It is said that great works of literature depend on character development, not so much on the plot and the story itself. Well, this is a case in point. The whole book is sustained by the central character of Oskar, a wicked, depressed, desperate man seeing how his world crumbles apart and he has to build a life for himslef. As another reviewer aptly put it, he is the lonely voice crying in the wilderness. Oskar is a very solitary man with a great disadvantage, one that by sheer willpower he turns every time into an advantage, a means for surviving in a careless, cold world. Oskar never gives up, never surrenders, he finds a way to survive after every setback, and terrifying setbacks he experiences.
I think this book had to be written in the form of magical realism, because the pure realism would have been insufferable: the tragedies that occur are beyond telling them.
Not an easy read, it is most rewarding, for it paints a wide picture of the human experience, precisely what great literature is about.
an interesting book, for certain. being a translation it was a little bit hard for me to get into the writing style at first, but definitally an interesting and worthwile book
Good book but sad. About war in Europe and how different people cope.
Acclaimed as the greatest German novel written since the end of WWII. The book is brilliant!