The Tin Drum, one of the great novels of the twentieth century, became a runaway bestseller and catapulted its young author to the forefront of world literature. Now on the book’s fiftieth anniversary comes this new translation by Breon Mitchell, one that is faithful to Grass’ style and rhythm, restores omissions, and reflects more fully the complexity of the original work.
This is the story of Oskar Matzerath, a dwarfish hunchback detained in a mental hospital, convicted of a murder he did not commit. On the day of his third birthday, Oskar received his first tin drum, and from then on it is the means of his expression, allowing him to draw forth memories from his eccentric past as well as judgments about the horrors he observed through the nightmare of the Nazi era. The rhythms of Oskar’s drums are intricate and insistent, and they lead us, often by way of shocking fantasy, through the dark forest of German history. Through Oskar’s piercing, outspoken voice and deformed figure, through the imaginative distortion and exaggeration of historical experience, a startlingly true portrayal of the human situation comes into view.
Download and start listening now!