This week was Taylor’s choice, The Teleportation Accident. Taylor and I both read it and enjoyed it from a literary perspective as well as its humor. Gretchen and Rachel didn’t even finish it. To each their own I suppose.
Title: The Teleportation Accident
Author: Ned Beauman
Genre: Literary Fiction; sometimes Post Modernist
Page #: 357
Alright the thing you need to know before even attempting to read this book is that the ending explains the whole novel. It is a miserable thing to read up until around the 200th page when a plot begins to form, and then the last section of the novel explains what has been happening the entire novel. It is something that you are going to want to look at critically. It is very funny but this is not escapist literature by any means.
The next thing you should note is that you will hate all of the characters especially the main character Egon Loeser. This is purposeful. It makes it difficult to read and was ultimately the reason that two of the book club members decided not to finish the novel. If you can’t read a book because of its writing or because of its literary merit this most likely will not be a book for you.
The setting takes place partially in Germany in the 1930, partially in Paris, and finishes in Los Angeles. You might think it is a war novel, but it is the farthest thing from it. Due to the fact that Egon does not believe in politics he is completely unaware of the events occuring in Germany for the better part of the war. When someone in Los Angeles describes him as a refugee he is confused to say the least. This also might be frustrating to somebody knowing what happened during this time period, even some events the Egon participates in.
I think that this author was trying to, one be as funny as possible and he puts everything out there from the first sentence, and two was trying to write a book about self fullfilling prophecies. People make mistakes and are selfish, eventually they come to realize how much of a prick they are being and attempt to correct that behavior, but it is almost always too late. The cyclic nature of the lives of two men born centuries apart, and one iguana, is astounding. It is what made the book for me.
Nothing in this book is what you think it is. It is just supposed to make you think about yourself, and how selfish you are.
Below is the video of our discussion, and a lot of sass back and forth between those who did not read the book and those who did. It is highly entertaining.
Next week we will be reading and watching The Virgin Suicides so if you want to discuss that with us by all means join in. You can tweet at us or use the YouTube comments or even post on my blog or Gretchen’s at My Life is a Notebook. I’ll talk to you guys soon, but my chores and the Pied Piper is calling me.