Peeling the Onion has ratings and reviews. In this extraordinary memoir, Nobel Prize-winning author Gunter Grass remembers his early life, from his. Günter Grass’s memoir was published last summer in Germany to a chorus of controversy over the author’s service in the Waffen SS. But now. Peeling the Onion – Günter Grass – Books – Review JULY 8, When pestered with questions, memory is like an onion that wishes to be.

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He guides Grass back through the Russian lines only to have his legs blown off as he brings the boy to safety.

He believes the devout Catholic soldier whom he befriends in the PoW camp may have been the young Pope Benedict, Josef Ratzinger – the details fit – but his sister, to whom he tells preling story later, ‘doesn’t believe my stories on principle’.

There is callous, hardbitten military jargon “a pocket like Demyansk forced open” followed by a dismaying, and dismayingly rare, statement of inion When this was made public last summer, it was all over the papers and airwaves in Germany for weeks. If the world is making a case that Canadian Omar Khadr was brainwashed as a child to be a killer, then we have to cut young Gunther some slack.

Taken prisoner of war by the Americans. The most attractive feature of this narrative for me was the modesty with Grass describe his success. I’m sure war especially at its conclusion, and especially when on the losing end is hell. One has the sense that the author is talking of himself almost objectively, in the third person, a trick he uses in The Tin Drum.


Jul 03, Mary rated it liked it. Nov 20, Ava rated it liked it. The style is almost free-flowing reminiscing, but in the end Grass masterfully wraps graas all together as if carefully closing up the onion layers he had slowly peeled away. Off to read Crabwalk next, which I’ve never read, and I feel like re-reading The Tin Drum – and discovering the rest of his work.

The other day I listened to an interview with the american writer Charles Baxter where he said of Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita ”it’s one of those books that has Everything in it”. He accomplishes this by pulling back the covers and exposing what is hidden in the dark, in a voice that is by turns funny, grieving, sly, sexy, sacrilegious, haunted, and finally, unforgettable.

Now I remember, now I forget

As if that weren’t enough to make this a “do not read” he belabors the onion metaphor terribly. He tells us it is ‘more likely’ that the lance-corporal tells him to do this. It is both too heavily trailed and too much hte off, too perfunctory and too dilatory, too defensive and too aggressive. He is almost surprised by it. He sees it in terms of being able to buy LP records gunetr calf’s liver.

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.


This is a meditation on memory, cajoling in its honesty and yet openly deceptive. Grass tells the story of his eventful life in some really great writing.

I read this book aboard an El Al flight to Israel, where those of us who knew and loved my mother were gathering at the cemetery in Beit Shemesh to dedicate the headstone in her memory.

Peeling the Onion by Günter Grass

Still – aside from the gravity of its content – it is really no worse than what comes before and after: Apr 14, Lance rated it it was amazing. Dark times place everything in crisis.

This question contains spoilers… view spoiler [How “fictional” is this book? Grass attended the Danzig Gymnasium Conradinum. Peeling the Onion Author s: This is the thing that Grass, by equipment either a rococo fabulist graws else a polemicist, cannot do: He is both self-regarding of his status as Germany’s greatest man of letters and disgusted by the secrets he has carried with him for 60 years.

Haven’t gotten hold of a copy yet — but it peeking been a high priority Chances that we will review it: That phrase came to my mind when I finished this one by Gunter Grass.

Confessions of a super Grass

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I did call most everything into question, then I kept on.