Birds of a feather
The meeting is of German poets in 1647, towards the end of the Thirty Years War. Though the specific parallel is with the meeting of Gruppe 47 in 1947, I was struck by how accurately and entertainingly all meetings of poets were conjured. If you've ever been to a conference of poets, or even of academics, you'll chuckle your way through this book.
There's a large number of characters for such a short book, most of them sketched only in outline but with detailed characters implied. Grass's concision is extremely well-judged - he could have added fifty pages of back-story without any appreciable benefit. Most writers, I think, would have done so.
Given the recent revelations about Grass's (extremely marginal) complicity in Nazism, The Meeting at Telgte asks for a very clear reading - Gelnhausen (Grimmelshausen), Grass's counterpart in the book, is quite open about his moral compromise. I wonder how the book read before the revelations.
Lastly, I'm inspired to go and find work by the poets featured. The book's like a primer to seventeenth-century German poetry - like feeling you're on speaking terms with Marvell, Donne, Milton etc.