Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Necroscope” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Necroscope (Necroscope #1)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  15,849 Ratings  ·  506 Reviews
Twenty years ago, the horror world was forever altered by the publication of Necroscope. An instant classic, Brian Lumley's astonishing feat of imagination spawned a universe which Lumley has explored and expanded through more that a baker's dozen of novels and novellas. Millions of copies of Necroscope and its successors are in print in a dozen languages throughout the wo ...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Tor Books (first published June 26th 1986)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Necroscope, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Necroscope

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dirk Grobbelaar
Mar 12, 2010 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
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.
Aug 05, 2010 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
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There’s a lot going on in this one. It is much more than the standard blood sucker tale that I thought it was going to be. Brian Lumley pens a unique take on the vampire mythos and adds some very cool paranormal esponiage elements as well. His characterizations were very well drawn and while the pacing is slow at times, it never disengaged me from the storyline. It had a real “old school horror” feeling throughout. Excellent. 4+ Stars.
colleen the convivial curmudgeon

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
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
Jul 17, 2008 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
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I truly loved reading this one. Really got into the plot and characters; barely did anything else for most of 2 days. This is an another author new to me that I'm going to have to explore, and deeply. Why if I had next book in the series in hand, I'd be reading it immediately! Great SF adventure. Complete page-turner. I'm definitely a Lumley fan now. The beginning was a bit cool and drowsy but once the leading man was introduced, about 100 pages in, the books plotting got pacey and thrilling. Ha ...more
Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 07, 2015 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
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
Quentin Wallace
Sep 10, 2014 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
Apr 04, 2016 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
Jun 22, 2009 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 03, 2015 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
Apr 26, 2012 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 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.

Jan 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 26, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 22, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jan 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Rebecca McNutt
Incredibly eerie and strange, Necroscope was a fairly interesting horror novel.
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Fantastic read.... I need the whole series.. NOW !
Carl Alves
Brian Lumley has created quite an in depth world with his Necroscope series. Sometimes there is too much depth, and the story gets lost in the world creation going on. This is both a strength and weakness of this novel. In this novel, Harry Keogh is the Necroscope. He has the special ability to communicate with the dead. He comes across a vampire buried in the mountains of Romania. The ancient vampire passes on his knowledge to Boris Dragosani, a Soviet spy, who sets his sights on world dominati ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Necroscope series by Brian Lumley 2 10 Apr 09, 2017 09:45AM  
I Don't Even Own ...: 020 — "Necroscope" (W/ Chris Collision) 1 1 Sep 25, 2016 05:43PM  
Horror Aficionados : October 2015 Group Read Winner: Necroscope by Brian Lumley 58 170 Nov 24, 2015 03:17PM  
Deadspeak 29 89 Jan 29, 2015 11:34PM  
Contemporary Brit...: Necroscope 1 15 Feb 24, 2013 12:13AM  
Goodreads Librari...: how to enter german edition series with different numbering 7 55 Feb 01, 2012 11:09AM  
  • Midnight Blue: Sonja Blue Collection
  • The Light at the End
  • Vampyrrhic
  • Midnight Mass
  • They Thirst
  • Vampire$
  • Live Girls
  • Cabal
  • The Dracula Tape (Dracula Series, #1)
  • The Delicate Dependency: A Novel of the Vampire Life
  • Lord of the Vampires (The Diaries of the Family Dracul, #3)
  • The World on Blood
  • The Empire of Fear
  • I, Vampire: The Confessions of a Vampire - His Life, His Loves, His Strangest Desires ...
  • Draculas
  • Infernal Angel (City Infernal, #2)
  • Vampire Apocalypse: A World Torn Asunder
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
More about Brian Lumley...

Other Books in the Series

Necroscope (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • Vamphyri! (Necroscope, #2)
  • The Source (Necroscope, #3)
  • Necroscope IV: Deadspeak (Necroscope, #4)
  • Necroscope V: Deadspawn (Necroscope, #5)
  • Vampire World I: Blood Brothers (Necroscope, #6)
  • The Last Aerie (Nekroscope, #7)
  • 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)

Share This Book

“Blood is the life.” 19 likes
More quotes…