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The Lair of the White Worm

2.89  ·  Rating details ·  2,531 Ratings  ·  269 Reviews
Adam Salter is newly returned from Australia to inherit his uncle's estate in the Peak District of Derbyshire. He marries Mimi, the dauther of a neighbouring farmer, who has to face alone the evil Edgar Caswall. And then there is the Lady Arabella March, of reptilian beauty and viprous nature... A novel of horror from the author of Dracula!
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published February 26th 2009 by Wildside Press (first published 1911)
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Robert
Apr 05, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Misogynist racists with no literary discernment.
You might like this book if you believe in the intrinsic superiority of the white peoples over other races, particularly black folks. Since I really don't feel that way I found myself getting more and more irate until the "savage", intrinsically "primitive" "nigger" got killed off whilst attempting murder. One might of course, think that this was the view of the other characters only and it should not be infered that Stoker believed it. Unfortunately, Oolanga is a "nigger" to the narrator, too a ...more
TheSkepticalReader
This is the 3rd Penguin Red classic book that I’ve read this month and the 2nd which is filled with racist and sexist messages. What a horrible way to end October!

To get my rage over with, let me take a moment and bitch a little about the racism. The “n” word is a trigger in society today but I am fully aware that at one point, it was nothing but a word (though obviously demeaning), so I would’ve happily let this book be what it is despite the fact that it uses the word “n” as commonly as we use
...more
Lavinia
Dec 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gothic, classics, horror
Written one year before Stoker's death and soon after one of his strokes, this one is a weird novel. With a strange set of characters that get involved in hair-rising adventures and afterwords talk about them like nothing out of the ordinary happened. Edgar Caswall develops a maddening obsession for a kite meant to scare the pigeons in their annual migration from Africa, Adam Salton has a passion for snake-killing mongooses, Mimi Watford and her cousin Lilla, delicate young ladies are endowed wi ...more
Sandy
Aug 23, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is indeed one strange little book, but I agree with no less a critic than H.P.Lovecraft when he says that the central idea--that of an ancient serpent who survives into the "modern" 19th century and exerts a malign influence on the living--is a good one. But the execution IS rather poorly done. This is not the masterpiece that is "Dracula," nor even the well-put-together read of "Jewel of Seven Stars." Stoker could have used a good copy editor on this book. For example, in one scene, Mimi, ...more
Kyriakos Sorokkou
This is the last book written by Bram Stoker one year before his death in 1912. And for a book that was written before WWI which has such a low rating (2.91) it's pretty striking. I thought people were overanalysing and overreacting over the fact that this book contains a lot of racist and sexist remarks. I thought if I put them aside I will find an interesting plot. Well, not exactly.
This book was on my shelves unread since 2009 so I decided this year to read it as part of my Halloween reads.
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JackieB
Dec 08, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, ghost
When I started to read this I thought it was a parody of gothic books but I soon realised it's just badly conceived. After I read it I found out that Bram Stoker was really ill when he wrote it and I think that explains a lot. The mystery of the white worm was solved because characters accepted crazy theories as true based on no evidence at all and just about all of the characters did some bizarre things for no apparent reason. There were also some places where I don't think the plot really made ...more
Oscar
Adam Salton, un joven australiano, acepta la invitación de su tío abuelo para viajar a Inglaterra, concretamente a su finca de Lesser Hill. Además de para conocerse mejor, el señor Salton desea que Adam conozca de primera mano las leyendas y ruinas locales, entre las que destaca la historia de una profundidad abisal en la que reside una criatura primigenia, el Gusano Blanco.

Dentro de la trama principal se encuentran algunas subtramas interesantes, que protagonizan Edgar Caswall, un vecino propie
...more
Nickolas
Jun 01, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
*Warning may contain spoilers but really you shouldn't care...

I hated this book. With a quarter left I cracked it and gave into the ridiculousness of the writing, the characters, and the dialogue. I think Bram Stoker was drunk writing this one and I certainly wanted to be to get me through the end. Being the last book that Bram ever wrote, which was published a year before he died (of possible syphilis related causes), I thought that it would be one of his better ones. It wasn’t.

The story is dra
...more
Tommy
Dec 16, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I love Dracula, but I found Lair of the White Worm to be boring, muddled, and extremely racist. I know Bram was from a very different time, but that's still no excuse to use the N word so freely and with such disdain and downright hatred. It was weird and disappointing. There is a very, very clear hatred for black people that comes through in this novel. I also had a hard time keeping some of the characters straight at times, because they (especially the honky dudes) seemed indistinguishable fro ...more
Erin
Christmas gift from my boyfriend

The Lair Of The White Worm was a confusing and flawed book that begins in dull conversation, features an entire town going insane because of birds and a kite, and ends in a giant explosion.

It was the written form of an Ed Wood movie -- trite dialogue, scenes randomly abutting each other in what I view to be the written form of stock footage usage, and a giant explosion at the end. Because really, how else were they going to end it?
Michael
So kann es einem ergehen, wenn man Bücher aufgrund des Covers kauft:
THE LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM ist ein Zugunglück von Roman, den ich nach 80 Seiten entnervt beiseite gelegt habe.
Dabei war ich an der pulpig-schönen Vintage Ausgabe von Arrow Books nicht vorbei gekommen und dann doppelt begeistert, als ich feststellte, dass Stokers Roman die Vorlage für Ken Russells mega schrillen Film BISS DER SCHLANGENFRAU ist, den ich großartig finde.

THE LAIR beginnt recht stimmungsvoll, wenn auch nicht gerade
...more
Dorothea
Nov 20, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
(This review was originally published in 2008 as "the assiest book I have ever read" on the short-lived livejournal community "thisbookisass." Follow the link for an illustration and nicer formatting!)

After reporting to you on Dracula I decided that it might be fun to dig a little deeper into the respectable Victorian male id by reading Stoker's last novel, The Lair of the White Worm, in which an evil sexy woman who is really an enormous ancient snake lives in a moist, smelly, dark hole and MUST
...more
Derek
Jan 05, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It's a relief when you emerge from the book, utterly bewildered, wondering if you've missed the point or how it could be a classic, and then see a series of negative reviews for exactly the same reasons that troubled you. This is a bizarre, ugly, incoherent, frequently dull book reading sometimes like Stoker amalgamated two or three fragments from more interesting Gothic novels, and sometimes like he had a very specific end destination in mind and was going to hammer to fit in order to get there ...more
Jim Dooley
This is essentially a "penny dreadful" ... fun at the time to read, but lacking in a great deal of common sense.

The legend of a terrible beast that devastated the countryside is investigated by a young man and a historian. They discover that there may be more truth to the stories than they imagined.

I enjoy this style of story. It reminds me of the paperback adventures that I read of DOC SAVAGE as a child. There are plenty of thrills, creepy moments, nefarious villains, and a doozy of an ending.

T
...more
Leni Iversen
Oct 31, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Utter rubbish. I'm surprised Bram Stoker wrote this. He must have been hard up for cash and in a hurry. It reads like a badly developed first draft of a preposterous idea. It's also disturbingly racist, even for the era.
Sheri
Mar 27, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
So, I think I'm the only one here who thought this book was laugh-out-loud hysterically funny. I'm feeling like the odd duck on goodreads this morning. Let me make clear, this is a 1 star novel. Except it made me laugh--A LOT--and I really like to laugh, so I bumped it a star. It made me laugh (in fact) the way that Lady Arabella laughed: "Lady Arabella was not usually a humorous person, but no man or woman of the white race could have checked the laughter which rose spontaneously to her lips. T ...more
Dara Salley
Feb 28, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
“The Lair of the White Worm” is undoubtedly one of the most repulsive books I’ve ever read. I should have read the other Goodreads patrons reviews of this novel before I picked it up. They mostly agree with my assessment.

The very worst part of the book is the prominent role of Oolonga, an African slave brought to England in the service of the villain of the novel, Casewell. I’ve read other books where unfortunate, outdated prejudices leak into the narrative, but Bram Stoker harps on the evil, sa
...more
Laura
Jul 23, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bettie
From BBC Radio 4:
It's 1870 in Derbyshire's High Peak district. While on a visit to his elderly uncle in the tiny village of Penda's Dale, Adam Salton - already shocked by the oppressive melancholic atmosphere in the village - quickly realises that the disappearance of several local men is not accidental.

His investigations lead him to the discovery of a terrifying and ancient secret: a malevolent force is at work in Penda's Dale.

Bram Stoker's gothic tale of horror adapted by Brian Wright.

Starring
...more
Ardee
Mar 01, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Terrible. Confused and baffling. Truly racist, with absolutely no justification for the usual argument that is trotted out that things where different when Stoker was writing.

The only reason to read this book would be as an example of:- racism, convoluted plot, melodramatic nonsense passed off as drama.

Horrendous.
Subashini
Ugh.
Christian Laforet
Jun 10, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wow! That may have been, no exaggeration, the worst book I’ve ever read. I’m not kidding here, there is almost no part of The Lair of the White Worm that I enjoyed.

So why was this sucker so awful? Well, let me tell you!

The Lair of the White Worm is surprisingly poorly written. I only say ‘surprisingly’ because I’ve never read Stoker before (never got around to Dracula), but as far as I know, the man is highly regarded. So imagine my surprise when I dove into this book only to find the writing so
...more
Paul Beech
Not so much a novel as a series of awkwardly connected scraps, this was apparently written while Stoker was heavily sedated - and it shows!
Sistermagpie
I had associated this book with the Ken Russel movie. I haven't seen the movie, but knowing it's Ken Russel I assumed it would be crazy. But probably not, in some ways, as crazy as the book! A young man comes to England from Australia and helps his great uncle uncover a monster living in the neighborhood.

I was unprepared for how racist the book was. One of two villains has a black companion usually referred to by slurs. Also his terrible qualities are always described as being typical of his rac
...more
Noella  Van Looy
Jan 03, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Dit is het slechtste boek dat ik ooit gelezen heb. Niets is goed uitgewerkt, de personages niet, de verhaallijn niet. Het is ook zeer ongeloofwaardig geschreven, de personages nemen verschillende keren zeer ongeloofwaardige stellingen en gebeurtenissen als volstrekt plausibel, zelfs normaal, aan. Ook veel racisme, nadruk op vrouwelijke zwakheid, zowel lichamelijk als sociaal.

Een jongeman die in Australië woont, krijgt een brief van zijn oudoom uit Engeland met het verzoek hem te komen bezoeken.
...more
Μιχάλης
Το έγραψα και στο στάτους, ο Stoker είχε πάθει 2 εγκεφαλικά πριν το γράψει.
Πιθανότατα πιο κάτω θα διαβάσετε κριτικές για ρατσισμό και σεξισμό και πράγματι, πολλά από τα όσα γράφονται αντιπροσωπεύουν τη χειρότερη έκδοση τους για την εποχή τους. Δυστυχώς, σε αντίθεση πχ με το Λαβκραφτ, αυτό εδώ το βιβλίο δεν έχει την ποιότητα που χρειάζεται για να πεις "αχού, τι χαριτωμένα ρατσιστές και μισογύνηδες που ήταν πριν 100 χρόνια". Η πλοκή είναι παντελώς ασύνδετη, σχεδόν συνειρμική, με ένα σωρό περίεργα
...more
Dave Morris
Here is what I wrote about this book in my school exercise book in 1968:

"On Saturday I went into Woking and bought three paperbacks. One was called The Lair of the White Worm. It was written by Bram Stoker, writer of Dracula. It was about a snake, a white one, that is intelligent. It can change into human form and is evil."

To this my teacher, Mrs Graham, responded: "Why do you always read the same type of book David [sic]? Try some of Arthur Ransom [sic], Sir Walter Scott, D.K. Broster etc."

This
...more
Capsguy
Jun 06, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british-irish
Sorely disappointed.
latner3
May 03, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

My first one star rating . Pretty much agree with all the other reviews.
Jack
Feb 22, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Poor written and hopelessly racist, Stoker's Lair of the White Worm is still worth reading if you have an interest in end-of-the-century fears over the degeneration of the British nation.
Massimiliano Prandini
Una gran cagata!
Sic et simpliciter. Storia confusa, contraddittoria, piena di irrisolti (ma il baule di Mesmer che c'entrava?) e situazioni ridicole. Narrazione pedante e al contempo (incredibile!) pedestre, debordante di infodump del tutto inutili. Protagonisti inconsistenti, antagonisti da operetta... ma poi neanche. Tensione a zero, noia esiziale, banalità weird (di questo sì, forse il suo unico merito, un precursore) a pioggia.
In sostanza sembra scritto da un bambino di 11 anni per il giorna
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He was born Abraham Stoker in 1847 at 15 Marino Crescent – then as now called "The Crescent" – in Fairview, a coastal suburb of Dublin, Ireland. His parents were Abraham Stoker and the feminist Charlotte Mathilda Blake Thornely. Stoker was the third of seven children. Abraham and Charlotte were members of the Clontarf Church of Ireland parish and attended the parish church (St. John the Baptist lo ...more
More about Bram Stoker...
“She had been to a tea-party with an antediluvian monster, and that they had been waited on by up-to-date men-servants.” 3 likes
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