Every book by Gunter Grass is a challenge. This fight is a cruel and uncompromising battle with oneself, not for life, but for death.
The book is divided into three parts, and the narrative is conducted on behalf of three different characters. This pre-war, military and post-war years – formally different, but in fact – the same dog years. In addition to the chronology, one can also assume another principle of dividing the novel into parts. In the final, one of the main characters – Eduard Amzel – demonstrates to the friend three “primary emotions”. They are cry, laughter and teeth gnashing. To some extent, they relate to the three parts of the novel.
The theme of the work is how human thoughts could be filled with a nonhuman idea and ideology – fascism. But the author does not directly point to the evil, he points to the guilty. Author, gradually allows the reader to trace the birth of Nazism in people’s heads, in fleeting shades of speech, in the behavior of this collective madness.
The text of the novel abounds with a subtle irony, both light and sad. Grass conveys a truthful picture of the life of Germany in the thirties through the feelings and thoughts of the main characters – children, gradually growing up on the pages of the novel.
As for me, I sank in a book from the very first pages. This is strange, but Grass literally fascinated me, and after all, he wrote far from something pleasant.
But at the same time for me, it is a stunning work. Sometimes the narrative is going so fast that it is difficult to break away at any place. The description of time, the atmosphere of the place and the thoughts of the heroes are transferred so that it is difficult not to get involved and immerse in this amazing novel.