The Teleportation Accident

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 29 July, 2012, 12:00am


The Teleportation Accident
by Ned Beauman
Sceptre (e-book)

Ned Beauman is the author of a well-received debut novel, Boxer, Beetle. His anticipated follow-up, The Teleportation Accident, is both inventive and more of the same. The action opens in the Weimar Republic, just as Hitler is beginning his rise to power. However, it is his namesake - Adele - who captures the attention of our hero, a hapless, passive and self-centred type called Egon Loeser. A set designer in Berlin's avant-garde theatre (he loathes Brecht professionally and personally), Loeser pursues the promiscuous Adele to Los Angeles, with a brief pitstop in Paris. Balancing high art (Joyce, Fitzgerald and Expressionism) with a zippy narrative style (Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad is an obvious parallel), Beauman weaves a plot out of sex, quantum physics, politics (or more to the point apolitics) and history. Linking these grand narratives are various inventors attempting to create a teleportation device, a communist spy ring in Los Angeles and a collection of eccentric characters. Beauman will write deeper, more humane books. But this high comedy about low characters will do for now.