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F: A Novel

Daniel Kehlmann

9 Reviews

Rated 0

Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Fiction in translation

Highly-praised new novel from the bestselling Austrian author of Measuring the World

Artful and subversive, F tells the story of the Friedland family - fakers, all of them - and the day when the fate in which they don't quite believe catches up with them.

Having achieved nothing in life, Arthur Friedland is tricked on stage by a hypnotist and told to change everything. After he abandons his three young sons, they grow up to be a faithless priest, a broke financier and a forger. Each of them cultivates absence. One will be lost to it.

A novel about the game of fate and the fetters of family, F never stops questioning, exploring and teasing at every twist and turn of its Rubik's Cube-like narrative.

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Praise for F: A Novel

  • A comic tour de force, a biting satire on the hypnotized world of artificial wants and needs that Huxley predicted, a moving study of brotherhood and family failure, F is an astonishing book, a work of deeply satisfying (and never merely clever) complexity . . . It is a novel of deep beauty, psychological insight and, finally, compassion; a book that, in a world of fakes and manufactured objects of desire, is the real article: a bona fide, inimitable masterpiece - Times Literary Supplement

  • Kehlmann is one of the brightest, most pleasure-giving writers at work today, and he manages all this while exploring matters of deep philosophical and intellectual import - Jeffrey Eugenides

  • It is this sense of a world potent with significance that seems at once within our reach and beyond our grasp that forms the central concern of this most accomplished, humane and unsettling of novels - a work that registers how it is to feel so alive to the 'terrible beauty of things' as to feel the world is talking to us - Literary Review

  • What a strange and beautiful novel, hovering on the misty borders of the abstract and the real . . . High achievement - Ian McEwan

  • Intelligent, acerbic and quietly surreal . . . Powering the narrative is the explosive fallout from the collision between fate and self-determination . . . Subtle and clever in all the right ways. Kehlmann's world is fully convincing while being philosophically challenging. He has a hypnotic effect, seducing us with his storytelling while provoking us to find meanings of our own - Saturday Telegraph

  • 'F is an intricate, beautiful novel in multiple disguises: a family saga, a fable, and a high-speed

  • farce . . . Daniel Kehlmann is one of the great novelists for making giant themes seem light' - Adam Thirlwell

  • Daniel Kehlmann braided art, religion and finance into a typically effervescent but heartfelt comedy-of-ideas about faith and fakery - Independent

  • Daniel Kehlmann's subtly yet masterly constructed puzzle cube of a new novel . . . conveying the implicit message that Fate with a capital F has already decided the answer for us . . . Yet Kehlmann's ambitious narrative structure - the novel itself - provides the strongest rebuke of that deterministic claim. For the novel, with its sly Mobius-strip-like connectedness, doesn't just hint at the possibility of a plan behind the scenes; it enacts that plan in the very telling, its elegant, unfolding construction revealing the author's intended pattern by book's end; a sign of hope, perhaps, or even faith - New York Times

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Daniel Kehlmann

Daniel Kehlmann was born in Munich in 1975 and lives in Vienna, Berlin and New York. He has published six novels: Measuring the World, Me & Kaminski, Fame, F, You Should Have Left and Tyll and has won numerous prizes, including the Candide Prize, the Literature Prize of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Doderer Prize, The Kleist Prize, the WELT Literature Prize, and the Thomas Mann Prize. Measuring the World was translated into more than forty languages and is one of the biggest successes in post-war German literature.

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