The Tin Drum by Günter Grass

Read: 18 May, 2013

Oskar Matzerath (or Bronski, or perhaps Koljaiczek) decided at the age of three that he would stop growing. And so he did. Though years passed, little Oskar remained a three year old – a three year old who did not speak but merely beat his drum and sing-shattered glass.

I enjoyed The Tin Drum, but I found it hard going. It took me a really long time to get through and I think that a lot of it went over my head, but it was quite interesting and very very funny.

The book is weird, very weird, and there’s quite a few gross scenes that I wish I could unread. It was quite fun to peak over my book every so often and tell my family about the eels, or about the finger in the jar, or the coconut-carpet rape…. Yeah, it’s pretty weird.

It was also a very dense book, and required quite a high level of engagement to catch the references and connections. That’s (mostly) why it took me so long to get through it.

It’s one of those books that I’m glad to have read, but I’m also glad to be done with it.

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