Wednesday, October 05, 2011

What is Ned Beauman reading?

Today's featured contributor at Writers Read: Ned Beauman, author of Boxer, Beetle.

His entry begins:
As early groundwork for a future project, I've been reading far-fetched novels about isolated communities. I started with García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude. For a book so replete with sex and death, it feels remarkably folksy and twee, and you often find yourself wishing García Márquez would stop giving you his pedantic commentary on events and just hand over the binoculars so that you could see Macondo for yourself. In general, though, I can't disagree with all the critics (and also my dad) who found One Hundred Years of Solitude so exciting when it first arrived in English in 1970.

The next book I read, however, really does need to be deleted from the canon. It's bizarre that the most prestigious award in British science fiction should be named after a guy who simply could not write – at least on the evidence of...[read on]
Among the early praise for Boxer, Beetle:
"A premise as wonderfully outlandish as any we’ve seen in a long while... oddball and rambunctious... funny, raw and stylish."
New York Times

"An ebulliant and thrilling narrative... Irreverent, profane, and very funny. Best of all, [Beauman] writes prose that, like Chabon's, has the power to startle, no small feat in a debut."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"First-novelist Beauman, who is just 26 years old, has concocted a bizarre and funny mystery that is filled with eccentric scholarship... Those seeking something completely different will be amply rewarded."
Booklist (starred review)

"The story wonderfully mocks eugenics and fascism, while the writing bursts with imaginative metaphors... Quirky, comical, brilliant."
Kirkus Reviews
Learn more about the book and author at Ned Beauman's website and blog.

Writers Read: Ned Beauman.

--Marshal Zeringue