Published in the same year as Bram Stoker's Dracula, The Beetle (1897) by Richard Marsh is a Victorian Gothic horror novel that, at one point, outsold Stoker's masterpiece! After reading it, I have to wonder why. Though it has some creepy passages, they are few and far between, with the majority of the book consisting of repetitive prose, a cartoonish villain, and an ending that is immensely anti-climactic. Might be interesting to horror buffs and historians, but for the rest of humanity, this is a dated, superficial piece of horror fiction, which doesn't represent the best of its genre or its era.
Text © Ahmed Khalifa. 2016.