Friday, 31 January 2014

The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman

What We Thought:

Reviewer: JJ Marsh, author of The Beatrice Stubbs series

Epic, intelligent, hilarious, poignant in its perversity, The Teleportation Accident shows that Boxer, Beetle was certainly no one-off success. Ned Beauman’s soaring imagination is an eclectic cultural mugger with a swooping intellect and virtuoso wit. I could fill this entire review with quotes from the book: extended metaphors which become riffs for a solo instrument, unforgettable graphic similies and a daring smash-and-grab attitude to language, literary convention and likeable characters.

Humour, dark and mischevious, permeates the entire novel. If you relinquish control and throw yourself into this wild and unpredictable tale, you’ll have one hell of an adventure. Beauman’s writing sits at that wonderful juncture between rollicking, rebellious, unfettered imagination and mature references from a well-educated mind. His almost teenage glee at punning names is juxtaposed with the references to cultural off-stage personae such as Brecht, Lovecraft and Sartre culminate in a breathlessly exciting bobsleigh run through the previous century.

Read this for the rich and convoluted descriptions, superb counterpoint to social European history and its kaleidoscopic contradiction of Rackenham’s assertion. “English fiction is dead.”

You’ll enjoy this if you like
: David Foster Wallace, Monty Python, Mikhail Bulgakov

Avoid if you dislike: Genre-bending, drugs and alternative approaches to history

Ideal accompaniments: Champagne cocktails, bratwurst with sweet mustard, and Phil Spector’s back catalogue

Genre: Contemporary fiction, literary fiction

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