A well-crafted tale about one man unravelling due to forces beyond his control . . . You Should Have Left - part-horror, part-psychodrama - serves up effective shocks and thrills that keep us rapt and on the edge of our seats . . . Kehlmann brings that abyss ever closer and takes his narrator, and his reader, over the edge.
Wry, eerie and increasingly terrifying . . . Daniel Kehlmann is certainly in complete mastery of an entertaining Everyman's postmodernist Gothic guaranteed to unsettle
Kehlmann plays on our manipulated expectations to pull off a rather spectacular hat trick . . . You Should Have Left is a story full of craft and scintillating devices . . . A chilling, curious little book, finely translated, and a promise of innovative maturity for its author
His fiction, conspicuously clever, tends to puncture all the dusty, lugubrious 'worthiness' of canonical literature . . .You Should Have Left [is] a taut and scary novella . . . [with] some high-grade science in it
It's a masterclass in economical storytelling, meticulously attentive prose and imaginative agility. Kehlmann creates narrative complexity with the deftest of strokes. He's also laugh-out-loud funny. This is both a highly readable novella and a subtly derisive challenge to readers to question the value of their own enjoyment.
A sense of menacing claustrophobia, as the characters - and readers - teeter on the edge of an inexplicable abyss . . . Using some neat formal trickery and a cleverly suggestive atmosphere, this is a story about a marriage in trouble . . . At first glance there may not seem much to this little book, but it has a funny way with dimensions - its effects are amplified, and they linger.
Unsettling, tightly written (in an excellent English translation by Ross Benjamin), psychological suspense and outright, physics-defying horror . . . Kehlmann is a skilled storyteller who takes what could be a run-of-the-mill horror tale and builds it into something more intelligent, metaphysical, concise and perfectly paced as it cranks up the chill . . . Frightening and thought-provoking
This mind-bending novella about a writer losing his marbles contains images that startle and linger . . . The most arresting of the book's chilling moments might do for baby monitors what 'Jaws' did for swimming in the ocean . . . [Kehlmann] manages a few darkly comic flourishes . . . provocative . . . potent . . . pleasantly unsettling
A beautifully crafted exercise in terror from one of Germany's most celebrated contemporary authors . . . Kehlmann creates a sense of existential dread that transcends the typical ghost story . . . A book to keep you up at night
A ghost story steeped with a sense of existential dread and it will have you rereading the chilling final pages to figure out exactly what might have happened. It is a book that should carry a health warning: read alone at your own risk.
Kehlmann is one of the brightest, most pleasure-giving writers at work today, and he manages all this while exploring matters of deep philosophical and intellectual import.
Daniel Kehlmann is one of the great novelists for making giant themes seem light