Madness Is Better Than Defeat Summary and Reviews

Madness Is Better Than Defeat

by Ned Beauman

Madness Is Better Than Defeat by Ned Beauman X
Madness Is Better Than Defeat by Ned Beauman
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2018
    416 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

A wild, astonishing literary thriller by arguably England's most accomplished young writer, about Manhattan and Hollywood in the 1930s, Mayan gods, and a CIA operation gone terribly wrong - the Man Booker short-listed Ned Beauman's magnum opus thus far.

In 1938, two rival expeditions descend on an ancient temple recently discovered in the jungles of Honduras, one intending to shoot a screwball comedy on location there, the other to disassemble the temple and ship it back to New York. A seemingly endless stalemate ensues, and twenty years later a rogue CIA agent sets out to exploit it for his own ends, unaware that the temple is a locus of conspiracies far grander than anyone could ever have guessed. Shot through with insanity, intrigue, ingenuity, and adventure, showcasing Beauman's anarchic humor, spectacular imagination, and riveting prose, Madness Is Better Than Defeat teases, absorbs, entertains, and dazzles in equal measure.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. [A] rowdy, thoroughly satisfying literary adventure. ... Exquisitely comic and absurd, Beauman's imaginative novel brims with the snappy dialogue, vivid scenery, and converging story lines of an old Hollywood classic." - Publishers Weekly

"The overall effect is of a Paul Theroux novel on a bender: quirky, exotic, but stubbornly tangled." - Kirkus

"Mystery, murder, and mayhem abound in this highly imaginative, devilishly plotted adventure from Granta Best of Young British Writers Beauman, author of the Man Booker long-listed The Teleportation Accident." - Library Journal

"A work of globe-trotting imagination, sex, violence and wit, told in an elegant style - an accomplishment that writers will study and readers will delight in." - Atticus Lish, author of Preparation for the Next Life

"Ned Beauman writes sentences so good I want to collect them, except that after a few pages I'm basically just transcribing the book. His newest novel is elegant, witty, precise and often hilarious. I didn't read it so much as savor it, word by word." - Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

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More Information

Ned Beauman was born in 1985 and studied philosophy at the University of Cambridge. He was included on Granta's 2013 list of the twenty best young British novelists, and his work has been translated into more than ten languages. He lives in London.

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