Tyll
—Kehlmann, Daniel, 1975- author.
Book
2020
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Daniel Kehlmann masterfully weaves the fates of many historical figures into this enchanting and picturesque book of magical realism and adventure. It is the story of the 17th century vagabond performer and trickster Tyll Ulenspiegel that begins before he is enshrined in rumors and myths. We meet him as a scrawny boy growing up in a quiet village. When his father, a miller with an 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. This begins a journey of discovery and performance for Tyll as he travels through a world devastated by the Thirty Year's War, and encountering along the way a young scholar, a hangman, the German poet Paul Fleming, a fraudulent Jesuit scholar, and the exiled royal couple Elizabeth and Frederick of Bohemia among many others--building his sardonic reputation all the while.

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