A fun madcap mystery
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
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.
Beauman has a gift: he's a natural comic writer. (I've only read one funnier book this year)
Beauman's fourth novel provides his usual humour, oddities, convolutions and impressive writing.
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.
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
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