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Necroscope (Necroscope #1)

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  14,595 Ratings  ·  456 Reviews

Except to Harry Keogh, Necroscope. And what they tell him is horrifying.

In the Balkan mountains of Rumania, a terrible evil is growing. Long buried in hallowed ground, bound by earth and silver, the master vampire schemes and plots. Trapped in unlife, neither dead nor living, Thibor Ferenczy hungers for freedom and revenge.

The vampire's human tool
Hardcover, 383 pages
Published December 1st 1994 by Tor Books (first published June 26th 1986)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dirk Grobbelaar
May 28, 2013 Dirk Grobbelaar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, books-i-own
Necroscope deals with the concept of Paranormal Espionage, which could be seen as a forerunner of at least some of the themes prevalent in Urban Fantasy these days. It is, however, presented in a very different fashion. For one thing, this is first and foremost a Horror novel.

The first half of the novel contains a number of historic sequences filling out the back stories of two key characters and laying the groundwork for the second half. One of these characters is the Necroscope of the title, w
Aug 05, 2010 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A common criticism of Cold-War era spy novels is that they do not have enough vampires. Brian Lumley addresses that problem in Necroscope, where Harry Keogh saves the world from monsters and Communism.

For those of you who don't know Latin, a Necroscope is someone who can scope the dead, which means Harry can have pleasant chats with the deceased to learn their secrets and even absorb their powers for his own. This ability comes in handy when Harry is enlisted by British Intelligence's ESP branc
Aug 10, 2009 Stephen rated it really liked it
4.0 to 4.5 stars. I just finished re-reading this book and had forgotten just how much fun it was. Harry Keogh is an absolutely fantastic character and his powers (i.e., the powers of the Necroscope) are original and very cool. This is a book that I have not heard come up very often in discussions of really great series and I think that is a shame. This is extremely well written and very engaging. Highly recommended.

Most recently read: August 10, 2009.
May 03, 2016 F.R. rated it really liked it
Whenever I’ve come across a Brian Lumley short story, in one of Stephen Jones’s annual compilations or elsewhere, I’ve been hugely impressed. It’s fair to say that Lumley writes Lovecraftian better than Lovecraft does, as he gets to the eldritch horror of it whilst actually being able to write decent, readable prose. As such for the last ten or fifteen years I’ve been meaning to read ‘Necroscope’, his most famous novel and the one I always used to see in Smiths when I was kid. Now ten or fifteen ...more
colleen the fabulous fabulaphile

I'm really undecided about this book. It wasn't bad, but it didn't grip me...

Where to start?

It was a bit slow off the bat. I was reading about the Russian ESPers and sort of wondering where everything was going, and when the actual story was going to get set-up. Looking back I suppose it was getting set up at the time, but it didn't feel like it.

Then we got to Harry, and I was much more interested. For awhile, I dreaded the parts where we went back to Dragosani. Ok, not dreaded, but I certa
Jan 26, 2014 Lanica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Traditional Horror fans, Lovecraft fans
My husband has been on a H.P. Lovecraft kick lately. He's reading everything, including stories by authors who have been influenced by 'The Master'. He reads the intro's to me for some of these short stories, especially when he sees something by an author he knows I've read. Such was the case with Brian Lumley. I have copies of my Necroscope books on my shelves, I read them when they first came out and enjoyed them so much I've kept intending to re-read them. (Yes, I was a middle and high school ...more
Maxine Marsh

First read 6/20/2014
Second read 12/3/2015
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*

It seems like I’ve had Necroscope and some of its sequels on my bookshelves forever. I think my early twenties I tried reading one of them and got bored in the first chapter so didn’t get back to it. Thanks for a group read at Horror Aficionados group, I finally dug in, stuck with it, and soon became absorbed.

It still takes a mighty long time to take off, but it’s just a slower style, a long tome that promises interest but divides its action sequences randomly. When fight is present, it stands o
Mar 02, 2016 Ctgt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I really should have loved this book, set in the years after WII with the traditional Cold War adversaries and an added supernatural twist, competing divisions made up of agents with unusual abilities. But there were long passages of background information that I really struggled to wade through. This is a series of books so I guess you can consider this a set-up book but it just seemed like there could have been a better way to incorporate all the information without resorting to these extended ...more
Apr 14, 2016 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, horror, 2016
Really more like 4.5 stars, but I'll be generous because there were entire sections here that were 5-star worthy. The first 1.5 hours or so of the audio recording were a bit long-winded and made me worry that I'd been duped into reading a book solely about political espionage (or in this case, E.S.P.ionage). However, once that bit was over the story really unfolded and took off in a couple of different and more interesting directions. I really enjoyed listening to the sections focusing on Harry ...more
Quentin Wallace
Oct 16, 2015 Quentin Wallace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one was..complicated. I finally got around to reading it after putting it off for a while, and I did enjoy it. However, it wasn't really what I expected and it did have its flaws.

First off, I think it's a little too lengthy. 100-200 pages could have been cut and it would have been a stronger, tighter story. The story is set during the Cold War, and we see Britain and Russia both utilizing ESP agents, as in agents with some type of mental power. Our two main characters are a necromancer, who
Ken McKinley
A story with a character that can talk to the dead, one that can extract the dead's secrets, one that can give the "evil eye", a vampire, zombies, British and Russian secret agencies that employ agents with all sorts of ESP talents, and a sci-fi space/time continuum all set in the middle of the Cold War. How can Lumley pack so much goodness in 500 pages?

Necroscope is the book that started a horror series franchise before horror series were considered the norm. Lumley crafts a tale that was revo
Jun 27, 2009 Ceri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! It's nearly impossible to describe how I feel about this book. I was given it to read by my father - the pair of us share a mutual love of horror books and films. I'm always keen to read more vampire books but, good God, this is so much more than a vampire book.

When I started reading Necroscope, I couldn't help but notice that it was rather dated. From the summary on the back, and the rather slow and (unfortunately) clichéd beginning I had my doubts about what I was getting myself into it.
Perry Lake
Oct 17, 2015 Perry Lake rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vampires, ghosts, zombies
by Brian Lumley, 1986

I read half a dozen books by Brian Lumley in the early eighties, all on Lovecraftean themes. These included the Titus Crow and Borea adventures. I remember loving them.

Then Lumley turned to new material, his Necroscope series. This was more original than expanding on Lovecraft's themes, perhaps, but it wasn't what I was looking for at the time so I set them aside to collect dust. Recently, due to a Goodreads buddy read, I decided to give them a go.

The prolog of t
I was looking at the shelves I have marked this book with and I realized that I should probably add much more since this book was such a mixture of genres.

We have vampires but a totally uniques story with the simbiozis between the host and the parasitic vampire, we have dead rising at the end of the book - or better said zombies, we have scientific talk about time relativity and different dimensions, time travel etc. that open the door to scifi and there is probably something that I missed.

Agnieszka Mauch
Absolutely brilliant and fresh, written in a unique style, the first book in the epic horror series is definitely worth the cash and worth every second of reading. It is utterly thrilling, stunning, despite a few things that can put you off and make you stop reading for a while, thinking the book 'unworthy'. The closer the ending is, the more you wonder, the more you want to know. The characters are well-developed, even if at the very beginning they may seem a little 2-D. Worry not, for it is me ...more
Jul 24, 2012 Richard rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, horror

I found this hard work towards the end. I wasn't caring about the characters and what they were going through. The whole book just seemed like a lot of backstory intending to build up to one climatic scene but, like I said, at that point I wasn't bothered.

It started out with lots of information about Dragosani and the Russians and I was wondering where it was going and then finally we met the main protagonist, Harry Keogh, and things started to pick up and get more interesting as we got an
Anton Marks
Jun 14, 2013 Anton Marks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was blown away by the originality of this novel. Commandingly written with a unique and compelling take on the vampire legend and the use of paranormal abilities in the Cold War. His deft hand has combined horror, sci-fi and espionage into a unputdownable whole. Brian Lumley is master storyteller who is gifted with an uncanny ability for mining nuggets of fear from a readers soul.
Loved it.
Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
It's a trend I notice with Lumley's writing for me is that it takes me forever to get into his books. I find them boring up to a point where it gets really good, and then it enthralls me.

May 05, 2008 Cornmo/jon rated it it was amazing
I bought this book because the cover was badasssss.
I struck gold when I started reading.
I recommend this to anyone who likes the Cold War, vampires, time-travel, and talking to famous dead people who keep making ideas in the afterlife.
Mar 05, 2009 Kathryn rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
This certaily did not feel like a horror book to me. I was bored to tears through most of it. I also do not feel that I needed a primer on the cold war. There were some original ideas. Just imagine, if you could speak to the dead, including any past great thinker, who would you choose to talk to? Consider the conversations you would have.

I liked Harry but that kind of dipped towards the end. The bad guys were not the least bit interesting. I am sad because I can think of many wonderful storylin
Jun 03, 2007 Tom rated it liked it
A decent page turner. The author's spin on vampirism is different from everything else I've read but it's refreshing.

Character development could have / should have been a lot better - especially for a multi-series books. I had a difficult time picturing what each character looks like and identifying with them. Rather than go on for pages and pages about the story's background (cut to the chase already...), we could have used a few of those pages to flesh out the characters. I'm not looking for
Oct 11, 2015 J.M. rated it liked it
"Hell is other people." --No Exit

There was a lot I enjoyed about this. It's an interesting mash-up of vampire story, spy novel, and supernatural telepathy-time-travel-and-teleportation type stuff. Published in 1986, set primarily in the 1970's, it's steeped in the Cold War, that east vs. west dynamic, with a Britisher named Harry Keogh being the 'Necroscope' of the title, who can speak (and listen) to the dead, up against a Romanian necromancer on the Soviet side named Dragosani, who has to phys
Feb 08, 2011 Kristin rated it liked it
I agree with a lot of the reviews on here that the book took a while to get the ball rolling. I enjoyed it, but I never felt compelled to sit down and read. Dragosani was an excellent villain, but I liked it when he actually did villainous things, rather than just talked and thought about them. That's not to say he didn't have some great moments. Harry I never really felt like I connected with the way I like to connect with a protagonist. The POV was more scattered than is my taste, we spend all ...more
Feb 28, 2012 Jak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m surprised it’s taken me so long to read any Brian Lumley. As a 14/15 year old getting into horror how could I not be drawn to the startling covers of Lumley’s books? Yet it’s taken me 20 odd years to get round to them. Better late than never I guess!

I’m Glad I finally did get round to them as Necroscope was a surprisingly good book. IO think the reason I was surprised is I kinda expected the book to simply be a shock and gore type affair but it was actually very well written with an interest
Aug 07, 2012 Mona rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, horror
A Necroscope is a man who can communicate with the dead, the way he would as if they were still alive. Harry Keogh is one, the only one there is. The British E-Branch (E for ESPionage) needs him. Will the Russian E-Branch get to him before they do?

If you enjoy Cold War thrillers, this is one - with a supernatural twist. Not only does it deal with secret agents with supernatural powers, it also presents vampires in an original way (and by original I mean different from Bram Stoker, Anne Rice and
Deborah Ideiosepius
Just finished re-reading.

It has been years (over a decade?) since I read it the first time. My memories of this series were mostly about the graphic, organically horrifying details of the Vamphyri world and you don't get to them until later books.

Re-reading this one reminded me of why the series grabbed me in the first place: The writing is lovely, Lumley's descriptive powers are formidable and the story is incredibly easy to visualise because of those talents. His characterisation is also grea
Brian Steele
Jan 09, 2010 Brian Steele rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, dark-fantasy
Lumley came up with a simple concept when composing this novel. "I'll include any damn thing I want in my book!" And he did. Because there's no reason you can't have Vampires, Psychics, Espionage, Parallel Dimensions, Secret Government Branches, Dead Historical Figures, Symbiotic Aliens and Time Travel all in one story.

Sure, the tale is a little dated with all the Cold War references and Lumley is a bit sexist, but the fact remains that he managed to cram half a dozen different genres into a si
Rebecca McNutt
Jul 17, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it liked it
Incredibly eerie and strange, Necroscope was a fairly interesting horror novel.
Jan 23, 2008 Bill rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who think they've read it all about vampires
Shelves: horror, favorites
Excellent vampire lore. This goes way back to the explanation and origin of vampires and it's fascinating! This is one of the best, original vampire novels ever written.
You think you know vampires? Nuh-uh, read Necroscope for an entirely unique and outrageous take on the legend. This series spans 13 novels, and so far so great. Very highly recommended!
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Horror Aficionados : October 2015 Group Read Winner: Necroscope by Brian Lumley 58 164 Nov 25, 2015 07:17AM  
Deadspeak 29 87 Jan 30, 2015 03:34PM  
Contemporary Brit...: Necroscope 1 14 Feb 24, 2013 04:13PM  
Goodreads Librari...: how to enter german edition series with different numbering 7 55 Feb 02, 2012 03:09AM  
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Brian Lumley was born near Newcastle. In 22 years as a Military Policeman he served in many of the Cold War hotspots, including Berlin, as well as Cyprus in partition days. He reached the rank of Sergeant-Major before retiring to Devon to write full-time, and his work was first published in 1970. The vampire series, 'Necroscope', has been translated into ten languages and sold over a million copie ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Necroscope (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • Necroscope II: Vamphyri! (Necroscope, #2)
  • Necroscope III: The Source (Necroscope, #3)
  • Necroscope IV: Deadspeak (Necroscope, #4)
  • Necroscope V: Deadspawn (Necroscope, #5)
  • Vampire World I: Blood Brothers (Necroscope, #6)
  • The Last Aerie
  • Vampire World III: Bloodwars (Necroscope, #8)
  • Necroscope: The Lost Years Volume I (Necroscope, #9)
  • Necroscope: Resurgence, The Lost Years Volume II (Necroscope, #10)
  • Necroscope: Invaders (Necroscope, #11)

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