Title: The Beast and the Bethany
Author: Jack Meggitt-Phillips
Publication Date: 1 Oct 2020
Comment: I received a free copy of this book from @the_writereads, Netgalley and Egmont books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and are in no way coerced by the Beast.
Ebenezer Tweezer is a youthful 511-year-old. He keeps a beast in the attic of his mansion, who he feeds all manner of things (including performing monkeys, his pet cat and the occasional cactus) and in return the beast vomits out presents for Ebenezer, as well as potions which keep him young and beautiful. But the beast grows ever greedier, and soon only a nice, juicy child will do. So when Ebenezer encounters orphan Bethany, it seems like (everlasting) life will go on as normal. But Bethany is not your average orphan . . .
Ebenezer Tweezer is a mean and terrible guy
Very selfish, rich and lonely and doesn’t want to die.
So, in his attic, he makes a deal with a fearsome beast
Who gives him gifts and potions in exchange for treats.
Youth and long life the beast will give, if he’s allowed a fare
Of creatures odd, extinct, endangered or extremely rare
Like childhood pets or magic birds snatched from out the wild
But now the greedy, mean old beast is demanding a little child
Someone young and juicy, plump and thick and fat
Ebenezer finds young Bethany- a skinny little brat
She isn’t polite or nice and she isn’t so very sweet
Surely the beast will delight in having her to eat.
But children have a way of messing up the tale
Will the beast get his feast or will the girl prevail?
I’m not going to tell you, so to find if it gets gory,
You’ll have to gather up your courage and finish up the story.
I love it when a book captures my attention so much that I have to make a rhyme. This brought back wonderful memories of sitting at home reading Roald Dahl books and cackling over monsters and meanies.
And the illustrations were lovely- just the right amount of cartoonish horror to make you appreciate the story.
Genius. What a great idea of a beast that can puke out your fortune but only if you feed it exotic items. I love it.
There was a wonderful flow here. It took me just over an hour to finish the book and that’s because I kept putting it down to crack up. Books that make you groan out loud are some of the best books to read and this made me go “Oh ick!” several times. A good time was had!
I love Ebenezer. His innocence in the ways of the world despite his age was adorable. I was very much on the Beast’s side when it came to eating Bethany though until his mean trick. No spoilers. But that made me feel sorry for her and then I was firmly on her side.
I also loved the pet shop keeper who (in my head at least) was John Cleese.
I will be buying a finished copy when it comes out as well as buying one for my library. This was definitely a favourite of this year and will be on my list of great reads for older readers.