A wonderful example of pure slipstream: innovative, multi-levelled, endlessly amusing, completely original. Kehlmann is a young German writer, currently living in Vienna. This is his third novel. Like all the best slip, Fame more or less defies description, even undermining any attempt to recount the plot. It’s one of those books that as soon as you’ve finished it, your interest has been so piqued by the author’s intrigue that you want to go back and start all over again. And no, it’s completely non-fantastic — everything happens in the here and now, no troublesome fantasy to have to put up with. This is middle Europe in the present day, a world of mobile phones, grumpy authors, assisted suicide, self-fulfilment books and characterless hotels. It is the most enjoyable novel I have read this year. So far.