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Venomous Lumpsucker

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781473613553

Price: £20

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‘A novel that delights, dazzles and moves in equal measure’ Financial Times

‘Brutally satirical and grimly hilarious’ Daily Mail

The irresistible new novel by the Booker-longlisted author Ned Beauman – a darkly funny and incisive zoological thriller for the age of Extinction Rebellion.

The venomous lumpsucker is the most intelligent fish on the planet. Or maybe it was the most intelligent fish on the planet. Because it might already be extinct. Nobody knows. And nobody cares. Except for two people.

Mining executive Mark Halyard has a prison cell waiting for him if that fish has gone for good. And biologist Karin Resaint needs it for her own darker purposes. They don’t trust each other, but they’re left with no choice but to team up, pursuing the lumpsucker across the strange landscapes of near-future Europe. On the way, they are drawn into a conspiracy far bigger than one ugly little fish.

Gripping and singular, Venomous Lumpsucker is a comedy about environmental devastation that asks: do we have it in us to avert the tragedy of mass extinction?

And also: do we really need to bother?

‘A hilarious, terrifying novel in which Ned Beauman captures brilliantly the contradictory blend of urgency, paralysis, panic and resignation the climate emergency and its attendant mass extinctions inspire’ Chris Power

‘A comic caper about our insanely decadent world careering through ecocide, Venomous Lumpsucker is bracingly, excoriatingly funny on our idiocy and the unquantifiable loss that we enable. It’s also savagely, forensically serious on the reality of mass species loss, as illuminating as it is entertaining.’ Martin MacInnes, author of Infinite Ground

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Reviews

A comic caper about our insanely decadent world careering through ecocide, Venomous Lumpsucker is bracingly, excoriatingly funny on our idiocy and the unquantifiable loss that we enable. It's also savagely, forensically serious on the reality of mass species loss, as illuminating as it is entertaining. It reads like P. G. Wodehouse crashing into Philip K. Dick, with a touch of Iain M. Banks. Of course, it's smart and timely, but the writing is often very beautiful, and the ideas and their implications vertiginous.
Martin Macinnes, author of INFINITE GROUND
Venomous Lumpsucker makes the death of the natural world way more fun than it should be. This is a hilarious, terrifying novel in which Ned Beauman captures brilliantly the contradictory blend of urgency, paralysis, panic and resignation the climate emergency and its attendant mass extinctions inspire. The book left me hoping - but doubting - that Beauman is a lot less prescient than funny.
Chris Power
Ned Beauman is a speculative genius, and Venemous Lumpsucker is an incredible invention. Like a ravenous creature, this book eats up all the great existential crises of the present moment and spits out an insane, hilarious, terrifying future that I, for one, completely believe will come true. Most of all, Beauman grapples head-on with that world-sized heartbreak of species extinction unsparingly and bravely. This book holds all the great pleasures of the best science fiction-novely, hyperbole, technical prowess-but with unusual humor and sensitivity to what it feels to live in this moment. Beauman could not be a more versatile writer. I will read anything he writes.
Elvia Wilk
Wildly funny and inventive. A suitably Swiftian satire for the extinction age.
Jake Arnott
A wild, absurdist quest; a wild satire of our absurd times. Seriously funny, playfully philosophical: a brilliant novel about nothing less than the future (or otherwise) of humanity. I loved it.
Joanna Kavenna
Ned Beauman is a speculative genius, and Venomous Lumpsucker is an incredible invention . . . This book holds all the great pleasures of the best science fiction novels, hyperbole, technical prowess-but with unusual humour and sensitivity to what it feels to live in this moment.
Elvia Wilk
An endlessly inventive, witty and bleak literary thriller set in the not-so-distant future, when environmental collapse has wrecked much of our ecosystem. Running the gamut from strange culinary practices to shady corporate dealing, it'll make you laugh and make you think.
Stephen Bush, Financial Times, Best books for summer
You might be forgiven for thinking that a novel about impending ecological disaster and mass extinction won't be a barrel of laughs. Yet that combination is exactly what Ned Beauman serves up in Venomous Lumpsucker... the novel is as intelligent as it is funny.
The Times
A novel that is both funny and profound, full of extraordinary ideas and brilliant set pieces, but also generous and poignant... Venomous Lumpsucker was worth waiting for: a novel that delights, dazzles and moves in equal measure.
Alex Preston, Financial Times
[Beauman] has always had the curious knack of wrongfooting his readers with a beating heart where one has expected only cleverness... Beauman is able to push his fantastic conceits just that one uncomfortable step further... the ideas themselves are powerful, and earn their keep within the fictional frame
Nikhil Krishnan, Daily Telegraph
Brutally satirical and grimly hilarious
Daily Mail
Fascinating... An astute, whimsical send-up of the logic of contemporary capitalism, in which more and more elaborate technology is invented to counteract the very disasters that technology has spawned... Beauman has an enviable talent for crafting sentences, and an offbeat mind when it comes to analogies and metaphors.
i
Beauman writes beautifully on the level of the sentence... Beauman's world-building is impeccable, the narrative voice (part Douglas Adams, part Thomas Pynchon, part Jonathan Swift) is often appealing.
Literary Review
An offbeat, high-wire satire of environmental capitalism and big tech
Daily Mail
Full of fun and big ideas, [Beauman's] conceptually tricksy novels crackle with comic zip, alive to the past as well as the present... His mischievous intelligence can be felt everywhere
Observer