The Tin Drum

The Tin Drum (German: Die Blechtrommel, pronounced [di bltml] (listen)) is a 1959 novel by Gnter Grass. The novel is the first book of Grass’s Danziger Trilogie (Danzig Trilogy). It was adapted into a 1979 film, which won both the 1979 Palme d’Or and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1980.
To “beat a tin drum” when used as an idiom means to create a disturbance in order to bring attention to a cause. This is based on an interpretation of the book where Oskar’s beating of his titular tin drum “symbolizes his protest against the middle-class mentality of his family and neighborhood.”


Read or listen to The Tin Drum

by Gunter Grass