Boxer, Beetle, Paperback
3.5 out of 5 (5 ratings)


NED BEAUMAN HAS BEEN NAMED AS ONE OF GRANTA MAGAZINE'S BEST OF YOUNG BRITISH NOVELISTS 2013 Longlisted for the 2012 Man Booker Prize and shortlisted for the for the Guardian First Book Award, Ned Beauman was chosen by The Culture Show as one of the twelve Best New British Writers in 2011. This is a novel for people with breeding. Only people with the right genes and the wrong impulses will find its marriage of bold ideas and deplorable characters irresistible.

It is a novel that engages the mind while satisfying those that crave the thrill of a chase.

There are riots and sex. There is love and murder. There is Darwinism and Fascism, nightclubs, invented languages and the dangerous bravado of youth. And there are lots of beetles. It is clever. It is distinctive. It is entertaining. We hope you are too.




Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 5 of 5 reviews.

Review by

A likeable book, even if a crucial character (our titular boxer) is one of the most relentlessly unlikeable people I can recall reading about. Clever, charming, strange, funny and dark. What more can you want from a first novel - or any novel, for that matter?

Review by

Enjoyable, mischievious page turner - reminiscent of Conan Doyle. Comes to a rather contrived conclusion unfortunately.

Review by

I tried SO hard to like this book, but I just could not get into it. Was that because one of the main characters was an upper-class A-hole entomologist with racist leanings? Or was it the back and forth between different timelines, and a group of equally unappealing characters? I don't know, but I had to force myself to read it.Parts of this book are quite funny, and literally laugh out loud. Mostly, though, I found it just too grim and depressing. Nazis and the freaks that collect their leavings are not interesting to me; nor are small feisty Jewish boxers. Even with beetles.

Review by

What on earth to say about this book? Essentially, it's about the wrong-headedness of trying to impose order on a beautifully chaotic world. As you might guess from a book on this theme, it's rather chaotic itself, although perhaps not beautifully so, as it delights in being shocking.So, we have a cast of assorted doctrinaire crazies; designers of languages which will be more logical than the ones we have, architects who are led by their theories to build buildings that human beings can't live in, Nazis. Yes. You might think that there are other things to say about the Holocaust than that it was impractical. But then, I said this book delighted in being shocking.It also has a cast of really quite unpleasant characters - although this didn't diminish my enjoyment, either of the chaos or of the sardonically funny writing. "We had been driving west on the M3, past great drizzly industrial estates where men in overalls tended economies of scale like oxpeckers on a rhino".What this book reminded me of most was a slightly toned-down Will Self. I like Self in small doses, so that suited me pretty well. But don't expect it to make too much sense.

Review by

Beauman's first novel is a great read. Lots of humour and a gripping story that never takes itself too seriously. Sort of like a Malcolm price detective time travelling novel with a bit of 19th century eugenics thrown in. Very satisfying. If you liked it then read his second.

Also by Ned Beauman   |  View all