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Set in Mercia, a small part of the English county of Derbyshire, the novel focuses on the events experienced by Adam Salton in the town he gradually discovers to be host to mysterious and inexplicable occurrences, which are further intensified with its equally eccentric residents. Exploring topics including mesmerism, occultism, and supernatural forces, Stoker’s piece depicts all the essential elements of a thrilling horror story. The horror novel gets under way with the introduction of Adam Salton, a young man originally from Australia, who receives word from his great-uncle Richard Salton inviting him to live with him on his estate in the hopes of establishing a relationship between the two. Subsequently, Adam travels to the estate of his newly discovered relation and seems to get off to a good start with his great-uncle, who learns of his ardent interest in ancient history and introduces him to Nathaniel, both a friend and archeologist. Additionally, the town welcomes Edgar Caswell, another resident of Mercia who has arrived after a long period of absence. Caswell generates much interest from fellow locals given his title as heir to a great estate known as Castra Regis. Especially intrigued by Caswell’s arrival seems to be local Lady Arabella March, a beautiful yet frigid character who seems to have her eye on the wealthy new heir. Overwhelmed by the suspicious events surfacing in front of their very eyes, Adam and Nathaniel must take matters into their own hands as they face an antediluvian supernatural entity threatening the residents of Mercia. Stoker offers a slice of raw creativity, as he boldly steps out of the conformist box to create a unique piece notable for its bizarre and downright anomalous design. Needless to say, The Lair of the White Worm further reinforces Stoker’s reputation as one of the most influential contributors to the horror novel genre.
Not the strongest of stories, found it at times disjointed and erractic. Also I found that it lacked credibility in regard to the behavior of certain characters. I generally dislike multiple narrators, however, on this occasion they all did a reasonable job even though at the very first one could think otherwise.
After a weak start I quite enjoyed this gothic romp and could picture Peter Cushing et al dashing across the woodlands in dark horse drawn carriages I normally don't like several readers but in this case they were all pretty good particularly Hayley from Texas who does a very passable aristocratic English lady and evil metro. Like many books on this site because of the period in which they were written the word nigger is used frequently and while I realise it is of the time it still makes me shudder.
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