Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann

Tyll

Daniel Kehlmann

Germany during the Thirty Years' War was a hell on earth. Tyll Ulenspiegel survives because he refuses to die. He betrays his father, runs away and becomes a mountebank - all because he refuses to die. He meets all sort of people - Dr Tesimond, the only surviving Gunpowder Plotter, Athanasius Kircher, an academic, and Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia. And still Tyll refuses to die. This is a sardonic, darkly humorous tale of survival..

Extract

The wind carried small, cold raindrops. All around them were tree stumps, hundreds of them; a whole forest had been cut down. They passed through a village that had been burned to its foundation walls, and there they saw a heap of corpses. The fat count averted his eyes and then looked after all. He saw blackened faces, a torso with only one arm, a hand clenched into a claw, two empty eye sockets over an open mouth, and something that looked like a sack but was the remains of a body. An acrid smell hung in the air.

Parallels
  • Mother Courage and Her Children by Bertholt Brecht
  • Freedom Hospital by Hamid Sulaiman
  • The Story of a Brief Marriage by Anuk Arudpragasam

Books with similar mood

An Orchestra of Minorities

Chigozie Obioma

Tiger Hills

Sarita Mandanna

Fordlandia

Eduardo Sguiglia

Hunters in the Dark

Lawrence Osborne

Carnivalesque

Neil Jordan

Echoland

Per Petterson

Waking Lions

Ayelet Gunder-Goshen

The Limits of the World

Andrew Raymond Drennan

The Gospel According to Cane

Courttia Newland

The Society of Others

William Nicholson

Cryer's Hill

Kitty Aldridge

The Wilding

Maria McCann

Sketcher

Roland Watson-Grant

From Darkest Skies

Sam Peters

The Tryst

Monique Roffey

The Water Cure

Sophie Mackintosh

Children of Earth and Sky

Guy Gavriel Kay

Welcome to Lagos

Chibundu Onuzo

Petite Mort

Beatrice Hitchman

Isabel's Skin

Peter Benson

Spilt Milk

Kopano Matlwa

The Portrait

Iain Pears

A Cowrie of Hope

Binwell Sinyangwe

A Clash of Kings

George R R Martin

The Housekeeper

Melanie Wallace

The Den

Abi Maxwell

The Mermaid

Christina Henry

La Belle Sauvage

Philip Pullman

The Golem and the Djinni

Helene Wecker

The Dead Lake

Hamid Ismailov

The Orchardist

Amanda Coplin

Tender Morsels

Margo Lanagan

Angelglass

David Barnett

Strangers

Taichi Yamada

On Cape Three Points

Christopher Wakling

The Love Artist

Jane Alison

Kintu

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

The Woman at 1,000 Degrees

Hallgrímur Helgason

Goblin

Ever Dundas

The Fractured Life of Jimmy Dice

Ronan Ryan

The Silent Boy

Andrew Taylor

Dancing With Statues

Caroline Doherty de Novoa

The Man Who Rained

Ali Shaw

The Last Warner Woman

Kei Miller

Tango for a Torturer

Daniel Chavarria

Oyster

John Biguenet

Brixton Beach

Roma Tearne

The Kites

Romain Gary