"Der fernste Ort" is a book written by the German writer Daniel Kehlmann. At the moment (Dec. 2001) there is only the original German version available, an English translation doesn't exist. The book itself was published in 2001 by the publishing house Suhrkamp and consists of 148 pages.

The Story

The protagonist of the book, Julian, is a young man who isn't able to catch up with his life. He's working for a insurance company, and he neither can feel any satisfaction from the job nor from his life which seems to be frustrating and surreal. After he nearly drowned while swimming in a sea, he decided to pretend his own death and start a new life. However, his plan doesn't work out well. In his new life, he's always confronted with persons and actions from his old life, his ghost can't really leave his old life.

My two cents

Daniel Kehlmann wrote with "Der fernste Ort" a brilliant book. The language is from the pop literature, and can in it's style be compared with the writings of the german author Sven Regener, whom I consider as the best German writer for pop literature when it comes to style and art. Nevertheless, "Der fernste Ort" is the best book I've read in 2001 because of the content. The plot of the book is skilfully written, as the author starts the story with the pretended death of Julian, at a time the reader doesn't know so much about Julian. Together with Julian the reader explores Julian's new life, and caused by the impingement with the old life, explores also his old life. This old life is similar to the new one, Julian isn't able to leave his old life. Soon I noticed also some failures, not in the story, more in the way Julian is seeing his life, and in the way his life is. This led to reflections of my own life as well as of his life, and some text passages which seemed unimportant suddenly get a new sense. Doubt appears, and also suppositions. It's the genius of Daniel Kehlmann that he establish these doubts and fuel them but solve them togehter with the reader near the end of the book. The solution is stunning. Because of the doubts not a real surprise, but to know the truth is stunning.

Additional Information:

ISBN: 3-518-41265-5

Online review: http://www.netzeitung.de/servlets/page?section=585&item=168208 (in German)

Other books by this author:
  •  Mahlers Zeit
  •  Beerholms Vorstellung
  •  Unter der Sonne

    See also: literature, pop art, pop literature, books