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The Teleportation Accident

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  4,587 ratings  ·  701 reviews

When you haven't had sex in a long time, it feels like the worst thing that is happening to anyone anywhere. 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 physic
Hardcover, 357 pages
Published July 19th 2012 by Sceptre
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Average rating 3.44  · 
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May 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
An Apologia for Lemming

Life is too short. There are too many books that will be amazing reads. They are physically on my shelf, staring at me.

This is not one of them.

I've been on Goodreads for a few years now. Seven, to be exact. In that time, I have not lemmed a book. Not a single one. Oh, I've crawled my way through some real duds. I've persevered through some that started slow and ended strong. I've appreciated some for their fabulous writing, even when I might not fully understand what's hap
First of all, I really want to mention that whoever wrote the blurb for this book should win an award just for that. 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 ...more
Jul 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
"Accidents allude, but they don't ape."
― Ned Beauman, The Teleportation Accident


"...the two subjects most hostile to his sense of a man's life as an essentially steady, comprehensible and Newtonian mechanical undertaking were accidents and women."
― Ned Beauman, The Teleportation Accident

I bought it for the cover but kept reading it because its prose kicked ass and its narrator was kinda a dick.

Seriously, this novel is messy, uneven, and sometimes irritating, but mostly it is brilliant, funny,
V. N.
Jul 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
I seldom take the trouble to actually write a review on a book (considering how many there are on this page, I doubt anyone will read this) - but this book is just so unspeakingly bad that I have to vent my anger at having been fooled into buying it. Please, should you consider buying this book: I advise you to read very, very carefully through the 1-star reviews. They are utterly revealing. I quote a few lines:

"I can't understand how this got published, nor how the writer appears to have won se
Richard Derus

And worth every dime of it.

New Review! I give 4.8 happy stars of five to THE TELEPORTATION ACCIDENT by Ned Beauman. Bloomsbury Walker publishes the paper edition this coming Tuesday. It's a must-buy holiday self-gift!

This novel was longlisted for the 2012 Booker Prize, and I see why. Beauman's linguistic playfulness and inventive use of tropes in ways both satirical and satisfying to trope fans is amazing when one considers his re
Feb 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Pre-read: Is it shallow that I want to have babies with this cover?


Poor Egon Loeser.

At the beginning of Ned Beauman's The Teleportation Accident, he's just broken up with his girlfriend (a wild ride in the sack, even if she is rather difficult to get off), there's no good coke to be had in all of 1931 Berlin and the girl he wants to sleep with has gone off with a man he could have sworn was gay.

Oh, what's that?  Nazis in Berlin?  No, he doesn't read the news - it's too depressing.

After a some
Mar 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Always hate to say "one of my favorite books ever" in the afterglow of reading it, but ... this was one of my favorite books ever.

Deplorable characters. Breath-taking storytelling acrobatics. And probably the most laugh-out-loud moments I've ever had reading a book. Physics and magic and hard-boiled noir, Nazis and pornography, experimental theater and Lovecraft and punch-drunk sexual desire. What else could you want? Unclassifiable. Read it.
Lindsay Smith
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-lit, 2013
Oh, this book. I had to give up on highlighting it because I was basically highlighting the whole damned thing. It is so inappropriately funny and deliciously thick with its own mythos. I love every one of the awful, wretched characters in this book, and their stubborn refusal to acknowledge the insanity of the world around them, largely of their own making. Nazis and Lovecraft and iguanas and made-up logical fallacies and Midnight at the Nursing Academy--I love it all.
Oct 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
Woooow. Jazda bez trzymanki, as we'd say in Poland. Full speed with clear mind. Amazing turn of phrase, fabulous, incredible sense of humour, ironic distance to reality, wonderfully miserable main character. Yet - too much of a form, playing with it for the sake of the writer's, not reader's pleasure. The story's so complicated I lost the point in the middle. Not that I couldn't follow it - that was alright. Just couldn't understand why it is so necessary for me to follow it. Loved it, read it t ...more
Mar 12, 2013 rated it did not like it
What can I say about goes nowhere, very slowly and leaves you there. This book reminded me of a person at a party that loves to talk about themselves and then places you in a comatose state by telling you a very long-winded and pointless story.
However, this is my opinion; it is still well written and obviously liked by others, just not me. Shame, I was looking forward to this too.
Jan 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3stars
‘’Why on earth would anyone voluntarily take horse tranquilliser?
Because they can’t get good coke any more?’’

This book is about this horny ass dude with a time machine that wants to get laid.
Shit is wack. Not sure if I liked it or not. Ignore the fact that it took me like a month+ to finish it. I’m a lazy whore.
Egon Loeser is an avant garde theatre set designer on a quest to recreate the perfect stage trick. A trick the great Lavacini’s called the Almost Instantaneous Transport of Persons from Place to Place or to the masses, the Teleportation Device. Aside from his obsessive quest, there are his very dull friends and over course there is the girl who he is equally obsessed with. This is a hard book to sum up in one paragraph so I think I’ll borrow the blurb on the back of the book;
A historical novel t
Jenny (Reading Envy)
This is a funny book, and not at all what I expected. One of the central characters, Loeser, willfully ignores everything happening in Berlin in the 1930s, where he is from, because there are more important issues at stake - he hasn't had sex in FAR TOO LONG.

My favorite character is Gorge, who suffers from ontological agnosia, which had some of the funniest moments in the novel. The ending is very spinny and I feel I should start again with what I know now.
Beauman’s second novel is pure madcap ridiculousness – very much in the vein of Nick Harkaway’s Angelmaker, and more ambitious than his debut, Boxer, Beetle. Though it still doesn’t quite all hang together, it’s a pretty darn impressive attempt.

Our main character is the symbolically named “Egon Loeser”: though he’s egotistical, he’s also a loser (for instance, he’s been celibate, not by choice, for more than five years). I most enjoyed the made-up examples of pulp fiction: Stent Mutton’s novels,
Roz Morris
Feb 23, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I'll declare from the outset: I couldn't get more than a few pages in. Neither could my husband, who is more tolerant of difficult beginnings than I am. But I can't understand how this got published, nor how the writer appears to have won several prizes for fiction. Normally I wouldn't think it fair to review under such circumstances, but it's the prizes that tipped me over the brink.
It begins with a meandering account of a man who's building a teleportation machine, inspired by a similar machi
Nov 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is one of the most oddly enjoyable books I've come across, and it was not even close to what I expected.

The first thing to say is that Ned Beauman is a brilliant stylist. He's the kind of author whose metaphors and similes make many sentences worth reading all by themselves, and whose "look it up" vocabulary is never offputting.

Secondly, in Egon Loesser (and almost every name has a punnish meaning), he has managed to create an entertaining protagonist and narrator who is almost irredeemabl
INTRODUCTION: When the 2012 Man Booker longlist was announced, three novels from it were talked about as being sffnal and as mentioned in my post on the topic, I decided I would take a look at them when I have a chance. With the wonderful cover above, the intriguing blurb below and an opening paragraph I will quote shortly and which will surely make the planned follow up post to my original "Some Memorable First Lines" from 2009, The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman was the clear choice to ...more
Nancy Oakes
Sep 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorite, uk-fiction
I'm really giving this book 4+ stars because I think it's freakin' brilliant and just downright funny.

How to describe this book is a really tough undertaking. The novel literally transports the reader through space and time in cutting bursts of movement, through a dizzying slew of ideas and a wide range of topics, all with the central proposition of the Teleportation Device. It may sound a little like anarchy, but for the most part it's all really quite carefully controlled by the author's abil
Alan Smith
Apr 17, 2013 rated it liked it
OK, here's a new one. A book that after I finished it, I'm genuinely not sure if I liked it or not.

When I started, I thought "what a load of old codswallop". Pretentious, overdone story about a guy stressing about a theatrical accident a century before, while simultaneously lamenting his inability to get shagged. Been better done before, by less clumsy hands. Long, unwieldy paragraphs, separated by commas, so that whoever records the audiobook of this is going to need an oxygen cylinder on hand
Aug 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really wanted this to be a five-star book; I was rooting for Beauman from the beginning, because I loved his previous book (Boxer, Beetle) and because I think he is an incredibly talented, smart, and promising writer. And , indeed, I did really enjoy the book. Beauman has mastered the art of making it clear just how smart he is, and just how much research has gone into his work, without that ever being the point of what he is writing (and, in fact, this book wears its research on its sleeve mu ...more
Karen Rye
Jul 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
If I hadn't been treated to so many outstanding books this year, I think this might have been a five star read. As it is, there are just a couple of minor let downs in this crazy yet fantastic book, making it a four star instead.

Starting in 1931 Berlin, we meet the hilarious Egon Loeser who is a set designer of an unperformed play and who really isn't interested in politics or really in the world around him at all - unless that world is about to provide him sex or drugs, preferably both. We fol
Apr 08, 2013 rated it did not like it
The premise sounded so interesting, and I could easily see where the author had talent - so I kept plugging along, hoping it would get better. It didn't. I felt like the book was written by a too-smart-for-his-own-good juvenile boy who was obsessed with sex. I really wish he would get Christopher Moore as a mentor, and perhaps be able to channel that talent into something more sophisticated and mature. ...more
Feb 26, 2017 marked it as dnf
Shelves: be-my-buddy
Originally started Feb 2017 for the YLTO Survey Challenge. Got to page 24 when I bailed.

I think this book takes the prize for the most confusing first sentence ever...

"When you knock a bowl of sugar on to our host's carpet, it is a parody of the avalanche that killed his mother and father, just as the duck's beak that your new girlfriend's lips form when she attempts a seductive pout is a quotation of the quacking noise your last girlfriend made during sex."

There's just not enough time to bothe
Maya Panika
May 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is such an unusual book; what is it really about? Is it really about the Teleportation Device invented by of the 17th century Venetian inventor Lavicini, a event shrouded in mystery and intrigue? Is it about the attempts of various scientists to recreate Lavicini's teleportation device for use in WW2? Or is it really just the story of Egon Loeser's failing life, his failure to have the girl of his dreams, his failure to have any sex at all, or even find a new copy of his favourite pornograp ...more
Mar 28, 2013 rated it liked it
I have to begin this review of The Teleportation Accident by admitting that I have no idea what was going on during this book. Really. Completely lost through most of the book. And yet, I enjoyed the book. I could tell there was something there, it was just out of my grasp.

I followed some of the characters and some of their story lines, and I may have actually understood more than I thought I did.

I enjoyed the writing:

"She leaned in closer. Her face had soaked up the red wine like blotting pap
April Franklin
Apr 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
Why in the world is this getting so many fawning reviews in different places? I couldn't make it through and gave up maybe a quarter of the way in. It's full of horrible rambling run on sentences and pages of description unbroken by dialogue. The main character is very annoying, as well. Lots of people like this one, so clearly there's something I'm missing, but this book was just not for me. ...more
Angela Ferreira
This is one of those books that had been sitting on my shelves for a long time and which I had bought because the cover is beautiful (I judge books by their cover, sue me) and because it sounded intriguing. And it is, but it is also too pretentious and trying to be too smart for its own sake and for my taste. Advertised as a noir-ish historical novel with a sci-fi angle, I think this is also what killed the book for me; that, and the fact that I just couldn't relate to the characters on any leve ...more
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I started reading this book with great skepticism. It started off like Catch 22 and ended up as a Lovecraft-influence SF novel. The tempo makes no sense. But, it is truly a brilliant book. I encourage anyone willing to read this book to approach it with an open mind (something I seldom do) and complete the book.

For example, there is a chapter titled "This is your Life" that is probably one of the most brilliantly structured chapters I have ever read. And it is quite telling to the reader that t
Marc Nash
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable historical romp, with its tongue very firmly in its cheek. Witty, sort of like a less twee Jasper FForde, with some wonderfully funny set-piece scenes, usually revolving around sex.

Weimar Berlin, a den of decadence and debauchery, only a theatre set designer having split up with his girlfriend is the only Berliner not getting any. Then he meets a woman, becomes so infatuated with her that he follows her through Paris and Los Angeles, still not getting any. Along the way he meets mad
The Teleportation Accident proclaims to be largely coherent which is true - it can't really be said of the other things it claims to be. It's sometimes witty, but in a way that men are when you can see they luxuriate in what they say and then interrupt you when you try to say something. And I guess it's easy to read, which is why I've finished it.

It's centred on Egon Loeser (we get it) who lives through 1930s, mostly trying to get laid, which lets the narrator talk a lot about women, which in tu
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