New Review: Booker Longlist: The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman
So they didn’t make the Man Booker shortlist this year but these longlisted novels are still well worth a read says Lottie Brown.
For students, a blurb that starts with the words: ‘history happened while you were hungover’ may resound quite nicely. Queue the inconsolable Egon Loeser. Beauman’s sex-obsessed protagonist is considering cannibalism because he broke up with his girlfriend three weeks ago and believes he will never get laid again. Loeser’s carnal misfortunes push him from the experimental theatres of 1930s Berlin to the absinthe bars of Paris to the physics laboratories of LA.
The Teleportation Accident is a novel about accidents and women; because accidents, like women, allude. Beauman’s follow up to the much-loved Boxer, Beetle is farcically satirical, deviant in its contemporariness and completely hilarious. There are theatre parties in corset factories with sonnets of cocaine (the only way they can endure the company of their friends), big-eyed beauties called Adele Hitler without a grain of fashion sense, and charming reflections that jazz is castration music for factory workers and English and American fiction like ‘dinner with a corpse and cocktails with a baby’.
The Teleportation Accident sparkles with originality like a clean cut diamond. To think Beauman is still only 27 gives such huge hope to the future of contemporary English writing; forget having dinner with a literary corpse, we’re standing him up and having martinis with the literati.
The Teleportation Accident is available now from Sceptre.