Pantheon Books, Hardcover, 9780307911810, 272pp.
Publication Date: August 26, 2014
From the internationally acclaimed author of "Measuring the World, " here is a dazzling tragicomedy about three brothers whose father takes on the occult and both wins and loses.
Arthur is a dilettante, a wannabe writer who decides to fill an afternoon by taking his three young sons to a performance by the Great Lindemann, Master of Hypnosis. While allowing one of them to be called onto the stage and made a spectacle of, Arthur declares himself to be immune to hypnosis and a disbeliever in all magic. But the Great Lindemann knows better. He gets Arthur to tell him his deepest secrets and then tells him to make them real. That night, Arthur empties the family bank account, takes his passport, and vanishes. He's going to become a world-famous author, a master of the mystical. (F is for fake.)
But what of the boys? Martin, painfully shy, grows up to be a Catholic priest without a vocation. (F is for faith, and lack of it.) Eric becomes a financier (F is for fraud), losing touch with reality as he faces ruin, while Ivan, destined for glory as a painter, instead becomes a forger. (F is for forgery, too.) They ve settled into their life choices, but when the summer of the global financial crisis dawns they re thrown together again with cataclysmic results.
Wildly funny, heartbreaking, tragic, Daniel Kehlmann's novel about truth, family, and the terrible power of fortune is a fictional triumph.
Daniel Kehlmann's F, about three brothers abandoned by their father, examines the detail of lives lived without integrity. It is brilliantly translated from the German by Carol Brown Janeway. More at NPR.org
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