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Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann
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Tyll (original 2017; edition 2020)

by Daniel Kehlmann

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8343226,538 (3.95)1 / 83
Fiction. Literature. Historical Fiction. HTML:From the internationally best-selling author of You Should Have Left, Measuring the World, and F, a transfixing retelling of the German myth of Tyll Ulenspiegel: a story about the devastation of war and a beguiling artist's decision never to die

Daniel Kehlmann masterfully weaves the fates of many historical figures into this enchanting work of magical realism and adventure. This account of the seventeenth-century vagabond performer and trickster Tyll Ulenspiegel begins when he's a scrawny boy growing up in a quiet village. When his father, a miller with a secret interest in alchemy and magic, is found out by the church, Tyll is forced to flee with the baker's daughter, Nele. They find safety and companionship with a traveling performer, who teaches Tyll his trade. And so begins a journey of discovery and performance for Tyll, as he travels through a continent devastated by the Thirty Years' War and encounters along the way a hangman, a fraudulent Jesuit scholar, and the exiled King Frederick and Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia.

Tyll displays Kehlmann's remarkable narrative gifts and confirms the power of art in the face of the senseless brutality of history.
Translated from the German by Ross Benjamin.
… (more)
Member:Kiramke
Title:Tyll
Authors:Daniel Kehlmann
Info:Riverrun, Kindle Edition, 353 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:litlit, translation, seeing, shape-of-cities

Work Information

Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann (2017)

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 1001 Books to read before you die: Group Read, January 2022: Tyll13 unread / 13Henrik_Madsen, January 2022

» See also 83 mentions

English (23)  German (5)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (32)
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
Deep in the feels of my heritage and personal folklore.
I obviously loved it. I think probably those who don't share my very specific interests and references will still find it worthwhile. ( )
  Kiramke | May 28, 2024 |
Good historical novels create a universe, and not simply dress some characters up in period costumes. This book is one of these.

I really liked the non-linear plot, the unreliable narrators and a touch of magic realism.

Kudos to the translator as well - it felt like the novel was originally written in English, and not in German.

This was a great way to start a new book year :-) ( )
  Alexandra_book_life | Dec 15, 2023 |
Brilliantly inventive. Clever. Reviewers have--accurately in my judgment--called it "a rip-roaring yarn" (The Guardian) and "a rollicking historical picaresque" (Publisher's Weekly). Kehlmann has a gift for description and some of his set pieces are extraordinary works of description and terribly moving. And that's the problem: this is all that...but no more. In the end the book left me feeling that it was less than the sum of its parts. The book is a tale of Tyll’s life (he moves the historical Till Eulenspiegel from the 14th century up to the early 17th century and the Thirty Years War). He tells the tale, or the life, in episodes and the episodes never added up to a full life. Not even close, sadly. Tyll is wonderfully alive in the beginning but as the new episodes add more brilliant stories, he becomes almost a stick figure, the same aspects of his character shown, the same bits told over and over, as if Kehlmann had spent so much time on creating his contexts that he ran out of imagination when it came to placing his protagonist in them. Make no mistake: he is a great writer (and Ross Benjamin’s translation is terrific)…but ultimately I found myself disappointed despite the inventiveness, the cleverness, and the ingenious and even inspired situations. ( )
  Gypsy_Boy | Aug 25, 2023 |
um conto de bruxas na Alemanha da idade media
  HelioAdrianus | Jun 16, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
[I]n zekere zin is Tijl een vrijwel foutloos boek. Gloedvol geschreven, met vaart en kleurrijke details over een onbekende periode, en dan komen er terloops ook nog eens wezenlijke thema’s aan bod – wat valt er nog meer van een (historische) roman te verwachten? Welbeschouwd niets, en toch merkte ik dat het me zowaar enige moeite kostte de eindstreep van Tijl te halen, dat ik me op den duur zelfs wat begon te ergeren. Wellicht door de afstand die zo inherent is aan het hoofdpersonage en de hele verhaalopzet. Of door al Kehlmanns technische vernuft: soms leest de roman bijna alsof die het resultaat is van een masterclass schrijven.
 
Tijl is niet een afgerond verhaal, maar dat moet liggen aan de aard van de hoofdpersoon. Want voordat de ene episode goed en wel is verteld, net wanneer je de jonge Tijl hebt leren kennen, of net wanneer Elisabeth Stuart een vrouw van vlees en bloed is geworden, trekt Tijl verder en overbrugt Kehlmann jaren en windstreken met een witregel. Dat maakt het boek een tikje pesterig, wat ruimschoots wordt gecompenseerd door de taal van Kehlmann. Met Tijl levert hij de streek van de nar.
 
Welkom in de koude, duistere wereld die Kehlmann oproept. Een wereld van kindersterfte en bijgeloof. Van spookwouden en behekste bomen. Van pest en Inquisitie. Van hertogen en huurlingen. [...] De Duitse landstreken waren in 1648 bedekt met as. Zo’n verbrande wereld oproepen is het werk van een groots verteller. En alleen de lach van de nar schalt na.
added by Jozefus | editTrouw, Wim Boevink (Dec 2, 2017)
 
Das Werk rund um die Figur des Tyll Ulenspiegel ist süffig geworden und steckt voller unvergesslicher, anrührender Szenen […] Das ist eine tolle Mischung, voll unvergeßlicher und anrührender Szenen.
 

» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kehlmann, Danielprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Benjamin, RossTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Comrie, TylerCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Noethen, UlrichNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pesetti, MonicaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rijnaarts, JosephineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Fiction. Literature. Historical Fiction. HTML:From the internationally best-selling author of You Should Have Left, Measuring the World, and F, a transfixing retelling of the German myth of Tyll Ulenspiegel: a story about the devastation of war and a beguiling artist's decision never to die

Daniel Kehlmann masterfully weaves the fates of many historical figures into this enchanting work of magical realism and adventure. This account of the seventeenth-century vagabond performer and trickster Tyll Ulenspiegel begins when he's a scrawny boy growing up in a quiet village. When his father, a miller with a secret interest in alchemy and magic, is found out by the church, Tyll is forced to flee with the baker's daughter, Nele. They find safety and companionship with a traveling performer, who teaches Tyll his trade. And so begins a journey of discovery and performance for Tyll, as he travels through a continent devastated by the Thirty Years' War and encounters along the way a hangman, a fraudulent Jesuit scholar, and the exiled King Frederick and Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia.

Tyll displays Kehlmann's remarkable narrative gifts and confirms the power of art in the face of the senseless brutality of history.
Translated from the German by Ross Benjamin.

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Shoes — Lord Of The Air — Zusmarshausen — Kings In Winter — Hunger — The Great Art Of Llight And Shadow — In The Shaft — Westphalia
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