Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Book Club #17 - The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman

A few years ago, I asked my uni friend to suggest some books for me to read over the summer. She sent me a rather long list of books I need to read, and for some reason or another I've just managed to read The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman. For the blurb alone this book should win an award, and I applaud whoever came up with this... 


When you haven't had sex in a long time, it feels like the worst thing that is happening to anyone anywhere. 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. 

See what I mean? Genius. Anyhoo, The Teleportation Accident follows Loeser on his quest to find true love - or in his case, sleep with the hottest girl in town. This might sound like a rubbish plot to a story, but it's really just the starting curve. Loeser is convinced that by bedding Adele Hitler (no relation) his life will turn around and everything will be hunky dory again. Once Loeser finds out that Adele has gone off with Paris, he makes it his mission to find her and finally woo her, but of course, the actions of another Hitler inadvertently change the course of action forever. 

Having said that, this isn't a novel about the war. There's next to no mention of the horrendous years of death and destruction because Loeser finds the news depressing and doesn't keep up with current affairs. As the blurb states, this isn't a novel about love either - it's so much more than that! I really enjoyed The Teleportation Accident as I found Beauman's writing to be exciting, well-paced and really funny. I did find the start a little annoying - oh poor Loeser, who can't bed a girl or get any decent drugs in Berlin - but once he starts his mission in Paris, the book really hits the ground running.

I'm really keen to read more of Beauman's writing, and if you like wacky, has-no-idea-what-genre-it-is style books like The Girl who Saved the King of Sweden then I think you would like this. 

Have you ever read The Teleportation Accident? Do you think you'll pick it up?

Chelsea xo

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