Madness Is Better Than Defeat (Hardcover)

By Ned Beauman

Knopf Publishing Group, 9780385352994, 416pp.

Publication Date: February 13, 2018



A wild, astonishing literary thriller by arguably England's most accomplished young writer, about Manhattan and Hollywood in the 1930s, Mayan gods, and a CIA operation gone terribly wrong--the Man Booker short-listed Ned Beauman's magnum opus thus far.

In 1938, two rival expeditions descend on an ancient temple recently discovered in the jungles of Honduras, one intending to shoot a screwball comedy on location there, the other to disassemble the temple and ship it back to New York. A seemingly endless stalemate ensues, and twenty years later a rogue CIA agent sets out to exploit it for his own ends, unaware that the temple is a locus of conspiracies far grander than anyone could ever have guessed. Shot through with insanity, intrigue, ingenuity, and adventure, showcasing Beauman's anarchic humor, spectacular imagination, and riveting prose, Madness Is Better Than Defeat teases, absorbs, entertains, and dazzles in equal measure.

About the Author

NED BEAUMAN was born in 1985 and studied philosophy at the University of Cambridge. He was included on Granta's 2013 list of the twenty best young British novelists, and his work has been translated into more than ten languages. He lives in London.