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the Complete Review
the complete review - fiction

Unter der Sonne

Daniel Kehlmann

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To purchase Unter der Sonne

Title: Unter der Sonne
Author: Daniel Kehlmann
Genre: Stories
Written: 1998/2000
Length: 115 pages
Original in: German
Availability: Unter der Sonne
  • Unter der Sonne has not been translated into English
  • The paperback edition (2000) includes two stories that were not available in the 1998 hardcover edition

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Our Assessment:

B : solid, if unexceptional collection of stories

See our review for fuller assessment.

Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
FAZ . 18/3/1998 Walter Hinck

  From the Reviews:
  • "Die Erzählungen stellen klar, daß sich Kehlmann weder der Avantgarde anschließt noch jenen Kultur- und Literaturkonzepten, deren Namen mit der Vorsilbe "Post-" beginnen. Keine Erzähl- und Sprachexperimente, keine Selbstunterminierung des Erzähler-Ichs, keine Flirts mit Lieblingsstellen aus den Werken anderer, keine Selbstbedienung im Supermarkt der Literaturtradition." - Walter Hinck, Frankfurter Allgemeine 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:

       Unter der Sonne is a short volume of eight stories. They are fine, brief pieces: Kehlmann writes straightforwardly and presents his tales well, not trying anything too fancy.
       The stories vary, though the focus tends to be on individuals who do not quite fit in society. Life overwhelms them, forcing them to act -- or preventing them from doing so.
       In the first story, Bankraub ("Bank Robbery"), the central figure finds that because of a clerical error he has a fortune in his bank account, leading him to see if he can use it to escape from his mundane life. He finds, however, that his life is not that easy to escape.
       In Töten ("Killing") a youth finds empowerment in finally taking action, while in Pyr a man describes the reasons for his pyromaniacal doings.
       In the title story a literary academic seeks out his idol, a reclusive French author whose work, Unter der Sonne ("Under the Sun") was and remains his "größtes Erlebnis" ("greatest experience"). Even in death, however, the author eludes the seeker.
       In Kritik ("Criticism") an actor finds himself stuck on a plane in a seat next to a man who recognizes him and does not shy away from giving his two cents about the actor's talents.
       These and the others are small stories, nicely told and fairly clever though hardly exceptional. Kehlmann sets his scenes nicely, and he describes these generally sad fates without too much pathos. Nothing exceptional, but a decent little collection.

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Unter der Sonne: 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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