Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Headbirths: or The Germans Are Dying Out” as Want to Read:
Headbirths: or The Germans Are Dying Out
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Headbirths: or The Germans Are Dying Out

3.09 of 5 stars 3.09  ·  rating details  ·  172 ratings  ·  12 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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Headbirths, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Headbirths

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 285)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Naele Yousefi
یک مقاله که به روند افزایش و پیری جمعیت در آلمان و چین و هند می پردازه. نویسنده با بکارگیری ژانرهایی در قالب زوجی معلم در جامعه که تمایل به تولید مثل ندارند و به کشمکش های ذهنی زندگی مشترک در رابطه با این موضوع مشغولند، در حال تحلیل جامعه آماری آلمان است.
Jennifer Richardson
I definitely enjoyed reading and indulging in Grass's various musings. I had a hard time relating to it considering the specificity of some of the content to 1979 Germany, but I gained perspective on what the German mindset was when faced with the onset of the ever looming 1980's, regarding culture, progress, national and global politics, birth rates, literature, and much more. As always with Grass, he is dissatisfied with working in only the past, the present, or the future for his stories, so ...more
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.
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.
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
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
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
The moral of the story: don't let politics consume you.
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.
Martin marked it as to-read
Sep 22, 2015
Kenny Leck
Kenny Leck is currently reading it
Sep 10, 2015
Ashik marked it as to-read
Sep 06, 2015
Zara marked it as to-read
Sep 02, 2015
Sarah marked it as to-read
Aug 30, 2015
Mohamed Hasan
Mohamed Hasan marked it as to-read
Jul 16, 2015
Steven added it
Jul 11, 2015
Mikko Rudanko
Mikko Rudanko is currently reading it
Jun 30, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Cartesian Sonata and Other Novellas
  • Women in a River Landscape: A Novel in Dialogues and Soliloquies
  • Compleat Cat
  • The Iron Wolf and Other Stories
  • A Small Circus
  • قصص ايطالية
  • The Turn of the Screw, The Aspern Papers and Two Stories (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
  • Die gerettete Zunge: Geschichte einer Jugend
  • Berlin Childhood around 1900
  • Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky
  • Toward the End of Time
  • War Talk
  • Loving / Living / Party Going
  • Chinese Propaganda Posters: From the Collection of Michael Wolf
  • Gordana kraljica Hrvata
  • We Animals
  • Nutrition: Concepts and Controversies
  • French Decadent Tales
Günter Wilhelm Grass was 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 about Günter Grass...
The Tin Drum Cat and Mouse (The Danzig Trilogy, #2) Crabwalk Dog Years (The Danzig Trilogy, #3) The Flounder

Share This Book