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Usher's Passing

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  1,859 ratings  ·  60 reviews
In this most gothic of Robert McCammon's novels, setting is key: the continuing saga of the Usher family (descended from the brother of Roderick and Madeline of Edgar Poe's "Fall of the House of Usher") takes place in the weird and picturesque heart of the North Carolina mountains. The haughty, aristocratic Ushers live in a mansion near Asheville; the poor but crafty mount ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published October 1st 1992 by Pocket Books (first published 1984)
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Okay, this book made me a fan of this author. I was sort of convinced by his previous material, and thought this book was okay for the first half, but then it took off. I mean it really took off. The ending felt like it moved faster and faster with surprise punch after surprise. Nothing was what I thought it was going to be.
What began as a trip down Fall of the House of Usher memory lane for Poe fans quickly spiraled into something else entirely. Rix, the protagonist, travels home to his family
Robert R. McCammon has got to be one of the greatest storytellers I've ever had the pleasure of being introduced to. The quality of his work never ceases to amaze me ... the way he can just draw you right in and create such realistic characters and sweeping dramas that don't feel like it's taking as long to get through as the book actually is (especially when you're listening to the audiobook version). It's amazing to me. As a writer, I'm humbled, astounded with admiration, and intimidated by th ...more
There are so many things that I could comment on with Robert McCammon's books. I think what stands out the most, is the fact that his endings never disappoint--they live up to the expectations set during the course of the entire storyline. Absolutely riveting book that will remain a constant on my "favorites" shelves.
"The Fall of the House of Usher" is arguably one of Poe's most Gothic stories, a tale of hereditary doom that might be tricky for the reader to get into but also quite likely to haunt the imagination thereafter. McCammon takes a risk in crafting a story so obviously inspired by Poe's classic story but he succeeds in crafting a contemporary Gothic tale with strong horror elements.

The first chapter of the novel starts things on a strong note, presenting a fascinatingly sinister picture of one of t
Randolph Carter
Written as a sort of sequel to The Fall of the House of Usher, Poe's tale, while not being an account of actual events, comes so close that Roderick Usher's brother accuses Poe of copying the true events.

Fast Forward to the 1980s and near Asheville, NC the location of the Usher estate, known simply as The Lodge, where the Ushers have lived for centuries. The location is reminiscent of the Biltmore estate in Asheville although only as the location for the tale.

The horror writer Rix Usher (obvious
Brian Schwartz
McCammon takes Poe’s eerie, atmospheric story, THE FALL OF THE HOUSE O OF USHER and builds upon it, creating a fine homage to one of the pillars of genre fiction. The Poe story is thin on action and contains no backstory on the Ushers or the peculiar malady that afflicts them. McCammon supplies this in USHER'S PASSING and rereading Poe’s classic tale after reading McCammon’s novel improves the experience of reading that 160 year old story.

McCammon builds a plausible, modern story around the Ushe
11811 (Eleven)
I finally skimmed the last 100 pages or so. It wasn't bad but I wouldn't recommend it when there are so many 4-5 star novels out there. If you're looking for a McCammon read, don't start with this one. Pick up Boy's Life or Swan Song.
Joel  Werley
As one famous review of Sense and Sensibility once read: "This novel is goth as fuck." I might be misremembering that, but THIS novel, by the always reliable Robert McCammon, is indeed gothic as fuck. Inspired by a famous Poe story: check. Huge old mansion in a deep rural area: check. Which sits next to a huge, scary, lodge filled with secret passages, hidden rooms, and dead ends, and more...? Which sits next to a burned out zoo AND a graveyard on the mountainside? Which sit below a comet-blaste ...more
Philana Walker
This was one of my favorite books in middle school. Would like to find a copy to reread. It's an interesting twist on the Poe story, The Fall of the House of Usher, which I also love.
I have loved McCammon's book. I find they read so beautifully. But for some unfathomable reason I had never picked up UP. The tale follows the story of the Usher family, made so famous in Poe's haunting story.

This book is written so well, and manages to flip between different time periods and different protagonists stories in a way that truly enhances a wonderful story. The characters are written so well, fully formed and manage to surprise.

I absolutely loved this book, and can't recommend highl
Karen Patterson
McCammon is a master at weaving a tale and getting you completely involved in the characters and their situation and this is no different. It's horror, it's mystery, it's disturbing as it slowly builds from the past to the present situation where everything and everyone comes full circle between a family that has been cursed for quite some time and the mountain folk. A Gothic treat rich in atmosphere and long-held secrets.
Pam Herrmann
I thought it started a little slow but once I got into it I couldn't put it down. A good scary thriller is good for the heart and soul. I'm glad that the underdog Rix was able to pair up with New and fight evil to the end. This book definitely kept me guessing.
Very good book. I did have a hard time seeing a relationship to Poe's Fall of the House of Usher, but maybe there wasn't really supposed to be one. I did find the character of Greediguts to be somewhat fantastical. The whole of the book felt pretty realistic and then then this cat seemed rather far fetched. The book was creepy in several places and had a good story line that kept me turning the pages.
As a fan of McCammon, I shelved this in my library next to Baal and Mystery Walk. This book offers an early writing style that is easily acknowledged in his evolution with more current works. However, I was still happily lost in its character development and the connection to Poe's family curse. Any book with witch lore, family curses, and predators lurking in the woods is a fave of mine.
I loved the Gothic themes in the book; McCammon is a guy who characterizes the spirit of Halloween. The middle of the novel is a great place to be, too bad the ending was weak.
Rix Usher has worked to make an independent life for himself away from his family, but the last few years have been very hard on him: his wife committed suicide, his health is seriously deteriorating, and the most recent manuscript he's slaved over for ages to write and edit has been utterly rejected by his agent. Then his abusive older brother comes to tell him that their abusive father is dying and wants all his children to return to their palatial family home, Usherland, for him to announce t ...more
I'm so very disappointed with this novel. What makes it even worse is that I'm a big fan of McCammon's writing generally.

This is one of his earlier books and there's quite a bit of nonsense going on in the writing that you just don't see in his later books. The most annoying problem is the endless repetition. Goddamn I got it the FIRST six times the point was being driven home. Christalmighty with the repetition.

The story itself is a good one with tons of potential and creepy horror deliciousn
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It had been a long time since I'd read McCammon, and this sounded interesting. It's a modern story of the descendants of Poe's House of Usher. The book is just riddled with great elements that are classic Gothic Horror: deadly creatures in the surrounding forest, xenophobic villagers, a huge mansion with enough rooms to keep you lost for days, the untrustworthy members of the Usher family, portent dreams, mysterious persons of legend, serial-killing servants, the strange sensitivity to light and ...more
simply brilliant tale of greed, madness, magic, and horror from a truly outstanding writer who i feel is a better writer than stephen king.Although Robert MCcammon now writes historical fiction and as good as he is at that,reading ushers passing makes this reader wish that one day he will return to his horror roots.
Rebecca Light
Such a great read for Halloween. Great twists and turns. A thrilling supernatural tale. The characters could have been a bit more developed and some of the language was hard to swallow at first, like the name of the estate, Usherland (who names their estate ---Land? Except Walt Disney?) Also archaic words like Malady and Armaments just seemed a bit forced in hearkening back to the Poe era, but they didn't quite fit into the modern world of the book. Forced is definitely the right word. That bein ...more
Ringman Roth
First off, this book has next to NOTHING to do with the fall of the house of usher. I could go through the entire text with find/replace and change the words Usher, Poe, Roderick, Madeline, etc. And no one would have an inkling of a clue that this book was the unofficial sequel. If you can get past that, this is still a good book. The book starts off innocently enough but gets really really weird, and way beyond Poe territory, more into Lovecraft territory. However, this definitely reeks of "pop ...more
Another fabulous novel by Robert McCammon. Deeply moody and dark this is a great horror novel about a dysfunctional family with many skeletons in the closet. Loved this one.
Marie Olson McKinnon
I didn't like this book at all. It was too predictable, being a "House of Usher" book and all...
One of my all time favorite books. I loved it. I've read it twice so far over the years and I fully intend on reading it again. This is just simply a MUST read!
Caralyn Rubli
Excellent! I still think about this book.
Harper Kingsley
I really enjoyed this book. I kind of wish the ending had been a bit different, but I could totally see why it turned out the way it did.

The Usher family has a dark secret. They're a bunch of depraved, immoral monsters that are simply living for money. And now the head of the family is dying, so all his children come home to find out who will inherit. What none of them think about is that the head of the family is always an only child... especially when their siblings die around the time the old
George Seaton
Although I wish McCammon would have crated an entire novel out of the first part of the book, where the storytelling provides an encounter between a pathetic E.A. Poe, and a darkly dangerous Usher who warns Poe about the dire consequences of writing anything further about the House of Usher, the ensuring storytelling is vintage McCammon, providing a near-modern day horrific recounting of the "last" of the Ushers. (Wow! That's quite the sentence!!!)
Based off of Edgar Allen Poe's Fall of the House of Usher, this book is a mix of Poe and Stephen King. A wonderful book that has is eerie, thrill-inducing, and hard to put down. The Usher family has a long lineage dating back to Roderick (from House of Usher). This family has lots of secrets and as the book reads on, so the secrets of this family and the Usher Lodge start to unravel. A great read and I wish it didn't end!
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Robert Rick McCammon was a full-time horror writer for many years. After taking a hiatus for his family, he returned to writing with an interest in historical fiction.

A new contemporary novel, The Five, was published in May 2011 by Subterranean Press.

The Hunter from the Woods, a collection of novellas and stories featuring Michael Gallatin, the main character from The Wolf's Hour, was published as
More about Robert McCammon...
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