10 JUNE 1911, Page 25

The Dweller on the Threshold. By Robert lichens. (Methuen and

Co. 6s.)—Mr. lichens has borrowed Bulwer Lytton's title for his new novel, and although his "dweller on the threshold" is apparently less terrifying than the creation of the original author, it is in a subtle fashion even more alarming. The theme of the story is the obscure question of the possible transference of personality between living persons. The word "transference" is purposely used instead of "exchange," as in this novel the weaker man absorbs the energy and will power of the stronger, and with it a portion of his identity, but the stronger man receives nothing in exchange. The story is, of course, a little confusing to the ordinary reader, who has some difficulty in making out the particular form of psychical phenomenon which Mr. lichens aims at illustrating. The above, however, is as near a description as can be given in a few words of the subject-matter of the book. Whether the story is successful or not will depend on the attitude of mind of those reading it. It would, perhaps, have more human interest if the reader had been interested in either of the two principal characters in their normal conditions. This, however, is not the case, and they are presented by Mr. lichens merely as subjects undergoing a psychical experiment.