He’s a trickster, a player, a jester. His handshake’s like a pact with the devil, his smile like a crack in the clouds; he’s watching you now and he’s gone when you turn. Tyll Ulenspiegel is here!
In “Tyll” by Daniel Kehlmann, a scrawny boy balances on a rope between two trees in a village like every other village in German. He’s practicing. He practices by the mill, by the blacksmiths; he practices in the forest at night, where the Cold Woman whispers and goblins roam. When he comes out, he will never be the same.
Tyll will escape the ordinary villages. In the mines he will defy death. On the battlefield he will run faster than cannonballs. In the courts he will trick the heads of state. As a travelling entertainer, his journey will take him across the land and into the heart of a never-ending war.
A prince’s doomed acceptance of the Bohemian throne has European armies lurching brutally for dominion and now the Winter King casts a sunless pall. Between the quests of fat counts, witch-hunters and scheming queens, Tyll dances his mocking fugue; exposing the folly of kings and the wisdom of fools.
Daniel Kehlmann’s originally German-written novel “Tyll” was shortlisted for the international booker prize in 2020.
Published 09/03/2021 by Quercus Publishing (riverrun) in the United Kingdom
Paperback | 352 pages
‘A masterly achievement, a work of imaginative grandeur and complete artistic control’ Ian McEwan
‘Brilliant and unputdownable’ Salman Rushdie
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