PUBLISHERS OF LITERARY FICTION SINCE 1983
'The author', the aging Simplicissimus and his former comrade Tearway (a character from Simplicissimus) happen to meet in a village inn. First of all 'the author' describes how he was caught by Courage and her band of gypsies and conned into writing her life-story for her. In the main part of the novel, Tearaway then recounts his adventurous life, which takes him through the horrors of the Thirty Years' War and then to Hungary to fight against the Turks, later to Italy and Greece. He ends up as a one-legged fiddler, travelling round Germany, playing, begging, stealing and cheating. The narrative includes tales of trickery, sorcery and magic, some revolving round Tearaway's wife, who discovers a magic bird's nest which makes her invisible and which she uses it for various escapades, including cuckolding Tearaway, until she is caught and killed. Despite the fantastic elements of some episodes, the novel is told in the same down-to-earth, often earthy style of Grimmelshausen's other novels.