The story of Timm Thaler takes place in the 1920s in a central German city. When he is in fourth grade, Timm's father dies in an accident on a construction site. From that moment on, the young Timm Thaler lives with his stepmother and stepbrother, who often gives him a hard time. The orphan boy has quite happy memories of his late father, who liked to pass the time at the local horse race track. Actually, Timm doesn't have much to laugh about, and yet his laughter is more infectious than any other.
To revel in nostalgic memories, Timm visits the racecourse one day and meets Baron Lefuet. The Baron has also become aware of Timm's laughter and makes him a tempting offer. Timm Thaler is supposed to sell him his laugh, but in return Timm wins every bet he makes, no matter how curious it may be. The boy makes a contract with the mysterious Baron Lefuet.
Timm Thaler realizes too late that a person without laughter is no longer a real person and an exciting adventure begins. The boy sets off into the world in the direction of Hamburg to sign on on a ship. On his journey, he makes crazier and crazier bets and hopes that one day he will lose a bet and get his lost laugh back. But he soon has to realize that Lefuet is no ordinary man and has extraordinary abilities.
Especially tricky about Timm Thaler's incredible deal is the part of the deal that forbids the boy to talk about his deal. Luckily, Timm Thaler finds a new friend, Kreschmiri, who had also made a deal with the devil alias Baron de Lefouet and gradually uncovers Timm's secret.
Through a clever bet Timm Thaler gets more money than the baron, who was the richest man in the world before. Baron Lefuet, however, manages by a ruse that Timm still can't laugh.
Will Timm Thaler, with the help of his friends, still succeed in recapturing the laughter of the mysterious Baron Lefuet?
A great youth book for children from 12 years on.