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The Teleportation Accidentby Ned Beauman
Synopses & Reviews
In the declining Weimar Republic, Egon Loeser works as a stage designer for New Expressionist theatre. His hero is the greatest set designer of the 17th century, Adriano Lavicini, who devised the so-called Teleportation Device for the whisking of actors from one scene to another — a miracle, until the thing malfunctioned, causing numerous deaths and perhaps summoning the devil himself.
Apolitical in a dangerous time, sex-driven in a dry spell, Loeser leaves the tired scene in Berlin in pursuit of the lubricious Adele Hitler (no relation), who couldn't care less about him, heading first to Paris and then to Los Angeles, where he finds his entire tired Berlin social circle reconstituted in exile, under the patronage of a hack writer and his possibly philandering wife. He also finds himself uncomfortably close to a string of murders at CalTech, where a physicist, assisted by Adele herself, is trying to develop a device for honest-to-God teleportation.
Following his breathtaking debut, Boxer, Beetle, Ned Beauman raises the stakes, creating in The Teleportation Accident a marvelous mash-up of historical fiction, LA noir, science fiction, and satire. Here are sluts and scam artists, ghosts and ancient dinosaur-men, all wrapped up in one page-turning plot. Beauman is a writer of audacity and style; his second novel proves him a star on the rise.
"Beauman's inspired second novel introduces us to peripatetic, ever-horny Egon Loeser, a Berlin set designer of the early 1930s who leaves his city on account of someone named Hitler — not Adolph, but Adele (no relation), a young beauty impervious to Egon's charms. He follows her to Paris, then L.A., as his social set flees the encroaching horrors of National Socialism at home. Egon finds his love at CalTech, working for a physicist who might have discovered the secret of teleportation, a coincidence, because back in Berlin, Egon was working on his own, stagecraft version, based on an elaborate mechanical device from 1679. There are others who covet the physicist's secret, including a crime novelist's cuckolding wife and a cracked Pasadena millionaire who has made his fortune in car polish, and Egon becomes enmeshed in a conspiracy involving an NKVD spy, a serial killer, and the writings of H.P. Lovecraft. Beauman (Boxer, Beetle) has an unflagging imagination and an indefatigable gift for comedy. His overstuffed (in a good way) novel comprises memorable comic dialogue and hilarious set pieces. While Egon may not be the most admirable of protagonists, in Beauman's hands his voyage of self-discovery illuminates a pivotal moment in 20th-century history. Agent: David Forrer, Inkwell Management. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Gobsmackingly clever." Vanity Fair
"Brilliant....If there was ever any worry that [Beauman] might have crammed all his ideas into his first book, the prize-winning Boxer, Beetle, this makes it clear he kept a secret bunker of his best ones aside." Joe Dunthorne, The Guardian
"There is so much going on in this truly bizarre novel — everything from slapstick to noir to steampunk — that discombobulated readers may feel as though they've fallen down a narrative wormhole. But what a wormhole!...Brilliant." Booklist (starred review)
“[A] pyrotechnical... violently clever... highly cerebral… frantically entertaining pasteboard extravaganza… Extraordinary." The Sunday Times
"Popping with ideas, fizzing with vitality, and great fun." The Independent on Sunday
"Stylistically radical....Virtuosic....An unquestionably brilliant novel, ribald and wise in equal measure....Witty and sometimes deeply moving." Times Literary Supplement
“A glorious, over-the-top production, crackling with inventive wit and seething with pitchy humour....It's as if the English tradition of humorous novels (PG Wodehouse, Kingsley Amis, Evelyn Waugh) and American comic fiction (Thomas Pynchon, Kurt Vonnegut, John Barth) have had their molecules recombined....A beguiling success.” The Scotsman
“If you care about contemporary fiction, you must read this.” Tatler
When you haven't had sex in a long time, it feels like the worst thing that could ever happen.
If you're living in Germany in the 1930s, it probably isn't.
But thatps no consolation to Egon Loeser, whose carnal misfortunes will push him from the experimental theaters of Berlin to the absinthe bars of Paris to the physics laboratories of Los Angeles, trying all the while to solve two mysteries: Was it really a deal with Satan that claimed the life of his hero, Renaissance set designer Adriano Lavicini, creator of the so-called Teleportation Device? And why is it that a handsome, clever, modest guy like him can't — just once in a while — get himself laid?
From Ned Beauman, 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.
“Funny and startlingly inventive...Beauman is undoubtedly a writer of prodigious talent, and there are enough ideas [here]...to fill myriad lesser novels.” Financial Times
About the Author
Ned Beauman was born in 1985 and studied philosophy at Cambridge University. He has written for the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Literary Review, Another magazine, Dazed & Confused, and several other magazines and newspapers. Beauman lives in New York.
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