Boxer, Beetle by Ned Beauman
A Novel

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Kevin "Fishy" Broom has his nickname for a reason -- a rare genetic condition that makes his sweat and other bodily excretions smell like rotting fish. Consequently, he rarely ventures out of the apartment where he deals online in Nazi memorabilia. But when he stumbles into a crime scene, he finds himself drawn into an investigation of a pair of small-time players in pre-WWII history. First, there's Philip Erskine, a fascist gentleman entomologist who dreams of breeding an indomitable beetle as a tribute to Hitler's glory, all the while aspiring to arguably more sinister projects in human eugenics. And then there's Sinner Roach, a nine-toed, runtish, brutish, homosexual Jewish boxer -- a somewhat hideous specimen, but perfect, in his way, who becomes on object of obsession for Erskine, professionally and most definitely otherwise. What became of the boxer? What became of the beetle? And what will become of anyone who tries to find out? First-time novelist Ned Beauman spins out a dazzling narrative across decades and continents, weaving his own manic fiction through the back alleys of history. A remarkably assured, wildly enjoyable debut.

About Ned Beauman

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Ned Beauman was born in 1985 and studied philosophy at Cambridge University. He has written for the Guardian, the Financial Times, AnOther magazine, Dazed & Confused, and several other magazines and newspapers. Beauman lives in New York.
Published September 13, 2011 by Bloomsbury USA. 276 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Boxer, Beetle

Kirkus Reviews

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Meanwhile, who cares whether Broom solves the mystery or whether Erskine unearths the secrets of racial purity or whether Sinner will become the flyweight boxing champion.

Sep 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Boxer, Beetle: A Novel

The Guardian

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(The Nazi memorabilia message boards are "brisk with shared endeavour and healthy competition", which is more appealing to Kevin than the "depressing" trimethylaminuria support groups.) Boxer, Beetle by ...

Aug 14 2010 | Read Full Review of Boxer, Beetle: A Novel

The Telegraph

Related Articles The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman: review Boxer, Beetle is an edifying treatise on the absurdity of eugenics and racial theories, and probably the most politically incorrect novel of the decade – as well as the funni...

Sep 05 2010 | Read Full Review of Boxer, Beetle: A Novel

The Telegraph

As well as evoking Agatha Christie and Evelyn Waugh, it also slyly attacks the contemporary English upper-middlebrow heritage novel, through the insupportable Millicent, a dead ringer for Ian McEwan’s Briony Tallis (“Mr Erskine, I have just seen your friend Mr Morton brutally sodomising ...

Aug 18 2010 | Read Full Review of Boxer, Beetle: A Novel

The Bookbag

Summary: Bizarre tale of a modern day collector of Nazi artifacts searching for something and a scientist interested in eugenics studying a boxer in 1930’s London.

Mar 03 2011 | Read Full Review of Boxer, Beetle: A Novel


Brackets are used well: “(One little-discussed advantage of building sites is the fantastic selection of ways to break a pair The plot rests on convenient coincidences, a source of numerous jokes while in Erskine and Broom we have two endle...

Jul 30 2010 | Read Full Review of Boxer, Beetle: A Novel

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

This is a valuable and serious subject for a novelist (it is also examined in Simon Mawer’s excellent Mendel’s Dwarf), and though Beauman chooses an absurd and at times offensive vehicle in which to present it, his obvious intelligence and meticulous linking of his story to real events makes this...

Sep 13 2011 | Read Full Review of Boxer, Beetle: A Novel

Open Salon

Eugenics, the socio-biological movement/applied science which was popular in the early part of the 20th century, lies at the heart of Ned Beauman's eccentric, inaugural novel, Boxer, Beetle.

Sep 25 2011 | Read Full Review of Boxer, Beetle: A Novel

M/C Anderson

M/C Reviews Create an account Home Your Account Submit Review Top 10 Main Menu M/C Reviews 'events' 'screens' 'sounds' 'style' 'words' Feature Issues What's On Your Account Send Reviews Statistics To...

Dec 28 2010 | Read Full Review of Boxer, Beetle: A Novel

The Blurb

He has been using the fast breeding cycles of beetles to advance his theories of eugenics and his discovery of a unique beetle on a trip to Poland has created perhaps the ultimate project for him to advance himself within the Fascist cause too.

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Islington Tribute

I WAS immensely relieved to find that Ned Beauman does not suffer from trimethylaminuria, the incredibly rare metabolic disorder endured by the narrator in his novel which makes him smell strongly of fish.

Oct 07 2010 | Read Full Review of Boxer, Beetle: A Novel

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