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Fame: A Novel in Nine Episodes Paperback – November 1, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“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)
Top Customer Reviews
Kehlmann is exploring the effects of technology on our perceptions of reality, and while this may sound esoteric and ponderous, it is done within a lively assortment of stories in which the characters and points of view are not only realistic and satiric, but usually wickedly funny. He raises questions about what happens to our definition of reality when we spend hours of our real lives "communicating" on the internet, often in chat rooms using monikers instead of real names, where we create whole new fictional lives for ourselves. We converse on cellphones, record cellphone videos, and sometimes post these on YouTube, allowing the world to share them. How "real" are all these versions of reality? And how "real" is the fame that often accompanies our recorded achievements in film, TV, and literature?
Kehlmann's nine stories all deal with the ironies of people caught between reality and fiction.Read more ›
High, I discovered.
Kehlmann has talent to burn. Even more important, he has an unselfish desire to communicate clearly with readers. In this, his sixth book, he brings together nine "episodes" that capture the feel of life in contemporary society. At the same time, Kehlmann offers canny reflections on the increasingly blurry boundaries between reality and fiction, truth and falsehood, the real and the unreal. He handles these subjects deftly, self-mockingly, and, by book's end, poignantly.
In a nod to post-modernist "metafiction" fashion, a few of the book's tales place front and center the slippery relationship between the author and his characters. In one story, for example, a character begs the author not to plot her demise. In another episode a young woman (an assistant to a famous writer) fears ending up as a mere character in one of his stories. This interplay of real and unreal is not new territory: consider Pirandello's drama, "Six Characters in Search of an Author" and, in a different creative medium, the Hollywood movies "The Truman Show" (1998) and "Stranger Than Fiction" (2006). It's a captivating device that remains fresh in the hands of Kehlmann.
There is a debate buzzing around "Fame" about whether it is a true novel, or a set of short stories, or something in between.Read more ›
There are several plot lines advancing simultaneously. One of them is a mobile-phone mistake, which enables a nobody to meddle in the life of someone famous though he doesn't even know who it is. This not only impacts the victim's life by fitting into his crumbling sense of identity - though he doesn't even understand what really happened - but also those within the company responsible for the mistake by their own inattention and the chaos in their own lives. Another is the relationship between a writer (a protean thinker and provocateur) and his new lover, a quintessential doer and fixer who works for Doctors Without Borders in war zones. In-between, there are misperceptions, switched identities, and bringing fictional characters to life, often in the form of stories, complete with the characters dialoguing with the writer about their fates or even intervening in real life to the surprise of the novel's "real" people.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I wasn't sure what to expect as I had never read any other works from the author and this title was next on the list for a German book club that I just joined. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Michael J. Dugan
It's not easy to convey in a short review a sense of the experience of reading Daniel Kehlmann's "Fame. Read morePublished on November 24, 2013 by Michael J. Ettner
On the thin end of 3 stars. The content of the book is covered in other reviews, but for me Fame was at best appealingly clever; I found neither the suggested metaphysical... Read morePublished on April 16, 2013 by monica
Doesn't THAT sound damning? And it's not meant to, honestly. This is a book where meta and narrative meet and wrestle each other to the ground. Read morePublished on December 5, 2012 by Amazon Customer
This was vastly different than most novels and structured in a very contemporary fashion.I found the chacters and the situations highly satirical and humorous. Read morePublished on March 14, 2012 by S.J.Tagliareni
A string of short stories that make up a larger story each from the point of view of a different character. It reminded me of Welcome to the Goon Squad. Read morePublished on January 31, 2012 by S. Steinberg
Little did I know how intriguing this novel would be. My feelings of curiosity and wonder only grew in suprisingly new ways after reading chapter one. Read morePublished on July 19, 2011 by Julian J
I wasn't going to write a review here because I didn't want to poo poo on the high praise parade, but this book struck me as rushed and superficial. Read morePublished on February 22, 2011 by Max Hammer aka Larry C.