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22gigantes.com - The thrilling classic tale of a strange and sinister creature that stalks its prey mercilessly and changes shape at will From the mysterious depths of Egypt comes a creature “born neither of God nor man.” This shape-shifting being has made its way to London seeking revenge for the crimes that have been committed against the order of its ancient religion—and the primary target of this merciless and relentless terror is politician Paul Lessingham. As panic spreads throughout the city, it falls to Paul and his friends to stop the beast once and for all. Published the same year as the horror classic Dracula, The Beetle originally outsold Bram Stoker’s famous book. Richard Marsh’s story is a dark mirror of England at the end of the century, a tale of Victorian horror and mystery with a monster as dreadful and elusive as any in literature. This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.
Best Review of The Beetle (the Pieter Van In Mysteries):
Most helpful customer reviews 15 of 16 people found the following review helpful. Mesmerizing! By Patto The Beetle is one of those rare books that positively throb with symbolism and significance - while gripping you by the throat with a terrific tale. In 1897 it was a popular sensation outselling Dracula, which was published the same year.The characters are well drawn: Paul Lessingham, a budding cabinet minister with an ominous gap in his past; lovely Marjorie Linton, a witty New Woman caught between her Radical lover (Paul) and her Tory father; madcap young scientist Sydney Atherton who also adores Miss Linton and is meanwhile working on weapons of mass destruction for the glory of the British Empire; Robert Holt, down-and-out clerk who falls into the clutches of the Beetle.As for the Beetle, this amorphous, androgynous nightmare transmigrates at will between a barely human form and a sadistic Egyptian scarab. An accomplished mesmerist, the Beetle can make a slave of almost anyone (including the reader). Why is it hiding out in civilized London instead of pursuing its hideous prehistoric rituals back in Egypt? Paul Lessingham, to his horror, is the unwilling magnet drawing the vengeful Beetle ever closer.The plot offers a steady stream of dramas and crises peppered by exciting chases on foot, by cab and by rail. There are quite a few comic moments, despite the heavy nature of the threat to everyone's life and sanity. That, in fact, is one of the most remarkable aspects of the book. It's both a Kafkaesque plunge into paranoia and a Shakespearean comedy of errors, a confrontation with unsavory eroticism and a pure love story.I'd recommend the Broadview edition above all others because of its readable format and thought-provoking scholarly content.But don't read the introduction before the book. Save those insightful interpretations of The Beetle for dessert! Approach The Beetle without preconceptions and have your own visceral experience of the Uncanny, just as readers did in 1897. 11 of 11 people found the following review helpful. An interesting novel despite some plot problems By Amazon Customer Richard Marsh's novel _The Beetle_ is the story of a British statesman, Paul Lessingham, who is haunted by his youthful indiscretions in Egypt. A shape-shifting figure follows him from Egypt, intent upon getting revenge on Lessingham. While the book has some interesting aspects, it lacks important plot elements. For example, (spoiler alert) the book builds up to a confrontation between the "good guys" (Lessingham and company) and the "bad guys" (the Beetle). Yet, that confrontation never occurs. The end of the book also leaves some loose ends.Despite the plot problems, and the archaic attitude toward race mentioned by other reviewers, the book has some fascinating aspects. The character of Sydney Atherton, a lovestruck mad scientist, is especially compelling. He narrates the second section of the novel; later, we read other characters' impressions of him. This dual view gives a fascinating portrait of Atherton's character.The novel also differs from most canonical Victorian fiction. It openly mentions nakedness more often than I've seen in any other novel from this time period. It also grapples with interesting questions of gender, especially the gender of the villainous Beetle.Overall, I'd say that the book has some compelling moments and characters, although it lacks a strong overall plot. 19 of 23 people found the following review helpful. A Good Read for the Right Crowd By Amazon Customer Bram Stoker's "Dracula" and Richard Marsh's "The Beetle" were both published in 1897. Surprisingly, "The Beetle" outsold Stoker's novel three-fold in the first few years of their publication. So why has this novel faded into relative obscurity? Because it does not translate well to modern times. Where Stoker's novel still holds many chills for its reader, "The Beetle" is so dated with its blaring xenophobia and chauvinism that the things which are meant to scare us do little more than provide mild amusement.At this point you may be asking why, if I feel this way, did I give this novel four stars? The answer is simple: it is a wonderful piece for its time and, if viewed through a historic lens, one can see why it was so wildly successful. In many ways, one can compare it to "Dracula", what with its shifting narrators, tightly woven plot, and shape-changing antagonist. If you're into supernatural fiction, Victorian fiction, or some some combination thereof, this is a wonderful book. If you're looking for a terrifying read I doubt you will find this novel satisfactory. See all 35 customer reviews...
“The Beetle has it all: it’s at once a ripping gothic yarn, a fin de siècle melodrama, and a document of the fears and obsessions of late imperial culture. Julian Wolfreys’ introduction is excellent, bringing lots of fascinating material to bear on the novel and doing so clearly and persuasively. He makes you want to read it.” Jonathan Dollimore, author of Sexual Dissidence and Death, Desire and Loss in Western Culture “The Beetle is a great read. As Julian Wolfreys’ admirably learned, perceptive, and comprehensive introduction, appendices, and notes show, it is also a wonderful assemblage of many motifs from popular culture at the fin de siècle. I enthusiastically recommend this book.” J. Hillis Miller, University of California, Irvine “For far too long we have had to do without an edition of one of the key best-selling novels of the fin de siècle, Richard Marsh’s The Beetle. Broadview has once again come to the rescue with a new edition of this lurid classic that at one time outsold Dracula. Featuring useful appendices and with an extensive introduction by Julian Wolfreys, this edition will be coveted by everyone interested in late Victorian fiction.” Nicholas Daly, Trinity College, Dublin "The Beetle has it all: it's at once a ripping gothic yarn, a fin de siècle melodrama, and a document of the fears and obsessions of late imperial culture. Julian Wolfreys' introduction is excellent, bringing lots of fascinating material to bear on the novel and doing so clearly and persuasively. He makes you want to read it." - Jonathan Dollimore, author of Sexual Dissidence and Death, Desire and Loss in Western Culture"The Beetle is a great read. As Julian Wolfreys' admirably learned, perceptive, and comprehensive introduction, appendices, and notes show, it is also a wonderful assemblage of many motifs from popular culture at the fin de siècle. I enthusiastically recommend this book." - J. Hillis Miller, University of California, Irvine"For far too long we have had to do without an edition of one of the key best-selling novels of the fin de siècle, Richard Marsh's The Beetle. Broadview has once again come to the rescue with a new edition of this lurid classic that at one time outsold Dracula. Featuring useful appendices and with an extensive introduction by Julian Wolfreys, this edition will be coveted by everyone interested in late Victorian fiction." - Nicholas Daly, Trinity College, Dublin From the Back Cover The Beetle (1897) tells the story of a fantastical creature, “born of neither god nor man,” with supernatural and hypnotic powers, who stalks British politician Paul Lessingham through fin de siècle London in search of vengeance for the defilement of a sacred tomb in Egypt. In imitation of various popular fiction genres of the late nineteenth century, Marsh unfolds a tale of terror, late imperial fears, and the “return of the repressed,” through which the crisis of late imperial Englishness is revealed. This Broadview edition includes a critical introduction and a rich selection of historical documents that situate the novel within the contexts of fin de siècle London, England’s interest and involvement in Egypt, the emergence of the New Woman, and contemporary theories of mesmerism and animal magnetism.
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