Thursday, November 6, 2014

F by Daniel Kehlmann review – a comic novel about the death of God


This is an exuberant look at love and life in an absurd and godless universe

Laughter in the darkness … Daniel Kehlmann. Photograph: Jens Trenkler/dpa/Corbis


It cannot be an easy thing to write a comic novel about the death of God. Still, the German novelist Daniel Kehlmann may just have pulled it off. “F” is the protagonist of a book within a book, the debut novel of Arthur Friedland, a rather disorganised buffoon who never had any success as a writer until an encounter with a hypnotist gave his life its chilly purpose: “This is an order, and you’re going to follow it because you want to follow it, and you want to because I’m ordering you, and I’m ordering you because you want me to give the order. Starting today, you’re going to make an effort. No matter what it costs. Repeat!”

My Name Is No One is so exuberantly nihilistic, its readers are throwing themselves off TV transmission towers. As Kehlmann says: “The sentences are well constructed, the narrative has a powerful flow, the reader would be enjoying the text were it not for a persistent feeling of somehow being mocked.”

WANT TO BUY IT? CLICK HERE F: A Novel

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