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Headbirths: or The Germans Are Dying Out
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Headbirths: or The Germans Are Dying Out

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3.15 of 5 stars 3.15  ·  rating details  ·  155 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Harm and Dörte Peters, the quintessential couple, are on vacation in Asia. But wherever they are, they can't get away from the political upheaval back home. With irony and wit, Grass takes aim at capitalism, communism, religion-even reproduction; nothing escapes unscathed. Translated by Ralph Manheim. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
Paperback, 144 pages
Published October 29th 1990 by Mariner Books (first published January 1st 1980)
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Victoria
Gunter Grass was a favorite writer of mine for a long time, though recently I've read little he wrote. Headbirths is fun to read but doesn't quite combine its various genres -- novel, essay, plan for a film script -- in a coherent way. Set at the end of 1979, the massive changes in German history since that date might make Grass's essay interesting for some, obsolete for others. The combination of genres made it fun to read, if eventually disappointing.
Raffi Kiureghian
short, yet dense. found at the flea market in echo park. definitely will reread. nationality, history, absurdity, activism, death; travel, fiction, inversions of reality. i liked it a lot, will definitely be reading more grass.
Lindsay Holmes
This book is not a book that will be a popular favorite, but I really liked the style. It's so honest and forthright, it doesn't feel like he's sitting down to write a book, but likes he's scribbling notes to himself.
Jonathan
Written in 1979, this book is definitely a product of its time. It follows Harm and Doerte Peters, presented as the West German "everycouple" of that period - I didn't find them likeable or very engaging, but I don't think that was the point. Grass is quite effective at using them to portray his own thoughts on various subjects.

The storyline is that Harm and Doerte take a guided holiday around Asia, and various population related questions are posed by this at the numerous places they visit (inc
...more
Alexander
Not exactly a novel in the classic sense but it doesn't fit neatly into any other category either. Perhaps 'metafiction' suits it best.

Herr Grass himself appears frequently, identifying himself as the author who has created the couple the 'metanovel' focuses on -- specifically their ongoing "yes to baby, no to baby" debate.

It's supposed to be a witty play on his part, using the idea that Germans have babies in their heads (just as he has 'hatched' the two characters) while in Asia they are produ
...more
Kris McCracken
The odd little experiment that is Headbirths, or, the Germans Are Dying Out. Written at the end of the 1970s, this book reflects an awaking to cinematic form for the author (Volker Schlöndorff’s adaption of The Tin Drum had just won the Palme d'Or and Best Foreign Language film Oscar). As such, it is a confusing mash up of screen treatment and novel.

A weird little polemic that is part-political manifesto, part-cultural study, part-pseudo-philosophical treatise, part-travel diary, part-smarmy ex
...more
Jonfaith
This was felt to be more of apolemic than a narrative. That's fine, nothing wrong with a rant every now and then. I think I finished this one in a single sitting, some unknown afternoon in the Highlands.
Pablo Paz
que enredo de libro.. guiòn.. novela??? nunca supè.. tal vez fuè culpa del mood con el que lo leì
Zöe Yu
Quite Good, readable. GG always write as Great German nation.
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749461
Günter Wilhelm Grass is a Nobel Prize-winning German author and playwright.
He was born in the Free City of Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland). Since 1945, he has lived in West Germany (now Germany), but in his fiction he frequently returns to the Danzig of his childhood.
He is best known for his first novel, The Tin Drum, a key text in European magic realism. His works frequently have a strong left wing,
...more
More about Günter Grass...
The Tin Drum (The Danzig Trilogy, #1) Cat and Mouse (The Danzig Trilogy, #2) Crabwalk Dog Years (The Danzig Trilogy, #3) The Flounder

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