Madness Is Better Than Defeat: A novel

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In 1938, Elias Coehorn, Jr., a New Yorker, is sent by his wealthy father to a newly discovered Mayan temple in a remote jungle area of Honduras. His father demands that Elias disassemble the temple and have it sent back to New York, and Elias, financially dependent on his father, agrees to the task. Jervis Whelt, a screenwriter, also has reason to head to the jungle: a powerful studio head wants him to direct a film at the temple. The goals of these two men and the people who travel with them couldn’t be more different, and no one finds any possibility of compromise. As the world outside the jungle roils with warfare, Coehorn, Whelt, and their cohorts vie for victory–prolonging their trip for far longer than any of them had imagined possible.

Many years later, a CIA agent penning his memoir has reason to dive deep into this frustrating and somewhat ludicrous confrontation, peeling back the layers to a story that is more mysterious than it seems. Beauman handles his odd cast deftly, and readers willing to go along for this novel’s wild ride will be amply rewarded.


Reviewed By:

Author Ned Beauman
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 416 pages
Publisher Knopf
Publish Date 2018-Feb-13
ISBN 9780385352994
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue January 2019
Category Modern Literature
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