Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Fame, By Daniel Kehlmann


Boyd Tonkin
Friday 14 October 2011 00:00 BST

This "novel in nine episodes" from the Austrian maestro takes us deep into that new space where networked gadgetry reconfigures private souls and public roles.

In deftly interlinked stories of technology, celebrity and mortality, clever metafictional games coincide with unironic reflections on loneliness, and ageing. Kehlmann plays his modish material for laughs, but also packs a punch.

Smart, comic but moving, the stories (translated by Carol Brown Janeway) shift from chat-room geek-speak to the touching melancholia of a sick woman at a suicide clinic, and the terminal fantasies of a Paolo Coelho-style New Age guru.

For all its tricks and ruses, Fame emits a steady signal of compassion for bewildered humans caught in the grip of the modern machine.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in