Feature

Novel of the week: The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman

Those who persevere with Ned Beauman’s new novel will be rewarded by the book’s “frequently explosive humor.”

(Bloomsbury, $25)

Ned Beauman’s exuberant second novel is “more entertaining than any summary can convey,” said Mythili Rao in TheDailyBeast.com. Egon Loeser, a mediocre set designer whom we meet in 1931 Berlin, will spend the book’s 370 pages fruitlessly chasing a gorgeous libertine from Paris to Hollywood while nursing an obsession with a Renaissance-era teleportation device. But the quest itself matters less than Beauman’s talents for populating his tale with absurd secondary characters and “spinning seemingly minor details into long-running jokes.” By the time our pathetic Loeser hits L.A., many readers “will have long since bailed out,” said Ben Cosgrove in Time. But those who persevere will be rewarded by the book’s “frequently explosive humor” and Beauman’s “palpable enjoyment in constructing a fractal-like history of the mid-20th century.” Many writers have built comedies around a protagonist’s inept attempts to get laid, but few have taken the conceit to such “wild and wonderful” heights.

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