21st Century Literature discussion

31 views
2014 Book Discussions > The Teleportation Accident - Whole Book (spoilers ok) (February 2014)

Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 1692 comments Mod
This thread is for discussion of the book as a whole, and MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS.


message 2: by Peter (new)

Peter Aronson (peteraronson) | 516 comments You know, I rather expected the line: "accidents, like women, allude" to be more of a theme in this books, but I can't really see it. If anything the theme sees to be closer to Karl Marx's line about history repeating itself, first as tragedy, and the second time as farce, with Loesser's life being the second time.


message 3: by Peter (last edited Feb 04, 2014 10:57AM) (new)

Peter Aronson (peteraronson) | 516 comments The fourth ending rather launches this book into the realm of genre (science-fiction) fiction, but does not, I think, make this book a science fiction novel. But I think it is a novel that a lot of science fiction readers would enjoy.

It does seem that Bailey did get his teleportation machine working at the end. Yes, he traveled into the future instead of into through space, but that's just a coordinate error in 4D space-time, right? Besides, teleportation (the way it is described in the book, anyway) seems to be a form of faster than light travel, and FTL is equivalent to time-travel anyways (see this).


message 4: by Terry (new)

Terry Pearce I'd say that 'accidents, like women, allude' is a central theme. The whole book alludes to itself, in the way the first paragraph gets the ball rolling.

The passage I quoted in the Part 3 discussion:

'"gravitational force" and "electric charge" and "Planck's constant" and even "causation" are just the same as Dagon and Tezcatlipoca and Yahweh and Ryujin -- patterns that men think they've seen, when the real pattern is far, far too complex for them to see, like a child with a crayon finding funny shapes in a logarithmic table.'

... seems oddly descriptive of the way the book as a whole affected me. It seemed that there was more going on than I could actually hold in my head at one time, and yet I didn't care so much, just like the child. The funny shapes, they so pretty...


message 5: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 1692 comments Mod
Well said, Terry. I felt much like that, too.


message 6: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2318 comments Peter wrote: "The fourth ending rather launches this book into the realm of genre (science-fiction) fiction, but does not, I think, make this book a science fiction novel. But I think it is a novel that a lot o..."

It isn't just the fourth ending with the time travel that gives the book the feel of sci fi. Ending 1 does it for me as well. If, as Casceil notes in the Part IV discussion, it is the Device that is transporting the scenes around, that is certainly science fiction, and if the Device is taking us to each ending, then it is time travelling in all 4 endings!


message 7: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2318 comments Terry wrote: "It seemed that there was more going on than I could actually hold in my head at one time, and yet I didn't care so much, just like the child. The funny shapes, they so pretty... "

By the end, there was indeed too much going on to keep track of it. Perhaps that is why the 4 endings, to be able to wrap up all the threads used to build the story. It seems to me the 4 endings are connected rather than separate and build upon each other, as they wrap up those loose threads so the book doesn't fall apart. All in all, pretty masterful.


message 8: by Lily (last edited Feb 06, 2014 09:04AM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2472 comments A strange suggestion, in all likelihood, but I just spent a bit of time with the Amazon reviews for The Teleportation Accident and found at least a couple of them -- of the only 61 entered to date (seemed rather small number for a book that had been longlisted for the 2012 Man Booker), rather insightful (e.g., Ripple, Mary Whipple, to chose two of the 4-5 star reviews Beauman himself disdains. [g])

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0340...


message 9: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 1692 comments Mod
If you are referring to the interview I linked on another thread, I believe Beauman was complaining about particular reviews of Boxer, Beetle. I don't think he was casting general scorn on all 4 and 5 star reviews on Amazon. His comment on the reviews of Boxer, Beetle was interesting, though, as it seemed to suggest that the only people Beauman thought "got" what he was doing were the people who did not much like the book.


message 10: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2472 comments Casceil wrote: "....it seemed to suggest that the only people Beauman thought 'got' what he was doing were the people who did not much like the book. ..."

Yes, I did carry that part of Beauman's apparent attitude over to reviews on TTA. Good catch!


message 11: by Deborah (new)

Deborah | 983 comments I really enjoyed this, but I don't know what I THINK of it. I don't know it that makes sense to everyone.


message 12: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2472 comments Deborah wrote: "I really enjoyed this, but I don't know what I THINK of it. I don't know it that makes sense to everyone."

I'm ready to give up. It's been fun, but it feels like just too much work to "get it." Think I'd rather spend my time on something else.


message 13: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 1692 comments Mod
Lily, I understand the feeling. At some point I stopped trying to "get it" and just kept reading, trusting it would fit together somehow. Once I decided to just "go along for the ride" it was more fun.


message 14: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2318 comments And I confess to not even trying real hard to "get it" while reading! I figured this discussion would provide insight and food for thought. This is not a book I would have read but for it being a moderator pick. I am glad I stayed with it, because it did become fun around page 250!


back to top