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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clever (Clever)
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;...
Published 21 months ago by Twig

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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. So it was with this - I have to be honest and confess that I never got past the first few pages. I'm a fairly voracious reader, but although I can't really put my finger on why, the prose just kept dropping its connection with me like a faulty...
Published 21 months ago by C. O'Brien


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clever (Clever), 24 July 2013
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Tremendously entertaining book, 11 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: The Teleportation Accident (Hardcover)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Paint the Devil on the Wall and the Devil Will Come", 19 Mar. 2015
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. At one point in the book a character is described as so cold and nerveless that he "once strangled a man while dictating a love letter". If you think that is not only funny but inspired you will like this book. If not, not.

Please note that I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every Loeser Wins, 26 April 2013
By 
Rotgut "rotgut" (Warrington UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Teleportation Accident (Hardcover)
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bizarre, 5 Aug. 2012
By 
M. Dowden (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Teleportation Accident (Hardcover)
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I must admit that originally I had no interest in getting this book, but someone locally told me that I may enjoy it. Thus, taking a chance I decided to get hold of it and give it a go, and I am glad that I did. This story is ultimately completely bizarre, it is full of allusions, similes and metaphors, as well as parodying so many things, and with a strong sense of irony. You are led on a kaleidoscopic collage of so much, that you are left reeling. There is just so much to take in here.

Is there even a proper plot to this book? You will have to decide. The basic plot though, if you can call it that is involving Egon Loeser. Working as the set designer on a play about Adriano Lavicini, a 17th Century designer, he falls for Adele Hitler (not a relation of Adolf). Ultimately wanting to get his leg over we follow him as he follows the girl, failing to get any sex in for years and years. Thus we travel from Thirties Berlin to Los Angeles, with Loeser seeming to completely miss the War and what is happening in the world. Along the way he also becomes obsessed with getting hold of a copy of a book that he has misplaced (an erotic photo book). Parodying so many different genres, and taking in so many other elements we are soon lost in the bewildering and dazzling world that Beauman creates here. With so many allusions to different disciplines and genres the biggest problem with this book is actually the author's own exuberance.

One of my favourite pieces in this though has to be where Loeser is thinking about how bad an historical novel is, because a character in it died centuries before, whilst the author (Beauman) has the character going to a party where ketamine is being taken (something like thirty years before it was invented). Such little things as this are what really makes this, and has you chuckling away. I expect there are many other such things that I didn't get straight off, as there were so many, that it does probably require a second reading. This is possibly something that would be a good choice for a book group.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Simply couldn't get into this one, 31 July 2013
By 
C. O'Brien (Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Teleportation Accident (Hardcover)
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Occasionally a book which sounds interesting at the "blurb" stage just refuses to yield up its secrets on first reading. So it was with this - I have to be honest and confess that I never got past the first few pages. I'm a fairly voracious reader, but although I can't really put my finger on why, the prose just kept dropping its connection with me like a faulty wireless link. In the end I gave up and passed the book over to my husband, who's read and enjoyed "Boxer, Beetle" - but some months later it's still sitting unfinished on his nightstand so I don't think a connection was made there, either. Maybe I'll give it another go at some future date.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Err....hmm., 27 Jan. 2014
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Teleportation Accident, 10 Aug. 2012
By 
S Riaz "S Riaz" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Teleportation Accident (Hardcover)
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Egon Loeser is a set designer in 1930's Berlin in this novel, set during a period of history where so much happened, all of which our main character is blissfully unaware of. He is purposely blinkered, oblivious to the world around him and immune to any attempts to educate him about the political situation. Loeser is a likeable, but irresponsable man, who has no family ties and no real feelings for anything outside of himself. He is obsessed only with his lack of success with women and a beautiful young lady he follows from country to country searching for as a "rootless cosmopolitan".

Throughout this book, the same characters appear, regardless of whether we are in Berlin, Paris or Los Angeles; as though Loeser's failures follow him from place to place. Some are utterly bizarre, but then the whole novel is delightfully strange. Like Alice in the Wonderland, you simply follow Loesser like the White Rabbit, from place to place as events unfold. The plot may be surreal, but the story and characters are interesting, and the book is delightful. It makes you laugh, it makes you think and I was sad when I finished it. Difficult to ask for more from any author and I highly recommend this unusual and intelligent novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's rather good, 2 Nov. 2012
By 
Susman "Susman" (London Mills IL) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Teleportation Accident (Hardcover)
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This tale seems to begin in a normal enough fashion; a young man by the name of Egon Loeser is trying to perfect a teleportation device. Trying to then describe the main themes and plot traits, in this novel, is what difficult. For me this book seems to cover a number of different genres, Our main character is by trade a theatre set designer, who seems to preoccupied by trying to have sexual encounters and the need to snort coke. However, he seems to be frustrated in trying to act out his desires at every turn!

Our protagonist, we are contently reminded of, is as bit of idiot of the first order. We are shown 1930s Berlin with all its distractions, until the Brown shirts make their impact.
Still our `friend' struggles by day to act out as some famed set designer and by night, prowling Berlin for sexual favours from party to another, however, he is unsuccessful and finds himself always returning home, only he is alone, but rather like a pet rodent on a running wheel, he sleeps it off only try again the next day. Add in ingredients like time travel, an element of spying and murder you have complex book that is funny at times but left this reader slightly confused!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Any (Tele)Port In A Storm, 28 Nov. 2012
By 
Bela Lugosi's Dad "Bela Lugosi's Dad" (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Teleportation Accident (Hardcover)
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I deliberately avoided Boxer/Beetle when it came out. All those ecstatic broadsheet reviews had my BS detector going off like a car alarm in downtown Deptford. A friend, however, was reading - and enjoying - The Teleportation Accident, and went to the trouble of telling me that I would probably find it really annoying. Never one to turn down a challenge I 'invested' in my own copy and, after immediately being put off by the denseness of the print, took a deep breath and plunged in.
Well, it's actually pretty great. Any fears of possible pretentiousness were dispelled by about page 10 when I realised that Mr Beauman was intent on having a lot of fun, and so was I. The plot moves along at a rollicking pace as our hero forsakes Berlin at the start of the 1930s - just as some of the most momentous events in modern history are about to take place - to pursue the object of his lust half way across the world to LaLa Land.
Smart-mouthed and fleet-footed, those other guys on the Booker longlist wish that they could write at least a tenth as sassily as this Beauman guy.
I'm off to buy Boxer/Beetle toot sweet.
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The Teleportation Accident
The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman (Hardcover - 19 July 2012)
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