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The Teleportation Accident Hardcover – 19 Jul 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre (19 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340998423
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340998427
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 3.2 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 290,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ned Beauman was born in 1985 in London. 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 and the Goldberg Prize for Outstanding Debut Fiction. His second novel, THE TELEPORTATION ACCIDENT, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Encore Award and a Somerset Maugham Award. He has been chosen by the Culture Show as one of the twelve best new British novelists and by Granta as one of the 20 best British novelists under 40. His work has been translated into more than ten languages.

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

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Twig on 24 July 2013
Format: Paperback
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 By Ancient Mariner on 19 Mar. 2015
Format: Paperback
If you glance through the reviews for this book you will see that, to put it mildly, opinion is sharply divided. I come out on the high end, five star side of the issue. That may be because I demand little in the nature of plot, character development, message or sub-text in my fiction. I appreciate real tragedy, (pity, wonder, fear and awe), or comedy. And word play, amusing similes, apt metaphors, and droll snark all count as comedy.

There is at least one appreciative chuckle, one smirk, and one knowing nod to be had on each page of this book. Sometimes there are set pieces in the form of restrained rants - like why allusions to famous catastrophes do not increase the likelihood of the calamity being repeated, (i.e. go ahead and name your boat "Titanic"); sometimes there are just throw-away lines and deadpan observations. Sometimes there are sly and subtle and knowing literary and historical allusions. Sometimes there's just
jesting and wordplay, or witty banter among bright show-offs; ("...he was so languid as to be almost liquid...").

On top of it all, like icing, is a gift for extended outrageous descriptions. At one point a character is mocked for his habit, "whenever he thought he might have misplaced his wallet or pipe (which was always), of patting himself down with such impatience, such savagery and such disregard for the actual location of his pockets that it began to resemble some sort of eroto-religious self-flagellation ritual....". Now, that line is funny enough, but the addition of the phrase "disregard for the actual location of his pockets..." just puts it into a different category of inspired as far as I'm concerned.

Here's a simple test.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rotgut VINE VOICE on 26 April 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Densely written but playfully inventive novel that demands the reader's full attention.

A difficult book to pigeonhole, it appears to almost be a science fiction story but, despite teleportation featuring throughout, only in the very last scene is it made clear whether the events in the preceding 290 pages are, in fact, explicable within the rules of the normal pyhsical world.

Vaguely recalling the great polymath Robert Anton Wilson, this book, the story of an unpleasant German theatre set designer's comic adventures in 1940s Los Angeles, is packed with ideas, jokes, philosphical musings and spoofs. As early as page six, with the mention of a "Dagonite slave cove", the alert reader has spotted that H P Lovecraft's nihilistic pulp-fiction Cthulhu mythos is lurking in the background here. This becomes more explicit as the novel progresses.

Perhaps the oddest thing in this very odd book is that although set in 1940s Berlin (and later in the ex-pat U.S. German community) it wilfully ignores the political situation of the time. This is a joke, of course, and one the author eventually drops, with protagonist Egon Loeser finally having to recognise the horror that he left behind when he moved out of Germany.

The meandering narrative does sag a little at times but from the moment Loeser arrives at Cal'Tech the story really takes off with murder, Communist spies, unrequited love and various weird mysteries all keeping the reader guessing.

The four endings are all very satisfying, any of them would be successful as the sole finale, all four together are almost too much, typical of the whole novel in which the author can't help showboating whenever possible.

Great fun.
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