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Daniel Kehlmann transports the medieval legend of the trickster Tyll Ulenspiegel to the seventeenth century in an enchanting work of magical realism, macabre humor, and rollicking adventure.
Tyll is a scrawny boy growing up in a quiet village until his father, a miller with a forbidden interest in alchemy and magic, is found out by the church. After Tyll flees with the baker?s daughter, he falls in with a traveling performer who teaches him his trade. As a juggler and a jester, Tyll forges his own path through a world devastated by the Thirty Years? War, evading witch-hunters, escaping a collapsed mine outside a besieged city, and entertaining the exiled King and Queen of Bohemia along the way.
The result is both a riveting story and a moving tribute to the power of art in the face of the senseless brutality of history.
Translated from the German by Ross Benjamin