Between The Covers 15/07/2012

Your weekly guide to what's really going on inside the world of books
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The Independent Culture

The "fantastically inventive, ingenious and hilarious new novel from Ned Beauman", The Teleportation Accident (Sceptre, £16.99), is about a young man in 1930s Germany "whose carnal misfortunes will push him from the experimental theatres of Berlin to the absinthe bars of Paris … [wondering] why a handsome, clever, charming and modest guy like him can't, just once in a while, get himself laid." Beauman read from the book last week at Century in Soho, shortly after arriving home from 14 months of travelling. The worst thing about being a handsome, clever, charming and modest twentysomething guy moving back in with his parents, he said, is the difficulty of disposing of used condoms. All his parents' bins are either recycling or compost, apparently, so he ends up smuggling them out of the house. If you want to find out where he puts them, or ask him where on earth he gets his ideas for characters from, catch up with him at this weekend's Latitude Festival in Southwold, where he is one of several authors performing in the Literary Arena.


Jake Arnott's new novel The House of Rumour is a move away from the gangster territory of his early work, such as The Long Firm, He Kills Coppers and truecrime. But he'll need a bit of gangster grit and his wits about him if he intends to go on as he did at his launch party at the Ivy Club in London last week. Arnott, below, thanked Nancy Dell'Olio, below him, for turning up to the party, before thanking his partner, the writer Stephanie Theobald. In return, Dell'Olio jumped up and kissed him. Some of Arnott's characters were also present, he said – perhaps referring to the actor Mark Strong, who played Harry Starks in the 2004 TV adaptation of The Long Firm. Fortunately, Theobald is an understanding partner as well as a brilliant novelist, and Arnott did not need Strong for protection.


On the back of Miranda Hart's collection of embarrassing moments Is It Just Me?, due out in October, Hodder is asking the public to contribute their own stories of social fails to be published in a sister volume called No, It's Us Too. Readers are invited to tweet their stories to @noitsustoo, or using the hashtag #isitjustme. One person who presumably won't be adding his two penn'orth is Joe Pickering, the tireless (and shameless) publicist for 50 Shades of Grey. Last week, @Joethepublicist tweeted: "I've gained so many new followers from these 50 Shades tweets. Christian can train Anastasia's ass as much as he wants, imho." Everybody, stop it, please!


Thanks to the SuperheroHype website for discovering that the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, is loosely based on Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities. The director Christopher Nolan revealed to the website: "When Jonah [Jonathan Nolan] showed me his first draft of his screenplay … he said, 'You've got to think of A Tale of Two Cities which, of course, you've read.' I said, 'Absolutely'… When I did my draft on the script, it was all about A Tale of Two Cities". Incidentally, Alan Napier, who played Batman's butler Alfred in the 1960s TV series, was married to Dickens' great-granddaughter, and played Dickens himself in a 1951 film of A Christmas Carol.