Based loosely on Grimm’s „The Fisherman and His Wife,” this triumphant blend of folk tale and contemporary story takes place over the course of nine months, during which the wife of the narrator becomes pregnant and is regaled with tales of the various cooks the fisherman has met throughout his life. The emerging themes of the novel expose the periods when men made history and women’s contributions went largely, in some cases gravely, unrecognized. Inventive, imaginative and irreverent, this humorous, fundamentally brilliant novel highlights the value of modern-day myth and timeless legend.
Günter Grass, says The Times, ’is on his own as an artist’, and indeed this extraordinary, provoking and joyously Rabelaisian celebration of life, food and sex is unique. Lifted from their ancient fairytale, the fisherman and his wife are still living today. During the months of Ilsebill’s pregnancy, the fisherman tells her of his adventures through time with the Flounder, constituting a complete reworking of social, political and gastronomic history.