Read by Gunnar Cauthery, Jonathan Aris, Natalie Simpson, Andrew Wincott & John Foley
The Beetle is a horror novel that was published in 1897 and significantly outsold Dracula, which appeared in the same year. A polymorphous Egyptian creature – the Beetle – seeks revenge on the eminent British politician Paul Lessingham for crimes committed against the disciples of an ancient cult. Although it is less well-known than Dracula to modern readers, The Beetle remains a leading example of the Gothic novel.
The story is told from the perspectives of four different characters, concluding with the account of the detective Augustus Champnell. The action takes place within a three-day period in an undisclosed year in the 1800s.
Running Time: 12 h 27 m
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Digital ISBN: 978-1-78198-391-1 Cat. no.: NA0527 Produced by: John Foley Edited by: Andrew Riches BISAC: FIC004000 BIC: FC Released: January 22
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Marsh’s tale of an ancient Egyptian shape-shifting creature – the titular Beetle – seeking revenge against a British politician may not be widely known today, but when it was released in 1897, it substantially outsold Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which was published the same year. The plot unfolds from the point of view of four people. Robert Holt is a clerk who meets the Beetle on a dark and stormy night and is mind-controlled by him into stealing letters from a politician named Paul Lessingham. Sydney Atherton agrees to help the Beetle, in exchange for the love of Marjorie Lindon and later for the creature’s help in saving his friend’s life. Marjorie Lindon is a politician’s daughter who has romantic connections to both Lessingham and Atherton and is eventually captured by the Beetle. The story’s final section is told from the point of view of Augustus Champnell, a detective who takes Lessingham’s confession about his involvement in a cult devoted to Isis, which has led to the Beetle’s obsession with him. Gunnar Cauthery, Jonathan Aris, Natalie Simpson, and Andrew Wincott provide resonant, compelling narration.
Stephanie Klose, Library Journal