Book review: Of All That Ends

WHEN Gunter Grass died in April 2015, the Nobel Laureate left behind a diverse and formidable body of work, and with Of All That Ends he has provided its ellipsis.
Book review: Of All That Ends

Gunter Grass

Harvill Secker, €14.89; ebook, €10.87

A melancholic anthology of musings, poems and sketches, delicate in both form and content as they trace the edges of ageing, death and the world we live in.

His writing is uncluttered and haunting, characteristically merging dashes of autobiography with more fanciful observation.

In their simple depiction of life and decay across nature, his sketches often provide literal illustration, but occasionally an image as savage and surreal as dismembered fingers scattered beside guilty scissors provides an angry counterpoint to the elegiac wanderings and wry humour: Grass is not going quietly.

Ultimately, Of All That Ends is both more than, and exactly, the sum of its parts, snapshots of mortality more insightful than most novels could dream of, forming a work of real emotional substance.

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