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the Complete Review
the complete review - fiction

     

Beerholms Vorstellung

by
Daniel Kehlmann


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To purchase Beerholms Vorstellung



Title: Beerholms Vorstellung
Author: Daniel Kehlmann
Genre: Novel
Written: 1997
Length: 286 pages
Original in: German
Availability: Beerholms Vorstellung
  • Beerholms Vorstellung has not been translated into English

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Our Assessment:

B : solid magical entertainment

See our review for fuller assessment.




Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
FAZ . 27/10/1997 Hubertus Breuer
Wiener Zeitung A 6/4/1997 René Freund

  From the Reviews:
  • "Daniel Kehlmann ist es in seinem Debüt noch nicht gelungen, aus dem guten Handwerk Magie werden zu lassen. Der Roman ist noch zu selbstbewußt, zu sehr in einem Netz von Ideen und verführerischen Szenen gefangen, das seinem Helden Luft zum Leben nimmt. Aber der Autor mag auf dem richtigen Weg sein." - Hubertus Breuer, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

  • "Kehlmann erzählt diese faszinierende, niemals ins Trivial-Phantastische abrutschende Geschichte sachlich, fast emotionslos, wodurch die dahinter stehenden Emotionen erst so richtig lebendig werden." - René Freund, Wiener Zeitung

Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge (and remind and warn you) that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

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The complete review's Review:

       The narrator of this novel is the magician Arthur Beerholm. A Vorstellung is both a performance as well as a notion or conception; both are presented here.
       Beerholm is not even thirty (old in comparison to the novel's author, just twenty-two when this was published) but he is already looking back over his life. He relates his unusual life-story, in which his talents for magic play a prominent role. Fatherless (no name is entered on the birth certificate), put up for adoption by his young mother, he becomes a Beerholm -- and then loses his adoptive mother at an early age as well. From the ages of ten to eighteen he attends the illustrious Ecole Internationale des Vescaux. The most influential occurrence in those years is when he first learns a card trick. Bitten by the magic bug, he buys as many books on the subject and learns as many tricks as he can.
       Arthur puts aside his magic upon leaving school. He takes a stab at studying theology, but his interest in magic remains. It is his true calling. He witnesses a rare performance by the greatest master of them all, his hero, Jan van Rode, and eventually forsakes his priestly-ambitions to apprentice with the master.
       Magic dominates Arthur's life as he himself becomes a master of the trade and a great success. But magic also becomes too much for him.
       Kehlmann has written an entertaining and imaginative account of this odd magician-life. Amusing and imaginative details and curious characters -- and a fair amount of magic trickery and explanation -- fill the book. Solid though unexceptional, fun and well-paced.

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Links:

Beerholms Vorstellung: Reviews: Daniel Kehlmann: Other books by Daniel Kehlmann under Review: Other books of interest under review:
  • See Index of German literature at the complete review

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About the Author:

       Daniel Kehlmann was born in Munich in 1975. He lives in Vienna, where he studied philosophy and literature. He has published several works of fiction.

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