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Extended Audio Sample The Box: Tales from the Dark Room, by Günter Grass Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Günter Grass Narrator: Stefan Rudnicki Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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“Once upon a time there was a father who, because he had grown old, called together his sons and daughters—four, five, six, eight in number—and finally convinced them, after long hesitation, to do as he wished. Now they are sitting around a table and begin to talk…”

In a great literary experiment, Nobel Prize winner Günter Grass writes in the voices of his eight children as they record memories of their childhoods, of growing up, and of their father, who was always at work on a new book, always at the margins of their lives. Memories contradictory, critical, loving, accusatory—they piece together an intimate picture of this most public of men, a shadowy but loving figure. There is one constant though: Marie, a family friend and photographer whose snapshots taken with an old-fashioned Agfa box camera provide the author with inspiration for his novels. But her images offer much more; they reveal a truth beyond the ordinary detail of life, depict the future, tell what might have been, and grant the wishes, in visual form, of those photographed. Marie’s camera thus becomes a way for Grass to speak in the voices of his children’s hidden selves—their dreams, their disappointments, their secret desires and fears—and to see his own life from unexpected perspectives.

Recalling J. M. Coetzee’s Summertime and Umberto Eco’s The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, The Box is an inspired and daring work of fiction. In its candor, wit, and earthiness, it is Grass at his best.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “It may not be a memoir, but it is an exercise in soul-searching…this is a novel of great humility, questioning whether the measure of a life really is a life’s work…[Grass] shows a remarkable willingness to kick a hole in the usual self-importance of a prize-winning author.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Grass’ latest sheds light on a role the revered German author has thus far only touched upon: fatherhood. Grass gathers his eight children…to recount memories of their childhoods and of their often absent father…Though he controls the puppet strings of his fictionalized progeny, Grass allows their resentments and shared passions to come through as he eloquently opens up his life, once again, to public scrutiny.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “This work continues Grass’ attempt to capture his autobiography in fiction…Here, he is in his eighties, reconstructing his life through the memories of his eight children…Recommended for those interested in magical realism along the lines of Gabriel García Márquez and Jorge Luis Borges.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Leroy | 4/9/2011

    " The author won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1999, but this book, while interestingly written, lacked profundity. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kaworu | 3/1/2011

    " Muddled and dull, but had some brief moments where Grass was at top form. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Savannah | 1/19/2011

    " Interesting, but I wasn't really impressed with the approach. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Bob | 1/3/2011

    " Wow. I better find some more time to read Gunter Grass. This short novel was extraordinary in explaining the love, loss, trials and tribulations of a large group of siblings whose father is a famous author. "

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