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The Flounder by Günter Grass

The Flounder (1977)

by Günter Grass

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1,1271811,263 (3.83)13
Based loosely on Grimm's The Fisherman and his Wife, this triumphant blend of folk tale and contemporary story takes place over the course of nine months, during which the wife of the narrator becomes pregnant and is regaled with tales of the various cooks the fisherman has met throughout his life. The emerging themes of the novel expose the periods when men made history and women's contributions went largely, in some cases gravely, unrecognized. Inventive, imaginitive and irreverent, this humorous, fundamentally brilliant novel highlights the value of modern-day myth and timeless legend.… (more)



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English (14)  German (1)  Italian (1)  Finnish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (18)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
One of my favorite novels ever. I've devoured, with intentional puns, this one twice, the second time in tandem with my friends. This represents the purpose of literature. One's culinary awareness is doubtless to be inspired within these pages. Delicious, sinuous and robust, a divine brush paints along his narration, one timeless and laden with vibrato. He is similar to the Magical Realists, only better. ( )
1 vote jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Well. Uh. This is definitely something.

An odd book, to put it mildly. Grass has his trademark humor and historical wisdom here. But the whole concept of the novel is something baffling - a talking fish gives advice to the reincarnations of a man and his cook-wife in the areas near Danzig, and the fish is accused by a gang of radical feminists that he has altered the course of history by instituting the patriarchy. There's also a lot of discussion on food, particularly potatoes.

I have no idea what to make of this, but I will return to it. And maybe on a full stomach, as Grass' writing makes me hunger. ( )
1 vote HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
One of the best books I've ever slogged my way through. The way he picks apart man verses woman, via the diplomacy of a fish... well you have to read it to believe it. History, myth, magic, folklore & a love of all food. Fill your belly. ( )
1 vote K_Fox | Nov 21, 2012 |
Contrary to my fellow reviewers this was for me a compelling book and , if i'm honest the only Grass novel I have really relished. Amusing , informative and should be read with a lightly chilled chablis . ( )
1 vote markalanlaidlaw | Apr 10, 2012 |
Gunter Grass indulges in a kind of protohistory of the sexes from the pre-human to modernity, stewed in the broth of legend, with chunks of religion, nationalism, and affectations of the arts.
  keylawk | Jul 15, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Grass, GünterAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kaaij, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manheim, RalphTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Michaelis, RolfAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Ilsebill put on more salt.
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