, coughed in churches, observed ants, decided to grow, buried drum, emigrated to the West, lost the East, learned stonecutter's trade, worked as model, started drumming again, visited concrete, made money, kept finger, gave finger away, fled laughing, rode up escalator, arrested, convicted, sent to mental hospital, soon to be acquitted, celebrating this day my thirtieth birthday and still afraid of the Black Witch."

Oskar is a little monster. He stopped growing, break glass with his voice and annoy people with his tin drum. But Oskar won a Nobel. For what? How can a midget who can barely talk win this prize?

But he did it. For showing us this world from another perspective. Showing us WW2 - and war in general- from another perspective. He wasn't the English soldier who sees the horrors of war. He wasn't the German soldier who feels sorry for what he did. He wasn't the jew. He wasn't the journalist who show us the real face of war.
No.He was looking at those stupid adults from down to up but in the same time from up to down. They believe in Santa Claus, Santa Gas, Jesus, Hitler and Virgin Mary. He believe in his drum, in Goethe, in Rasputin and in Maria. His Maria. He care about holocaust only when the toy store owner is killed. And he can't get drums anymore. He listen Nazi new conquests for learning geography. He's a little prick and he don't show sympathy for anyone. In his surreal story, nobody escapes from his bitter direct irony. Except his grandmother.

You will hate him. And If you will hate him enough, maybe you will start to love him also.

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Reading Progress

10/18/2011 page 300
07/15/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Albert Gomperts Good that you remembered the Kashubian grandmother.

message 2: by T (new)

T Moore So much of The Tin Drum is its beautiful tail chasing prose..

It is the ultimate in stream of consciousness insanity (Think - Ulysses squared or even cubed and gone really cuckoo violent and sexually mad) ... (***It is not an easy read either)

In the end, it proves to be about all of ourselves - our dream state human condition - our living with our own insanity...

The story is really secondary IMO.. Saw one of these reviews that suggested, a Cupid modeling? (Well, I'm out on that one)...

Sure the old Baltic "open city" of Danzig is somewhat interesting - as are the conditions of the lives of the TDs strange characters of that unsettled age and place (and in post war Dusseldorf too).. But, in 200 to 300 years, that all will be rather meaningless to readers - at least, to those of who are not 20th century German/Polish scholars... The story is the fluff and stuffing - it will be more so then. . However, the book will still be strong and true then...

The story ends in a grand circular flourish of prose (this wonderful circling prose is found throughout) and dream thought - with our anti-anti hero Oskar simultaneously on an escalator in Paris, a few years before, with him pursued while faking at fleeing from a murder (we know, he didn't commit (not ruining the story here - as IMO, there is not much of one to ruin)) and him in his asylum in the present - on his last night on his life's 2nd most beloved white institutional bed before his release into a new life. ((****The book's characters are streamed before you here in a wonderful way - tears for me))

Come on!!! Really a new life for our Oskar Matzerath - IM - FFFF'n - POSSIBLE!!!

Time/one's age or their abstractions in our minds/lives are major themes - of course, besides, the madness of living a life as a human being..

Oskar and friends are all of us...

It is a brilliant book.. I just wish, he had broken some windows with his glass song (I really liked those parts the bestest) and bang banged a bit on his drum at the very end... Kinda like a wave good bye, for me and you, for having spent all that time with Oskar... But, alas, that is not our Oskar, is it??

One of the top reads of my life.

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