Written on the very cusp of the dawning of the 80's ("Orwell's decade") Grass introduces us to an overview of a film idea he has.
The film is to be called 'Headbirths' and the lead characters are Dorte & Harm Peters, two 30-something ex-radical teachers...together with an omnipresent liver-sausage. The Peters' are consumed with intellectual angst over the pro's and con's of bringing a baby into a wildly over-populated world. Both they, and the liver-sausage, go on a whistle-stop, globe-trotting tour of third-world destitution to help them arrive at an answer.
Using considerable irony and dark humour Grass uses these ingedients to comment on a vast array of socaial issues that were facing Germany, and the world at that time.
Almost all of these issues are equally (or more) relevant today, - nuclear waste, over-population, perceptions of racial purity etc. - with only the cast of contemporary German politicians, and frequent references to the two Germanys now seeming anachronistic.
More of a self-reflexive essay than a novel then, but still relevant, still interesting, and still fun.