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The Lurker at the Threshold

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  1,059 ratings  ·  62 reviews
He is not to open the door which leads to the strange time and place, nor to invite Him Who lurks at the threshold ...” went the warning in the old family manuscript that Ambrose Dewart discovered when he returned to his ancestral home in the deep woods of rural Massachusetts. Dewart’s investigations into his family’s sinister past eventually lead to the unspeakable revela
Mass Market Paperback, 160 pages
Published 1973 by Panther Horror (first published 1945)
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Aug 14, 2010 Jason rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who've read everything Lovecraft actually wrote and want a pale imitation
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 04, 2011 Martha rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Lovecraft/Derleth collaborations
Shelves: horror
There's nothing very bad about this book, other than it feels extremely familiar. I already felt like I'd read it before. Wiki states ST Joshi said of this novel's 50,000 words, only 1,200 were actually written by Lovecraft. This is probably why I didn't find it a very gripping or original read. Many ideas and even characters feel regurgitated from previous stories. I even feel that some previous lines of Lovecraft's have been paraphrased here.

So I guess my problem lies more in that Lovecraft's
-Desde un par de ideas del primero brota una obra del segundo.-

Género. Narrativa fantástica.

Lo que nos cuenta. Entre Arkham y Dunwich hay una gran zona de colinas boscosas que a comienzos de siglo XIX pertenecieron a Alijah Billington y que siempre ha generado rumores e inquietud entre los habitantes de la zona. En marzo de 1921 se hace público que Ambrose Dewart, descendiente de Alijah, va a comenzar los trabajos de rehabilitación y restauración de la casona Billington. Cuando los trabajos term
Derleth took notes Lovecraft made, wrote this story himself, and put Lovecraft's name on it.

The theme begins Lovecraftian, but the whole binding of the Old Ones with elements begins here, and the last half of the book is a lovely example of Derleth driving Lovecraft's brilliant ideas into the ground.

In a later Derleth story, R'lyeh rises to the surface again, which is ridiculous since it rose in 1927 for the first time since it's sinking, which occurred before the advent of the Dinosaurs. Even
Most of the reviews that have been posted so far seem to be from Lovecraft purists who object to Derleth's creation of a novella from a 1200-word sketch by HPL. We should maybe bear in mind the debt that Lovecraftians owe to Derleth. He founded Arkham House specifically to keep HPL's memory alive and to bring his work to a larger audience than the readers of Weird Tales Magazine.

So, let's try to approach Lurker from another angle. Of course Derleth is different. But he's good too. The character

On Thanksgiving (2008) I was all alone in my house, which was normally occupied by 13 students, as everyone had a family dinner to attend except me. Well I was reading this book around 2 in the morning when I noticed that for the past few hours I'd been hearing a 'snap' sound every few minutes. I had heard it before that night, but had always assumed it was my housemate in the room next to me, who had a habit of clapping and snapping and whooping all the time when he was excited. That night I wa

Derleth's posthumous "collaborations" weren't bad as short stories. Despite being derivative of Lovecraft and resorting to turgid writing, most of them managed to maintain some goofy charm. Not "The Lurker at the Threshold," whose writing is so terrible it becomes some sort of endurance test. Worse, Derleth fills the final third of the book with pointless exposition, thereby destroying what meager sense of suspense or urgency managed to remain from the previous two-thirds of the story.
Worse and slower than most Lovecraft books. Probably because this is more a Derleth book than a Lovecraft book. If this turned you of from Lovecraft, please give him another shot. That said, it was mostly in line of what Lovecraft's stories are about, just less skillful and far slower. It is disingenuous to put Lovecraft's name on this, but it is a passable piece of Lovecraftian horror.
Pam Baddeley
This is the longest 'collaboration' I've read between August Derleth and HP Lovecraft and turns out to be almost wholly Derleth based on a few short fragments of HPL's. It does read that way, although seems better than most of Derleth's efforts until the last third where it degenerates into his usual tendency of throwing in everything including the kitchen sink in his efforts to name check all the Old Ones, their minions and the various forbidden books about them. The main issue though is the ru ...more
Not bad and has the Lovecraft vibes. Obviously his style is impossible to copy and one can easily see it's not Howard's hand that wrote the story, but Derleth still did a nice job. He managed to put together Lovecraft's notes and ideas for this novel, managed to keep the original spirit and managed to put as little of himself as possible. I enjoyed "The Lurker..." a lot, even though I had solved the mystery of some identities long before I finished the book. Derleth couldn't build the exquisite ...more
I rate my books according to the Goodreads rating scale. "I liked it" so I gave it 3 stars. This being my first read by H.P. Lovecraft, I was disappointed to discover that Lovecraft didn't actually write this book. August Derleth wrote The Lurker at the Threshold from Lovecraft's notes. Sigh... On the bright side, I do feel I now have a taste for Lovecraft and I am very interested in exploring items actually written by the master.
A.R. Davis
10/03/11 Lurker At The Threshold, H. P. Lovecraft with August Derleth, 1971. The last time I read this book it seemed to be pure horror, but this time it seems much more science fiction. In fact, it could fit in to my own series of sci-fi books and their “Krizel-Aaouen” cosmology! The “lurkers” are “outside,” sealed away in “time and space” by the Elder Gods. They are “mobile in other dimensions.” However, I only noticed one reference to the “multiverse”, on pg 133, “If the common man were even ...more
I have an ambivalent attitude towards Lovecraft. His imagination was extraordinary, his concepts highly influential and occasionally he wrote beautifully - though more often than not, stodgily and pretentiously. The Lurker at the Threshold owes as much to August Derleth as it does to Lovecraft and is the only original full-length novel after Charles Dexter Ward. I tried to read it many years ago and quickly gave up: I guess I just wasn't in the mood because this time I got into it. It's rather o ...more
“Unearthing Hidden Family Horrors”

Lovecraft’s 1945 gothic horror tale of extraterrestrial evil is set in New England, near the Miskatonic River (and University of the same name) in arcane Arkham. Ancient rites and decadence focus their vicious activity around the area of Dunwich, whose residents skulk in shadows and bear remnants of their bestial inbreeding. The strange legends of odd voices and weird lights—followed by eerie disappearances and subsequent reappearance of corpses—reveal a chill
First of all, let's be clear -- this book is about 99% August Derleth, 1% H P Lovecraft. That said, I enjoyed this book, it's atmosphere, setting, creepy touches here and there. But this isn't a book I could highly recommend to others who aren't into Lovecraft in particular. I've read Derleth's short story collection "The Watchers Out of Time" (also falsely marketed as being by Lovecraft) and the majority of stories there follow the following plotline -- A man inherits a long-abandoned house of ...more
Lem Ryan
Nunca he sido un gran admirador de August Derleth. Aunque admito que su estilo narrativo está a años luz del de Lovecraft, más moderno y poco dado al barroquismo cargante del Maestro, y que maneja recursos literarios de los que éste adolecía, el intento maniqueo de sistematizar sus Mitos nunca me acabó de convencer. Sencillamente, soy de la opinión de que simplificar toda esa compleja cosmogonía, y el panteón mitológico que deriva de ella, y reducirlo todo al clásico esquema de la eterna lucha e ...more
East Bay J
My mind is somewhat biased against August Derleth due to his editorial influence on what are today called the Cthulhu Mythos. Long story short, Derleth introduced ideas of good and evil into the beings Lovecraft created. He came up with the idea to collectively identify some Lovecraft stories as mart of the Mythos and others as not, whereas Lovecraft thought all his works were related. Ultimately, Derleth's crimes pale in comparison to those of L. Sprague DeCamp and Lin Carter with Robert E. How ...more
My Inner Shelf
Au nord d'Arkham, à peu de dis-tance de la rivière Miskatonic, s'étend la forêt Billington. C'est là qu'Alijah, le sorcier, et son âme damnée, l'Indien Quamis, se livrèrent jadis à d'abominables pratiques.
Lorsque Ambrose Stewart vient habiter dans la demeure de son ancêtre Alijah Billington, des phénomènes étranges commencent à se produire. II ne tarde pas à appeler à l'aide son cousin Stephen Bates, mais lorsque celui-ci arrive au domaine Billington, il est déjà trop tard, Ambrose est sous la d
I went into this book with LOVECRAFT written all over the cover. I presumed of course that it was Lovecraft who did it. It was not until afterward that I discovered that Derleth had supposedly much more to do than Lovecraft.

Did that change the way I felt? Not at all. It is a pure menacing book, true to form of Lovecraft's original short stories. The pages and descriptions filled me with dread; I could picture in my mind a clear, yet overcast gothic black and white scene where this can all happen
Larry McCloskey
May 04, 2008 Larry McCloskey rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: diehard Lovecraft fans
Ostensibly penned by HP Lovecraft and August Derleth, the book was basically written by Derleth based upon a few story fragments from Lovecraft. It shows. The style and heavy-handed grammar are definitely Lovecraft's, but lack his disjointed flow.

The style is interesting, with the book being penned as the handwritten account of three different people: Ambrose Dewart, who moves into the family estate and slowly slips into insanity, his cousin Stephen Bates whom he calls for aid, and Winfield Phil
Check my review of The Watchers Out of Time, which includes this and other pastiches of Lovecraft hammered out by Wisconsinite August Derleth, based loosely on a few scraps of Lovecraft's original ideas but is mainly boring and trite.
Had you asked me to give a projected rating in the first two thirds, it likely would have been four stars, but the last third wastes all of the intrigue that the former built up through explaining to the reader what they have likely already inferred.
I rather enjoyed this novel. I know that is not always popular with some Lovecraft devotees to enjoy or laude the works of August Derleth, but I thought he was a decent writer and did a very good job of setting up a palpable mood and feeling of suspense, even if I did not always agree with some of his "cannon choices." You can look up a criticism of this in Chaosium's RPG The Call of Cthulhu.

My chief complaint with this novel (and with some of HPL's work) is that a lot of groundwork goes into se
Nathan Shumate
You know how Pericles is listed as one of Shakespeare's plays even though he contributed maybe a scene and a half? This is sorta like that. Lovecraft's contribution, according to S.T. Joshi, may have been about 1,500 words of this 50,000-word short novel; the rest was August Derleth, filling it in with substandard Lovecraft fanfic which both name-checks all of the standard Mythos cast and inserts Derleth's own stupid "Elder Gods vs. Old Ones" theology. Blech.
Really??? I'm not easily frightened, but the fact that my father shares his story of being truly frightened by noises as her read Lovecraft over four decades ago, put me on edge. Just as I was nearing completion of this book, an erie noise began in my laundry room! I haven't had the nerve to investigate yet...

A short story in three parts, The Lurker at the Threshold has no chapters. It's an endless tale of suspense and supernatural happenings. And it's freaky as hell! I'm not familiar with the r
Brandon Wicke
Classic Lovecraft, with some very cool 'Lovecraftian' elements (a window that serves as a lens into another plane, ancient rites to summon Yog-Sothoth, etc.)

The longest Lovecraft story I've read, it kept me enthralled throughout. If you're not a diehard Lovecraft fan you may find it a bit slow-burning, but for me the suspense and intrigue pulled me through. The ending comes about a bit suddenly for me, and would have enjoyed more insight into the planning and execution of the resolution of Dewar
Although written by August Derleth, this read exactly like a Lovecraft tale. I take that was more focused than many of H.P.'s works; it even read like one of his better ones.

I'd actually rate this right up there with the big ones: At the Mountains of Madness, The Dunwich Horror, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, etc. It definitely feels like a part of the Cthulhu mythos, though it only gives the big names from it passing mention. I've intentionally avoided all of the pretenders to Lovecraft's
This was my first experience reading HP Lovecraft. I picked this book because it was the only Lovecraft the bookstore had. I enjoyed both the story, and the way the story was told. Having different parts of the story told from the point of view of different characters kept shifting your natural narrator-focused allegiance. I did think the ending was a bit rushed, though it fit with the method of storytelling.

If you like the works of Edgar Allen Poe, and you want a short, creepy read, this is a g
I really didn't like this book. It's one of those books that is less than 200 pages long but could have been 10 pages long. Jesus god.

It haunted me until I finished it but now that I am done I'm not likely to pick up another Lovecraft book because this one frickin lacked. It reminded me of how Percy Shelley tarted up his wife's book Frankenstein with more highbrow language to make it sound more interesting. As in that case it just succeeded in making it more difficult and tiresome to read.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Howard Phillips Lovecraft, of Providence, Rhode Island, was an American author of horror, fantasy and science fiction.

Lovecraft's major inspiration and invention was cosmic horror: life is incomprehensible to human minds and the universe is fundamentally alien. Those who genuinely reason, like his protagonists, gamble with sanity. Lovecraft has developed a cult following for his Cthulhu Mythos, a
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