Beauman's fourth novel provides his usual humour, oddities, convolutions and impressive writing.
A teaming shaggy-dog comedy of megalomania and obsession . . . Beauman is a sparkling writer, and his book bustles with diverting micro-narratives . . . A novel of great intelligence and humour, cleverly structured and brimming with tricks . . . a tremendous rainbow
Typically quirky . . . Zany and sprawling
Wildly original . . . Madness could easily become a confusing mess but Beauman manages to keep the narrative consistently focused and engaging. This madcap ride about the eccentricities of humans will keep you entertained till the last page
A fun madcap mystery
Dazzling . . . his best to date . . . If there is one adjective that describes Beauman's prose it is 'buoyant' - a quality which allows the reader to get through a long book with little effort, and the author to carry the considerable heft of his intelligence lightly. And it is a roaming intelligence.
Beauman has a gift: he's a natural comic writer. (I've only read one funnier book this year)
Almost perfect . . . This is one of the most purely enjoyable novels I've read in years - by turns sad, moving, thoughtful, intriguing, clever, enlightening, surprising and laugh-out-loud funny - which is more than enough. I can't think of any type of reader who wouldn't enjoy it: whether your thing is genre, literary or, like this, a fizzling, sparking, sparkling mixture of the two.
Madness is Better than Defeat is a Swiss watch: there isn't a single moving part out of place . . . The jokes are superb . . . a zestful romp? Undoubtedly. But that doesn't quite do justice to the experience of reading Madness is Better than Defeat. The book is certainly a literary performance of a high order . . . The clockwork runs beautifully. Every paragraph gives pleasure.
I am really enjoying it . . . I have no clue what's going to happen when I turn the page
It reminded me of a Coen brothers film . . . I found it enchanting, and I was happy to turn every page . . . I really enjoyed it
Wildly plotted, comedic . . . One senses that behind the vivacious plotting and baroque characterisation, Beauman's purpose is to question the "madness" of artistic endeavor . . . he emerges from his latest expedition triumphant.
Beauman writes with rare and bizarre brilliance