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Danzig 16 Oct. 1927 German poet and novelist
|ON GüNTER GRASS' BOOKSHELF|
Franz Kafka, 1915
'published in Kafka's lifetime'
A man wakes up one morning to find himself transformed into an enormous insect.
Alfred Döblin, 1929
The story of Franz Biberkopf, a Berlin proletarian who tries to rehabilitate himself after his release from jail but undergoes a series of vicissitudes, many of them violent and squalid, before he can finally attain a normal life.
The Adventures of Simplicius Simplicissimus
Hans Jakob Christoph von Grimmelshausen, 1668
Written against a background of the Thirty Years' War, this renowned picaresque classic recounts with biting satire the vagabond adventures of a not-so-simple simpleton during one of Europe's fiercest, yet ultimately most futile wars.
Doctor Faustus: The Life of the German Composer Adrian Leverkuhn as Told by a Friend
Thomas Mann, 1947
The story of Adrian Leverkuhn, whose extraordinary career is charted, from his precocious childhood to his tragic death. His revelation of the horrifying price he had to pay for his achievement highlights Mann's vast theme: the discord between genius and sanity.
Theodor Fontane, 1898
The Stechlin mourns the decline of the aristocracy through the lens of a narrative about a single family that bears the same name as a lake.
And Where Were You, Adam?
Heinrich Böll, 1951
Hitler's once great army is broken and demoralized, the end of the war is imminent--but still soldiers are rounded up like criminals and sent to the front, Jews are 'evacuated, ' guns are fired, shells explode. In this novel Boll paints war as a series of idiocies, senseless accidents, and bizarre coincidences related only through death.
|BOOKS BY GüNTER GRASS:|
The Tin Drum
"Danzig Trilogy": I
A scathing dissection of the years from 1925-1955 through the eyes of Oskar, the dwarf whose manic beating on the toy of his childhood fantastically counterpoints the horrors of Germany and Poland under the Nazis.
|WHAT TO READ AFTER THE TIN DRUM?|
INFLUENCED BY GRASS
A Prayer for Owen Meany
John Irving, 1990
Eleven-year-old Owen Meany, playing in a Little League baseball game in New Hampshire, hits a foul ball and kills his best friend's mother. Owen does not believe in accidents and believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul is both extraordinary and terrifying.
Salman Rushdie, 1983
Omar Khayyam Shakil had three mothers who shared the symptoms of pregnancy, as they did everything else, inseparably. At their six breasts, Omar was warned against all feelings and nuances of shame. It was training which would prove useful when he left his mothers' fortress (via the dumb-waiter) to face his shameless future...
THAT TIN DRUM FEELING
The Discovery of Heaven
Harry Mulisch, 1992
On a cold night in Holland, Max Delius picks up Onno Quist, a chaotic philologist who cannot bear the banalities of everyday life. They are like fire and water. But when they learn that they were conceived on the same day, it is clear that something extraordinary is about to happen.
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Gabriel García Márquez, 1967
This magical realist novel tells the history of the Buendías family, the founders of Macondo, a remote South American settlement. In the world of the novel there is a Spanish galleon beached in the jungle, a flying carpet, and an iguana in a woman's womb.
Michel Tournier, 1970
The Ogre follows the passage of strange, gentle Abel Tiffauges from submissive schoolboy to "ogre" of the Nazi school at the castle of Kaltenborn.
The Baron in the Trees
Italo Calvino, 1957
A young, eighteenth-century Italian nobleman defies parental authority by adopting an exclusively arboreal life, watching from his perch in the trees the passing of the Enlightenment and participating in its various delights and duties.
THE HUMOR AND MADNESS OF WAR
Joseph Heller, 1961
At the heart of Joseph Heller's bestselling novel, first published in 1961, is a satirical indictment of military madness and stupidity, and the desire of the ordinary man to survive it.
The Good Soldier Svejk and His Fortunes in the World War
Jaroslav Hasek, 1920-1923
The deeply funny story of a hapless Czech soldier in the Austro-Hungarian army - dismissed for incompetence only to be pressed into service by the Russians in World War I (where he is captured by his own troops).
Kurt Vonnegut, 1969
Billy Pilgrim, a very young infantry scout, is captured in the Battle of the Bulge and quartered in a Dresden slaughterhouse where he and other prisoners are employed in the production of a vitamin supplement for pregnant women.
First published in 1963, this is the concluding part of the 'Danzig Trilogy.' In a fusion of mythology and reality, magic and romance, it charts 40 years of German history from 1917, with the objective of exposing the madness of a society that bred and nurtured the Third Reich.
|Cat and Mouse|
First published in 1977, this novel is based on the fairy story 'The Fisherman and His Wife'. Multi-layered and laced with poetry and humour, it analyzes the battle of the sexes.
A female rat engages the narrator in a series of dialogues -c onvincingly demonstrating to him that the rats will inherit a devastated earth. Dreams alternate with reality in this story within a story within a story.
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