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The Lodger

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  1,952 ratings  ·  274 reviews
Somewhere in London a madman was at large. And then one night there came a knock at the door of a quiet lodging house in the Marylebone Road. . . . This novel, based on the Jack the Ripper murders, was made into a film by Alfred Hitchcock.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published August 30th 2005 by Chicago Review Press (first published 1913)
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Average rating 3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,952 ratings  ·  274 reviews

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Jeffrey Keeten
Oct 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
”’Do you think to escape the consequences of your hideous treachery. I trusted you, Mrs. Bunting, and you betrayed me! But I am protected by a higher power, for I still have much to do.’ Then, his voice sinking to a whisper, he hissed out ‘Your end will be bitter as wormwood and sharp as a two-edged sword. Your feet shall go down to death, and your steps take hold on hell.’”

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Mr. and Mrs. Bunting are on the verge of tightening their belts further than they have ever been tightened before when a
There have been many theories about who Jack the Ripper was...

There was The Royal Conspiracy Theory

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The Jack Was A Jill Theory

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The Crazy Doctor With A Big Mustache Theory

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Or the theory that Marie Belloc Lownde's novel is based on-

The Lodger Theory

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Belloc Lowndes is supposed to have gotten the idea for her story after overhearing a dinner conversation- where a guest was telling another- that his mother's butler and cook claimed to have once rented rooms to Jack the Ripper, and after reading THE
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Oct 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of gothic suspense sans the gore
Recommended to Florence (Lefty) by: Ulrike
A lost quality in modern psychological suspense - the key word is subtlety. An intriguing look at the infamous Jack The Ripper case told through the eyes of his landlady Mrs. Bunting, an impoverished women with her back to the wall. I won’t mislead, not much happens, zero gore. It’s a character study, a morality tale –brooding and melodramatic, in fact almost claustrophobic in it's intensity – thought it delicious.
Marie Lowndes resists spelling out the obvious, instead tension is provided by a
Lars Jerlach
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In Marie Belloc Lowndes brilliant novel the reader is introduced to Mr. and Mrs. Bunting, a middle-aged couple, both previously from domestic service who have retired to run a lodging house.
When we meet them they are in severe financial trouble and on the verge of giving up hope of ever renting out their rooms when a gentleman one evening, and in timely fashion knocks on their door looking for lodging.
The gentleman’s name is Sleuth, but is generally referred to as The Lodger.

From the onset The
Rating Clarification: 3.5 Stars

The Lodger was written around 1914 by London-born Marie Belloc Lowndes, who lived in the city during the killing spree of serial killer Jack the Ripper some 20+ years previously. Surely Lowndes stored up many impressions of that time, and used them to craft this subtle tale that has since been adapted several times to screen.

As a modern reader, I have certainly read more suspenseful and gruesome novels, but taken in context with the time period it was written, the
Nancy Oakes
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Lodger has long been one of my favorite novels; reading it again a second time proved no less suspenseful than it did the first time through.

Marie Belloc Lowndes based her novel very loosely on the story of Jack the Ripper, and the novel is set in London at a time when a series of horrific murders blamed on a person known only as "The Avenger" is the big news on the streets. At the same time, the story is not really about these murders; it is actually the story of a husband and wife who
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
Gosh, absolutely eerie. Compelling and disturbing read. Highly recommended!
Set in a late nineteenth century foggy London, this dark psychological thriller slowly builds up clues (like an Agatha Christie novel) to identify the serial killer who signs his name The Avenger. This haunting tale begins when the Bunting's, a strange couple to say the least, take in a much needed lodger (Mr. Sleuth) for rent they so desperately need to survive. As the story progresses, the Buntings continue to ignore their suspicions of the lodger despite his mysterious experiments, late night ...more
A deliciously creepy thriller reminiscent of an old Vincent Price movie. Its the kind of book you read with black and white pictures forming in your mind. Very atmospheric and spooky.

A destitute couple who own a small lodging house (empty of guests) are gradually pawning their belongings to fill their bellies, when out of nowhere there's a knock on the door. A "gentleman" looking for secluded lodging...

Soon, the hackles of suspicion are raised in the mind of the missus. But what
classic reverie
This version includes The End of Her Honeymoon & The Uttermost Farthing which I read but reviewed under their titles. I have known of this author, Marie Belloc Lowndes, but only for her Lodger story portrayed by Hitchcock in film & his introduction into radio with The Lodger being the first Suspense radio program & his brain child radio program. It is an uncertainty if Mr. Sleuth is the Avenger in both these venues as the director wants such to be but after reading the book first ...more
Dannii Elle
Actual rating 3.5/5 stars.

A lodger arrives. Unbeknown to him, he has appeared just in time to save his new landlady and landlord, Ellen and Robert Bunting, from destitution. With the safety of coin in their pocket they welcome the new lodger into their home with open arms. But, just outside of the front door, is a London under threat. The headlines scream of mysterious murders and an unknown killer is on the loose. They can not risk losing their only source of income but the question of this
Jan 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be a delightful read.

First, I love memorable characters and Mrs. Bunting, the story's main protagonist, is indeed a memorable character. She reminded me of (or rather I pictured her as) Hyacinth Bucket from the British sitcom "Keeping Up Appearances."

Secondly, I enjoy psychological thrillers that manage to remain subtle...what some refer to as being "slow" or "drawn-out." Quite the contrary, I look forward to the gradual reveal as we delve into the immoral psyche. What makes
aPriL does feral sometimes
A quiet respectable English family takes in a gentleman.

The gentleman rents a room in their house upstairs. He says his name is Sleuth. The ex-butler and his wife, the Buntings, notice Sleuth hasn't any luggage. But the ten sovereigns he gives them for his room, paying in advance in expectation of staying more than a month, silences their tongues. The Buntings had been literally starving, even if genteely. Their money unexpectedly was running out. Saved! However, Ellen Bunting begins to notice
Amy Sturgis
What a dark and fascinating read! Marie Belloc-Lowndes wrote this work in 1913, after living through the Jack the Ripper phenomenon, and she captures the horror and morbid fascination of Londoners with chilling effect as she recounts the bloody crimes -- and the media sensation -- of "The Avenger." The novel is less about the killer, though, than about Robert and Ellen Bunting, a solid and hardworking lower-middle-class couple who both left service to try for an independent life running a ...more
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, crime
A deadly dilemma...

Mr and Mrs Bunting are becoming desperate. Having left domestic service to run their own lodging house, they've had a run of bad luck and are now down to their last few shillings with no way to earn more unless they can find a lodger for their empty rooms. So when a gentleman turns up at their door offering to pay a month's rent in advance, they are so relieved they overlook the odd facts that Mr Sleuth has no luggage and asks them not to take up references. He seems a kindly,
Feb 04, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics-read
This is a free Kindle ebook, written around 1913.
It's not a horror novel, by today's standards, but it is a fascinating observation about morals and class differences in that time period. It made me think more carefully about what people are willing to do or not do to be comfortable in life. It's a bit slow paced but I thought it was worth the time.
Aug 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, thriller
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
3 1/2 Almost a four, but I wanted some more detail.

The foggy nights, eccentric lodger and multiple murders kept me reading, wondering, suspecting and gnawing my fingernails, and all that without any knowledge of how the murders were done.

Because this book doesn't tell you any details about the murders. We don't even know what the weapon was like, only that it was a funny looking knife.

I still enjoyed the whole thing, yes, I wish that author had told us what it was like inside the Wax Museum.
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Buntings are a middle aged couple who run a boarding house in London and have fallen on hard times. One foggy evening there is a knock on their door. Mr Sleuth is looking for a room to rent and seems like the answer to their prayers.....he becomes their Lodger but all is not as it appears.

A sinister air pervades this tautly written atmospheric novel. All the characters, particularly Mrs Bunting are well written. Well worth a look at.
Description: Somewhere in London a madman was at large. And then one night there came a knock at the door of a quiet lodging house in the Marylebone Road. . . . This novel, based on the Jack the Ripper murders, was made into a film by Alfred Hitchcock.

Full film
Aug 31, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who can resist a good Jack the Ripper story? Or technically Ripperesque as the case may be here. The Lodger is considered something of a classic and I'm sure I've seen a film adaptation at some point, seemed like a book worth a read. And so it was, I didn't love it, but it was interesting. Sort of like a dated Ruth Rendell story style wise set during a reign of a homicidal Ripperlike (though more prolific) maniac in London with a married couple of former servants taking in a lodger due to their ...more
Bill Lynas
I've always liked Alfred Hitchcock's 1927 silent film of The Lodger, so I thought it was time to read the 1913 novel on which it was based. The story begins well enough, but about 100 pages in it becomes slow & plodding & continues this way until the end. This is one of those occasions when the film is far better than the book.
A very slow-paced, atmospheric tale of human observation, and loyalty. This was an old-fashioned novel in which the tension built up gradually, yet insistently. I found it a very enjoyable read, although was somewhat disappointed at the predictability of the plot.
DeAnna Knippling
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A lodger comes to stay at a desperate lodging house just as a serial killer, not Jack the Ripper but close, starts his reign of terror.

I liked this quite a bit. The coolest part for me was that, for most of the book, no other setting than the lodging house itself is developed. London feels like a town covered in fog, where only the gas-lit rooms of your lodging house, and the events that happen within it, are real. A few other locations are used, but only once each, and each one of them feels
Jun 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Written in 1913 and inspired by the Jack the Ripper murders. Someone is murdering women and the newspapers are agog with the story and the police are flummoxed. The Buntings, who used to be in service ( think Downton Abbey) now let out a few rooms for income. A mysterious man arrives at the doorstep of the Buntings, who are on the precipice of extreme poverty & starvation, requesting lodging. He is an answer to their dire straights in the nick of time and Mrs. Bunting is happy to accommodate ...more
Oct 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Review posted on BookLikes:
Tom Mathews
This vintage thriller written less that 30 years after the Jack-the-Ripper killings clearly takes its inspiration from those horrific events. I really enjoyed it although I struggled with understanding the actions some of the characters took. I can't elaborate without dropping spoilers so I will leave it a that. Bottom line: I highly recommend this book.

My thanks to Nancy and all the folks at the The Mystery, Crime, and Thriller Group for giving me the opportunity to read and discuss this and
Oct 12, 2014 rated it did not like it
Spoilers in this review -- but they're general, and if you read any bit of the book at all, they're really obvious plot points. So.

In theory, this is a story I should have liked -- after all, it's a take on Jack the Ripper, a tale of "How would you react if you found out you were lodging a serial killer in your house?" -- but instead I ended up hating it.

All of the characters of consequence (of which there are only three [Mr. and Mrs. Bunting, and Mr. Sleuth] as the landlord's daughter, Daisy,
Roopkumar Balachandran
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
I have to thank my friend Leah who recommended this book. The novel is mystery and psychological thriller, written by Marie Belloc and the story is turned into Hitchcock directed silent film "The Lodger". Since I liked Hitchcock movies, I bought this kindle edition.

The story is Mr.Bunting and his wife Ellen have a lodge and they are in a desperate need of money to survive. The arrival of Mr.Sleuth as a lodger first appears to be a blessing for the Buntings but later it turns out to be a curse
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
”But peculiarly true of average English life is the time-worn English proverb as to appearances being deceitful. […] Mrs. Bunting's trained perception told her at once that this man, odd as he looked, was a gentleman”.

But was he?

The Lodger is an extraordinary psychological thriller, inspired by Jack the Ripper’s murders and featuring emblematic items such as Inverness capes, lunatic asylums, dim gas lamps and a yellow pall of fog covering London.

Soon after Mr Sleuth taking the Buntings’
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Marie Adelaide Elizabeth Rayner Lowndes, née Belloc (5 August 1868 – 14 November 1947), was a prolific English novelist.

Active from 1898 until her death, she had a literary reputation for combining exciting incident with psychological interest. Two of her works were adapted for the screen.

Born in Marylebone, London and raised in La Celle-Saint-Cloud, France, Mrs Belloc Lowndes was the only
“Absence does make the heart grow fonder—at first, at any rate. Mrs. Bunting was well aware of that. During the long course of hers and Bunting's mild courting, they'd been separated for about three months, and it was that three months which had made up her mind for her. She had got so used to Bunting that she couldn't do without him, and she had felt—oddest fact of all—acutely, miserably jealous.” 0 likes
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