This book is the second of the "Danzig" Trilogy, the other volumes being the famous "Tin Drum" (1959) and "Dog Years" (Hundejahre), published in 1963. The story is set in Danzig (Gdańsk) around the time of the Second World War and Nazi rule, and tells of Joachim Mahlke, an alienated, fatherless, only child. The narrator Pilenz "alone could be termed his friend, if it were possible to be friends with Mahlke" (p. 78); much of Pilenz's narration addresses Mahlke directly.
Günter Wilhelm Grass (1927–2015) was a German novelist, poet, playwright, illustrator, graphic artist, sculptor, and recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Literature. He was born in the Free City of Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland). As a teenager, he served as a drafted soldier from late 1944 in the Waffen-SS, and was taken prisoner of war by U.S. forces at the end of the war in May 1945. He was released in April 1946. Trained as a stonemason and sculptor, Grass began writing in the 1950s. In his fiction, he frequently returned to the Danzig of his childhood.
Our copy is in good condition, and retains its unclipped dust jacket which is somewhat rubbed and grubby, especially on the spine, but with only very small tears at the top. The book itself is bound in green cloth with bright red lettering on the spine, and shows almost no signs of wear apart from very slight bumping of corners and minimal shelf wear at top & bottom of the spine. There are some very slight brown marks on the top of the text block, but inside, the binding is firm, the book is immaculate, with all pages clean and bright. A very nice copy.