You Should Have Left: Book summary and reviews of You Should Have Left by Daniel Kehlmann

You Should Have Left

by Daniel Kehlmann

You Should Have Left by Daniel Kehlmann X
You Should Have Left by Daniel Kehlmann
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2017
    128 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

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."

This passage is from the first entry of a journal kept by the narrator of Daniel Kehlmann's spellbinding new novel. It is 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 the narrator's recollection and seems to defy the very laws of physics. He is eager to finish a screenplay 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 him - and within him.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Kehlmann uses all these familiar tropes beautifully. But he also creates a sense of existential dread that transcends the typical ghost story…A book to keep you up at night." - Kirkus

"Kehlmann (Measuring the World) makes deft use of horror staples and offers commentary on the distinction between art and life: "in a movie it's funny when a life falls apart, because the people say clever things while it's happening, but in reality it's only dismal and repugnant." But the plot of this spare and occasionally thrilling novel is ultimately indistinguishable from a by-the-numbers horror flick." - Publishers Weekly

"My favorite German novelist." - The Sunday Times (UK)

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Author Information

Daniel Kehlmann Author Biography

Photo: Michael Lionstar

Daniel Kehlmann was born in 1975, the son of the director Michael Kehlmann and actress Dagmar Mettler in Munich. In 1981 he came with his family to Vienna where he later attended the University of Vienna and studied philosophy and German. His first novel Beerholms Vorstellung was published in 1997. He held poetry lectureships in Mainz, Wiesbaden and Göttingen and has received numerous awards, including the Candide Prize, the Prize of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Doderer Prize, the Kleist Prize 2006 and most recently the WORLD-Literature Prize 2007. Kehlmann's reviews and essays have been published in numerous magazines and newspapers, including Der Spiegel, Guardian, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Literaturen and Volltext. His novel Me and Kaminski ...

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