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The Teleportation Accident [Hardcover]

Ned Beauman
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)

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Book Description

19 July 2012






The fantastically inventive, ingenious and hilarious second novel from Ned Beauman, author of the acclaimed and prizewinning BOXER, BEETLE.


When you haven't had sex in a long time, it feels like the worst thing

that could ever happen to anyone.

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.


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre; 1st Edition edition (19 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340998423
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340998427
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.2 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 218,720 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ned Beauman was born in 1985 and lives in London. He has written for Dazed & Confused, AnOther and the Guardian. His debut novel, BOXER, BEETLE was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Desmond Elliot Prize, and won the Writers' Guild Award for Best Fiction Book. Ned Beauman was picked by The Culture Show as one of the 12 Best New British Writers in 2011. His second novel, THE TELEPORTATION ACCIDENT was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2012 and won the Encore Award and a Somerset Maugham Award. In 2013 he was selected by Granta as one of Britain's Best Young British Writers. He was the youngest of the 20 writers featured in this once-a-decade line-up.

Product Description


Less than two years after his multi-award-winning debut BOXER BEETLE Ned Beauman returns with another fizzing firework of a caper, featuring as many cracking escapades as its predecessor . . . His prose is wonderfully discursive and buzzes with originality, while scenes of pure farce nod respectfully to Thomas Pynchon and Hunter S Thompson . . . his bold characterisations, slapstick humour, slick similes and tangential subplots are sublime. A strong, smart follow-up that proves Beauman is more than comfortable with the hype he's created for himself. (Time Out)

It brims with weirdness, time travel and perfect one-liners (Joe Dunthorne, Observer Books of the Year)

Terrific . . . if there was ever any worry that he might have crammed all his ideas into his first book, this makes it clear he kept a secret bunker of his best ones aside. (Guardian)

'If you care about contemporary writing, you must read this . . . BOXER, BEETLE was acclaimed as the most inventive fictional debut in years, buzzing with energy and ideas, and Beauman's second novel keeps up the pace' (Tatler)

Funny and startlingly inventive . . . Beauman is a writer of prodigious talent, and there are enough ideas and allusions and comic set pieces in this work, longlisted for the 2012 Man Booker Prize, to fill myriad lesser novels. (FT)

[Beauman] is blisteringly funny, witty and erudite . . . Beauman manages to combine the intrigue of a thriller with the imagery of a comedy. It makes for an excellent read. (Daily Telegraph)

This is an unquestionably brilliant novel, ribald and wise in equal measure . . . a witty and sometimes deeply moving fictional exegesis of the Modernist twilight.' (TLS)

I'm sure it's the funniest novel on the list. (Evening Standard)

A glorious, over-the-top production, crackling with inventive wit and seething with pitchy humour . . . A beguiling success . . . Ingenious . . . There is such an easy felicity in Beauman's writing and such a clever, engaging wit . . . that one feels he could write something as much fun every two years. The prospect of which makes me very, very happy indeed. (Scotsman)

An extraordinary, Pynchonesque flea-circus of a book...Ned Beauman's pyrotechnical comic novel, his second, is as violently clever as you'd expect from his earlier book, BOXER, BEETLE... [a] frantically entertaining pasteboard extravaganza (The Sunday Times)

He's done it again . . . Beauman does adolescent male lust and anomie with the verve of a young Amis and this is a great romp of a novel, delightful in its inventiveness. (Prospect)

A hoot - very clever and charming, with an awesone range of reference. (Sunday Telegraph)

Funny, scandalous, decadent and erudite, THE TELEPORTATION ACCIDENT is a hugely enjoyable madness with flavours of Pynchon, Huysmans and Jerome K. Jerome. (Nick Harkaway)

Beauman, whose first novel BOXER, BEETLE was widely acclaimed, sets out his stall as a latter-day Evelyn Waugh in this dazzling satire that begins in 1930s Berlin. Biting black comedy. (The Times)

Ned Beauman is a very funny writer, but also a very serious one. His second novel is a glorious rigmarole of satire, insanity, genre tropes and aching romantic pain, but never doubt that it is an essentially serious book. (Independent)

Its meticulously crafted plot skitters from sci-fi to noir thriller; with comedic interludes and some romance for added sizzle . . . you'll be left bedazzled. (Daily Mail)

Beauman has a huge gift for satire and the wry phrase...brought together so immaculately you never notice how hard he's working. (Word Magazine)

A novel that turns everything on its head, Beauman's book is critical, funny and deliciously deviant. (The List)

Ned Beauman is a writer of unceasing invention and his second novel is replete with ideas. (Metro)

Popping with ideas, fizzing with vitality and great fun to quaff. (Independent on Sunday)

Ned Beauman has written another very pleasing comic romp through the 1930s, offering a second offbeat perspective on the rise of the Third Reich. It is, once more, full of good jokes, erudite winks and historical whimsy . . . Beauman excels at both the grand, jostling structure and the individual sentence. His similes are often inspired, his dialogue is frequently hilarious, and his ability to keep all the plates spinning, as the story dashes between years and continents, is very impressive. (Literary Review)

Lovable, brilliant and entertaining . . . Beauman takes a huge range of styles and genres and pushes them and bends them often to glorious effect . . . Beauman has a huge talent for metaphor and simile and hits with almost all of them. My personal favourite was 'there was enough ice in her voice for a serviceable daiquiri' - very Raymond Chandler. Also brilliant are some of his characters - notably Colonel Gorge who suffers from 'ontological agnosia' brought on by sniffing too much of the car polish that has made him rich, which means that he cannot differentiate between pictures and reality. That this references back to the Brechtian approach to theatre is just one example of the cleverness of Beauman's approach. But mostly, Gorge is just hilarious . . . Beauman is one of the most innovative young writers around and is one to follow. (

It is brilliantly witty, with a pace edging on breathless. Every stage is like the denouement of a great crime novel refigured as science. The reader is constantly challenged (and rewarded) as occurrences alternate between being clear and nebulous. Genuinely exhilarating. (We Love This Book)

At times THE TELEPORTATION ACCIDENT is as bloody-mindedly difficult as Egon Loeser, but it builds slowly, brings its threads together with great skill, and Ned Beauman turns a good phrase as his characters dance their line between the cleverly obnoxious and the obnoxiously clever. (SFX)

Praise for Boxer, Beetle (:)

a piece of staggeringly energetic intellectual slapstick . . . it's crammed with strange, funny and interesting things (Sam Leith, Guardian)

an enjoyable confection; witty, ludicrous and entertaining (James Urquhart, Financial Times)

An astonishing debut...buzzing with energy, fizzing with ideas, intoxicating in its language, Boxer, Beetle is sexy, intelligent and deliriously funny (Jake Arnott)

A rambunctious, deftly-plotted delight of a debut (Observer)

Ned Beauman's astonishingly assured debut starts as it means to go on: confident, droll, and not in the best of taste . . . Many first novels are judged promising. Boxer, Beetle arrives fully formed: original, exhilarating and hugely enjoyable. (Peter Parker, Sunday Times)

Frighteningly assured (Katie Guest, Independent on Sunday)

Exuberant . . . There are politics, black comedy, experimentation and wild originality - and I haven't even got to the beetles. Terrific. (The Times)

Debut bout is a real knockout . . . dazzling (Daily Express)

Its ambitions are enormous, in terms of the range, energy and quality of the writing (Literary Review)

Dazzling . . . As in PG Wodehouse and the early Martin Amis the tone is mischievous and impudent without being merely jaunty or wacky . . . in Erksine and Broom we have two endlessly curious heroes whose thoughts are fascinating even at their silliest. (Leo Robson, Express)

A witty, erudite debut . . . thick with trivia, it confidently takes on British fascism, the Thule society, anti-Semitism, atonal composition, sex, and the class system . . . An articulate and original romp . . . often gobsmackingly smutty. Beauman is one to watch. (Katie Allen, Time Out)

Not one for the easily shocked, young scribe Ned Beauman subjects the reader to a parade of ghoulish events and ghastly theories throughout his dazzling first novel Boxer, Beetle . . . deeply researched and punchily written, this is an utterly unique work that marks the London-based author out as an exciting new voice in fiction. (The List)

Beauman skips with panache between his dreadful version of the present and the macabre absurdities of a period when cock-eyed science and rabid anti-Semitism provided a toxic cocktail for the upper classes. His killer irony evokes early Evelyn Waugh, and his lateral take on reality Will Self at his unsettling best. This is humour that goes beyond black, careening off into regions of darkness to deliver the funniest new book I've read in a year or two. (Pete Carty, Independent)

Clever, inventive, intelligently structured, genre-spanning, as magpie-like in its references as any graphic novel, and above all, an enjoyable, high-octane read through a fascinating period in history. (Rob Sharp, Independent on Sunday)

The 1930s are wonderfully evoked, and the historical sections of the novel are taut, thematically rich and extremely well written . . . it takes real skill to make a tragic hero out of the five-foot, nine-toed alcoholic Seth Roach . . . it's clear from this compelling debut that Beauman can perform the complicated paradoxical trick required of the best 21st-century realist novelists: to take an old and predictable structure and allow it to produce new and unpredictable connections. (Scarlett Thomas, Guardian)

An edifying treatise on the absurdity of eugenics and racial theories, and probably the most politically incorrect novel of the decade - as well as the funniest . . . Monstrous misfits with ugly motives are beautifully rendered in a novel where Beauman's scrupulous research is deftly threaded through serious themes in a laugh-out-loud-on-the-train history lesson. (Anna Swan, Sunday Telegraph)

I can only gape in admiration at a new writing force and wonder what he's going to produce next. (Victoria Moore, Daily Mail)

The scenes set in the past are reminiscent of Evelyn Waugh's Decline and Fall in their grotesque stupidity and amorality, and the present-day characters are as ruthless as any in modern noir fiction. It also makes a persuasive argument for the moral repercussions of Darwinism and the absurdities of fascism and repressed homosexuality, but that's just three aspects of a witty, fascinating and romping read. (James Medd, Word)

Beauman writes with wit and verve. (Carl Wilkinson, Financial Times)

THE TELEPORTATION ACCIDENT is a hilarious picaresque that begins in Thirties Berlin (though one so littered with ketamine, haircuts and sad young literary men that it could pass for Dalston in 2012) . . . Beauman manages to be seriously intelligent and seriously funny at the same time (Tim Martin, Daily Telegraph Books of the Year)

Book Description

From the award-winning Ned Beauman, an 'unquestionably brilliant' (TLS) novel that establishes him as one of the exciting and influential voices in modern British fiction.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clever (Clever) 24 July 2013
By Twig
The lead character in The Teleportation Accident is called Loeser. Egon Loeser. To an English eye, it looks like the word Loser, which he undoubtedly is in the modern, L on the forehead, meaning of the word. To a German - and Loeser is a German character from 30s Berlin - it has other connotations. Loesen can mean to solve a riddle, which Loeser does, or struggles to do; and it occurs in the word Endloesung (final solution), with regard to Jews in Hitler's Germany - a subject which the character, Loeser, deals with towards the end of the novel. So far, so clever.

The plot shifts through the centuries, with references to 17th century Paris and Venice, scenes in Berlin, New York, L.A, Washington that are intricately interlinked. Internally, the references that Beauman sets up are also echoed throughout the narrative. The theme of the teleportation machine - with its different uses and significance in different points of history - is fascinating. Pre-war Berlin is beautifully evoked, as are the cities in America. Colonel Gorge and Professor Bailey - to pick just a couple of the fine cast of characters - are creations worthy of Pynchon. It is all very very clever.

And yet I haven't given this 5 stars, because although I 'liked' it, as the Amazon rating system suggests - and admired it, and enjoyed it, and marvelled at some of the sentences, and laughed at scenes and dialogues and plot twists throughout - I didn't love it. There is a cold, analytical, almost misanthropic core to the novel that is deeper than the portrayal of Loeser himself. None of the characters betray anything resembling emotion, and as a result, I found it difficult to feel anything for any of them. And given the subject matter at various points in the novel, this was a shame. I loved Boxer, Beetle, and look forward to Ned Beauman's next novel, but for me at least, the Teleportation Accident was a little too clever clever.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Err....hmm. 27 Jan 2014
By Fute
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Tricky to know what to say about this one. As much as I appreciate Beauman's eruditely spiced imagination I couldn't help but feel that this was a trifle over-baked. For me the strongest part of the book is its first third - the dour picaresque of Loeser's misanthropic buffoonery makes for genuinely funny reading. Once he arrived in Los Angeles though I found my interest waning in direct proportion to the evolving complexity of the plot. I'm sure Beauman is aiming for something profound here but to be honest by the time I reached page 200 I'd switched to skim mode. Very clever I'm sure - heaps of echoes and cross-textual references that will make for some great undergraduate essays - but overall I'm walking away from this one with a shrug.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tremendously entertaining book 11 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Ned Beauman is a young author (born 1985) with a razor-sharp wit and a great gift for satire, and these features shine through in The Teleportation Accident, a tremendously entertaining and well-crafted novel spanning many hundreds of years. I'll not even attempt to describe the plot here (Beauman takes 357 pages to lay out a wonderfully inventive story which has multiple twists and turns), but will say that it is a work of enormous imagination and breathtaking complexity, in terms of the multiple cross-references and reappearances of characters and themes. But it's also a novel of simple and familiar motifs, such as the guy getting the girl, and with some truly believable characters. Very, very funny on occasions, and an excellent read.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really great entertainment 17 Jan 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Teleportation Accident is a book I didn't know anything about when I started reading it but I am very glad I found it. It is a really fantastic entertaining read but be warned it's not simple, easy, or linear and does take some concentration to get through. The story is complex and engaging but the author flips through time and stories in the blink of an eye which can leave you feeling a little confused and dazed - I had to go back and re-read sections several times to ensure I knew what was going on.

The story itself focuses on Egon Loeser and events that occur between the two World Wars as he desperately pursues the love of his life Adele Hitler all over the world, though there are other strands and tangents which feature throughout which all add layers and interest to the story. The book is beautifully written and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an interesting and challenging read. Really wonderful stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Six Stars 3 Sep 2013
There are moments when books can sear an image across your mind that will stay with you forever.For me the passages in The Wasp Factory when the heroes brother discovers whats in the hospital basement,or the machete attack in An Ice Cream War or the description of the harbour in The Thousand Summers of Jacob De Zoet all bring me up short with their genius.Here the response of the protagonist to a letter from Germany hits you like a sledgehammer.Though I'm not sure if I really understand what Ned Beaumans is talking about the way he writes it is unquestionably brilliant.
Although elements of this book are very David Mitchell (the writer not the sarky one)I think this is really a Wodehouse pastiche.The 'hero' Egon Loeser is Bertie Woosters evil twin the fluffy bunnies of Wodehousian love replaced by drug taking and sex, and that show stopping writing I think a unveiled critisism of Wodehouse's placation of the Nazi's.
Funny enthralling and stimulating The Teleportation Accident may be a coherent plot short of a classic but it's by far the best book I've read this year.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Excellent unusual story about a theatre designer escaping his past.

Teleportation will keep you riveted!!!

By Keats Reader

. . .
Published 2 months ago by dotte
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly weird
From the blurb, I thought this had the makings of an excellent book but the story line is a bit bizarre and the book seems slightly contrived. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Kim
4.0 out of 5 stars Probably unforgettable!
In the words of The Mighty Boosh - "Come with us now on a journey through time and space!" Well, this is not exactly a book about time-travel, though it does bounce to and from the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Paul Harris
4.0 out of 5 stars Dazed and confused
I am insanely jealous of this outrageously young man's writing ability, and adored this book - right up until the last few chapters. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ms. J. E. Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars A witty and fun romp.
I clearly don't need to give this book any praise judging by the huge list of critical acclaim in the product description. However, I will! Read more
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Rave reviews but...
Our book club found this a difficult read and many gave up. I continued to the end which was a bit of an anticlimax after some very good bits. Good in parts.
Published 7 months ago by ffriday
3.0 out of 5 stars Confused
A rambling, incoherent first half then transforms into an interesting mystery. Left nicely untidy at the end. Definitely one that needs perseverance.
Published 8 months ago by A. Gibb
1.0 out of 5 stars Not interesting enough
I so loved his previous book, Boxer, Beetle that I was anxiously looking forward to reading his next book.

But boy was I in for a shock. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Clark Kent
4.0 out of 5 stars A grand writer
Language so juicy you almost drown on it but sufficiently direct to entice page-turning right into the night. Highly recommended.
Published 8 months ago by LemonyJane
2.0 out of 5 stars Simply couldn't get into this one
Occasionally a book which sounds interesting at the "blurb" stage just refuses to yield up its secrets on first reading. Read more
Published 8 months ago by C. O'Brien
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