With GLOW, Ned Beauman has reinvented the international conspiracy thriller for a new generation.
A hostage exchange outside a police station in Pakistan.
A botched defection in an airport hotel in New Jersey.
A test of loyalty at an abandoned resort in the Burmese jungle.
A boy and a girl locking eyes at a rave in a South London laundrette. .
For the first time, Britain's most exciting young novelist turns his attention to the present day, as a conspiracy with global repercussions converges on one small flat above a dentist's office in Camberwell.
Kevin "Fishy" Broom has his nickname for a reason-a rare genetic condition that makes his sweat and other bodily excretions smell markedly like rotting fish. Consequently, he rarely ventures out of the London apartment where he deals online in Nazi memorabilia. But when Fishy stumbles upon a crime scene, he finds himself on the long-cold trail of a pair of small-time players in interwar British history. First, there's Philip Erskine, a fascist gentleman entomologist who dreams of breeding an indomitable beetle as tribute to Reich Chancellor Hitler's glory, all the while aspiring to arguably more sinister projects in human eugenics. And then there's Seth "Sinner" Roach, a homosexual Jewish boxer, nine-toed, runtish, brutish-but perfect in his way-who becomes an object of obsession for Erskine, professionally and most decidedly otherwise. What became of the boxer? What became of the beetle? And what will become of anyone who dares to unearth the answers?
First-time novelist Ned Beauman spins out a dazzling narrative across decades and continents, weaving his manic fiction through the back alleys of history. is a remarkably assured, wildly enjoyable debut.
In the declining Weimar Republic, Egon Loeser works as a stage designer for New Expressionist theatre. His hero is the greatest set designer of the 17th century, Adriano Lavicini, who devised the so-called Teleportation Device for the whisking of actors from one scene to another — a miracle, until the thing malfunctioned, causing numerous deaths and perhaps summoning the devil himself.
Apolitical in a dangerous time, sex-driven in a dry spell, Loeser leaves the tired scene in Berlin in pursuit of the lubricious Adele Hitler (no relation), who couldn’t care less about him, heading first to Paris and then to Los Angeles, where he finds his entire tired Berlin social circle reconstituted in exile, under the patronage of a hack writer and his possibly philandering wife. He also finds himself uncomfortably close to a string of murders at CalTech, where a physicist, assisted by Adele herself, is trying to develop a device for honest-to-God teleportation.
Following his breathtaking debut, , Ned Beauman raises the stakes, creating in a marvelous mash-up of historical fiction, LA noir, science fiction, and satire. Here are sluts and scam artists, ghosts and ancient dinosaur-men, all wrapped up in one page-turning plot. Beauman is a writer of audacity and style; his second novel proves him a star on the rise.