Fame

      Daniel Kehlmann
Fame

Imagine being famous. Being recognized on the street, adored by people who have never even met you, known the world over. Wouldn’t that be great?

But what if, one day, you got stuck in a country where celebrity means nothing, where no one spoke your language and you didn’t speak theirs, where no one knew your face (no book jackets, no TV) and you had no way of calling home? How would your fame help you then?

What if someone got hold of your cell phone? What if they spoke to your girlfriends, your agent, your director, and started making decisions for you? And worse, what if no one believed you were you anymore? When you saw a look-alike acting your roles for you, what would you do?

And what if one day you realized your magnum opus, like everything else you’d ever written, was a total waste of time, empty nonsense? What would you do next? Would your audience of seven million people keep you going? Or would you lose the capacity to keep on doing it?

Fame and facelessness, truth and deception, spin their way through all nine episodes of this captivating, wickedly funny, and perpetually surprising novel as paths cross and plots thicken, as characters become real people and real people morph into characters. The result is a dazzling tour de force by one of Europe’s finest young writers.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In this brilliant study of the fragility and interconnectedness of life, Kehlmann (Measuring the World) probes issues of identity in nine overlapping narratives, with each pivoting on a moment where a commonplace event becomes a crack and then a flood gate for existential horror. It begins as computer technician Ebling buys a cellphone, only to discover the number he is assigned belongs to movie star Ralf Tanner; at first resistant, Ebling is soon making decisions that alter Ralf's life. Later, after his phone has abruptly stopped ringing, Ralf finds his life taken over by an impersonator. Meanwhile, the telecommunications executive whose negligence led to the phone number switch cracks from the pressures of having an affair. In a parallel plot, Elisabeth, a volunteer for Doctors Without Borders, keeps her work secret from her famous boyfriend, the writer Leo Richter, out of fear he will steal her experiences for future adventures of his most popular character. Layers of connection, irony, despair, and humor distinguish this masterful work and announce Kehlman as a worthy heir to Bowles and Camus.
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Review

"Daniel Kehlmann's Fame is a darkly comic masterpiece, a rare and thrilling example of a philosophical novel as pleasurable as it is thought-provoking." —San Francisco Chronicle

“In Kehlmann’s wickedly clever novel of nine interconnected stories, fame is something his cast of widely disparate characters seek, avoid, flirt with, and succumb to. . . [They are] luminous creations, and the coincidental devices that link them are brilliant gambits. Kehlmann showcases a flair for devious satire.”
—Booklist (starred) 
  
“[A] darkly comic tour de force…A brazen take on the modern yearning for recognition. Kehlmann is a writer worth reading.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“[A] brilliant study of the fragility and interconnectedness of life. . . Layers of connection, irony, despair, and humor distinguish this masterful work.”
Publishers Weekly (starred)

"Who would have thought contemporary Central European literature could be so fun and so funny?  Daniel Kehlmann is who. The young Austrian prodigy, famous everywhere but in the United States, has given us a real beauty of a book, farcical, satiric, melancholic, and humane. Modern fame may have been invented in America, but nobody has dramatized its paradoxes and heartbreaks more entertainingly than the European Kehlmann does here."
Jonathan Franzen

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    F

      Daniel Kehlmann
F

F is for family. F is for fortune. F is for fraud. F is for fate.

From the internationally acclaimed author of Measuring the World, here is a dazzling tragicomedy about three brothers whose father takes on the occult and both wins and loses.

Arthur is a dilettante, a wannabe writer who decides to fill an afternoon by taking his three young sons to a performance by the Great Lindemann, Master of Hypnosis. While allowing one of them to be called onto the stage and made a spectacle of, Arthur declares himself to be immune to hypnosis and a disbeliever in all magic. But the Great Lindemann knows better. He gets Arthur to tell him his deepest secrets and then tells him to make them real. That night, Arthur empties the family bank account, takes his passport, and vanishes. He's going to become a world-famous author, a master of the mystical. (F is for fake.)

But what of the boys? Martin, painfully shy, grows up to be a Catholic priest without...
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    You Should Have Left

      Daniel Kehlmann
You Should Have Left

From the internationally best-selling author of Measuring the World and F, an eerie and supernatural tale of a writer's emotional collapse
"It is fitting that I'm beginning a new notebook up here. New surroundings and new ideas, a new beginning. Fresh air."
These are the opening lines of the journal kept by the narrator of Daniel Kehlmann's spellbinding new novel: the record of the seven days that he, his wife, and his four-year-old daughter spend in a house they have rented in the mountains of Germany—a house that thwarts the expectations of his recollection and seems to defy the very laws of physics. The narrator is eager to finish a screenplay, entitled Marriage, for a sequel to the movie that launched his career, but something he cannot explain is undermining his convictions and confidence, a process he is recording in this account of the uncanny events that unfold as he tries to understand what, exactly, is happening around...
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