The Beetle

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Putnam, 1917 - British - 338 pages

Published in the same year as and initially gaining more popularity than Stoker'sDracula,The Beetletells the story of a mysterious figure that follows a British politician to London, wreaks havoc and instills fear in the people through its powers of hypnosis and shape-shifting.


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I thought this book was going to be a slow start based on all the reviews, but for some bizarre reason, this book flew for me. The beginning was not slow at all, and I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery and the 'horror.' I found it to be a delightful read, but I still have no idea why it was so good for me, when everyone else says it was slow. Oh well, I got lucky!  

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Page 16 - ... condition, not simply an emotional response. So deeply engrained, so basic is her cruel nature that it distorts and makes hideous her very countenance: she is literally evil incarnate. Her dreadful face is an index to her blighting depravity. As Holt describes her, there was not a hair upon his [sic] face or head, but, to make up for it, the skin, which was a saffron yellow, was an amazing mass of wrinkles. The cranium, and, indeed, the whole skull, was so small as to be disagreeably suggestive...
Page 338 - A Selection from, the Catalogue of GP PUTNAM'S SONS Complete Catalogue...
Page 335 - What became of the creature who all but did her to death; who he was — if it was a "he," which is extremely doubtful; whence he came; whither he went; what was the purpose of his presence here — to this hour these things are puzzles. (713) Though all the horrible possibilities which the novel raised seem to be neatly dispatched in Champnell's postscript — the Beetle squashed to death, the subterranean temple of Isis back in Egypt destroyed by some unexplained...
Page 81 - ... to do the right thing at the right time in the right way, and that disciplined supervision and safeguards must be provided by training professional staff.
Page 16 - ... amazing mass of wrinkles. The cranium, and, indeed, the whole skull, was so small as to be disagreeably suggestive of something animal. The nose, on the other hand, was abnormally large; so extravagant were its dimensions, and so peculiar its shape, it resembled the beak of some bird of prey .... The mouth, with its blubber lips, came immediately underneath the nose, and chin, to all intents and purposes, there was none. This deformity — for the absence of chin amounted to that — it was which...
Page 13 - ... foetid odour," stalks and climbs him as he stands with unwilling but utter passivity: On a sudden I felt something on my boot, and, with a sense of shrinking, horror, nausea, rendering me momentarily more helpless, I realized that the creature was beginning to ascend my legs, to climb my body .... It was as though it were some gigantic spider — a spider of the nightmares; a monstrous conception of some dreadful vision. It pressed lightly against my clothing with what might, for all the world...
Page 206 - She makes no rejoinder, and he, rising, begins to walk up and down the room with his hands in his pockets. He has made his meaning clear enough, surely, and yet she does not appear to see it. As she continues resolutely silent, he stops opposite to her, and speaks earnestly, and yet with some embarrassment, as one who knows that what he says will be unpleasing to his listener :
Page 120 - It was only by an effort of will that I was able to swallow. "We make a pretty good beer here in Kenya, don't you think?
Page 130 - There is more in heaven and earth than is dreamed of in even twentieth century philosophy, and the richness of nature's content will not be fathomed in our time.
Page 307 - ... Egypt whose ancient history is an inchoate and abject "prehistory." In their practice of magic, in their superstition, in their primitive and animalistic religious rituals, orientals, both ancient and modern, are subhuman. The Beetle originates from an "idolatrous sect" in the very heart of Egypt, which was stated to still practise, and to always have practised, in unbroken historical continuity, the debased, unclean, mystic, and bloody rites, of a form of idolatry which had had its birth in...

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