In a brilliant, riotous tale full of macabre humour, Daniel Kehlmann lifts a jester legend from German folklore and puts him into the Thirty Years War. Translated by Ross Benjamin.

He’s a trickster, a player, a jester. His handshake’s like a pact with the devil, his smile like a crack in the clouds. On the battlefield he will run faster than cannonballs. In the courts he will trick the heads of state. As a travelling entertainer, his journey will take him across the land and into the heart of a never-ending war. Between the quests of fat counts, witch-hunters and scheming queens, Tyll dances his mocking fugue; exposing the folly of kings and the wisdom of fools.

The 2020 International Booker Prize
Published by
Riverrun, Quercus
Publication date
Daniel Kehlmann

Daniel Kehlmann

About the Author

Daniel Kehlmann was born in Munich and lives in Vienna, Berlin and New York. His books regularly become bestsellers in Germany.
More about Daniel Kehlmann
Ross Benjamin

Ross Benjamin

About the Translator

Ross Benjamin is a prizewinning translator and writes literary criticism for The Times Literary Supplement, among other publications.
More about Ross Benjamin