Günter Grass

Günter Grass was a German novelist, poet, playwright, illustrator, graphic artist, and sculptor. He is best known for his first novel, 'The Tin Drum,' which is considered one of the most important works of post-World War II literature. Grass was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1999.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. The Tin Drum

    The novel tells the story of Oskar Matzerath, a boy who decides on his third birthday that he will stop growing and remain a three-year-old forever. Oskar is gifted with a tin drum by his mother, which he uses to express his emotions and thoughts. Living in Danzig during the rise of Nazi Germany, Oskar's refusal to grow is a form of protest against the adult world. The book is a blend of magical realism and historical fiction, providing a unique perspective on the horrors of World War II and the post-war era in Germany.

    The 94th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. Cat and Mouse

    "Cat and Mouse" is a novel that centers around a group of boys living in Danzig during World War II. The story is narrated by one of the boys, who recounts the life of his friend, whom they call "the great Mahlke", a boy with a large Adam's apple. Mahlke's attempts to prove himself a hero despite his physical oddity, his obsession with a sunken ship, and his eventual expulsion from school and enlistment in the war form the heart of the narrative. The novel explores themes of identity, guilt, memory, and the devastating impact of war on the individual and society.

    The 1789th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. Dog Years

    "Dog Years" is a novel set in Germany during the rise and fall of the Nazi regime and the aftermath of World War II. The story is told from the perspectives of three friends: Walter Matern, a fervent Nazi supporter; Eduard Amsel, a Jewish artist who creates scarecrows; and Harry Liebenau, who narrates their stories. The novel explores the complexities of friendship and identity amidst the backdrop of war, guilt, and redemption. It also delves into the psychological impact of the Holocaust on German society and the struggle to come to terms with its horrific past.

    The 2471st Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. Crabwalk

    This novel delves into the tragic sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, a German ship, during World War II, through the eyes of a journalist investigating the event's historical and personal ramifications. The narrative weaves together past and present, exploring the intergenerational impact of the catastrophe on survivors and their descendants. The author employs a unique storytelling technique, the "crabwalk," moving backward and forward in time to reveal the complexities of guilt, memory, and the reinterpretation of history. Through its intricate plot and deep character exploration, the book addresses the themes of nationalism, the repercussions of war, and the struggle to come to terms with one's heritage.

    The 6156th Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. The Flounder

    The book is a rich tapestry of historical fiction and magical realism, weaving together the lives of a talking fish, a series of women cooks, and the men in their lives over several centuries. It explores themes of feminism, power, and the evolution of culinary arts, with the titular flounder serving as a guide and witness to the unfolding human drama. The narrative spans from the Stone Age to the modern era, reflecting on the changing roles and relationships between men and women, as well as the impact of these dynamics on culture and society. The novel is a blend of myth, satire, and allegory, presenting a unique perspective on the history of humanity through the lens of food and gender politics.

    The 7901st Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. Peeling the Onion

    "Peeling the Onion" is a memoir that explores the author's experiences during and after World War II. The author, a Nobel laureate, reveals his involvement with the Waffen SS, a paramilitary organization of the Nazi party, when he was a teenager. The book delves into the author's struggle with guilt and memory, his journey to becoming a writer, and his exploration of how personal and collective memory impact our understanding of history. It is a candid, introspective look at the complexities of identity, morality, and truth.

    The 10875th Greatest Book of All Time