The Lurker at the Threshold
 
 
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The Lurker at the Threshold [Mass Market Paperback]

H. P. Lovecraft
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)


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Book Description

May 1988
Ambrose Dewart returns to his ancestral estate and sets about restoring the mansion to his own tastes. In the process he comes across a document signed by his great grandfather invoking a sinister injunction to future generations: Do not invite he who lurks at the threshold!


Editorial Reviews

Review

"The twentieth century's greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale."

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 186 pages
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf Publishers (May 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 088184408X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881844085
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,007,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

H. P. Lovecraft was born in 1890 in Providence, Rhode Island, where he lived most of his life. He wrote many essays and poems early in his career, but gradually focused on the writing of horror stories, after the advent in 1923 of the pulp magazine Weird Tales, to which he contributed most of his fiction. His relatively small corpus of fiction--three short novels and about sixty short stories--has nevertheless exercised a wide influence on subsequent work in the field, and he is regarded as the leading twentieth-century American author of supernatural fiction. H. P. Lovecraft died in Providence in 1937.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
57 of 64 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some much misinformation about this neglected novel October 30, 2003
Format:Paperback
Of all the reviews written here about this long out of print work I am astonished by all the misinformation written by so-called fans. Most of this comes from very young readers, I am assuming, who know little of the pulp magazines and are confused by paperback editions of books that are recycling stories and novels that have been around for a LONG time. Derleth never wrote a story until the 1950s? What hogwash! His weird fiction appeared as early as 1932 and the bulk of his weird fiction and mystery novels appeared throughout the late 30s and into the 1940s. Never collaborated? No, not in the flesh. But he knew Lovecraft while he was still alive, for heavens sake. But most of the "collaborations" were based on notes and plot outlines found among the dozens of papers Derleth and his friends inherited. "Buy anything by Lovecraft especially something from Arkham House." This book was ORIGINALLY Published by Arkham House in the 1940s! A publishing house I might add, created by Derleth and his pal Donald Wandrei. Readers should be celebrating the republication of a book that is highly sought after by collectors. It's a lot more affordable now at a mere ten bucks! It's hardly trash or garbage. Untidily written perhaps and derivative yes. But most of this fiction is derivative anyway. All the writers in the genre borrow from each other and little of it shows any real originality. Rehash after rehash. Readers and fans of this genre ought to read LURKER AT THE THRESHOLD for its literary historic value and keep in mind that Derleth's arch, sometimes annoyingly, baroque style is meant to evoke a mood of long forgotten era. I kind of like this quaint stuff. It sure beats the heck out of the gore-fests crammed with dismemberment, disembowelings, torture and sexual perversity that pass for horror these days.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story, well done June 16, 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It's a good read. It's not an action-packed, thrill-a-minute magnum opus, as it seems some wish it wouldve been. It's a rich, Gothic story... not trendy modern neo-Gothic. There is a vast distinction.
It has a good pace. It's nicely done. It's enjoyable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad for an acquired taste April 4, 2010
Format:Paperback
Do you like slow-paced Gothic horror? If so, you're going to like "The Lurker at the Threshold," a leisurely paced novel concerning British gentleman Ambrose Dewart's descent into madness upon returning to the Massachusetts estate his family all but abandoned in the 19th Century. This isn't the best example of such a book, but it does have its pleasures and would have made a nice black-and-white thriller with Vincent Price back in the day. As such, I can recommend this if you like the style and aren't looking for endless arrays of grisly phantoms popping their skulls into your face every 20 pages or so. I've read it and enjoyed almost every minute of it.

However, this novel most certainly is not a true collaboration between authors H.P. Lovecraft and August Derleth. That's where the trouble starts. Anyone truly familiar with Lovecraft's writing style is going to instantly realize that the byzantine sentence construction, the eldritch wizardry of the imagery, and the often archiac and cerebral language we associate with Lovecraft just aren't there. (Derleth, to his credit, writes dialogue better than Lovecraft did and adds some human touches usually lacking in Lovecraft's characters.) Derleth seems to have used just a few paragraphs by Lovecraft as the springboard for an entire novel, padding it out with some paraphrased language from other Lovecraft stories such as "Charles Dexter Ward."

This doesn't make the novel bad, just misleading. And a lot of unsuspecting people read this book and developed an opinion of Lovecraft that has nothing to do with the author's actual work. Why on earth can't the publisher include a foreword letting us know the truth behind the collaboration? I doubt it would hurt sales, and it would help to mend some broken fences.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Fair Book -- But Who's the Author? January 11, 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a fairly good novel and one of the better
Mythos works August Derleth ever wrote. Yes, I said August
Derleth. H. P. Lovecraft is given credit on the cover,
but he only supplies two short fragments that are about
a page's worth of material each and were probably not
intended to go together. The rest is entirely
August Derleth's work. In all fairness, this is Carroll
and Graf's problem, not Amazon Book's.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Horror for Graduate Students June 12, 2011
Format:Paperback
This book begins with an heir to a haunted family dynasty reclaiming his ancestral home and quickly doing some research into his ancestors and their contribution to mysterious noises and disappearances. He digs through old histories and newspapers in order to put together the puzzle of what happened in those weeks leading up to his great great grandfather leaving the country and never coming back. And then the scene shifts to his cousin who ALSO researches old tomes and family documents. Seriously, that's what actually happens in the thing. More research. And in the third chapter, there's EVEN MORE research happening.

Oh sure, there's a lot of the Lovecraft touches like the lurkers from beyond space and time and the old gods and our pal Yog Shoggoth but really most of the book is all about the research and the hunting through hoary old books. It's like a graduate student fantasy but instead of digging through archives and looking for all those receipts and diaries in order to discover Aaron Burr's tax record or evidence about the affects of the New Deal, you get to discover an ancient religion in which the deities are ready to get to you. And they are possessing your grandfather - and that weird indian.

Of course, you can't really avoid the problems with Lovecraft including the bad dialogue and the casual racism, but for the most part this is a pretty entertaining read about nerds doing research. And some have noted that the ending is a bit anti-climatic but I thought it was awesome. And rather hilarious.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovecraft
One of the most important books in The Cthulhu Mythos hands down. This book needs to be recommended more or placed with At The Mountains of Madness. Read more
Published 13 months ago by John Graves
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Lovecraft at his best.
For those not familiar with Lovecraft - his dark, twisted stories generally revolve around a group of warped gods and their minions from a different time and space that are trying... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Ariel
3.0 out of 5 stars An ok book
This book is Good and creepy, but it does not have that good of an ending. All in all, its still a good book.
Published 15 months ago by Board Gamer Fanatic
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story
Told from the perspective of three different people, this book is a great read and full of all the Lovecraft trappings you would expect.
Published 23 months ago by Bradley Courval
4.0 out of 5 stars lurker
A very involving,trip to a different time and reality. I enjoyed this book,and will add it to my Lovecraft collection.
Published on August 24, 2011 by Ben Pryor
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly enjoyable
I highly recommend this book. I loved the way it switched points of view and the overall 'feel' of the book is fantastic. Read more
Published on June 10, 2010 by Buckethead Fan
1.0 out of 5 stars A big build up to an anti-climatic ending
Still having the ending fresh in my mind, I must say that it would be hard to write a more disappointing ending except by just failing to write one altogether. Read more
Published on May 23, 2010 by Gary
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written, captures the essence of Lovecraft
I know August Derleth wrote most of the novel and finished Lovecraft's beginning, but he did an amazing job here. Read more
Published on July 8, 2009 by Brian E. Defferding
4.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant Sham
I first read THE LURKER IN THE THRESHOLD when I was a young Mythos fanatic in the early 1970's, and I loved it. At that time I loved all things Mythos. Read more
Published on March 8, 2009 by Wilum Hopfrog Pugmire, Esq.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
I'm going to give it to you straight. I'm no scholar or philosopher. I did not major in english or literature. Read more
Published on October 24, 2008 by T. Paslay
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