Grass did a good job of presenting himself as human. He confronts his own blindness, selfishness, and vanities, as well as delivering a very readable account of his development as an artist. He treats the events of his life as learning experiences which seems to me to be a perfectly defensible approach, even to something as morally difficult as his participation in the Nazi state and military. I never got the sense that he was attempting to mitigate his own, or German guilt. He discusses the relationships between his life and his works which I also thought was interesting and valuable. I haven't read any of his other pieces though so mileage may vary on that front. The writing was a little uneven, and there is much discussion of German authors that I have no connection with, but overall was nourishing.