A thrilling exploration of psychological disturbance and fear from the bestselling and prize-winning author of Measuring the World.
On retreat in the wintry Alps with his family, a writer is optimistic about completing the sequel to his breakthrough film. Nothing to disturb him except the wind whispering around their glassy house. The perfect place to focus. Intruding on that peace of mind, the demands of his four-year-old daughter splinter open long-simmering arguments with his wife. I love her, he writes in the notebook intended for his script. Why do we fight all the time?Guilt and expectation strain at his concentration, and strain, too, at the walls of the house. They warp under his watch; at night, looking through the window, he sees impossible reflections on the snow outside.Then the words start to appear in his notebook; the words he didn't write.Familiar and forbidding by turns, this is an electrifying experiment in form by one of Europe's boldest writers. The ordinary struggles of a marriage transform, in Kehlmann's hands, into a twisted fable that stays darkly in the mind.
Imagine being famous. Being recognized on the street, adored by people who have never even met you, known the world over. Wouldnt 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 didnt 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 youd 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 Europes finest young writers.
From the Hardcover edition.
Measuring the World marks the debut of a glorious new talent on the international scene. Young Austrian writer Daniel Kehlmann's brilliant comic novel revolves around the meeting of two colossal geniuses of the Enlightenment.Late in the eighteenth century, two young Germans set out to measure the world. One of them, the aristocratic naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, negotiates jungles, voyages down the Orinoco River, tastes poisons, climbs the highest mountain known to man, counts head lice, and explores and measures every cave and hill he comes across. The other, the reclusive and barely socialized mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss, can prove that space is curved without leaving his home. Terrifyingly famous and wildly eccentric, these two polar opposites finally meet in Berlin in 1828, and are immediately embroiled in the turmoil of the post-Napolean world.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Friedland brothers have nothing in common. Martin is a priest with no faith. Ivan is an artist with no integrity. Eric is a financier - now, with no money. Each, in their own way, a fake. Each about to step into the abyss.