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on 24 December 2011
Using the various narrator voices & styles, The Beetle may be sold as a flavour of Wilkie Collins, Bram Stoker & because of Richard Marsh's sense of humour, even Dickens. But he is none of these. Nor is he a mere amalgam. Being compared with better known authors can be faint praise indeed, as the man Marsh was prolific, yet remains woefully little known. This printing by Valancourt addresses this anomaly in literary appreciation.

Valancourt has advantages over other publishers/printers of this & other similar gothic, fin de siecle works. Printing for a start has been proof-read by experts, which some i regret are not; the binding in paperback in solid, the artwork in keeping with the age of the piece in hand rather than some modern anachronism. Add to this the notes, the appendices as well as a thorough introduction, and this printing, like their others, puts the pieces in context. Which is what they require to be fully appreciated by not simply students but general readers.

As to this particular tale, the style of Marsh is clarity, punch & lulling into a sense of uncertainty. In short, ideal for serialisation. Yet clearly from his vocabulary & diction, he matched this pertinent method with the control of his strong imagination, his diverse themes never get away from him. The hand of a craftsman is at work, if i dare be so bold, though he didn't have to be so controlled & precise in his quality to sell to some of the periodicals of the time. Many of these works were looked down upon.

Do not enter into the themes herein however if thou art of faint heart! A shapeshifter, a sordid harem of worshippers of Isis, white-slavery, threat to woman & man alike, the sprawl of slums in a metropolis, murder by neglect, moral ambiguity & rupturing of ethical society, somnambulism, persistent threat to body & soul. All quietly, solidly told with a faint whiff of the aroma of M.R. James to some of the more horrific elements. Patience & an even temperament may be the prerequisite of the reader, lest they be lulled by The Beetle...
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on 15 May 2011
I downloaded this book for free on my Kindle as a recommendation from my daughter, who is an English Teacher. I really enjoy the classics and the 'old' style of writing and this book did not leave me disappointed. It is indeed, chilling. I thought the characters were well written and descriptive, the plot was good and I and would recommend this book to anyone who loves the style of the classics. My daughter wouldn't tell me anything about the book, other than she had enjoyed and I don't want to give away any of the plot either - try not to be in house on your own when reading it!
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on 28 February 2009
Great edition of a novel which has been overlooked for far too long. As an example of fin-de-siecle urban gothic The Beetle is perhaps even more powerful than *Dracula* - certainly as shocking. The notes, introduction and the wealth of appendices in this edition are really helpful in contextualising the work - and are fun to read in their own right. Certainly recommended above the other editions of this novel I've read.
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on 2 March 2015
Excellent edition of this forgotten fin de siècle novel. This is by far the best edition of the novel I've seen- with a useful introduction, detailed notes on publication history and a wide range of useful material on context.
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on 31 March 2015
This is a definitive edition - consequently I have not yet had time to read it .... The printing looks good and the paper quality excellent.
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on 1 February 2016
Richard Marsh is not for me, but there's nothing wrong with this product as far as text goes.
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on 5 September 2011
this book bored me senseless!!!! i really did try with this book but god it was hard!!! far far to much detail that completely takes away from the story. in the end i gave up and skipped to the end which wasent much better!
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