Sunday, 29 July 2012

Book of the Week - Ned Beauman, The Teleportation Accident

The Teleportation Accident is Ned Beauman’s second novel and has just been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. In a year when the judges made a point of focussing on a new generation of authors, Beauman seems very much part of that trend.   He is 27 years old and lives in London. He studied philosophy at Cambridge University and is the son of Nicola Beauman, who runs Persephone Books.  

Beauman has a quirky website and an interesting blog.  His  debut novel Boxer, Beetle featured a character with the uncommon and unfortunate metabolic disorder trimethylaminuria, and therefore attracted my professional attention.  It won the UK Writers' Guild Award and the Goldberg Prize for Outstanding Debut Fiction and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Desmond Elliott Prize.  When I recommended it back in 2010 it was available at cover price, but now seems to have largely disappeared with the only copy online at £70.   

Both Boxer, Beetle and The Teleportation Accident are comic novels, somewhat chaotic, based on real historical events and characters.  Boxer, Beetle was a very good read and I am looking forward to Teleportation – well worth picking up a signed copy now. It has a very attractive cover too!

"HISTORY HAPPENED WHILE YOU WERE HUNGOVER. When you haven't had sex in a long time, it feels like the worst thing that could ever happen to anyone. If you're living in Germany in the 1930s, it probably isn't. But that's no consolation to Egon Loeser, whose carnal misfortunes will push him from the experimental theatres of Berlin to the absinthe bars of Paris to the physics laboratories of Los Angeles, trying all the while to solve two mysteries: whether it was really a deal with Satan that claimed the life of his hero, the great Renaissance stage designer Adriano Lavicini; and why a handsome, clever, charming, modest guy like him can't, just once in a while, get himself laid.From the author of the acclaimed Boxer, Beetle comes a historical novel that doesn't know what year it is; a noir novel that turns all the lights on; a romance novel that arrives drunk to dinner; a science fiction novel that can't remember what 'isotope' means; a stunningly inventive, exceptionally funny, dangerously unsteady and (largely) coherent novel about sex, violence, space, time, and how the best way to deal with history is to ignore it. LET'S HOPE THE PARTY WAS WORTH IT."

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