Crabwalk

Crabwalk

Book - 2002
Average Rating:
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Günter Grass has been wrestling with Germany's past for decades now, but no book since The Tin Drum has generated as much excitement as this engrossing account of the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff . A German cruise ship turned refugee carrier, it was attacked by a Soviet submarine in January 1945. Some 9,000 people went down in the Baltic Sea, making it the deadliest maritime disaster of all time.
Born to an unwed mother on a lifeboat the night of the attack, Paul Pokriefke is a middle-aged journalist trying to piece together the tragic events. While his mother sees her whole existence in terms of that calamitous moment, Paul wishes their life could have been less touched by the past. For his teenage son, who dabbles in the dark, far-right corners of the Internet, the Gustloff embodies the denial of Germany's wartime suffering.
"Scuttling backward to move forward," Crabwalk is at once a captivating tale of a tragedy at sea and a fearless examination of the ways different generations of Germans now view their past.

Winner of the Nobel Prize
Publisher: Orlando, Fla. ; New York : Harcourt, c2002
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780151007646
0151007640
Branch Call Number: F Gra
Additional Contributors: Winston, Krishna

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WVMLStaffPicks Jan 05, 2015

The author tells us in his latest work that the sinking of the Titanic was not the greatest maritime disaster. In 1945, the cruise ship Wilhelm Gustloff was torpedoed and took over nine thousand victims, most of them refugees, down with her. In order to write about this incident, Pokriefke searches the Internet only to discover that his estranged son is also interested in this matter. One tragedy leads to another. A thought-provoking history lesson and a window into Germany's struggle with its past.

l
loudem
Dec 27, 2014

Part history, part fiction, this book is squarely anti war; or if it is not, reading it will show how truly absurd war is. The atrocities depicted in this book, the lost of 10,000 souls, given or take a few thousand, is mind boggling. But what Grass wanted to say in this book is quite foreign to me. This is a discussion amongst Germans. We are only witness to this. Germans have it etched in their collective memory. I gather it is quite difficult to find a just balance. In the end it's not all white or black. They cannot just wipe an entire part of their history. Things have to be acknowledged, accepted. The guilt has to be atone. Evil will always surface somewhere. But today we are so immune to violence, war, and injustice with TV and the Internet, that we've all become too complaisant. We do not differentiate between News, Film, or Video. It all have become eye candy to our disconnected selves.

e
empbee
Jul 26, 2013

Great book (how to mess up a young adult with history, or, how history can mess up a young adult.)

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