Imagine being famous. Being recognized on the street, adored by people who have never even met you, known the world over. Wouldn’t that be great?
But what if, one day, you got stuck in a country where celebrity means nothing, where no one spoke your language and you didn’t speak theirs, where no one knew your face (no book jackets, no TV) and you had no way of calling home? How would your fame help you then?
What if someone got hold of your cell phone? What if they spoke to your girlfriends, your agent, your director, and started making decisions for you? And worse, what if no one believed you were you anymore? When you saw a look-alike acting your roles for you, what would you do?
And what if one day you realized your magnum opus, like everything else you’d ever written, was a total waste of time, empty nonsense? What would you do next? Would your audience of seven million people keep you going? Or would you lose the capacity to keep on doing it?
Fame and facelessness, truth and deception, spin their way through all nine episodes of this captivating, wickedly funny, and perpetually surprising novel as paths cross and plots thicken, as characters become real people and real people morph into characters. The result is a dazzling tour de force by one of Europe’s finest young writers.
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Daniel Kehlmann’s Measuring the World was translated into more than forty languages. Awards his work has received include the Candide Prize, the Literature Prize of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Heimito von Doderer Literature Award, the Kleist Prize, the WELT Literature Prize, and the Thomas Mann Prize. Kehlmann divides his time between Vienna and Berlin.
Praise for Fame…
“A darkly comic masterpiece, a rare and thrilling example of a philosophical novel as pleasurable as it is thought-provoking.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Who would have thought contemporary Central European literature could be so fun and so funny?. . . A real beauty of a book, farcical, satiric, melancholic, and humane.” —Jonathan Franzen, author of Freedom
“Dazzling. . . . Has satirical bite and technical sparkle.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Combines the geeky adventure of Stephenson with the icy wit that Paul Auster was once known for. . . . Engaging, provocative entertainment.” —Los Angeles Times
“Kafka for the Facebook-famous generation.” —Time Out New York
“This slim, funny, provocative book justifies its structure brilliantly. . . . The stories in Fame make a terrific case for the way fiction enables us to lead double lives—and then, at the stories’ end, to go home.” —The Boston Globe
“[A] brilliant study of the fragility and interconnectedness of life. . . . Layers of conection, irony, despair, and humor distinguish this masterful work.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“The real subject of Kehlmann’s book is language: its fiery possibilities of granting us a name, its humiliating shortcomings in telling who we are, its ignominious deceits and false promises, its ingenious devices to help us translate the experience of ourselves into the experience of another. . . . An extraordinary feat.” —The Guardian (London)
“Fame is a Nabokovian puzzle, a game of hide-and-seek, and a playful reflection on cultural renown and the lack thereof. . . . Kehlmann has Nabokov’s and Barth’s love of false leads, false bottoms, and, perhaps, false dichotomies.” —Bookforum
“In Kehlmann’s wickedly clever novel, fame is something his cast of widely disparate characters seek, avoid, flirt with, and succumb to. . . . [They are] luminous creations, and the coincidental devices that link them are brilliant gambits. Kehlmann showcases a flair for devious satire.” —Booklist (starred review)
“We were so hooked by the intriguing, interwoven stories, we couldn’t put it down.” —Gawker
“[A] darkly comic tour de force. . . . A brazen take on the modern yearning for recognition. Kehlmann is a writer worth reading.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)