To compensate for his unusually large Adam's apple - source of both comfort and stress - 14-year-old Mahlke turns himself into an athlete and ace driver. Soon he is known to the nation as "The Great Mahlke" but remains a target to his enemies. He is different, and doomed.
THE BOOK: To compensate for his unusually large Adam's apple- source of both comfort and distress- fourteen year old Mahlke turns himself into athlete and ace diver. Soon he is known to his peers and his nation as 'The Great Mahlke'. But to his enemies, he remains a target. He is different and doomed in a country scarred by Nazi volence and the war.
Gunter Grass (1927-2015) was Germany's most celebrated post-war writer. He was a creative artist of remarkable versatility: novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, graphic artist. Grass's first novel, The Tin Drum, is widely regarded as one of the finest novels of the twentieth century, and he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1999.
"Grass is one of the master fabulists of our age" -- Michale Ratcliffe The Times "Grass is probably the nearest thing we have to a certain genius in living novelists" -- Marghanita Laski "Grass is one of the few great writers in Europe today" Sunday Telegraph
?? Gunter Grass' second novel is quite different in character from The Tin Drum??. ?? less of a showcase for an obstreperous talent (although there are still scenes of caricature and occasional scabrous humor), it is a more controlled book and far more internalized. This time the German-realist-surrealist, while again using many symbolic allusions, has subdued some of the abstractions, some of the elements of the absurd. The latter is chiefly apparent in the physical disfigurement of the central character which again singularizes him: the demonic Oskar Matzerath was a ??warf; now it is the protuberant Adam's apple which jumps conspicuously like a mouse ?? the neck of Mahlke whose story is told by his friend Pilenz. Both boys grow up together in a small Danzig town and the always solicitous, increasingly admiring Pilenz follows Mahlke, in a sense an unlikely hero, odd, quiet, solemn, devout, as ??e performs his amazing feats. These extend from the childish games, when- as an underwater diver- he brings up trophies from a sunken minesweeper in the bay, to the atrocities of war and his spectacular performance in action. Little by little, however, there is the erosion of the individual by the system and Mahlke, the "mouse", the "clown", but most of all the "redeemer" with his resounding faith, goes deliberately to his death. It is the gesture of the individual against the philistinism which has always dominated German life and which was so much a part of the earlier book.... A tantalizing, eloquent, strange and strangely moving book, filled with remarkable scenes, a tragi-comic vitality and a transcendental vision. (Kirkus Reviews)
"Grass is one of the master fabulists of our age"
SALES POINTS- Gunter Grass is postwar Germany's most celebrated and acclaimed novelist, and a writer who enjoys a pivotal role on the international literary stage. Beautiful repackage of a classic backlist title.