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Peeling the Onion

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Peeling the Onion Cover

ISBN13: 9780151014774
ISBN10: 0151014779
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this extraordinary memoir, Nobel Prize–winning author Gunter Grass remembers his early life, from his boyhood in a cramped two-room apartment in Danzig through the late 1950s, when The Tin Drum was published.

During the Second World War, Grass volunteered for the submarine corps at the age of fifteen but was rejected; two years later, in 1944, he was instead drafted into the Waffen-SS. Taken prisoner by American forces as he was recovering from shrapnel wounds, he spent the final weeks of the war in an American POW camp. After the war, Grass resolved to become an artist and moved with his first wife to Paris, where he began to write the novel that would make him famous.

Full of the bravado of youth, the rubble of postwar Germany, the thrill of wild love affairs, and the exhilaration of Paris in the early fifties, Peeling the Onion — which caused great controversy when it was published in Germany — reveals Grass at his most intimate.

Review:

"The German edition of this memoir by Nobel Prize — winning novelist Grass caused a stir with its revelations about the author's youthful service in the Waffen SS combat unit during the last months of WWII. According to his deliberately disjointed, impressionistic account of the war, Grass never fired a shot and spent his time fleeing both the Russians and German military police hunting for deserters, but he dutifully shoulders a 'joint responsibility' for Nazi war crimes and a guilt and shame that 'gnaw, gnaw, ceaselessly.'With less to repudiate in his postwar life as a budding sculptor and poet up to his 1959 breakthrough with The Tin Drum, he grows more engaged in his story as he recounts love affairs, bohemian idylls (he once played in an impromptu jazz quartet with Louis Armstrong) and his attempts to sift emotional wreckage from the past. Along the way, Grass notes people and events that he reworked into fictional characters and plots, and does quirky profiles of influential figures, including his penis and typewriter. In this otherwise very novelistic memoir, there's not much of a narrative arc, beyond the satisfaction of the author's perpetual 'hungers' for food, sex and art, but Grass's powerfully evocative memories are spellbinding. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"'The German edition of this memoir by Nobel Prize — winning novelist Grass caused a stir with its revelations about the author's youthful service in the Waffen SS combat unit during the last months of WWII. According to his deliberately disjointed, impressionistic account of the war, Grass never fired a shot and spent his time fleeing both the Russians and German military police hunting for deserters, but he dutifully shoulders a 'joint responsibility' for Nazi war crimes and a guilt and shame that 'gnaw, gnaw, ceaselessly.' With less to repudiate in his postwar life as a budding sculptor and poet up to his 1959 breakthrough with The Tin Drum, he grows more engaged in his story as he recounts love affairs, bohemian idylls (he once played in an impromptu jazz quartet with Louis Armstrong) and his attempts to sift emotional wreckage from the past. Along the way, Grass notes people and events that he reworked into fictional characters and plots, and does quirky profiles of influential figures, including his penis and typewriter. In this otherwise very novelistic memoir, there's not much of a narrative arc, beyond the satisfaction of the author's perpetual 'hungers' for food, sex and art, but Grass's powerfully evocative memories are spellbinding. (June)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"No author has done more than Gunter Grass to impress upon Germans of his generation the moral necessity of remembering the 12-year nightmare of Nazi rule without subterfuge or evasion. In novels, plays, articles and speeches, he has labored at digging up the 'mountains of rubble and cadavers' that many Germans were all too willing to bury. When Ronald Reagan laid a wreath at Bitburg cemetery in 1985,... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Peeling the Onion has that same imaginative accuracy that made The Tin Drum a bestseller." The Times (UK)

Review:

"A riveting memoir....The command of incident and detail is superlative, and the book is immensely readable....[An] eloquent self-portrait." Kirkus Reviews

Book News Annotation:

Nobel-prize winning playwright and writer Grass provides a memoir that recounts his life beginning in Danzig, Germany, at the start of World War II, to his enlistment in the Waffen-SS as a tank gunner, and experiences in an American POW camp. He also describes his life after being released and beginning his novel The Tin Drum. No index is included. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

About the Author

Born in Danzig, Germany, in 1927, Günter Grass is the widely acclaimed author of plays, essays, poems, and numerous novels. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1999. He lives in Germany.

Table of Contents

Contents

Skins Beneath the Skin                                                                              1

Encapsulations                                                                                        28

His Name Was Wedontdothat                                                                 64

How I Learned Fear                                                                             105

Guests at Table                                                                                     160

At and Below the Surface                                                                      202

The Third Hunger                                                                                 248

How I Became a Smoker                                                                      292 Berlin Air                                                                                              344

While Cancer, Soundless                                                                      367

The Wedding Gifts I Received                                                               395

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Myra, February 3, 2008 (view all comments by Myra)
Surviving the peace takes courage and stamina and Grass tells his story with courage and humor of surviving the last days of WW II as a young German soldier. But his memory of surviving the peace with the Allied Occupation is revealing and provides insight into Grass's fiction, especially _The Tin Drum_ and _The Flounder, two of my favorites.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780151014774
Author:
Gunter Grass and Michael Henry Heim
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Translator:
Heim, Michael Henry
Author:
uuml
Author:
&
Author:
nter Grass
Author:
GRASS, GUNTER
Author:
Grass, G
Author:
Heim, Michael Henry
Author:
nter
Author:
G .
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
20th century
Subject:
Authors, german
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
BIO026000
Subject:
Germany
Subject:
Grass, Gunter
Subject:
Authors, German -- 20th century.
Subject:
Biography-Literary
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20070625
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1.4 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Literary
Featured Titles » Nobel Prize Winners
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Peeling the Onion Used Hardcover
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$2.95 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Harcourt - English 9780151014774 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The German edition of this memoir by Nobel Prize — winning novelist Grass caused a stir with its revelations about the author's youthful service in the Waffen SS combat unit during the last months of WWII. According to his deliberately disjointed, impressionistic account of the war, Grass never fired a shot and spent his time fleeing both the Russians and German military police hunting for deserters, but he dutifully shoulders a 'joint responsibility' for Nazi war crimes and a guilt and shame that 'gnaw, gnaw, ceaselessly.'With less to repudiate in his postwar life as a budding sculptor and poet up to his 1959 breakthrough with The Tin Drum, he grows more engaged in his story as he recounts love affairs, bohemian idylls (he once played in an impromptu jazz quartet with Louis Armstrong) and his attempts to sift emotional wreckage from the past. Along the way, Grass notes people and events that he reworked into fictional characters and plots, and does quirky profiles of influential figures, including his penis and typewriter. In this otherwise very novelistic memoir, there's not much of a narrative arc, beyond the satisfaction of the author's perpetual 'hungers' for food, sex and art, but Grass's powerfully evocative memories are spellbinding. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'The German edition of this memoir by Nobel Prize — winning novelist Grass caused a stir with its revelations about the author's youthful service in the Waffen SS combat unit during the last months of WWII. According to his deliberately disjointed, impressionistic account of the war, Grass never fired a shot and spent his time fleeing both the Russians and German military police hunting for deserters, but he dutifully shoulders a 'joint responsibility' for Nazi war crimes and a guilt and shame that 'gnaw, gnaw, ceaselessly.' With less to repudiate in his postwar life as a budding sculptor and poet up to his 1959 breakthrough with The Tin Drum, he grows more engaged in his story as he recounts love affairs, bohemian idylls (he once played in an impromptu jazz quartet with Louis Armstrong) and his attempts to sift emotional wreckage from the past. Along the way, Grass notes people and events that he reworked into fictional characters and plots, and does quirky profiles of influential figures, including his penis and typewriter. In this otherwise very novelistic memoir, there's not much of a narrative arc, beyond the satisfaction of the author's perpetual 'hungers' for food, sex and art, but Grass's powerfully evocative memories are spellbinding. (June)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Peeling the Onion has that same imaginative accuracy that made The Tin Drum a bestseller."
"Review" by , "A riveting memoir....The command of incident and detail is superlative, and the book is immensely readable....[An] eloquent self-portrait."
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