I read this for the Booker Prize group. It was interesting but confusing for my brain. It’s a “magical realism” take on the Thirty-Years War as it played out in Germany and Central Europe. The lead character, Tyll, is based on the mythological character of Till Eulenspiegel who was a popular fiction in 16th century Germany. The result is a kind of Mason & Dixon (Thomas Pynchon) taking place about a century earlier and in a different part of the world. Tyll and his friend, Nell have adventures as the war plays out in different ways around them with fiction and non- mixed in great ways.
Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann
2017 – 344 pages
Translation by Ross Benjamin 2020
Read by Firdus Bamji – 11h 57m
Rating – 8.5 / contemp fict.
(Both read and listened)
This book is not putting the basis for the war on religious freedoms or denominations, but rather on old family ties, feuds and land grabs.
As I said it was interesting and fun and it’s not too long. I think you don’t really need any background in the Thirty Years War itself, but there are a lot of characters and episodes. I’m sure my response to the book would improve with a second reading which I’ll probably do but not right now.