Hodder & Stoughton, $32.99 pb, 304 pp
Ned Beauman’s latest novel – his first since Madness Is Better Than Defeat (2017) – marks something of a stylistic departure for the British writer. Where Beauman’s work has for the most part experimented with history and genre, Venomous Lumpsucker is set squarely in our collapsing planetary future. With typical wit (something that has fortunately not been lost with the shift in subject matter to climate change) Beauman prefaces the novel using a devilish author’s note:
This novel is set in the near future. However, to minimise any need for mental arithmetic on the reader’s part, sums of money are presented as if the euro has retained its 2022 value with no inflation. This is the sole respect in which the story deviates from how things will actually unfold.