Local Anaesthetic

by Günter Grass

Hardcover, 1970





New York, Harcourt, Brace & World, [1970]


Starusch, a 40-year-old teacher of German and history, undergoes protracted dental treatment in an office where TV is used to distract the patients. Under local anesthesia, the patient projects onto the screen his past and present with the fluidity and visual quality of the movies. A satirical portrait of social confusions. Translated by Ralph Manheim. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book

User reviews

LibraryThing member billmcn
Kinda long and hard to follow, but about midway through the protagonist gets into a comical debate with a hotheaded student radical about how one should feel about little old German ladies eating coffee cake in cafes and in the course of it comes up with the best counter-argument to puritanical anti-consumerism that I have ever read.… (more)
LibraryThing member leslie.98
To be quite honest, although I remember reading this 30 years ago, I don't recall it well enough to make a reliable rating!
LibraryThing member DinadansFriend
Stylistically, an interesting read, but GG isn't the Joyce of "Ulysses" or the Dos Passos of "USA". A high school teacher has to confront the conundrums of the liberal conscience while those around him try out various forms of extremism. The story can be confusing, but the irony is first rate.
LibraryThing member jonfaith
There appeared to be a fucund period where I couldn't stop reading Gunter grass. This time is highlighted in my memory but eternal sunshine and febrile trips to Bloomington. I finished thsi one sitting in the Highlands, amazed at teh disocurse, the counterarguments, the sage handle on it all. What was truly breathtaking that the book was so germane 25 years after its publication.… (more)


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