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Edgar Allan Poe Collection (Adventure Classics)

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The Tell-Tale Heart -- The Cask of Amontillado -- The Premature Burial -- Annabel Lee -- The Masque of the Red Death -- The Pit and The Pendulum -- The City in the Sea -- MS. Found in a Bottle -- The Raven -- The Fall of the House of Usher -- The Murders in the Rue Morgue -- The Purloined Letter -- The Bells --


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The Tell-Tale Heart -- The Cask of Amontillado -- The Premature Burial -- Annabel Lee -- The Masque of the Red Death -- The Pit and The Pendulum -- The City in the Sea -- MS. Found in a Bottle -- The Raven -- The Fall of the House of Usher -- The Murders in the Rue Morgue -- The Purloined Letter -- The Bells --

30 review for Edgar Allan Poe Collection (Adventure Classics)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    I know I've read too much Poe in too short a period of time when words like adduce and avidity have crept into my everyday conversation. At a Holiday party this week I actually said "That is a capital cheese" and couldn't understand why strangers looked at me funny. Reader beware, a Poe=lit infection is virulent. If you've spent any amount of time with Poe you'll agree with me that he composes sentences with such a solid structure that if you were to diagram one of them with pointy sticks instead I know I've read too much Poe in too short a period of time when words like adduce and avidity have crept into my everyday conversation. At a Holiday party this week I actually said "That is a capital cheese" and couldn't understand why strangers looked at me funny. Reader beware, a Poe=lit infection is virulent. If you've spent any amount of time with Poe you'll agree with me that he composes sentences with such a solid structure that if you were to diagram one of them with pointy sticks instead of pencil lines you could create an impregnable breastworks. Somehow I feel that if Americans spoke the way that Poe's characters do that we would have meaningful discourse rather than blathery tweets. But I digress, let's take a stroll through Poe, shall we? First I want to talk about this absolutely gorgeous volume I picked up from Barnes & Noble sometime in the mid '90s. Take a look at this beauty: engraved cover, heavy acid free paper and gold edging so bright, so reflective - you could use the book edge as a shaving mirror. It is one of the heaviest books I own (well, pre-Arno Schmidt, anyway). My normally pliant cat wouldn't even let me take my obligatory "Kitten Squisher" photo without pushing back against its uncomfortable weight. Most English reading humans with a high-school diploma have probably come across Poe's most famous works ("The Raven", Fall of the House of Usher, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado) - it had been years since I'd read those and a few others; returning to them after a long interlude presented some new perspectives on the works. But the ten or so famous pieces are just the scratched surface on the world of Poe. Here's a few things that I learned: 1) His only novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket was much, much better than I expected. It is a ripping-yarn-at-sea; a page turner with a tremendous conclusion. 2) I knew that Poe was an alcoholic - what I didn't know was how prevalent dipsomania pervades his work. I didn't keep track, but it seemed that most of his short fiction had a bottle (or three) of spirits consumed. It would be interesting to learn from a Poe scholar how his personal battle against the bottle paralleled his works... 3) A hidden gem of a story that I had never before read The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion quickly became my favorite work of Poe. Brilliant and sadly neglected / forgotten. 4) I had no idea that Poe is credited as being the author of the first detective "novel". The Purloined Letter is a well known story where the reader is first introduced to C. Auguste Dupin. What I didn't know was that Poe penned two other stories containing Dupin and his friend/narrator of the stories M. Le Bon. The other two stories, The Murders in the Rue Morgue and The Mystery of Marie Rogêt, combined with the Purloined Letter could make a novella in themselves. Dupin is seen as paving the way for Holmes and Poirot. 5) Poe loved balloons. Hot air balloons. Loads of stories with hot air balloons. Including a trip to the moon in a hot air balloon. 6) Poe wrote a book review of Washington Irving's Astoria that was so exhaustive that I felt like I actually read the entire novel. Not so much a review as a comprehensive, blow-by-blow book report. I wasn't a huge fan of Poe's poetry {insert POEtry joke here}, but I know so little about poetry, so my opinion doesn't mean much here. There was one very lengthy essay that he penned on the creation of poetry that I found so dull that I will admit to skimming. But out of 1,260+ pages I'm allowed just once, aren't I? I tackled this volume of work as a preamble to reading Arno Schmidt's Bottom's Dream in 2017. I have two other books that need finishing before I embark on that voyage; Poe's works built the ship that I'll sail into those waters. When I finished this monster my wife asked, "What person reads a 1,200 page book as preparation to read a 1,700 page book?" She doesn't know all you wonderful people....

  2. 4 out of 5

    notgettingenough

    My goodness the man's so modern, the following is written in 1836, but what could be more apposite for the Internet Age and the age of Self-Publishing and the age of Academia's Publish or Perish. Edgar Allan Poe was an early employee of the “Southern Literary Messenger” of Richmond, Virginia. In 1836 he wrote a review of a legal tome titled “Reports of Cases Decided in the High Court of Chancery of Maryland”, and his first sentence provided a harsh assessment: We cannot perceive any sufficient re My goodness the man's so modern, the following is written in 1836, but what could be more apposite for the Internet Age and the age of Self-Publishing and the age of Academia's Publish or Perish. Edgar Allan Poe was an early employee of the “Southern Literary Messenger” of Richmond, Virginia. In 1836 he wrote a review of a legal tome titled “Reports of Cases Decided in the High Court of Chancery of Maryland”, and his first sentence provided a harsh assessment: We cannot perceive any sufficient reason for the publication of this book....Now, the enormous multiplication of books in every branch of knowledge is one of the greatest evils of this age; since it presents one of the most serious obstacles to the acquisition of correct information, by throwing in the reader’s way piles of lumber, in which he must painfully grope for the scraps of useful matter, peradventure interspersed. In no department have the complaints of this evil been louder or more just, than in the law. from the wonderful Quote Investigator, of which, no doubt, Poe would have whole-heartedly approved. http://quoteinvestigator.com/

  3. 5 out of 5

    Suvi

    Me and Edgar first encountered each other in seventh grade, when I was 13. I think it was love at first sight when we read one of the short story collections. Not only they were morbid and depicted the horrible nature of evil I thought he himself was like one of his tragic characters. This edition was a great chance to finish the rest that I hadn't come across. Illustrations by Aubrey Beardsley, Harry Clarke etc.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Marie

    Well fuck. How do i describe Edgar Allen Poe? Guess i really cant. What i CAN say, however, is how amazing he is. His stories are corrupt, depressing, haunting, chilling, goddamn terrifying, and downright inhumane. AWESOME, RIGHT?!? If you don't have the time to get off ya bum and read the entire collection, at LEAST read the following: The Murders at Rue Morgue The Pit and the Pendulum Cask of Amontillado The Telltale Heart The Raven

  5. 4 out of 5

    Katy

    Edgar Allan Poe is a mixed bag for me. The stories and poems that I like, I like very, very much; but there are others that are just yawnfests. Still, this is the definitive collection for all Poe fans, so be sure to check it out.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Caidyn (BW Reviews; he/him/his)

    Ah, Halloween. I love this month. I love this season. Why? Because it gives me a really good excuse to wear sweaters (without dying from heat or them being practical to survive) and I get to reread things that I really like. Such as Poe. He's definitely not my favorite author. I could care less about most of his poems or his ventures into sci-fi. However, I love his horror. This little collection has some old favorites, some new things, and some stuff I still don't like. It has the staples. "Blac Ah, Halloween. I love this month. I love this season. Why? Because it gives me a really good excuse to wear sweaters (without dying from heat or them being practical to survive) and I get to reread things that I really like. Such as Poe. He's definitely not my favorite author. I could care less about most of his poems or his ventures into sci-fi. However, I love his horror. This little collection has some old favorites, some new things, and some stuff I still don't like. It has the staples. "Black Cat", "The Cask of Amontillado", "The Tell-Tale Heart", "The Pit and the Pendulum" (which I still hate), "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar" (which I have started liking more each time I hear/read it), and a couple others I can't remember. It also had a few others that I never heard or I love but are never included in collections. The latter is the poem "Alone". If you haven't read it, go and do it right now. It's such a beautiful poem. And really short. Like, a stanza or two is all. Not only that but they're read by Vincent Price* and Basil Rathbone. The audio skipped for me at times and the sound wasn't that great, but it was worth it. I had a great time listening to these stories. I mean, it's Poe! *Am I the only one who remembers this? I think I watched all of the episodes on a Youtube channel, then they got taken down. They were so good, and terribly underrated.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Siobhan

    I know it's taking me an extremely long time to read this; it's because I'm reading the odd one here and there instead of working my way through them all at once. It will probably take me a couple of years doing it this way, but I am determined to read all of Poe at some point. *** Ratings of what I've read thus far: A Tale of Jerusalem: Two stars. The Philosophy of Furniture: Two stars. The Sphinx: Two stars. Hop Frog: Two stars. The Man of the Crowd: One star. Never Bet the Devil Your Head: Two stars. I know it's taking me an extremely long time to read this; it's because I'm reading the odd one here and there instead of working my way through them all at once. It will probably take me a couple of years doing it this way, but I am determined to read all of Poe at some point. *** Ratings of what I've read thus far: A Tale of Jerusalem: Two stars. The Philosophy of Furniture: Two stars. The Sphinx: Two stars. Hop Frog: Two stars. The Man of the Crowd: One star. Never Bet the Devil Your Head: Two stars. Thou Art the Man: Two stars. Why the Little Frenchman Wears His Hand in a Sling: One star. Bon-Bon: Two stars. Some Words With A Mummy: Three stars. The Poetic Principle: One star. Old English Poetry: One star. The Raven: Four stars. The Bells: Three stars. Ulalume: Two stars. To Helen: One star. Annabel Lee: Three stars. A Valentine: One star. An Enigma: One star. To My Mother: Two stars. For Annie: Three stars. To F——: One star. To Frances S. Osgood: One star. Eldorado: Four stars. Eulalie: Two stars. A Dream Within A Dream: Three stars.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Orrin Grey

    Poe stories read by Vincent Price and Basil Rathbone seems like a guaranteed proposition. And certainly it is neither the material nor the readings that constitute the problems here. The volume (at least on the copy I got) was so quiet that I had to turn the radio in my car all the way up in order to hear it, and even then sometimes the quiet parts were too quiet. Also, the titles of the stories and poems aren't ever given. While all of the pieces are easily recognizable to the enthusiast, the la Poe stories read by Vincent Price and Basil Rathbone seems like a guaranteed proposition. And certainly it is neither the material nor the readings that constitute the problems here. The volume (at least on the copy I got) was so quiet that I had to turn the radio in my car all the way up in order to hear it, and even then sometimes the quiet parts were too quiet. Also, the titles of the stories and poems aren't ever given. While all of the pieces are easily recognizable to the enthusiast, the lack of titles still seems somewhat off-putting. Finally, each story or poem is its own separate track, which is useful in finding particular tales, but it means that the very long stories (and a couple clock in at over 40 minutes) have no way to navigate within them if you have to stop listening in the middle. Some chapter breaks within the longer stories would have been beneficial. Ultimately, these are quibbles with production, though, not with content. The important part (hearing Price and Rathbone reading Edgar Allan Poe) is intact, and is definitely worth the experience.

  9. 4 out of 5

    classic reverie

    I have been reading and taking notes with this edition and will continue to read this when I read Poe but will post my review with the title of the story. This kindle version has no errors this far but the navigation could be better.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    My main issue with this book is the very thin pages and the ease that they can tear if not handled properly. Other than that this is a collection I am proud to own. I was already familiar with Poe’s short gothic/horror stories and some of his poetry and this opened up a whole new aspect of him to me. Being only aware of certain stories and poems I couldn’t say if it was a complete collection at the title suggests but it does contain a variety and I have subsequently found some new favourites wit My main issue with this book is the very thin pages and the ease that they can tear if not handled properly. Other than that this is a collection I am proud to own. I was already familiar with Poe’s short gothic/horror stories and some of his poetry and this opened up a whole new aspect of him to me. Being only aware of certain stories and poems I couldn’t say if it was a complete collection at the title suggests but it does contain a variety and I have subsequently found some new favourites within his writings such as ‘The Unparalleled Adventures of One Hans Pfaall’, ‘The Devil in the Belfry’ and ‘Three Sundays in a Week’. I will always prefer the Horror stories (my favourite being the Cask of Amontillado) but I am glad this collection of works has opened up Poe for me and help me realise to quality of his writings and the ability to switch and mix up different genres.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Katya Mills

    Edgar Allen Poe lived a difficult life, and his suffering informs the darkness of his work. As an author, I believe suffering informs my work. This is not to say you have to suffer to write well. Or that you should look to suffer. We all suffer in our own personal journeys through life, suffering is inevitable. Heartbreak. Fear. Terrifying moments, sometimes. Edgar Allen Poe's writing inspires me like no other. Very concrete. I care about the narrator. I can feel the horror, I am walking beside Edgar Allen Poe lived a difficult life, and his suffering informs the darkness of his work. As an author, I believe suffering informs my work. This is not to say you have to suffer to write well. Or that you should look to suffer. We all suffer in our own personal journeys through life, suffering is inevitable. Heartbreak. Fear. Terrifying moments, sometimes. Edgar Allen Poe's writing inspires me like no other. Very concrete. I care about the narrator. I can feel the horror, I am walking beside him. And yet there is this way in which shadows have a tendency of amplifying the light. A great writer can fill my heart with joy, by painting shadows with the pen. Because the darkness amplifies the light. Poe is a great place for young readers to cultivate a love for the written word. Poe is a master. If you hope to write, let the masters mentor you. Read their work.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Denny

    The editors did a good job of including some of Poe's best short stories and poems in this anthology, and it would have been hard to find two better-suited performers for the material than Basil Rathbone and Vincent Price. This would have been a highly enjoyable audiobook worthy of 4 stars, but the sound quality was poor throughout. It often sounded as if the stories were being read in an echoing cave, and for a couple of the stories Basil Rathbone performed, at times the echo was so bad that hi The editors did a good job of including some of Poe's best short stories and poems in this anthology, and it would have been hard to find two better-suited performers for the material than Basil Rathbone and Vincent Price. This would have been a highly enjoyable audiobook worthy of 4 stars, but the sound quality was poor throughout. It often sounded as if the stories were being read in an echoing cave, and for a couple of the stories Basil Rathbone performed, at times the echo was so bad that his words were unintelligible.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Larry

    Interestingly I have this book although mine is called The Penguin Tales and Poems,published by Bloomsbury Books. I entered my ISBN and got this edition, oh well… Anyway I've only read a few stories so far but what I've read I've enjoyed. Not everyone will want all the poems or non-horror tales like Von Kempelen and His Discovery which is rather long winded and tedious but on the whole, great stuff! Pit and the Pendulumn, The Raven, Leonore and The Tell-tale Heart are superb pieces!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    I'll be honest, as Poe is one of my all time favourite authors this review is going to be a little bit biased (and then some!). THis collection pulls together literally everything Poe wrote in his lifetime, from his two novels, various short stories and poems to his letters, journal articles, general notes and critiques. This shows the entire range of his writing abilities and while many may not enjoy his less macabre work, I enjoyed seeing another side to his writing and having insight into his I'll be honest, as Poe is one of my all time favourite authors this review is going to be a little bit biased (and then some!). THis collection pulls together literally everything Poe wrote in his lifetime, from his two novels, various short stories and poems to his letters, journal articles, general notes and critiques. This shows the entire range of his writing abilities and while many may not enjoy his less macabre work, I enjoyed seeing another side to his writing and having insight into his life in the real world.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Marie McWilliams

    Poe is the undisputed king of Gothic Horror. A must read for all fans of horror fiction and classic literature.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Mullin

    I read 5 short stories and The Raven so I didn't read the entire thing.... Poe was quite the author.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tony

    I had no particular knowledge of Poe beyond The Raven when I started this collection, but it contains a whole hell of a lot of his classics - The Pit And The Pendulum is here, The Tell-Tale Heart is here, The Fall Of The House Of Usher's here, The Raven's obviously here, Annabel Lee is here, Ligeia's here, The Masque of the Red Death, The Gold Bug and quite a lot more besides - all read by either Vincent Price or Basil Rathbone. He's quite the shock-goth, is Poe. Lots of his stories build and bu I had no particular knowledge of Poe beyond The Raven when I started this collection, but it contains a whole hell of a lot of his classics - The Pit And The Pendulum is here, The Tell-Tale Heart is here, The Fall Of The House Of Usher's here, The Raven's obviously here, Annabel Lee is here, Ligeia's here, The Masque of the Red Death, The Gold Bug and quite a lot more besides - all read by either Vincent Price or Basil Rathbone. He's quite the shock-goth, is Poe. Lots of his stories build and build to a sharp pencil-point and then leave you flailing, gasping for breath at the end, as he moves on to something new, like being driven on and on towards a horrorgasm and then being allowed no comedown from the pitch of utmost sweaty, shivering, what-the-hell-just-happened fear. There's absolutely no cuddling with Poe, it's all just wham, bam aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh, there's a RAT ON MY FACE! He also has recurring themes which undoubtedly spoke more to his age than to ours - people put pre-emptively in their tombs and finding their way back out is a big thing for Poe, and of course now we know this did happen - people were assumed to be dead, and occasionally found themselves with no alternative but to scratch and thump and scream in their coffins in the hope that somebody would hear them before their oxygen ran out or they died of thirst. He's also big on the punishing power of the soul - what else is the Tell-Tale Heart but the impact of guilt on a murderer, while sitting blagging his way through an interview with the police? Believe it or not, it's only while listening to this collection that I really GOT how weird The Raven is, as a story-poem. Mourning man, hiding from the world, wailing inwardly in his grief...in walks a talking bird, refuses to leave, ever. It's a depression metaphor, I assume - long before Churchill's black dog or Susan Calman's crab of hate, there's Poe and his oppressive, lowering bird of accusation, hate and soul-sapping accusation. Of them all, I'd have to declare a particular...well, liking is probably the wrong word, but a particular appreciation for The Pit And The Pendulum, which is horrifyingly dark more or less all along the way - imprisonment by the Inquisition, stuck at the bottom of a pit, given salty food and no water, just so people can imagine you thirsting to madness, a slowly lowering axe-bladed pendulum coming closer, and closer, and closer, and...the way in which salvation comes, which is almost as bad as being slowly sliced in two - there's hardly a moment's respite in the whole story, which makes for a very shivery, sweaty read. I also really enjoyed The Tell-Tale Heart - not so much for the moral or the growing guilt-reaction, but for the confidential, almost winking way the murderer co-opts you into their crimes at the beginning of the story. You really quite grow to like them, and more or less go along with their hideous crime by virtue of the cleverness with which they accomplish it. Orrrr...maybe that's just me and I need psychotherapy. Check out The Gold Bug too - it's less a horror story, more a positively deranged Sherlock Holmes-style piece of deduction, resulting in fortune for all concerned. Fairly screamingly racist - a major plot twist hangs on a man of colour not being able to tell his left from his right - but in its essence a good story. If I'm honest, it's when Poe gets more openly romantic that he grows quickly tiresome. Ligeia, for instance, I can be happy having heard only the one in my life. Nevertheless, as a collection, this felt like a thorough introduction to the man, his themes, his style and some of the reasons why his work is as well regarded as it is. Like several bestselling authors, he did that thing where he had a solid handful of instances where he bottled lightning and blew the doors off the place, and certainly that handful still stand up today. Oh also, did I mention - Vincent Price and Basil Rathbone. Price of course was not the overpronouncing stereotype people thing of him as being, his diction was clear and rich and juicy, and he brings it to bear here, delivering a narration that engages and carries you with it. Of the two though, Rathbone's the revelation - he acts his heart out in these stories, and some of them need it to fully hit you with the power of the writing. Certainly it's Rathbone who reads the stories that have made most of the positive impact on me, and hearing him speak and act makes me want to seek out his work on screen, which is an additional bonus of experiencing this collection of stories in the audio format.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Terrance Zepke

    Edgar Allen Poe is definitely the 1800s version of Stephen King. What a dark mind! But what great stories comes from it! I'm not into poetry so didn't read much of that section but like his most famous one, The Raven. I read most of the stories. Some are short and some are quite long. Here are favorites: The Oval Portrait, The Oblong Box, The Gold Bug, The Lighthouse, The Masque of the Red Death and The Murders in the Rue Morgue. But be warned! This is a complete collection--everything Poe ever Edgar Allen Poe is definitely the 1800s version of Stephen King. What a dark mind! But what great stories comes from it! I'm not into poetry so didn't read much of that section but like his most famous one, The Raven. I read most of the stories. Some are short and some are quite long. Here are favorites: The Oval Portrait, The Oblong Box, The Gold Bug, The Lighthouse, The Masque of the Red Death and The Murders in the Rue Morgue. But be warned! This is a complete collection--everything Poe ever wrote--and he was very prolific!

  19. 4 out of 5

    McKenzie

    Classic. Subtle, haunting and absolutely beautiful. The creative mind this man had is absolutely incredible and I enjoy reading his works over and over. You get something new out of each of his poems and stories each time you read them. I highly recommend everyone reads at least his well known works, especially fans of the macabre and darker themes.

  20. 4 out of 5

    kenzie

    Poe is a brilliant poet, although some of his short stories and poems are quite morbid. They're very interesting, and well written. I really wish that he hadn't died so early in his life, because his poetry was a burst of creative genius.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Agaistin Walsh

    who doesnt like poe???

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Annie

    Poe, read by Vincent Price and Basil Rathbone? Amazing. :D

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dimos Kifokeris

    Most readers are accustomed to the works of Edgar Allan Poe, one of the forerunners of the late 19th century literature in the U.S.A. and a central figure of the last wave of Romanticists. Poe, apart from his enormous editorial and critical work, left a lasting literary mark mainly in the genres of horror, mystery and fantasy (as a writer and, most importantly, as a poet), pioneered in science fiction and influenced an endless list of writers up to nowadays, including such individuals of enormou Most readers are accustomed to the works of Edgar Allan Poe, one of the forerunners of the late 19th century literature in the U.S.A. and a central figure of the last wave of Romanticists. Poe, apart from his enormous editorial and critical work, left a lasting literary mark mainly in the genres of horror, mystery and fantasy (as a writer and, most importantly, as a poet), pioneered in science fiction and influenced an endless list of writers up to nowadays, including such individuals of enormous literary weight as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Jules Verne, H. G. Wells and H. P. Lovecraft. His work, life and views had also a significant tangential impact on cosmology, cryptography and, above all, newer and modern pop culture. I had already read earlier most of the published stories collected in the book under review, but I didn't hesitate in re-reading them in a comprehensive manner, along with the few ones I laid my eyes upon for the first time. I think it is rather trivial to review in detail the literary work itself, for which unaccountable reviews have been written in the last almost two hundred years. Instead, I find it more meaningful that I review the published tome itself, along with its contents. The book is discretized in two main sections: the prosaic work and the poetic work. The prosaic section is subdivided in the following: - Tales of mystery and horror: here are included all the classics, such as The murders in the Rue Morgue, The black cat, The gold-bug, The fall of the House of Usher, The pit and the pendulum, The premature burial and other, amounting to twenty seven short stories. These are the narratives that mostly influenced detective fiction writers (such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) and horror/weird writers (such as H. P. Lovecraft). - Humor and satire: this subsection contained almost all of Poe's work that I had not read before, and what a shame in that - because Poe's satirical and humorous tales are marvellous. I really think it is unfair that most remember Poe as a dark, gloomy person who could only write about graveyards, the dead and whiskey. Poe had an acute sense of humour, which was pleasantly obscure, black and grotesque at times. Some of his humorous tales were weird (like The system of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether), others morbid (like Some words with a mummy), and others (the best ones, in my opinion) were venomous in their critique of the established American literary and editorial system in the time of Poe (like How to write a Blackwood article). The last ones were my favourite, with their deliciously gallant slurs and libels against critics, editors and fellow writers and poets (in a time when Poe was striving after numerous failed attempts in succeeding with his own published magazines), but are also the least relevant today, since their context is limited in the 1820s - 1840s. The short stories in this section amounted to twenty five. - Flights and fantasies: mainly influencing Jules Verne and other authors of weird fiction and early sci fi, the stories in this subsection are surprisingly my least favourite. The main problem is, in my opinion, Poe's tedious strains in writing with an oversophisticated, pseudo-epistemological way which falls short not only in relation to current sciencific finds (which is only natural) but also to the ones of his time (something that Verne, for example, was very careful in not doing so). This, coupled with Poe being a very lesser visionary in the field of science fiction, made this subsection quite difficult to finish. However, some stories were indeed among his most notable, like The unparalleled adventure of one Hans Pfaal and The colloquy of Monos and Una. There were, in all, fourteen short stories in this subsection. - The narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket: the last prosaic subsection featured Poe's ony lengthy novel. The narrative... was, along with some of his poems, Poe's most ambitious work. It contained elements of mystery, survival horror, piratical adventure, explorer's journal, fantasy, weird fiction and, just about the end of it, science fiction. Although sluggish at times, it was really captivating, emotional and insightful, with its profound influence echoeing mainly in An Antarctic mystery (also known as The Sphinx of the ice fields) by Verne and At the mountains of madness by Lovecraft. Definitely a must-read. The poetic section, much more concentrated in the genres of horror, reverie-fiction and romantic poetry, contained fifty three poems (written between 1827 and 1849), including all the classics: The raven, Annabel Lee, The bells, The city in the sea, The conqueror worm, A dream within a dream, the lengthy Tamerlane, the equally lengthy and quite difficult in fully comprehending Al Aaraaf, Eldorado, Eulalie, The haunted palace, To Helen, Lenore and Ulalume. Poe's poetic style, featuring numerous rimetic and non-rimetic schemes of the late Romanticist movement, and his underlying meanings, are rich in detail and layers. Although his poems are quite short (with the aforementioned exceptions), this section is bound to demand the most invested reading time, almost equal to the aggregated time invested in all the previously read prosaic works. All in all, a stark 5/5 for this tome. I definitely recommend it for readers not accustomed to Poe or readers, such as myself, that would like a compact delineation of his work. Although not containing his complete works, almost all of his main work is collected, leaving out only his non-literary essays (such as editorials) and some of his works that were too rough, early in execution and/or left unfinished.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Michael Arnold

    Before I start this review I should say that it is not that I dislike Poe. I do, and have even loved him - but I do think he is as a writer very overrated in many respects. As a poet I find Poe is a very strong lyricist, but not a good poet in pretty much any other capacity. But 'The Raven'! 'The Raven'! I hear you cry. And. Yes I know, it is a very fun poem, and there is something to it, but it isn't so complicated as to elevate it to great verse (I know how pretentious that sentence sounds, bu Before I start this review I should say that it is not that I dislike Poe. I do, and have even loved him - but I do think he is as a writer very overrated in many respects. As a poet I find Poe is a very strong lyricist, but not a good poet in pretty much any other capacity. But 'The Raven'! 'The Raven'! I hear you cry. And. Yes I know, it is a very fun poem, and there is something to it, but it isn't so complicated as to elevate it to great verse (I know how pretentious that sentence sounds, but never mind - you know what I mean, 'The Waste Land' it is not). Poe's fiction, well, I feel it's more influential than it is actually good. In both poetry and fiction I find Poe is very much a 'Girl with the golden curl' sort of writer, when he's good he is very very good, and when he's bad he is horrid! Also, there is a lot of gloom in Poe that this specific collection doesn't shy away from. But, really, at times it's very self indulgent. I am not a teenager anymore, it's hard to read page after page of misery. Poe's best strength as a writer (aside from exploiting psychological horror and feeling of twisted dread - both of which made him and kept him famous) was as an essayist and critic, I think, and his essays and reviews are in the public domain too. I have frankly no idea why they are not included here in this volume. Actually, saying that, the only evidence of Poe the critic here is in his humour works, like 'How to Write a Blackwood's Article', which for me was one of the better examples of Poe's work that I was not terribly familiar with before. I think I have figured out Wordsworth's business strategy: it takes texts from Wikisource, prints them off, bounds them in impressive looking hardbacks and sells them at cheap prices to move units. That there is no editor, or no editor willing to proofread, means little cost and time spent between conception and publication. In fact, looking at the legalities page I see there is a text typist and an artist for the cover, but I cannot see an editor named anywhere. I assume it's Helen Trayler, who is mentioned in the rather mysterious dedication, also on the legalities page, but that is just a guess. My main complaint about this specific collection is very much that. It simply has not been proofread and edited very well. I failed to make a note of examples deep within the texts themselves, but on one instance (I think it was in the very mediocre story 'The Sphinx' the impact of the story is completely lost because of a typo). Another example is the story 'X-ing a Paragraph' a funny if inconsequential story entitled here 'X-ing a Paragrab'. The story 'Some Words with a Mummy' is here called 'Some Words with Mum' which, while a lovely title I'm sure. misleads new readers about what they are about to read. Also, editing is more than just proofreading, and I hope new readers to Poe who are using this collection have a sophisticated handle on Ancient Greek, Latin, French, Italian, Hebrew, and German - as Poe used them in both prefaces to his stories and in the bodies of the stories. If you do not know these languages then very important (often vital) elements of these stories will remain a mystery to you, they are left totally untranslated and uncommented on. There is also not, aside from with the poems alone for some reason, an attempt to put these poems into a chronology of Poe's life so we can see his development, and the periods he went through as a writer. Meaning if you are studying Poe, this book is not recommended. As for the stories themselves, some are old favourites, some I've not read before. Some of the lesser stories in this collection are very uninteresting. I'm sure there is some impressive, French Symbolist interpretation you can make of a story like 'The Devil in the Belfry', but that doesn't mean it is in and of itself an interesting story. Same with 'The Sphinx', which does not offer much interpretive ley-way. Other stories are obvious, like The Literary Life of Thingum Bob, Esq. You can see the joke coming a mile off - Poe was laughing at pretentious poets who hope their publishers haven't read Homer, or Alexander Pope's Homer. It's frankly just not funny anymore. Other stories like 'The Assignation' had such little impact on me - I've honestly completely forgotten what was happening in it, while some stories like 'The Premature Burial' and 'How to Write a Blackwood Article' are new favourites that make me glad I read this collection. The main thing that made me glad I bought and read this collection, though, is Poe's novel 'The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym'. Again, it's not the best novel I've read in my life, but it is a lot of fun, with elements of a lot of Poe's other stories thrown in as if he was mixing up a cocktail. There was a strong connection (or virtual rip off) of one of Poe's finest short stories 'MS. Found in a Bottle' in the first few chapters of 'Pym', while other moments feel like good old sea adventures. The first chapter is where you can almosst see the influence on Moby Dick - and the last part with the mysterious tribe on the unknown island is where you can see what inspired Lovecraft in his chant of the Shoggoths in 'At the Mountains of Madness'. And all the while, while being so influential on at least American fiction, it is by itself a very fun yarn that saved this collection from a 1 star rating. This edition is not recommended. To anybody. Get one better edited for god's sake! Like the Library of America edition of Poe's fiction - that is expensive, but it will be more than worth the price if you are serious about even just reading Poe's work.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bryan Dawson

    I believed this book was a good read which kept my attention for the most part and intrigued me most of the way through the book. I thought it had cool horror elements to it which really sparked my attention. Although I thought there were moments to the book which were boring, I still thought the book was well worth the read. I enjoyed learning about the author, and hope to read more of his books in the future.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Duncan

    DNF It was really hard to read the stories with the version I had. I couldn’t focus on what was happening while also trying to get around the formatting. Maybe another time.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jeremiah

    In “The Gold Bug” by Edgar Allan Poe, there are the characters of Legrand, a man who lives on a small island off the coast of South Carolina and lost all his family’s fortune; Jupiter, Legrand’s African American assistant who lives with him; and the narrator. In this story Legrand comes upon a bug, or scarabaeus, that is made of solid gold. Another short story is “Four Beasts in One; The Homo-Cameleopard.” This story takes place in Antioch, and the main character is the king Antiochus Epiphanes. In “The Gold Bug” by Edgar Allan Poe, there are the characters of Legrand, a man who lives on a small island off the coast of South Carolina and lost all his family’s fortune; Jupiter, Legrand’s African American assistant who lives with him; and the narrator. In this story Legrand comes upon a bug, or scarabaeus, that is made of solid gold. Another short story is “Four Beasts in One; The Homo-Cameleopard.” This story takes place in Antioch, and the main character is the king Antiochus Epiphanes. It recounts a procession he leads through the streets with several soldiers, while he is dressed as a “Homo-Cameleopard,” which is a combination of several animals. In “The Murders of the Rue Morgue,” readers are introduced to the man Monsieur C. Auguste Dupin, and it is revealed that he possesses great analytical abilities. This man and the narrator, who room together in an old mansion in Paris, possess odd qwerks. They stay secluded from most people, admit no visitors, and leave the shutters closed to live in complete darkness. While they are walking they stumble upon a newspaper which tells of the extraordinary murder of a Madame L’Espanaye and her daughter Mademoiselle Camille L’Espanaye. Dupin desires to crack this case and discover the culprit. In “The Tell-Tale Heart,” we are introduced to the narrator and an old man with a blind eye. The narrator plots to kill this old man, who has done no wrong to him. Every day, he pokes his head in with a covered lantern, watching the old man. Edgar Allan Poe’s stories make use of text structures and order of events to promote feelings of mystery. In “The Gold Bug,” Poe has the character Legrand tell the narrator the events leading up to his sickly appearance and treasure hunt after they have obtained the treasure. The narrator has no idea what is happening when Legrand invites him on a quest, but upon finding the buried treasure and returning home, Legrand explains how he learned of it. It also promoted mystery because during the quest Jupiter is expected to do odd tasks, such as buy spades and climb a tree, and neither the readers nor adventurers know what the outcome will be. This out of order storytelling creates the feeling of mystery in the story. “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” promotes feelings of mystery right at the beginning, when it explains several games similar to chess which require certain strategies and analytical powers to excel at them. Poe chooses to put all of the witnesses’ descriptions of what happened as they went up the stairs and entered the apartment. This allows readers to come to their own conclusions. It also adds to the mystery, since some accounts don’t match up. Several neighbors broke into the apartment when hearing cries and voices in contention, seeking to find what was happening. All of the witnesses told that one gruff voice was French, and several heard certain words he spoke. Each witness is of different nationality, and say the second voice was harsher and that of a foreigner. However none of these witnesses have ever heard the language they say this offender spoke, and no one could discern what he said. The daughter’s body was strangled and found in the chimney. The old lady was mutilated and her head had been severed. The lady and her daughter had collected money from the bank three days before, but this money was not taken during the murder. This murder mystery in addition to the odd characters create nervous tension throughout the story. It also had an unexpected ending. I did not expect the murderer to be an Ourang-Outang who was escaping from his master. “The Tell-Tale Heart” is a story of mystery and suspense. The narrator begins by telling readers about a disease he had which sharpened his senses, particularly hearing. He has a desire to kill an old man with a blind eye. After a week of planning he kills the man on the eighth day by throwing a mattress over him. “Anything was more tolerable than this derision! . . .I felt I must scream or die! And now-again!-hark! Louder! Louder! Louder! Louder!” This quote creates a fast pace in the story, showing how the noise keeps increasing in speed. The narrator thinks he is hearing the old man’s heart beating, and it becomes so unbearable he admits to the police that he committed the deed. It is ironic, because the narrator constantly says he is not a madman, but ultimately he kills a man and covers it up. Also, he frequently explains how cautious he was, yet he still turns himself in because the crime haunts him. Other creepy parts include comments and laughter the narrator makes to himself leading up to the killing. The killer is excited when he hears the old man’s heart beating rapidly. The story is narrated from the point of view of the killer, which increases the suspense. The audience waits to see when he will strike. I greatly enjoyed and appreciated reading several of Edgar Allan Poe’s stories. They are the standard for mystery and gothic literature. I found “The Gold Bug” interesting, because it was a mixture of a classic treasure hunt and a mystery as to why Legrand was acting so strange. I loved how Poe tied the gold bug to the piece of parchment Legrand found by it and picked up accidentally. At the beginning, Legrand invites the narrator over to his hut. He had lent the gold bug to a Lieutenant, so could not show it in person. He drew a picture on the piece of parchment he found and showed it to the narrator. As he looked, it was near to the fire, revealing a death’s-head. The parchment was a map drawn with ink that was activated by heat. When Legrand discovered this after the narrator left, he put it in a pan over flame, revealing coordinates for Captain Kidd’s pirate treasure. I also appreciated the story of “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.” I thought it was very inventive for Poe to create such a horrific crime with the culprit being an Ourang-Outang. The explanation is very plausible, the ape merely running from the sailor who owned him. Only an Ourang-Outang could be agile enough to enter the L’Espanaye residence using only a lightning rod. It merely hurt the first victim on accident, and upon hearing the wails it erupted in frenzy. After killing both, it hid the daughter in the chimney and threw the mother out the window to “hide” its deeds from its master. Poe was able to create a mystery that relied on nothing supernatural, but more or less out of the ordinary. “The Tell-Tale Heart” was a scary read which showcases Poe’s gothic abilities. I enjoyed how the narrator talks in the first person, as it enhances the creepy nature of the story. I also like how the old man’s eye is described as “the eye of a vulture” and “pale blue eye, with a film over it.” It is also interesting how long the narrator plans and waits to kill the old man. It seems his only reason to kill him is because of his blind eye which bothered the narrator. On the eighth night, the attacker makes a noise, causing the old man to wake and sit up in fear. The beating of his heart is described as a “dull, quick sound-much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton.” The narrator can hear this due to his acute hearing.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    Must-have for any Poe fan. A beautiful, hardback collection of all his works, that looks great on the book shelf. I enjoy dipping in and out of it from time to time. My favourite short stories include The Fall of the House of Usher (Which contains one of the most amazing opening sentences to a short story ever written), The Gold Bug, The Premature Burial (Scares the crap out of me!) and The Tell-Tale Heart. Poe was writing about insanity and psychosis before they were even officially recognised Must-have for any Poe fan. A beautiful, hardback collection of all his works, that looks great on the book shelf. I enjoy dipping in and out of it from time to time. My favourite short stories include The Fall of the House of Usher (Which contains one of the most amazing opening sentences to a short story ever written), The Gold Bug, The Premature Burial (Scares the crap out of me!) and The Tell-Tale Heart. Poe was writing about insanity and psychosis before they were even officially recognised as fields of study. He invented the murder mystery, and set the par for all future horror writers. His narrators are some of the most interesting and unreliable to ever appear in literature. On top of this he wrote some of the best and most iconic poetry ever written, including The Raven, A Dream Within a Dream , Alone and Annabel Lee. An amazing writer who, like many great writers, did not receive the recognition he deserved until years after his death. Charles Dickens, interestingly enough, was a contemporary fan of his. W.B. Yeats found Poe to be 'vulgar'. No doubt he just felt intimidated by a far superior writer, as Poe is leagues above Yeats. Poe's legacy is far reaching to this day, and I can still see him being a major influence and cherished writer in the future.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Emmibug

    The narrators of this collection of stories and poetry was amazing- for a theatrical performance. However a theatrical performance isn't always conducive to comprehension. While i felt like I was more fully in the mood of the stories, i would often miss parts between the poor audio quality (which i forgive since it was recorded long ago and i'd rather have these recordings than not) and the echo-ish quality that would come through especially in the most dramatic portions. Poe's work as a whole th The narrators of this collection of stories and poetry was amazing- for a theatrical performance. However a theatrical performance isn't always conducive to comprehension. While i felt like I was more fully in the mood of the stories, i would often miss parts between the poor audio quality (which i forgive since it was recorded long ago and i'd rather have these recordings than not) and the echo-ish quality that would come through especially in the most dramatic portions. Poe's work as a whole though was very enjoyable to read again, it had been a long time since I had really sat down with his work and i wanted to re-read the best hits before going out and visiting key places of his life and death this past October. Sometimes it feels a little over the top, but when you remember that he was one of the first to really explore this style you can get over that feeling and just enjoy the creepiness.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Victoria *Three Stars Still Means I Liked It* Johnson

    I used to have a beautiful picture book of Poe's collected stories as a kid. I loved reading the stories; Pit and the Pendulum scared the crap out of me and I will always love the Annabelle Lee poem. When I saw that there was an audiobook of a collection of Poe's short stories, I decided a revisit was in order. There were some new ones for me here that I loved: The Facts in the Case of of M. Valdemar and Black Cat especially. It was also great to revisit some classics. However, a few of the less I used to have a beautiful picture book of Poe's collected stories as a kid. I loved reading the stories; Pit and the Pendulum scared the crap out of me and I will always love the Annabelle Lee poem. When I saw that there was an audiobook of a collection of Poe's short stories, I decided a revisit was in order. There were some new ones for me here that I loved: The Facts in the Case of of M. Valdemar and Black Cat especially. It was also great to revisit some classics. However, a few of the lesser hits dragged for me. There are a few too many 'wife dies and it's spoooooooky' stories for me; it got repetitious quickly. I remain a Poe fan, but I think his greatest known stories are emphasized for a reason. Edition note: the audio quality in a lot of this was poor. I ended up going to YouTube for alternatives because I couldn't hear it well. It was a good reading guide for finding which stories to start with, however.

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