Cat and Mouse
A powerful story set in war-torn Danzig about a teenager’s rise from clown to hero by Nobel Prize-winner Gunter Grass.
To compensate for his unusually large Adam's apple - source of both discomfort and distress - fourteen year old Joachim Mahlke turns himself into athlete and ace diver. Soon he is known to his peers and his nation as 'The Great Mahlke'. But to his enemies, he remains a target. He is different and doomed in a country scarred by the war.
Cat and Mouse was first published in 1961, two years after Gunter Grass' controversial and applauded masterpiece, The Tin Drum. Once again Grass turns his attention on Danzig. With a subtle blend of humour and power, Cat and Mouse ostensibly relates the rise of Mahlke from clown to hero. But Mahlke's outlandish antics hide the darkness at the heart of a nation torn by Nazi violence, the war and its aftermath.
Praise for Cat and Mouse
Grass is one of the master fabulists of our ageMichale Ratcliffe, The Times
Grass is probably the nearest thing we have to a certain genius in living novelistsMarghanita Laski
Grass is one of the few great writers in Europe todaySunday Telegraph