F: Book summary and reviews of F by Daniel Kehlmann

F by Daniel Kehlmann X
F by Daniel Kehlmann
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2014
    272 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

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 a vocation. (F is for faith, and lack of it.) Eric becomes a financier (F is for fraud), losing touch with reality as he faces ruin, while Ivan, destined for glory as a painter, instead becomes a forger. (F is for forgery, too.) They've settled into their life choices, but when the summer of the global financial crisis dawns they're thrown together again with cataclysmic results.

Wildly funny, heartbreaking, tragic, Daniel Kehlmann's novel about truth, family, and the terrible power of fortune is a fictional triumph.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[F] is both bizarre and bleakly humorous, a slim manifesto on the divide between people's dreams and their destinies." - Publishers Weekly

"German writer Kehlmann... takes us on a strange and enigmatic journey here. " - Kirkus

"This appealing, well-written novel by Kehlmann... realistically portrays the brothers' everyday lives as they occasionally stumble into shadowy and mysterious areas." - Library Journal

"What a strange and beautiful novel, hovering on the misty borders of the abstract and the real... It's a deeply writerly novel with a stout backbone of wonderful characterization. High achievement." - Ian McEwan

"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. He deserves to have more readers in the United States." - Jeffrey Eugenides

"F is an intricate, beautiful novel in multiple disguises: a family saga, a fable, and a high-speed farce. But then, what else would you expect? Daniel Kehlmann is one of the great novelists for making giant themes seem light." - Adam Thirlwell

This information about F shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Daniel Kehlmann Author Biography

Photo: Michael Lionstar

Daniel Kehlmann was born in Munich in 1975 to the director Michael Kehlmann and the actress Dagmar Mettler. In 1981 he came to Vienna with his family, where he attended the Kalksburg College, a Jesuit school, and then studied philosophy and German studies at the University of Vienna. In 1997 he published his first novel Beerholms Presentation. He held poetic lectureships in Mainz, Wiesbaden and Göttingen and was awarded numerous prizes, including the Candide Prize, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation Prize, the Doderer Prize, the Kleist Prize 2006 and most recently the WELT Literature Prize 2007 excellent.

Kehlmann's reviews and essays have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including Der Spiegel, Guardian, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung, ...

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Link to Daniel Kehlmann's Website

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