Why do people hate beetles

  • Browse by topic
    Search our book database by subject, country, epoch, year of publication or key word.
  • Book show of the week
    Haven't you had time to read the newspaper or drop by us in the last few days? Doesn't matter, because here you can view our review notes from the last six days of publication sorted by newspaper or topic.
  • Literature supplements
    All of our notes on the book reviews in the literature supplements from FAZ, FR, NZZ, SZ, taz and Zeit.

Blurb

A head, a chest, an abdomen - as tight as this list of body parts is, so varied is what emerges from it: with their brightly colored and often iridescent shells, the beetles show a wealth of shapes that is unique in the entire animal kingdom. There are so many species of beetles that not all of them are known to this day. At least 380,000 have been described and given names so far. And a few hundred more are added every year. Bernhard Kegel, who himself worked as a beetle researcher for a long time, draws the varied portrait of an insect that is often wrongly overlooked and reviled or even fought as vermin, whose history is closely linked to ours: the pill-maker, of whose admiration ancient Egyptian scarabs testify and possibly that was the godfather of the invention of the wheel, up to the alleged model for a momentous and widely interpreted transformation in Franz Kafka's story and, last but not least, the death of insects in the present.

Review note on Frankfurter Rundschau, December 12, 2019

Reviewer Martin Gehlen is happily introduced to beetle studies by Bernhard Kegel. Only ignoramuses make fun of beetle detectors, Gehlen knows, and they too will lose their laughter when they see a South American giant longhorn beetle in front of them! The reviewer learns a lot about the complexity and diversity of the round crawling animals, for example that cockchafer bouillon was served until the end of the 19th century and that one should never ask whether ladybugs are as old as they have spots on their backs. Gehlen finds the book and its illustrations "as expected fabulous" informative and entertaining.