Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “დედაქალაქი” as Want to Read:
დედაქალაქი
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

დედაქალაქი

by
3.62  ·  Rating details ·  2,436 ratings  ·  308 reviews
თანამედროვე ავსტრიელი მწერლის – რობერტ მენასეს „დედაქალაქი“ წლის საუკეთესო გერმანულენოვანოვან რომანად აღიარეს 2017 წელს.

ბრიუსელში იყრის თავს ყველაფერი; ბრიუსელის ქუჩებში დარბის ღორიც. ფენია ქსენოპულო, კულტურის დირექტორატის მოხელე, რთული ამოცანის წინაშე დგას. მან ევროკავშირის კომისიის იმიჯი უნდა გააუმჯობესოს. მაგრამ როგორ? ფენია მარტინ ზუსმანს, თავის რეფერენტს, იდეის ჩამოყა
...more
Paperback, 430 pages
Published December 2018 by გამომცემლობა "ინტელექტი" (first published September 11th 2017)
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 დედაქალაქი, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Sue Whitt The English version is titled "The Capital."
…more
The English version is titled "The Capital."
(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,436 ratings  ·  308 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of დედაქალაქი
Meike
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: austria, 2019-read
Here it is: The first major novel about the inner workings of European politics in our capital, Brussels. While the tone is often light and ironic, this book is whip-smart when it dissects the many conflict lines that we are struggling with in the EU, on a continent steeped in blood, where history is always also personal history and different views collide all. the. time. Democracy means to acknowledge and handle conflict, and to do that is sometimes hard - so hard in fact, that some people seem ...more
Daniela
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I firmly believe that the European Union is the most important political project since the French Revolution and one of the most ambitious endeavours of the last 1000 years of European History.

Important because of its momentum: from the shambles of war, arose a flawed yet working pact between nations who d'spent centuries wrecking a Continent and killing its people. Ambitious because it’s a counter historical idea: it aims to break cycles (of war, of rivalry, of destruction and hegemony) and cr
...more
Tim
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
+++ Winner of the German Book Award 2017 +++

In the center of this novel is the thought of a European Union that develops beyond national borders, beyond nationalities. But is it a thought experiment, a novel set in this future? No, sadly it isn't – that would be a novel I would have loved to read. Rather, it is a novel of people – EU officials, and a retired university professor invited to a think tank for the European Council – talking about the future of the EU. This makes it rather less engag
...more
Roman Clodia
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's something very European about this novel which exudes a sensibility that a British novelist just doesn't have. Partly it's stylistic, the mix of satire, farce and something more serious epitomized by the PR campaign to make Auschwitz the heart of the EC jubilee: an idea both grotesque and yet, oddly, moving as the European project for supranational unity was launched in the wake of the Holocaust and the devastation of WW2.

Menasse has a sharp eye for career bureaucrats and creaking proce
...more
Paul Fulcher
"This was about the Commission rather than “the E.U.”, it was about stripping the Commission of its image as an institution of unworldly bureaucrats and presenting it as guardian of the lessons of history and of human rights."

Robert Menasse's Die Hauptstadt won the German Book Prize, and has now been published in English as The Capital, ably translated by Jamie Bulloch.

Bulloch is perhaps best known as translator of The Mussel Feast by Birgit Vanderbeke, winner of the Schlegel-Tieck Prize for Ger
...more
Lou
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A timely and somewhat satirical look at the intricacies of the European Commission and the wider European political establishment as a whole, whilst Britain struggles to make sense of the decision to leave our European friends and how best to do so. It's a weaving together of seemingly unrelated subplots, which are barmy to say the least, and an adventure through the life of an organisation comprised for the greater good and its association with our identity. Winner of the German Book Prize, The ...more
Marc
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This wasn't an "easy" read but I sure did enjoy reading it! I didn't have much knowledge of the European Union or the European Commission before I read this but I feel I have been a much better understanding and I'm glad for that. I won't forget the characters in this novel and that, for me, says a great deal. Highly recommended.
Philipp
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, austria, europe
This won this (2017) year's German Book Prize, and I guess that is a statement from the jury in times where far right, nationalistic voices are getting louder and more powerful in many European countries.

It's a European Union novel, set in Brussels, with the majority of figures being somehow involved in EU government. Several intertwined and connected stories are framed by a literal pig running through Brussels, I guess that's a joke based on the German 'die Sau durchs Dorf treiben' (to force th
...more
Friederike Knabe
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german-lit
A very interesting and relevant book. As a novel not the easiest to read. But seeing as a whole, worth the effort. The story is built through several separate profiles that eventually, as one can assune, will overlap or otherwise connect. It is after all the portrait of a complex and multilayered "capital" - Brussels.
Cecilia Bastarrica
I’m taking a break from this one; it started out pretty interesting but halfway through I must admit I am bored to the point where it’s become a chore to keep reading.
Joseph
Robert Menasse’s Die Hauptstadt, winner of the 2017 German Book Prize, has recently being published by MacLehose Press in an English translation by Jamie Bulloch. In this incarnation, the novel’s title is rendered as The Capital. This name, of course, a faithful and literal translation from the German, but I wonder whether it was also meant as a tongue-in-cheek reference to Karl Marx’s epic tome. Indeed, political and economic theories also loom large in Menasse’s Capital, except that they are p ...more
Emma
Sep 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very entertaining & lucid satire on Brussels - the machinations of bureaucrats, a fat police officer, a final survivor of Auschwitz and a pig on the loose but while it set up some interesting situations across a multitude of characters, none of it came to a satisfying conclusion. I was disappointed that potentially intriguing plots led nowhere & the various threads didn't really come together. ...more
Tripfiction
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A timely novel of the EU set in BRUSSELS



This is a timely novel set in Brussels, the city at the heart of the EU. It is the story of individuals in the amorphous mass that is the chugging engine of Europe. The 50th anniversary of the European Commission is coming up and there is much discussion about how best to mark the occasion. Fenia Xenopoulou is in charge and comes up with the notion of putting Auschwitz at the heart of the celebrations. Why wouldn’t you…?

Meanwhile there is a murder case whi
...more
Franziska
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-readings
I read in in two days. Feels like I spent the weekend in Brussels. Now it’s Monday morning and I already miss the characters.
And yes, it tells you a lot about how the EU works but that’s not the main reason I enjoyed it. It’s more the world of characters Menasse created that will stick with me. He is one of the best ceators I have ever had the pleasure to read.
Fonch
Nov 27, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I apologise for criticism, which I'm going to write, but I write it's heart. This book I read, because a former teacher had advised me. First thing, I can tell you of this novel is that I can not tell you that it will. I have read it, but I have not learned. A choral novel is featuring several characters of different nationalities, but I don't know anything more. The first chapter has a very funny thing, and presents the characters, but is the only good thing that has this book. In the Spanish E ...more
Tobias
Aug 23, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
This was my first Menasse. It will likely be my last. Not because this isn't a smart and timely novel, because it is, but because it did very little for me. I remember when it was published and a whole bunch of critics, who had either not read Musil or simply forgotten how to read entirely, drew comparisons to Musil, but beyond the plain framework of putting together a campaign for celebrating a transnational collaboration, there is very little going on that resembles Musil.

The plot, its charact
...more
Robert Wechsler
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german-lit
This is a truly great novel (in a great translation) about a topic that is far from the hearts of most Americans: the European Union, more specifically, the European Commission’s bureaucracy in Brussels. But of course it’s not primarily an "about" novel, it’s a series of set pieces and character sketches, all of which are finely presented, a joy to read. It is self-consciously a The Man Without Qualities for today (although MWQ is Vienna-centered), and it’s of the same quality (although far shor ...more
Oscar Despard
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This melting pot of cultures and storylines is a fitting satire on the European Union, painting with a bleak pallette this beleaguered project and the people it comprises. However, one leaves the novel with a deepened sense of how the Union’s worth and achievements contrast with the far less entertaining failures of darker, murkier international arrangements.

The principal conceit of this book is how Menasse builds his views of the European project into the novel’s very structure. A dazzling, eve
...more
Macartney
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable and interesting read. Just missing: non-white men, as characters, and a non-cheap ending.

(Received free copy of ebook on Goodreads giveaway.)
Rein
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good and important book, but one that transforms generically, from the multilinear blend of destinies that it starts out as, to an essay-novel that delivers a message more efficiently than resolves its narrative knots, toward the end. We meet an array of characters at the outset, all caught in the same moment of perceiving a stray pig running around on the streets of Brussels, and follow each of these characters (the majority of which do not know, or even get to meet each other) throug ...more
Marks54
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a hugely entertaining book, but at the same time a deep and thoughtful one. It is a many layered book that requires much sorting. What do I mean? Consider ...

The novel is a murder mystery of sorts but hardly a typical one. Secrets and secrets and more.

It is also an extremely snarky social satire on the operations of the European Commission and the careerist dynamics that permeate its professional staff. This is “office lit” without Chinese characteristics. I am certain there are version
...more
Alessia
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As someone who lives and works in the Eurobubble, this book has been a strange experience: I found myself in some of the situations outlined. The descriptions of Brussels are very well written, both when it comes to its citizens and its streets.

Hated some of the characters (yes Xeno, looking at you) but laughed a lot. True that to fully understand some of the jokes you need to know quite well the environment though, so I don't think this is a reading for everyone. There is a lot of symbolism, hi
...more
Michael
Dec 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, fiction
I'm not sure how I feel about this book.
It felt like a book with no real beginning and no end.
A snippet from the heart of the European Union.
I'm not sure if one of the premisses which moves the plot forward is factually correct.
Are member states of the European states free to negotiate individual trade deals?
"one of the main basic features of the European Union is that EU countries cannot negotiate individual trade deals without side countries and instead do so as a bloc of 28"
Joy
Read for my German lit class at Goethe in Fall 2018. Despite reading with the class, this plot was a bit too complex (and a bit too political) for me to fully follow. I didn’t really enjoy it, but it’s probably more because of how much I either didn’t understand, or else had to read 5 times to understand.
Iana
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book urgently needs to be translated into other languages.

This is the first novel set in the Brussels policy making machinery. And it's lucid, quirky, and funny.
Anne
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 1/2 stars would have been perfect, mainly because of the “ conspiracy/ Vatican” with a character straight ou of the “Da Vinci code “ who doesn’t bring anything to the story
The very interesting part, of course is Europe trying valiantly to defend its ideal against nationalism,
Countries wanting to be part of Europe for its advantages and do deals in the side when the EU regulations contradict their interests . The weight, cunning and absurdity of the huge bureaucracy.
A professor suggests a “ Eu
...more
Stuart
Americans don’t commonly read novels of ideas, but readers in other nations do. Hence other nations have publishers who print them in (sometimes) impressive quantities. A handful get translated and are sold in small numbers in the US, which brings me to The Capital. It’s a clever, fun look at European bureaucracy today. Nice translation. If you liked The Sellout or Red Plenty, you’ll probably like this one, too.
Alice
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a lot of fun - great satire about the lives and ambitions of career bureaucrats, idealism held hostage and a crime mystery on the side to boot.
Zoli
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly awarded book about the European Union - That's how you might try to describe it in a sentence, and just like any other summary it wouldn't do the book justice. It's like trying to describe life itself through various actions like "breathing", "eating", "sleeping"... all neccessary parts of life but not quite life itself. And that's what "Die Hauptstadt" succeeds in, describing various aspects of the European Union and creating a feeling within and in between those scenes that paints a big ...more
Candace
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Capital" is a terrific read, packed with great characters, an intriguing plot . . .it just grabs you. It's sharp, funny, and moving.

And then there are the pigs.

Yes, it's the Year of the Pig, there's a pig, or maybe even pigs, on the loose in Brussels, and there are factions in the EU that want to break loose and export pig parts to China. "The Capital" of the title is Brussels which is the capital of the EU and where the characters from all over Europe meet. For Americans, the European Unio
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Wrong page count 4 21 Jan 11, 2020 02:45PM  
Merge with original 1 3 Aug 24, 2019 10:53AM  
Der "Erwachsenen-...: Die Hauptstadt - Robert Menasse 23 28 Mar 10, 2018 05:10AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Tyll
  • Unterleuten
  • Herkunft
  • Empty Hearts
  • Neujahr
  • Schutzzone
  • Archipel
  • Mittagsstunde
  • Kruso
  • Sechs Koffer
  • Die Toten
  • Wiener Straße
  • Blackbird
  • Panikherz
  • Vor dem Fest
  • GRM: Brainfuck
  • Soloalbum
  • Ellbogen
See similar books…
77 followers
Robert Menasse is an Austrian writer and essayist. His work has received various awards, including the European Book Prize and the prestigious German Book Prize.

News & Interviews

Some people love books. Some people fall in love. And some people fall in love with books about falling in love. Every month our team sorts...
19 likes · 8 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Das Problem mit Fremdsprachen [...], wenn man sie nicht zumindest stiefmuttersprachlich beherrschte, war, dass man immer nur sagt, was man sagen kann, und nicht, was man sagen will. Die Differenz ist das Niemandsland zwischen den Grenzen der Welt.” 9 likes
“Als Brussel een open boek was, dan was het een stripboek.” 0 likes
More quotes…