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THE LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM - [ Free audiobook Download ] [ Annotated ]

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The Lair of the White Worm (also known as The Garden of Evil) is a horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker, who also wrote Dracula. It is partly based on the legend of the Lambton Worm. The book was published in 1911 by Rider and Son in the UK,the year before Stoker's death, with color illustrations by Pamela Colman Smith. CONTENTS About the Author Free Audiobook Download Ho The Lair of the White Worm (also known as The Garden of Evil) is a horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker, who also wrote Dracula. It is partly based on the legend of the Lambton Worm. The book was published in 1911 by Rider and Son in the UK,the year before Stoker's death, with color illustrations by Pamela Colman Smith. CONTENTS About the Author Free Audiobook Download How to Transfer Files via PC/Mac. The Authorized THE LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM - [ Free audiobook Download ] [ Annotated ] for Kindle Edition offers reader special Kindle enabled features, including interactive table of contents.Easy to use table of contents take you right to the chapter and verse you are looking for


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The Lair of the White Worm (also known as The Garden of Evil) is a horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker, who also wrote Dracula. It is partly based on the legend of the Lambton Worm. The book was published in 1911 by Rider and Son in the UK,the year before Stoker's death, with color illustrations by Pamela Colman Smith. CONTENTS About the Author Free Audiobook Download Ho The Lair of the White Worm (also known as The Garden of Evil) is a horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker, who also wrote Dracula. It is partly based on the legend of the Lambton Worm. The book was published in 1911 by Rider and Son in the UK,the year before Stoker's death, with color illustrations by Pamela Colman Smith. CONTENTS About the Author Free Audiobook Download How to Transfer Files via PC/Mac. The Authorized THE LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM - [ Free audiobook Download ] [ Annotated ] for Kindle Edition offers reader special Kindle enabled features, including interactive table of contents.Easy to use table of contents take you right to the chapter and verse you are looking for

30 review for THE LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM - [ Free audiobook Download ] [ Annotated ]

  1. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    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 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 anf that narrator is not a character and so we must assume that it is Stoker's opinion. Now with the black guy out of the way, you might think that the offensive attitudes might also go away but that would be to ignore the outrageous sexism and with three major female characters, none of whom die early on, one has to suffer that right to the end. Frankly, I can't explain the masochism that made me finish this book; it was pure self torture. The sexism is for the most part somewhat more subtle than the racism; the heroine is allowed some strength of will, bravery and independence of mind - until she gets married, at which point she immediately requires her husband's opinion on everything and defers to his view as obviously superior - because he's her husband. Even her strength of will and bravery are nothing compared to his - because he's male, of course. Are you vomiting yet? Again, is this Stoker's view? Well, a male character, an older man who is meant to be a wise, ,knowledgable character, the font of wisdom for the younger protagonists and the reader finds that the Suffragettes, "want principle". Funny, I thought they were fighting for a principle! One might argue that one should set all this aside, because it was the attitude of the time and instead look at the literary merits of the book when judging it. One would be wrong, however: the times - they were a changing. The Suffragette movement had started. Thomas Hardy had been fighting the cause of women for decades: this was a time for choosing sides. Stoker chose the repugnant side. So maybe you are a scary person and don't find all this offensive, or maybe you are particularly good at compartmentalising the foulness from the plot and writing. If so you really still aren't in for a treat, or even a mediocre good time. No, you are in for a waste of effort. The set up might sound familiar; a youngish, dynamic man with an older mentor, full of obscure wisdom and knowledge. Two attractive young women in danger. An ancient evil. (In this case a hilarious one, completely empty of power to horrify or instill terror.) The protagonists more or less don't do anything for an age, then the monster attacks them - there's a scene with a carriage being chased - then some completely baffling actions by the monster. Then a denouement that has been predictable for an age. The only thing I really liked about Dracula was the powerful sense of dread in the opening section written from Transylvania. Nowhere in this book is there anything even remotely as affecting. What a heap of rubbish!

  2. 5 out of 5

    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 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 “the.” But. (And this is big butt.) Not only are the character blatantly using it to relate to characteristics of savagery, barbarism, and slavery, the author/narrator himself is laughing at the black slave in the novel. It was not only offensive and utterly repulsive, but incredibly uncomfortable to watch the destruction of the “n” and witness the victory of white race. To give an example, when a black man professes his love for Arabella, the following is the reaction: “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. The circumstances were too grotesque, the contrast too violent, for subdued mirth. The man a debased specimen of one of the most primitive races of the earth, and of an ugliness which was simply devilish; the woman of high degree, beautiful, accomplished.”This was the voice of the narrator; I’ll save you the ridiculous response Arabella actually gives. Furthermore, if that wasn’t bad enough, this book is also sexist in its portrayal of female characters. Some of the lines of this novel are cringingly bad in describing the nature of Arabella. I’ll be honest and say that there have been many times in my life when I’ve been frustrated with the opposite sex, but I don’t diminish their value as a human entirely. Here’s an example of the “toxicity” of a woman: “This one is a woman, with all a woman’s wit, combined with the heartlessness of a COCOTTE.” And also this: “Now, Adam, it strikes me that, as we have to protect ourselves and others against feminine nature, our strong game will be to play our masculine against her feminine.” Now that that’s out of the way, I would also like to add that the novel itself is generally just bad. It reads like a cheesy, corny, horror movie and is not at all redeemable by Stoker’s reputation of having authored Dracula (and his reputation, for me at least, has clearly been demolished). The writing is mediocre, the characters are all irritating (because of obvious racist attitudes), and plot lines are all predicable. In short: skip this piece of crap.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lavinia

    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 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 with mesmeric powers and the traditional afternoon tea between neighbors ends up in hypnotic battles. There is also Arabella March, a beautiful, cold-blooded woman, always clad in thigh, white dresses who in fact is an antediluvian monster dwelling in the bowls of the earth. Though we have a "love story" and a marriage there is a total lack of feeling or emotion between the characters. The entire story is like a hallucination. Not an easy read, nothing like Stoker's masterpiece "Dracula" ... yet an intriguing fabrication.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    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, 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, our heroine, thinks to herself that a nutzy character by the name of Caswall is mad, because of the way he has just spoken to her. However, there has been no dialogue or indication of Caswall saying anything up to that point. Numerous other inconsistencies abound, the net effect being one of almost non sequitur, dreamlike surrealism, which is perhaps Stoker's intent but is seemingly sloppy writing nonetheless. The descriptions of the English countryside are impossible to picture, so that you can never really get a mental view of the locale in which the story takes place. Also, the exact relationship between Lady Arabella and the Worm itself is vague at best, as is the significance of Mesmer's chest, and the "stare fights" that another reader refers to. The book certainly held my interest, short and compact as it is, but after all was said and done, I certainly wanted more in the way of explication and denouement. More scenes such as the one where Oolanga falls down the wormhole would've been nice. So what we have here is a frustrating read, but an engaging one, nonetheless.

  5. 4 out of 5

    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. 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. Thankfully I finished it and thankfully it was short because this book was a stinker. It has 3 main issues: Racism, Sexism, and Plot. RACISM: Oolanga is the African servant of one of the protagonists and he's described in pretty derogatory terms. He is described as an aboriginal savage twice, a savage 9 times, a nigger 27, including lots of descriptions like this one which is the very first: "But the face of Oolanga, as his master at once called him, was pure pristine, unreformed, unsoftened savage, with inherent in it all the hideous possibilities of a lost, devil ridden child of the forest and the swamp—the lowest and most loathsome of all created things which were in some form ostensibly human." There's more: "The other negroid of the lowest type; hideously ugly, with the animal instincts developed as in the lowest brutes; cruel, wanting in all the mental and moral faculties—in fact, so brutal as to be hardly human" and then there comes a phrase that explains many things: "I have no particular desire to be seen so close to my own house in conversation with a-a-a nigger like you !” She had chosen the word of dishonour deliberately" and Stoker himself of course was using this word of dishonour deliberately. SEXISM: Even in his (only) masterpiece, Dracula, women were depended on men and they were fragile, ethereal creatures. In here it's pretty obvious: You know that women do not reason [...]" "[...]our strong game will be to play our masculine against her feminine. Men can wait better than women.” "But being of feminine species, she probably will over-reach herself" He even makes a snide remark on the suffragettes who were fighting for their own human rights. "This one is a woman, with all a woman’s wisdom and wit, combined with the heartlessness of a cocotte and the want of principle of a suffragette." They didn't want principles, they wanted equal opportunities and equal treatment. PLOT So let's put the racism and the sexism that were in this book aside. Do we have a good plot? No This plot had more holes than an emmental cheese. The title says "The Lair of the White Worm", Lady Arabella wears white all the time, snakes are following her, she kills 2 mongooses (who eat snakes) one by shooting at it multiple times and one by tearing it apart, she has green eyes and she is pale, her walking is described as slithering. Do you need more clues to find out who's the white worm? Even a 6 year old will get it from the first 50 pages. Then there's the subplot of hypnosis which I didn't understand the point of its inclusion in the book (to create an atmosphere?) As another reviewer hilariously points out,"They stare at each other and throw mind bullets at each other or whatever until one person dies. It’s ludicrous and never explained what the point is". The hypnotic kite that looks like a hawk to scare away the birds (again what was the point of this?) Oolanga, what was his part in this novel apart from an excuse for Stoker to unravel his talent of racist descriptions? And the chapters were so disjointed from each other, there was no easy flow between the change of the scenes, and what's more, the characters were doing things that were utterly stupid: Lady Arabella instead of fighting for her survival she goes to sleep and she is exploded with dynamite by our hero Adam. She goes to sleep!! at the very critical moment of the book, she goes to sleep!! Adam befriends a Van Helsing-like Sir Nathaniel de Salis who exists in the plot only to solve the clues the reader already knows and then he disappears. Adam the protagonist comes to England from Australia because his rich uncle invited him. So because this uncle doesn't serve the plot enough he is absent from the very beginning when in other words his part is over (abruptly). The whole book feels like an unedited first draft. How it got published in the first place? So in overall this book deserves its average rating which is 2.91. #1 P.S. Give this book a miss unless you are a Bram Stoker completist. #2 P.S. The drawings were all done by Pamela Colman Smith, who illustrated the first edition of the novel in 1911. The only good thing in this book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Leo .

    The only good thing about the film adaption of this classic is that Amanda Donohue was in it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nickolas

    *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 *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 drawn from two UK legends, ‘Lambton Worm’ about a giant worm like serpent that pillaged the area of Lambton and gets killed by a guy wearing spiky armour and ‘The Laidly Worm of Spindleston Heugh’ which is about a princess who gets turned into a dragon but then some knight for whatever sick reason kisses the dragon which then turns back into a prince. The book is about a young Australian that is called to England by his uncle to take over his estate. He gets wrapped up with his uncle and a retired English politician type character in a battle of good versus evil, mongooses versus snakes, a frigid gold digging snake witch, a creepy Alister Crowley like old man, and the racistly referred to West African savage. This book says some pretty amazingly racist and sexist things actually. I guess you could say that they are said by the villains of the book so really it’s not Bram being a disgusting bigoted monster but the characters he created….or not. In reality this was at one time common thought and language. Truth be told, our grand and great grandparents were some serious racists. Listen to these lines: “Let me give you a word of advice: If you have the slightest fault to find with that infernal nigger, shoot him at sight. A swelled-headed nigger, with a bee in his bonnet, is one of the worst difficulties in the world to deal with. So better make a clean job of it, and wipe him out at once!” “But what about the law, Mr. Caswall?” “Oh the law doesn’t concern itself much about dead niggers. A few more or less do not matter. To my mind it’s rather a relief.” “I don’t love niggers any more than you do and I suppose one mustn’t be too particular where that sort of cleaning up is concerned.” Needless to say the first character in the story to die, much like the poor red shirted crew member on Star Trek, was the black guy. I found the young posh Australian character (Adam) funny as well. You can tell he’s Australian because of his extra-masculine abilities that he possesses that an ordinary English gentleman couldn’t possibly possess… such as fixing a ladies buggy: “There is no one near who can mend a break like that.” “I can.” “You! You—why, it’s a workman’s job.” “All right, I am a workman—though that is not the only sort of work I do. I am an Australian.” Women are also portrayed to be very stupid and far beneath men, which sometimes backfires to make the men look worse. The more and more I read this book the more I felt Bram Stoker was a complete bastard: “We may be sure that in the fight that is before us there will be no semblance of fair-play. Also that our unscrupulous opponent will not betray herself!” “That is so—but being a feminine, she will probably over-reach herself. Now, Adam, it strikes me that, as we have to protect ourselves and others against feminine nature, our strong game will be to play our masculine against her feminine. Perhaps we had better sleep on it. She is a thing of the night; and the night may give us some ideas.” Adam quickly falls for a girl who has a half-Burmese cousin who are both the prey of two of the weirdos mentioned above; the man obsessed with a kite and the snake witch obsessed with getting married so she can kill another husband or something that is, like so many things, not explained properly. The ridiculousness hit full force when in one of the big battles at the end, Adam and his now wife confront the “White Worm” which the story then turns into a cartoon/ Benny Hill episode where his wife is a complete ditz. All it was missing was her stepping on a rake then a bucket of paint falling on her: “The draught from the open door swayed the thin silk towards her, and in her fright, she tore down the curtain, which enveloped her from head to foot. Then she ran through the still open door, heedless of the fact that she could not see where she was going. Adam, followed by Sir Nathaniel, rushed forward and joined her—Adam catching his wife by the arm and holding her tight. It was well that he did so, for just before her lay the black orifice of the well-hold, which, of course, she could not see with the silk curtain round her head. The floor was extremely slipper; something like thick oil had been spilled where she had to pass; and close to the edge of the hole her feet shot from under her, and she stumbled forward towards the well-hole” The villains try to kill (and at one time DO kill) the heroes and then invite them over for tea, send a letter saying everything is okay, or try and get them into a real estate deal the very next day, which the heroes naturally accept with no problem….then get attacked again which is no surprise to the reader. These are the stupidest people written into bad fiction I think I’ve ever read. Another strange thing in this book is the telepathic mind battles that take place for no understandable reason. Have you seen any of the Scanner Cop movies? Well it’s that. They stare at each other and throw mind bullets at each other or whatever until one person dies. It’s ludicrous and never explained what the point is. This entire story is ludicrous. One star.

  8. 4 out of 5

    JackieB

    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 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 sense but some passages were very confusing to read so maybe I just missed thing. The most horrfic thing about this book is the casual racism which Bram Stoker displayed. I am not being facetious about that. To Bram Stoker it was simply a fact that black people were totally and utterly inferior in every way to white people. In particular they were completely corrupt. He also used terms that are are considered unacceptable today (although they may not have been considered derogatory when he was writing the book of course). I gave it two stars rather than one because a plot strand which involved mongooses (yes really!) was so unintentionally funny that it still makes me laugh when I remember it. If you liked Dracula and want to read more of Bram Stoker's work I suggest you give this a miss. If you find ridiculous things funny then you may get some enjoyment from it as I did but otherwise this will be very disappointing.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tommy

    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 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 from each other. The bit with the possibly supernatural kite flying from the tower, and the old dude running an Egyptian totem up to it, was sort of interesting but ultimately fell flat. P.U.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Derek

    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 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. The bits and pieces--Caswell's mesmeric attacks on Lilla, his kite obsession descent into madness, the menacing Worm, the pastoral soap opera of Arabella March trying to gold-dig her way into a wealthy spouse, the machinations of Caswell's servant Oolanga--never really talk to each other, and the reader is left to wonder which of these is going to emerge from the Darwinian struggle (view spoiler)[giant primordial worm, but you knew that (hide spoiler)] . It's a testament to the story's surreal miasma and bent reality that Sir Nathaniel can seriously, out of nowhere, discuss the immense primordial Worm to Adam Salton as a serious topic, and that Arabella March is some sort of lizard person (view spoiler)[Uhh...spoiler, I guess? I couldn't figure out what was going on here (hide spoiler)] and Adam doesn't once seriously entertain the idea that his friend and confidante might be, perhaps, entirely cuckoo. They then assert that the best way to protect Mimi is to marry her off, and keep her sequestered and in ignorance. Why is the Worm obsessed with Mimi? Why must Mimi be kept in ignorance? Why is the Worm, or Arabella anyways, helping Caswell to get Lilla by mesmeric attack? What does all this have to do with the giant kite and mystery chest of scientific instruments? (view spoiler)[Who are are all of you people, and where am I? How did I get here, and why is there a bag over my head? Can I go home now? (hide spoiler)] It would be funny in a camp sort of way if it weren't so appallingly dull. Caswell's African servant Oolanga gets particularly short shrift. The depiction is cringeworthy to the extreme, full of unpleasant stereotype and assertions of decadence and savagery and ugliness. His entire presence is a non-event except for a stupid death that barely raises the stakes and is completely unmentioned by any character afterwards. That the supposed protagonists use now-outdated racial slurs--I had to look it up--and other prejudice makes the entire business entirely squalid. Wikipedia indicates that the 28-chapter version is highly abridged. I cannot imagine what Stoker did with 40 chapters.

  11. 4 out of 5

    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?

  12. 4 out of 5

    Leni Iversen

    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.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dorothea

    (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 (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 BE DESTROYED. The depths of that id turn out to be even fouler than Lady Arabella's hole. (I'm not sorry! This book deserves obscene punning.) THE WRITING: So, so bad. If you've read Dracula you know it's in an epistolary format. Everything is in limited third-person and tied together with a typewriter, not an omniscient narrative voice. This was a really good move on Stoker's part, because it turns out that he can't narrate worth beans. I'm sure the difference in quality also has something to do with the fact that he worked on Dracula for years and didn't revise The Lair of the White Worm at all, but seriously, my NaNoWriMo novel is narrated better than this book. The pacing and tone and dialogue are so drab and carelessly written that even when the characters are talking about THE DOOM OF THE WORLD they might as well be discussing a slightly awkward social encounter. There are also sentences that are so absurd that when you see them out of context you will think that Stoker was trying to be funny. But I've seen them in context, and ... I don't think so. For instance:Any unprejudiced person would accept the green lights to be the eyes of a great snake, such as tradition pointed to living in the well-hole.Also:I never thought this fighting an antediluvian monster would be such a complicated job.(Of course, that last sentence is followed by "This one is a woman!" Because male antediluvian monsters are a piece of cake. But you've got to watch out for those women's wiles. Luckily, "being feminine, she will probably over-reach herself. Now, Adam, as we have to protect ourselves and others against feminine nature, our strong game will be to play our masculine against her feminine." I promise, I was on the alert to discover what exactly Sir Nathaniel meant by that, but Stoker forgot to indicate which of the things Adam does to fight the White Worm are supposed to be particularly "masculine"--although he does have her femininity be her undoing at last.) THE RACISM: The sexism in this book is so typically run-of-the-mill Victorian-man-frightened-of-women that I'm more amused by it than anything else. The racism, however, is just chilling. Racism, historical and current, is something I study and think about a lot, and I've read plenty of Victorian novels with nasty stereotypes (Thackeray, I'm looking at you), but something about Stoker's racism in this book just unnerved me. Most of it is focused around the character Oolanga, a West African voodoo practitioner who arrives on the scene as the sinister landowner Edgar Caswall's servant. As you might expect, we get a lot of physiognomy by way of characterization in this novel (Caswall's "early Roman" features enhance his malignity), but Stoker treats us to this sort of analysis of Oolanga in every scene he's in. We start at "the face of Oolanga, as his master called him, was unreformed, unsoftened savage, and inherent in it were all the hideous possibilities of a lost, devil-ridden child of the forest and the swamp--the lowest of all created things that could be regarded in some form ostensibly human" and go downhill from there. When the narrator's not expounding on this theme, Adam, the book's hero, is complaining that the very sight of Oolanga makes his blood boil and he could almost shoot him on the spot. Stoker uses the epithets "African," "Negro," and "nigger" interchangeably, and I was charitably hypothesizing that as a white Englishman in 1911, despite his American travels, he might not understand the implications of that last word. But I was proven wrong. Oolanga declares his love to the White Worm in her human form (yeah, Stoker went there), and to repulse him she responds:"I have no desire to be seen so close to my own house in conversation with a--a--a nigger like you!" She had chosen the word deliberately. She wished to meet his passion with another kind. Such would, at all events, help to keep him quiet. In the deep gloom she could not see the anger which suffused his face.My best explanation is that Stoker deliberately created Oolanga in order to have a focal point for all of the racial hatred and fear he had ever felt. Really fucking disturbing. THE MONGOOSES: (Yes, that's the correct plural! I checked.) I think they appear in this book the way railway schedules and phonographs do in Dracula--as a result of Stoker's fascination with an ideal of competent, efficient, and knowledgeable manhood. Mongooses are Adam's way of dealing with a problem--snakes. He buys a number of them, first to kill off a population of snakes he notices when first arriving in the area (though it's not apparent that they actually pose any sort of problem), and then, when one reacts to the White Worm Lady as though she were a snake (and she shoots it), to help him investigate her. Stoker treats this absolutely seriously, but the image of a proper Edwardian gentleman strolling about with a mongoose on his shoulder (and later cuddling it when it's frightened by the White Worm) is pretty funny. THE ETERNAL STRUGGLE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL: What this book is supposed to be about. We've already observed that the hero is actually a sexist, mongoose-toting Klansman. Meanwhile, if Lady Arabella--the White Worm's human version--hadn't been possessed by an ancient evil reptile as a child, her only fault would be wanting to marry a rich man so that she can pay off her late husband's debts. That doesn't sound so bad to me, but the way Stoker writes it, the evil of the White Worm is indistinguishable from the evil of a sexually-realized woman who knows what she wants and goes after it herself. There isn't actually a fight against the White Worm itself. It is mostly dormant in the book, reeking and eating people who get dropped in its hole and occasionally erecting its shaft above the trees (see illustration) and peering at the surrounding countryside, until it gets exploded at the end in the only compelling scene in the whole book. The real battles in this book are really weird. On one side are young women, Mimi and her cousin Lilla, and sometimes Adam, who is in love with Mimi. The two women live in Mercy Farm, the site of an old nunnery. On the other side are Lady Arabella and Edgar Caswall, and at one point Oolanga. Edgar is interested in Lilla, but it's unclear how. Every so often, he goes to her house for tea and ends up in a staring match with her. He is trying to hypnotize her; she is trying to resist. Mimi backs up Lilla, and Arabella backs up Edgar--even though she's jealous of Lilla, since Edgar is the rich guy she wants to marry, she thinks that supporting him here will win her his approval. My best guess is that the battle of wills, in addition to symbolizing Good vs. Evil, is Stoker's surrogate for writing about sexual coercion. This explains Arabella's jealousy despite the fact that when Edgar wins the staring match, Lilla dies--and it's the only explanation I can think of for the way Stoker writes about Oolanga joining the struggle on Edgar and Arabella's side (Adam narrating):That combination of forces--the over-lord, the white woman, and the black man--would have cost some--probably all of them--their lives in the Southern States of America. To us it was simply horrible.In 1911, a white man and woman employing a black man as a servant was normal. A ménage à trois involving a white man, a white woman, and a black man could well end in lynching. (And would be thought of as "horrible" by an educated white Englishman.) OTHER THINGS: I haven't told you about are Edgar's evil kite, the Hitchcockian bird invasion, how Mimi being half-Burmese gives her magic eyes (super-resistant to hypnotism!), the especially stupid plot holes, how the White Worm inadvertently helps Adam discover a valuable deposit of clay, even more racist dreck about Oolanga, and the Rube-Goldberg-machine scenario by which Edgar and Arabella cause their own demise. You can read the whole thing for free here or at a number of other places online. I would have recommended that you do, if you're fascinated by utter trainwrecks of books, if it weren't for all that stuff about Oolanga. That just crosses the line.

  14. 4 out of 5

    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 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. The problem is that the characters consistently behave in ways that defy logic. A young woman is terrorized by one of the villains who attempts to use mesmerizing influence and is only saved at the last moment by her friends. Later, she allows him to come back ... twice. Another villain is observed despatching a victim in a very bloody display at a well ... then sends a letter to the observer apologizing for the inconvenience and what may have looked to be worse than it was. A villain breaks off stalking the heroes and sells them the property they need to access to solve a secret. Ah, yes, and let's not forget visitors who are attacked in a room and almost plummet to their doom ... only to sit down to tea with the perpetrator immediately afterward. There are plenty of other examples. There was also a villain suddenly besieged with a fit of madness. There's nothing wrong with that, but the writer stops the story to clearly define the type of madness in multiple paragraphs as if to prove that sufficient research was done to prove this could happen. I understand that the writer suffered a stroke before finishing the work, so he may not have been in top performing capacity to edit the final version. The result is a quick, fun read, but with too many logical behavior flaws to ignore.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sheri

    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 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. The circumstances were too grotesque, the contrast too violent, for subdued mirth" in one of the most offensive scenes of the book. As those of you who read my reviews may know, I was trolling the "horror" shelf on goodreads last week and picked up a few of these. I was quite excited to get something from Stoker..I remember Dracula being a bit obtuse, but also was surprised that it was an epistolary novel and enjoying the "origination" of all those vampire tales. I figured I was in for a treat. Oh my GOD! This is not a treat. Written in 1911 (15 years after Dracula) and while Stoker was ill, he clearly is no longer in his right mind. There is no part of this story that makes any kind of sense (even for a fantastical world, there is no inner consistency). The explanation is almost vampiric except not quite: Arabella was possessed by the white worm as a child and essentially rose up at the moment of death to become a person anew. But then, how/why is she also the giant white worm? And why is she so obsessed with money? Can't she just live as a worm? The staring contests between Caswell and Mimi are equally ridiculous (no one intervenes, they all meet to have this done and Caswell specifically waits for Adam to arrive--even though, presumably he would be more successful without Adam present)? And of course (as others have noted), Mimi changes from an independent protector of her cousin Lilla to a whimpering imbecile as soon as she is married. And why, exactly did she come back? There was this whole thing about taking her away to protect her and they went on honeymoon and then came back...why wasn't she left in Isle of Man? And why wasn't Lilla taken with her? It seems awfully terrible that Adam only wants to rescue one of the young pretty cousins. Finally, why is it that the police are never called after any of these murders? I could go on, but you get the point...the whole series of this "novel" is just the rambling of a dream-mind without any real consistency or connection of plot. The racism (as others have noted) is blatant and very offensive. Beside the Lady Arabella laugh above, there is: "Monsters such as he is belong to an earlier and more rudimentary stage of barbarism. He is in his way a clever fellow--for a nigger; but is none the less dangerous or the less hateful for that." Of course, there are also many other moments like this, but these were the two I found most egregious. Really, I can't recommend this in any way, unless you have a few hours to ponder the ridiculousness of the male mind in the early 1900s (yes, that is blatant sexism...right there: the single-mindedness of male egoism to the detriment of plot and purpose and story). Hah!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dara Salley

    “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 “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, savage nature of Oolonga in a maniacal fashion. The rest of the story is only slightly better. The narrative is nearly incoherent. There are long-winded histories and dull, one-dimensional characters. The motivations of the nefarious Casewell and Lady Arabella are incomprehensible and ever-shifting. There is an evil kite! It flies over the English countryside, spreading negative emotions. The interactions of the characters don’t make any sense. Take, for example, Lilla and Mimi. If you’re a nice British girl, and a man keeps showing up at your house and makes you feel ill and faint by practicing mind control on you without your consent, wouldn’t you stop answering the door when he stopped by? But no, they keep politely inviting him and his evil cronies in to tea. Also, when Adam decides that action must be taken against the white worm he starts to plan his method of attack. What is the first order of business? Marrying Mimi, of course. How could you possibly destroy a primordial evil creature without first marrying the women whom it is terrorizing? If they weren’t married, it would be very unseemly for Mimi to throw herself into Adam’s arms after he saves her. There would be only one way to salvage this story, and that would be to turn it into some kind of over-the-top, D-level horror movie a la “Troll 2”. Stoker does everything he can to inspire such a movie. When Mimi is invited over for tea by the White Worm, the room begins inexplicably filling with smoke. Mimi reacts by running into a curtain, wrapping it around her head in her confusion and then blindly stumbling over to a bottomless pit. Luckily she is saved at the last moment by her hubby Adam. It’s like a scene from the Three Stooges. Unfortunately, I don’t think Stoker was in on the joke. I finished this book because it was short and I was a little interested to see how the train wreck would end. It kept surpassing itself in awfulness. I think Stoker’s editor should have done him a favor and accidentally dropped the manuscript in a meat grinder. After this, I’ll never think of Bram Stoker in the same way.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    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 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 Jimi Mistry as Adam Salton, Peter Marinker as Dr Daniel Salton and Ben Crowe as Frank Davenport. Soundtrack specially commissioned from the San Francisco-based sound sculptors Matmos. Producer: Rishi Shankar First broadcast on the BBC World Service in 2004. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07lp80p

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ardee

    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.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Subashini

    Ugh.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Christian Laforet

    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 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 somewhat atrocious. The story is a jumbled mess. Seriously! Multiple plotlines butt against each other awkwardly throughout. Most of these storylines aren’t even necessary, or are so poorly set up that until the payoff comes, you are scratching your head wondering why there is a giant kite in the story in the first place. The characters don’t have dialogues so much as just take turns monologuing. Long, boring info dumps come out of these people’s mouths every time they appear. On top of that, everybody in this story make huge leaps in logic. Without any supporting evidence, they suddenly know everything about any given person (even incredible things like, oh I don’t know, so and so is actually a giant mythical serpent in disguise!). And! And! As if all the above was not enough to label this one a fail, I’d like to introduce you to Oolanga! You see, The Lair of the White Worm is SUPER racist! Whenever Oolanga (an African man) is around, the racism flows freely. The book has more N-Bombs than a Tarantino movie. Listen, I get it, the novel was published in 1911, everybody was racist back then, but still, Stoker seems more than excessive with it. On top of all that, the actual story just isn’t good. The events, as they happen, are completely unbelievable and told is such a convoluted yet somehow lazy fashion (a combination I didn’t know was possible). So…yeah, The Lair of the White Worm is not good.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dane Cobain

    Dracula’s Guest is just a short story, with an interesting history – I believe that it’s a sort of missing chapter, which was originally supposed to be part of the original manuscript and which helps to set the scene for Stoker’s notorious novel. Here, it’s the titular story of a collection, but there’s much, much more on offer than just a bonus scene from Dracula, which is, after all, a masterpiece in its own right. I’m not going to go into depth about each of the short stories, but I will tell Dracula’s Guest is just a short story, with an interesting history – I believe that it’s a sort of missing chapter, which was originally supposed to be part of the original manuscript and which helps to set the scene for Stoker’s notorious novel. Here, it’s the titular story of a collection, but there’s much, much more on offer than just a bonus scene from Dracula, which is, after all, a masterpiece in its own right. I’m not going to go into depth about each of the short stories, but I will tell you that Stoker’s short fiction is just as good as his long-form work, and I should know – I’ve read a bunch of both, and whilst Dracula gets all of the praise, I have a lot of love for some of his other stuff such as Snowbound, which follows a theatrical touring party as they tell stories whilst stranded by snow. Here, the stories are just as good, but they’re condensed and easier to swallow. Because of that, this is a pretty good place to start if you’re relatively new to Stoker’s work – I’d suggest reading Dracula first, if you can, but because of its length, it can seem off-putting to a lot of people. This book is about the same length as Dracula, but it has ten other stories in it, including The Lair of the White Wyrm, which is probably my favourite piece out of all of Stoker’s work.

  22. 4 out of 5

    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 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 race. Reading that I couldn't help but imagine what the story would look like if you turned that around on the white people though, because they're in their way far more nutty. Over and over the two innocent women in the neighborhood fight battles of will with an evil mesmerist, yet when he comes knocking for tea a few days later they let him in. What's more, no one mentions how the last time he came over they stared at each other and finally shooed him out of the room before he could kill one of them with his mind. The other villain, the personification of the White Worm, holds similar tea parties where people just don't mention things like the fact that she greased the floor and tried to make them slip down a big pit a few moments earlier.

  23. 4 out of 5

    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 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 is the same teacher who corrected my use of "playwright" to "play writer", was uncertain whether man had already landed on the Moon (this was in January 1968), and who, when I said that the phrase "knots per hour" in a Dr Doolittle book represented an acceleration, not a speed, told me I was wrong. Ah, primary school. It gets you out of the house, anyway. Btw that 2-star rating is me being generous. Even aged 10 I could see the flaws in this novel. Hard to believe it was written by the same man who wrote Dracula.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jack

    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.

  25. 5 out of 5

    latner3

    My first one star rating . Pretty much agree with all the other reviews.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Blair Hodgkinson

    Though written by Bram Stoker, this is no Dracula. At times, parts of the story and the ways they interconnect are almost incomprehensible. If I'm honest, I preferred the movie, which greatly simplified and clarified the plot while adding a dash of eccentricity. Another drawback of reading this novel for me was the discovery that Bram Stoker was a racist; protagonists, antagonists and narrator all liberally use offensive terms and descriptions for Black Africans. Quite appalling by today's stand Though written by Bram Stoker, this is no Dracula. At times, parts of the story and the ways they interconnect are almost incomprehensible. If I'm honest, I preferred the movie, which greatly simplified and clarified the plot while adding a dash of eccentricity. Another drawback of reading this novel for me was the discovery that Bram Stoker was a racist; protagonists, antagonists and narrator all liberally use offensive terms and descriptions for Black Africans. Quite appalling by today's standards.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Deb

    I implied I was bailing from this book for #wormybuddyread but it was my first time with Serial Reader & issues kept coming & I had to see it through-finishing up yesterday. Not much to say other than it's just really bad--shallowly written plot & characters & not at all scary unless you're a mongoose.😱The racism & sexism are downers. The movie is on Showtime & I plan to rewatch it. It's different than the book & also bad-but in a campy fun way.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    Of the three lost novels this one was by far the best, my interest was kept through the whole story. There was some words that didn’t need to be written and the story could of done without them, those I skipped as they made me uncomfortable to read. The story was full of suspense and even some comedy.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Summer

    Eh, more like a 1.5 because the creepiness with the cult and Arabella have a lot of great potential, but compared to other Stoker work, this is sloppy and the blatant racism throughout the book makes me round the whole thing down. I realize it was a different time, but the way Stoker handles it is downright deplorable.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Darcysmom

    I was completely underwhelmed and disappointed by this book. The persistent racism, unsympathetic characters, and uneven action made it difficult to finish. I would recommend staying far away from Lair of the White Worm.

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