The Tin Drum: A New Translation by Breon Mitchell

By  Günter Grass
Translated by Breon Mitchell  
Read by Paul Michael Garcia

25.38 Hours 10/08/2009 unabridged
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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.

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Summary

Summary

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.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“At the ages of fourteen and fifteen, I had read Great Expectations twice—Dickens made me want to be a writer—but it was reading The Tin Drum at nineteen and twenty that showed me how. It was Günter Grass who demonstrated that it was possible to be a living writer who wrote with Dicken’s full range of emotion and relentless outpouring of language. Grass wrote with fury, love, derision, slapstick, pathos—all with an unforgiving conscience.” New York Times Book Review
“When Günter Grass published The Tin Drum in 1959, it was as if German literature had been granted a new beginning after decades of linguistic and moral destruction. Within the pages of this, his first novel, Grass re-created the lost world from which his creativity sprang...It is not too audacious to assume that The Tin Drum will become one of the enduring literary works of the twentieth century.” The Swedish Academy
“Breon Mitchell’s new translation of The Tin Drum shows it to be the masterpiece it is, and Paul Michael Garcia’s performance…serves it well…Together, Garcia, Grass, and Mitchell take listeners on a tour of love, war, and madness.” AudioFile
“The story…flows smoothly, carried along by the prose and Garcia’s captivating performance. He reads with a dramatic intensity, giving Oskar (the narrator of the book) the voice of a man who seems to be talking to himself, listening, analyzing, and checking his words…Garcia’s masterful performance brings unreliable, unforgettable Oskar vividly to life.” Booklist
“German author Günter Grass collaborated with Breon Mitchell on a brand-new translation of his Nobel Prize–winning classic. In 2005, Mitchell and nine other translators accompanied Grass on a week-long retreat in Germany, asking questions about the book and touring the locations featured in The Tin Drum. The result? The most faithful translation in fifty years. If you haven’t read this modern classic, now’s the time.” BookPage

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Günter Grass

Günter Grass (1927–2015) was born in Danzig, Germany. A novelist, playwright, essayist, graphic artist, and poet, he was the author of many acclaimed books. In 1999 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He lived in Lübeck, Germany.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction
Runtime: 25.38
Audience: Adult
Language: English