Kevin Power

Jungle Fever

Madness Is Better than Defeat

By

Sceptre 411pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

It’s hard to review a novel by Ned Beauman without calling him a show-off. But the thing about being a show-off is that you can’t be one unless you’re exceptionally good at whatever it is you’re showing off. ‘Show-off’ is really a term of covetous approbation – the compliment that envy pays to achievement. It would be easy to haul Beauman before the bench on charges of what Clive James used to call stunt writing: look at all these elaborate similes, Your Honour! Look at this preposterously convoluted plot! Better, perhaps, to say, with admiration: Beauman is very, very good at what he does.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'It would be nice to think that women will achieve equal pay in my lifetime, rather than to watch gloomily as stati… ,
    • In 1660, two of the signatories of King Charles I's death warrant fled across the Atlantic to New England. But were… ,
    • Howard Jacobson's sixteenth novel is 'a love story of sorts, one characterised not by physical desire or even conta… ,
    • 'The sudden immersion in the new and unfamiliar can lead people to write with a rare lack of self-consciousness' P… ,
    • 'Pools bend the rules. Clothes slip off, skin glistens, consciousness heightens. A dreamlike scenario unfolds' Jam… ,
    • 'Although he surely didn’t know W H Auden’s theory that every high C proclaims human freedom and our capacity to tr… ,
    • RT : With beginning tomorrow, we've uncovered a 1997 article from the archive reviewing 'Golf Dream… ,