[personal profile] niori_1709
Before a friend suggested it to me, I had never heard of Richard Marsh’s “The Beetle”. It came out about the same time as Stoker’s “Dracula” (it was actually initially successful than “Dracula”) and gad many of the same horror elements. After reading it, I not only understood why it was so popular, but why my friend would recommend it.

“The Beetle” is all about revenge. The novel is set in Victorian era London, and though none of the actual actions (with the exception of a few flashbacks) takes place there, the shadow of Egypt plays a large part in the story. Politician Paul Lessingham came back from Egypt with a curse on his shoulders. He went and desecrated a tomb (never a good idea) and now a follower of an (highly fictionalized) ancient Egyptian religious cult, has come a calling. The story is the account of the terrorization of Lessingham, told from the point of view of multiple narrators, who all get caught up in the revenge plot through different means.

This book, without a doubt, is one of the creepiest things I have ever read. The mysterious bad guy (The Beetle- and wow is that ever loaded with symbolism) is creepy. The reader doesn’t even know if he’s actually human, because he does some very, very inhuman things. The creepiest part is the flashback descriptions of what happened to Lessingham back in Egypt. I take it back- it’s not creepy, it’s down right terrifying! After reading that, I can understand why there were some people (or so my friend told me) were way too freaked out to finish the book.

For those of you who aren’t too keen on non-stop horror, there’s also some mystery (a la detective story), romance and action to get you through. Each of those elements adds a little something to the plot. The plot can drag sometimes, but once the action gets going, it really gets going. Last summer, a good friend recommended “The Beetle” to me. This summer, I’m recommending it to you. Enjoy.



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