Cat and Mouse was the book GЭnter Grass wrote immediately after The Tin Drum, and it shares its setting with that earlier novel: Danzig during World War II. But while The Tin Drum achieves its extraordinary cumulative effect through the sprawling and picaresque, Cat and Mouse depends on brevity and compactness.
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The provocative story centers on the narrator's vivid recollection of a boyhood scene in which a black cat is provoked to pounce on his friend Mahlke's 'mouse' his prominent Adam's apple. This incident sets off a wild series of utterly Grassian events that ultimately leads to Mahlke's becoming a national hero. Because of Grass's singular storytelling virtuosity, Cat and Mouse is marvelously entertaining, powerful, and full of funny episodes yet it also has a serious undercurrent 'at the deepest level, [about] the survival of individual human qualities in this age of wars and state-directed politics' (The New York Times Book Review).
GЭnter Grass novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, and graphic artist is considered Germany's greatest contemporary writer. He lives in Berlin.