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on 27 January 2014
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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on 28 June 2014
Hard to know what to make of a such a strange book - one keeps looking for a key to unravel the metaphysical/ metaphorical basis of the narration and the narrator, who by the way is entirely unreliable. The title is somewhat misleading in that teleportation is not an essential element of the plot, or is it and did I miss a clue? It is not by coincidence that the narrator is called Loeser, like the English word. To say that the subsidiary characters are larger than life would be misleading, as their connection with real? people is somewhat tenuous and fleeting. They are cardboard cutouts, put in the stocks to be pelted with rotten apples and tomatoes. I wanted to know more about life in the Weimar Republic and about the campus murders and mutilations, but there are already enough dead ends. I felt that the book could be dismantled and put together in a new arrangement or as a series of linked short stories, which it is halfway there already. I felt uneasy throughout the whole reading but at no point did I want to down tools and quit. At a minimum that is the basic requirement of any novel, but this is genre which should be judged by different standards. I probably has to look up more technical words than any recent book, but that added rather than distracted from the whole. In some ways this could be described as an anti-novel as all the elements of a mystery drama are present but they are graphically distorted as in in a fairground mirror. You will either like it or hate it - that probably says more about you that the novel.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 10 August 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )|Verified Purchase
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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on 21 May 2018
purchased online - by accident.
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on 24 July 2013
I approached this book with some health issues going on - I think its highly allegorical and complex nature deserves more concentration than I was able to give. It's still in my Kindle and I'll revisit the book when I can explore its labyrinths in a more focused way.
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on 22 June 2013
Very good read, dark comedy and stylish. Very different to the Beauman debut but none the less for that. I loved this book and need more of a fix but no other books on the horizon. At times it put me in mind of B E Ellis but less fussy.
Read it and be teleported.
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on 13 August 2013
A rambling, incoherent first half then transforms into an interesting mystery. Left nicely untidy at the end. Definitely one that needs perseverance.
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on 8 June 2016
loved this book.
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on 5 November 2014
I think Beauman loses track of the plot...the teleportation is not the main theme here!
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on 24 July 2015
It was ok- I preferred Boxer Beetle. Too many unlikeable characters in this one.
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