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Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales And Poems (173 eBooks)

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Edgar Allan Poe:Complete Tales And Poems 173 Works(Tales,Poems,Novels,Essays,Miscellaneous,Play) This version has been optimized for readability and includes: BEAUTIFUL FORMATTING There is plenty of white-space which makes reading easy on the eyes. FULLY FEATURED TABLE OF CONTENTS The full Table of Contents appears at the beginning of the book and can be accessed through t Edgar Allan Poe:Complete Tales And Poems 173 Works(Tales,Poems,Novels,Essays,Miscellaneous,Play) This version has been optimized for readability and includes: BEAUTIFUL FORMATTING There is plenty of white-space which makes reading easy on the eyes. FULLY FEATURED TABLE OF CONTENTS The full Table of Contents appears at the beginning of the book and can be accessed through the MENU or GO TO button. BACK LINK There is a link after every chapter of each Tale and Poem, which takes back you directly to the previous Table of Contents in order to avoid much fuss. EPUB 3 CHECK The book successfully passes ePub 3 check developed IDPF. The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) is the global trade and standards organization dedicated to the development and promotion of electronic publishing and content consumption.


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Edgar Allan Poe:Complete Tales And Poems 173 Works(Tales,Poems,Novels,Essays,Miscellaneous,Play) This version has been optimized for readability and includes: BEAUTIFUL FORMATTING There is plenty of white-space which makes reading easy on the eyes. FULLY FEATURED TABLE OF CONTENTS The full Table of Contents appears at the beginning of the book and can be accessed through t Edgar Allan Poe:Complete Tales And Poems 173 Works(Tales,Poems,Novels,Essays,Miscellaneous,Play) This version has been optimized for readability and includes: BEAUTIFUL FORMATTING There is plenty of white-space which makes reading easy on the eyes. FULLY FEATURED TABLE OF CONTENTS The full Table of Contents appears at the beginning of the book and can be accessed through the MENU or GO TO button. BACK LINK There is a link after every chapter of each Tale and Poem, which takes back you directly to the previous Table of Contents in order to avoid much fuss. EPUB 3 CHECK The book successfully passes ePub 3 check developed IDPF. The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) is the global trade and standards organization dedicated to the development and promotion of electronic publishing and content consumption.

30 review for Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales And Poems (173 eBooks)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sean Barrs the Bookdragon

    I’ve been reading this book for almost three years and it feels so good to finally have finished it! I was surprised by what I found in here. Poe was slightly different to what I thought. He is very much shrouded in shadow and the macabre, at least, his more successful stories and poems were. But there were also some very basic stories in here, some that felt like they weren’t even written by the same person. For every great piece of literature, there were two mediocre ones. I disliked the crime I’ve been reading this book for almost three years and it feels so good to finally have finished it! I was surprised by what I found in here. Poe was slightly different to what I thought. He is very much shrouded in shadow and the macabre, at least, his more successful stories and poems were. But there were also some very basic stories in here, some that felt like they weren’t even written by the same person. For every great piece of literature, there were two mediocre ones. I disliked the crime stories in particular. The best ones, for me, were the ones where the narrator laments a lost love on the cusp of insanity: these stories were simply beautiful. Here’s my top two, the only two I consider to be literary perfection: The Raven Shall we descend into madness? Shall we be haunted by our own desires? Shall we be consumed by that terrible facet of life known only as death? Shall we cling to what cannot be reanimated? Shall we wish for a return of something that has long been in darkness? Shall we become obliterated by the brutal finality of such a statement as “nevermore?” Lenore has gone. She has departed from this life, and is permanently out of the reach of the man. The raven represents the solidarity of this. Despite how much he longs for the impossible, despite how much he hopes for something that could never occur, he still has that inclination that the fantastical could happen: he has to believe that she could come back. And the raven represents the voice of reason, the voice of actuality. And it kills him. It is pain, despair, melancholy and a spiritual death all rolled into one haunting feathery package. He rebels against this voice of rationality. He knows the voice speaks the truth, but he cannot simply accept it. He has lost something vital; he has lost part of himself that will never grace his presence again. And he clings to hope, a false hope such as it is. The raven smashes this to oblivion; it destroys any last semblance of the miraculous occurring. It makes the man realise that this is life, not some whimsical world where nothing bad ever happens. People die. People we love die. Nothing can change that. Lenore will never walk through his chamber door again, and the reality drives him into madness. It shatters his life. ”And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming, And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted- nevermore!” His soul will never lift anymore; hope shall never be lifted anymore. By the end of the poem he has full realised the reality of the situation. The raven, the dark bird of harsh truth, the harbinger of the words he simply doesn’t want to hear, has become demonised. It has become the very object he did not want to face; he created a sense of longing to protect himself from the emotional loss of Lenore, and this bubble of falsehood has been burst. Reality sets in, and it is a fate worse than death. It is one of persecution and mental chaos as the bird is simply unable to supply the man with all his answers. He is driven mad by the unknown. The man in the poem has lost “Lenore.” But, what is this Lenore? Is she a woman? Is she this man’s lost love? Or is she something much, much, more? I think on the surface level of the poem she is his dead wife. But the archaic references speak of something else. Lenore could perhaps be a universal suggestion of a lost sense of self or even humanity. We are no longer what we once were. It is also rather significant that the man is persecuted only by the natural world. Very much in the Romanticism vein, man stands aside from nature. He has become something different with his modernisation and industrialisation. He walks outside his nature. And Poe, being an anti-transcendentalism thinker (a dark romantic), demonstrates that life isn’t all sunshine and roses, and nor could it ever be. It is pessimism in full force, and although I strongly disagree with the outlook on life, and appreciate the idealistic utopia offered in the poetry of Percy Shelley and other Romantics much more, I do love the dark beauty of this poem. The finality of the phrase “nevermore” is nothing short of maddening reality for our lost man. It is the end of hope. Ligeia If a mind has found the most true and profound bliss what happens when it’s taken away? Well, the simple answer is it doesn’t work anymore, at least not very well. The narrator of this marvellous short story experiences a whole host of emotions and mental states after his loss. Firstly, he is hit with the expected wave of melancholy fuelled by his understandable grief; secondly, he feels the slow calm breeze of acceptance; thirdly, and finaly, he is savaged by an unrealised state of delusion and fantasy. In this, Edgar Allan Poe demonstrates his true mastery of writing a character in different states of mental stability. Needless to say, he’s a remarkable writer. In beauty of face no maiden ever equaled her. It was the radiance of an opium-dream - and airy and spirit-lifting vision more wildly divine than the phantasies which hovered about the slumbering souls of the daughters of Delos. Yet her features were not of that regular mould which we have been falsely taught to worship in the classical labors of the heathen.” The narrator cannot be blamed for his fragility. He has lost his world: he has lost his beloved Ligeia. She was everything to him, and they both knew it. Nothing could lessen the blow of her death; nothing could take the pain away of her upcoming demise: nothing could save his mind in a world without her. They were living in harmony; their souls had achieved happiness and love; they were two lesser beings of one greater soul: they were at peace in their own transcendental plane, until she died. So, the narrator’s sense of self awareness and actuality has been destroyed. He is left with the tatters of a wonderful experience, and his own delusion. I recommend looking at the following quote and considering exactly who is speaking, and why he would conjure up such an image. Perhaps, he didn’t fantasise this. Maybe this is paranormal. I do love the multiplicity of its interpretation. This short story is a marvel. It appears confusing and contradictory, but if you stop and consider who is actually speaking then its true nature is revealed. Admittedly, on my first read I was a little lost, though after a second read I began to see it for what it was. This is not as approachable as some of Poe’s other works, and it really isn’t an advisable starting point for the author. But, the short story is wonderful, truly wonderful. It highlights the working of the mind in a state of sheer depravity; it is disturbing and brilliant. Postscript It seems to me that the more popular stories were the more effective ones. The only one with little renown that was brilliant was Ligeia. I’m glad I read the entire thing, but some of the works were entirely forgettable. There two, though, will be works I certainly will be reading again in the future.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    How could I not love this book? Shortly after reading Poe's complete works as a teenager, my family was transferred to Fort Monroe in southern Virginia. While waiting for permanent housing, I ended up staying in the house (and the very bedroom) that Poe had been in while he served on the base. Pulling out this book and reading it in the very space where Poe had suffered through depression and anxiety was exhilarating. While I realized the morbid nature of my glee, it somehow seemed appropriate a How could I not love this book? Shortly after reading Poe's complete works as a teenager, my family was transferred to Fort Monroe in southern Virginia. While waiting for permanent housing, I ended up staying in the house (and the very bedroom) that Poe had been in while he served on the base. Pulling out this book and reading it in the very space where Poe had suffered through depression and anxiety was exhilarating. While I realized the morbid nature of my glee, it somehow seemed appropriate as I lay awake at nights praying to hear that telltale ticking. As an adult, I have come to realize that my love of Poe's horror comes from the fact that he focuses not on the gore on modern horror, but rather on the shocking indelicacy of human potential. I sometimes think of him as the Gothic forefather of Anthony Robbins.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    I'm going for a 3.5 stars. I must be the only person in the known world that hasn't 5 starred Poe. I figured I would be a 5 star. Either way, I'm just going to list the stories and poems I did enjoy. Although, I can't read my handwriting so now I have to go through the book. Well, I guess I could just look at the Contents at the front. Duh, if I can still read my handwriting. I don't know why I wrote it on freaking post-its! Stories 1. The Murders In The Rue Morgue 2. The Mystery of Marie Roget 3. I'm going for a 3.5 stars. I must be the only person in the known world that hasn't 5 starred Poe. I figured I would be a 5 star. Either way, I'm just going to list the stories and poems I did enjoy. Although, I can't read my handwriting so now I have to go through the book. Well, I guess I could just look at the Contents at the front. Duh, if I can still read my handwriting. I don't know why I wrote it on freaking post-its! Stories 1. The Murders In The Rue Morgue 2. The Mystery of Marie Roget 3. Ligeia 4. The Tell-Tale Heart 5. MS. Found in a Bottle 6. Berenice 7. The Fall of the House of Usher 8. The Pit and the Pendulum 9. Morella 10. The Oblong Box 11. The Premature Burial 12. The Imp of the Perverse 13. The Facts of the Case of M. Valdemar 14. Hop-Frog I basically liked all of the Tales of Mystery and Horror as you can see. Not all of them though. I didn't really like much else but some Poems. The Poems 1. Annabel Lee 2. The City in the Sea 3. The Sleeper 4. Lenore 5. The Raven 6. Ulalume 7. To Helen 8. For Annie 9. The Bells 10. The Valley of Unrest 11. Bridal Ballad to 12. Evening Star 13. The Haunted Palace Uggg, those are not in order. I had a hard time reading my writing and finding them on the contents pages. Who cares if they are in order, it's my OCD. I'm glad to all of those that love all of his stuff.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mischenko

    This is one of the only books I have left that belonged to my grandfather and it's one of the best. It contains stories and poems by Edgar Allan Poe. Sections include: Tales of Mystery and Horror, Humor and Satire, Flights and Fantasies, The Narrative of A. Gordon Pym of Nantucket, and many poems including Annabel Lee, Alone, and my favorite, A Dream Within a Dream. 5*****

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    I've reviewed the tales I read by their individual titles, and I won't repeat my reviews here. Let me just say that Poe is an under-appreciated master. Not just under-appreciated by many readers today, for whom he's synonymous with being a sort of proto-schlock-horror writer, but under-appreciated by readers and even famous writers of his day. Henry James infamously said that "[a]n enthusiasm for Poe is the mark of a decidedly primitive stage of reflection." Granted, James was young at the time, I've reviewed the tales I read by their individual titles, and I won't repeat my reviews here. Let me just say that Poe is an under-appreciated master. Not just under-appreciated by many readers today, for whom he's synonymous with being a sort of proto-schlock-horror writer, but under-appreciated by readers and even famous writers of his day. Henry James infamously said that "[a]n enthusiasm for Poe is the mark of a decidedly primitive stage of reflection." Granted, James was young at the time, but still, that's no excuse. Even worse was Ralph Waldo Emerson's dismissal of Poe as the "jingle man." These writers (whom I otherwise admire) thought of Poe as immature, but I think they make the classic mistake of confusing the writer with his subject. Poe's characters are often high-strung and immature in their way, but Poe is never without an ironic distance from them. Many of the narrators of his tales are classic "unreliable narrators," and Poe wants his readers to see them as such--to see behind the masks they don--and it's there that his tales gather most force.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Fabian {Councillor}

    Reading "The Complete Stories and Poems" will be a hell of a time-consuming project, but as I can feel honored to call Edgar Allan Poe one of my favorite authors, the only option to give his writing abilities justice is to read his stories and poems in their entirety. My intention is to update this review with my thoughts on all the stories and poems Poe has ever written constantly until I've completed my way through (however, I'll probably not always add it to my update feed in order to not spa Reading "The Complete Stories and Poems" will be a hell of a time-consuming project, but as I can feel honored to call Edgar Allan Poe one of my favorite authors, the only option to give his writing abilities justice is to read his stories and poems in their entirety. My intention is to update this review with my thoughts on all the stories and poems Poe has ever written constantly until I've completed my way through (however, I'll probably not always add it to my update feed in order to not spam other feeds), but it will be sporadic and infrequent due to my unpredictable reading moods. Tales (listed in chronological order) Metzengerstein: (4/5 stars) Being the first short story Poe has ever published, Metzengerstein includes all the well-known aspects of his writing style which he has become so popular for. Quite disturbing, relying on speculative thoughts due to the narrative, a thought-provoking turning point and a deeper meaning which appears when thinking more precisely about the story. Poe has excellently explored the interesting concept of metempsychosis through this interesting short story which focuses on the feuds of two rivaling Hungarian families. [Please don't read the synopsis on the Goodreads book edition, since it spoils the story and its apparent meaning in their entirety.] The Duc de L'Omelette: (1/5 stars) Somehow, I find myself being glad that Edgar Allan Poe also came up with terribly-written stories like this one, so that I can still find reasons to criticize him. The fact that this was written partly in English, partly in French, was not so irritating as was the lack of anything resembling a plot. A Tale of Jerusalem: (1/5 stars) It's interesting to see how pointless some of Poe's early stories were. Trying to read them chronologically enables the reader to look behind Poe's writing process, and it definitely accentuates how much he improved his writing skills in the course of time. Morella: (4/5 stars) Morella is one of Poe's most memorable stories so far. A short tale of love, studies, death, identity and dread, Poe managed to integrate me into the story and fix my attention on his words, only to leave me shattered and thunderstruck upon the final twist. Four Beasts in One - The Homo-Cameleopard: (1/5 stars) I have no idea what to think of Four Beasts In One: The Homo-Cameleopard. It was boring, ridiculous and did not even include a message of its own. A story which can definitely be skipped without regretting it. Ligeia: (4,5/5 stars) One of my favorite Poe stories. In Ligeia, it appears as though Poe wants his reader to know that not only does he masterfully write chilling horror stories, but also is he a romantic at heart. Combining elements of romance and horror, Poe wove a suspenseful story focusing on the mental health of a protagonist who has lost the love of his life. The Fall of the House of Usher The Fall of the House of Usher is a story I don't remember a lot of, so I'll definitely re-read it soon. A Descent into the Maelstrom (3/5 stars) With the creepy title and the horrifying premise - the narrator talking about a fishing trip with his two brothers which ended in chaos and turmoil years ago - I expected this story to be a little more frightening and engaging than it ultimately ended up to be. You will find Poe's classic style, though nothing extraordinary. The Oval Portrait (3,5/5 stars) One of the shortest stories of Poe's writing, The Oval Portrait focuses on a protagonist who finds a certain painting of a beautiful woman in an abandoned castle and discovers the frightening as well as disturbing background of this painting. Precise and meaningful, Poe's prose masterfully explores the sacrifices of art. The Masque of the Red Death (4/5 stars) The Masque of the Red Death is no story about plot or characters. It's a story about atmosphere, about mood, about the symbolisms of colorful descriptions. That's what Poe was able to write perfectly, and that's what I can recommend this story for. The Tell-Tale Heart: (5/5 stars) The Tell-Tale Heart was the story through which I have had the pleasure to meet Edgar Allan Poe some years ago, and it proved to become one of the best short stories I've ever read. Basically, it's a murderer's confession, creating the impression of a mad narrator and raising the reader's interest in his arguments he builds up as part of his defense. As the story continues, Poe cleverly turns his reader from a witness of the events into a judge of guilt and innocence, a narrative structure admired by me. The Black Cat: (4/5 stars) The Black Cat represents an exceptionally well-written, shocking and frightening story dealing with madness and human abysses. Being the most terrifying story I've read so far from Poe, this one can be highly recommended to be read. The Sphinx: (3/5 stars) One of his shortest works, "The Sphinx" deals with the cholera epidemic and its influence. Not too disturbing or compelling, but definitely worth a glimpse. The Cask of Amontillado: (3,5/5 stars) The Cask of Amontillado, the first story I've read as part of my intention to read all of Poe's works, deals with a man's creepy revenge upon an earlier friend who seemingly infuriated the narrator, motivating him to perform his fatal scheme of revenge. This one is not so much about the characters, but more about the atmosphere and the climax itself. Poe focuses on what happens down there in the catacombs, not establishing why it happens. The message: Do never, never, never be so naive to enter some dark, creepy catacombs on another person's request without any witnesses. It might not end too well for your health. Poems (listed in chronological order) The Raven: (5/5 stars) “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door — Only this, and nothing more." Do I need to add anything else to this quote? Annabel Lee: (4/5 stars) “It was many and many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived whom you may know By the name of ANNABEL LEE; And this maiden she lived with no other thought Than to love and be loved by me. As short as Poe's poems are, he always succeeds with breathing life into his words. [Updated: 02/19/16]

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ian "Marvin" Graye

    Exercises in Genre and Style I was never exposed to Poe in my schooldays, but I later became aware of his reputation. I didn’t know anything about his writing, except that I expected it to be a kind of guilty pleasure. Apparently, I decided to address my ignorance in 1983, when I bought a second hand hardback copy of his complete tales for a bargain price of $1. Unfortunately, I didn’t take the step of reading it until now, when I chose it as one of three books that I planned to read on an overseas Exercises in Genre and Style I was never exposed to Poe in my schooldays, but I later became aware of his reputation. I didn’t know anything about his writing, except that I expected it to be a kind of guilty pleasure. Apparently, I decided to address my ignorance in 1983, when I bought a second hand hardback copy of his complete tales for a bargain price of $1. Unfortunately, I didn’t take the step of reading it until now, when I chose it as one of three books that I planned to read on an overseas family holiday. As it turned out, I neither finished it nor started either of the other two books, and I read the last remaining stories on our return. I was aware that Poe specialised in mystery stories and that he had more or less invented the genre of detective fiction. What I didn’t know was that he also wrote relatively self-consciously in a metafictional sense. Not only did he invent a manner of writing, but he explained fairly insightfully what he was trying to accomplish, so that others could follow in his footsteps. Poe’s metafictional approach reminded me a lot of the early stories of Borges. Verisimilitude: Veracity or Hoax? The first story in this collection is “The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall”, which is more like a piece of science fiction (about a trip to the moon). It’s not quite clear to the characters whether the trip actually occurred. Thus, the purpose of the tale is to make us believe that it actually did. Poe’s task is therefore to convince us of its veracity. He does this stylistically by containing enough empirical and scientific evidence to persuade us that this level of detail could only be known if the narrator had actually experienced what he purported to have. Poe achieves “plausibility by scientific detail”. Ironically, in an endnote, Poe differentiates his tale from earlier hoaxes (one of which adopts the tone of banter, the other being downright earnest). What differentiates his tale is that it is “an attempt at verisimilitude”. While he doesn’t say as much, it can be inferred that, if you can convince a reader that something is the truth, you are equally capable of perpetrating a hoax. This reminded me of the later quotation often attributed to Oscar Wilde: “The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” The Discovery of the Concealed “The Gold-Bug” concerns the hunt for a buried treasure, the secret location of which is revealed in a coded map. What is concealed can be discovered, if the code is deciphered and the enigma solved. A logic is required to both encipher and decipher the message. The narrator comments: “All this is exceedingly clear, and, although ingenious, still simple and explicit.” The Minutest Particularity In “The Balloon-Hoax”, a hoax is achieved by describing a voyage in “the minutest particulars”. Once again, credibility and credulity are both achieved by particularity and detail. In contrast, in “Von Kempelen and His Discovery”, the narrator detects that a paragraph in a newspaper detailing an invention is “apocryphal, principally upon its manner. It does not look true.” Ironically, what allows the narrator to come to this conclusion is an excess of particularity, which is not customary. Startling Facts and the Tendency towards Doubt and Disbelief “Mesmeric Revelation” commences: “Whatever doubt may still envelop the rationale of mesmerism, its startling facts are now almost universally admitted. Of these latter, those who doubt, are your mere doubters by profession - an unprofitable and disreputable tribe.” Given the tendency to doubt, the narrator calls into question the purpose of proof - “There can be no more absolute waste of time than the attempt to prove, at the present day that man, by mere exercise of will, can so impress his fellow, as to cast him into an abnormal condition, of which the phenomena resemble very closely those of death…” Similarly, in “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar”, “a garbled and exaggerated account [of a supposed crime] made its way into society, and became the source of many unpleasant misrepresentations; and, very naturally, of a great deal of disbelief.” The narrator addresses the “unwarranted popular feeling of” disbelief by trying to relate the facts, based on contemporaneous notes, “either condensed or copied verbatim”. Vicarious Credulity In “The Thousand-And-Second Tale”, Poe piggy-backs the credibility of “The Arabian Nights” to tell (Scheherazade) and doubt (the king) various tales (like those in “Gulliver’s Travels”) concerning the voyage of Sinbad around the globe on the back of a huge beast, including that of a petrified forest, and an underwater mountain “down whose sides there streamed torrents of melted metal”, all of which incredible stories concern natural phenomena that contemporary readers will know to exist. In less than 20 pages, Poe better achieves what John Barth would a century later devote an entire novel to. In contrast, in “A Descent into the Maelstrom”, Poe describes the loss of a ship and most of its crew (the narrator survives) in the abyss created by “a great whirlpool of the Maelstrom” in words ostensibly borrowed from the Encyclopaedia Brittanica, to which “my imagination most readily assented”. “My hair, which had been raven-black the day before, was as white as you see it now...I told them my story - they did not believe it. I now tell it to you - and I can scarcely expect you to put more faith in it than did the merry fishermen of Lofoden.” Inordinate Analysis and Ratiocination “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”, a detective story (in which Poe introduces M.Auguste Dupin), focusses on the process of detection, in particular, the role of rational analysis: “The mental features discoursed of as the analytical, are, in themselves, but little susceptible of analysis. We appreciate them only in their effects. We know of them, among other things, that they are always to their possessor, when inordinately possessed, a source of the liveliest enjoyment. As the strong man exults in his physical ability, delighting in such exercises as call his muscles into action, so glories the analyst in that moral activity which disentangles. He derives pleasure from even the most trivial occupations bringing his talent into play. He is fond of enigmas, of conundrums, of hieroglyphics; exhibiting in his solutions of each a degree of acumen which appears to the ordinary apprehension preternatural. His results, brought about by the very soul and essence of method, have, in truth, the whole air of intuition.” Ostensible Profundity This is a good description of how Poe goes about writing his tales, in particular “The Gold-Bug”. But it also helps to understand the Post-Modernist preoccupation with maximalism, with size or length or quantity over subject or merit or quality. Poe himself adds: “What is only complex is mistaken (a not unusual error) for what is profound.” In other words, bullshit (and lots of it) baffles brains. These purportedly encyclopaedic fictions “may seduce into error or hurry into miscalculation.” Simple Ingenuity Poe asserts that “the analytical power should not be confounded with simple ingenuity; for while the analyst is necessarily ingenious, the ingenious man is often remarkably incapable of analysis...Between ingenuity and the analytic ability there exists a difference far greater, indeed, than that between the fancy and the imagination, but of a character very strictly analogous. It will be found, in fact, that the ingenious are always fanciful, and the truly imaginative never otherwise than analytic.” On the other hand, Poe adds that “by undue profundity we perplex and enfeeble thought; and it is possible to make even Venus herself vanish from the firmament by a scrutiny too sustained, too concentrated, or too direct.” Suggestions and Sensations “The Mystery of Marie Roget” concerns another death about two years later than those in the previous story. Despite the amount of factual evidence available to the press, it concerns itself primarily with “suggestions”: “We should bear in mind that, in general, it is the object of our newspapers rather to create a sensation - to make a point - than to further the cause of truth.” Dupin puts the newspapers to the test and concludes that their assertions “now appear a tissue of inconsequence and incoherence”. Collateral Irrelevancy Poe also comments on judicial practice: “It is the malpractice of the courts to confine evidence and discussion to the bounds of apparent relevancy. Yet experience has shown...that a vast, perhaps the larger portion of the truth, arises from the seemingly irrelevant. It is through the spirit of this principle, if not precisely through its letter, that modern science has resolved to calculate upon the unforeseen...The history of human knowledge has so uninterruptibly shown that to collateral, or incidental, or accidental events we are indebted for the most numerous and most valuable discoveries, that it has at length become necessary, in any prospective view of improvement, to make not only large, but the largest allowances for inventions that shall arise by chance, and quite out of the range of ordinary expectation. It is no longer philosophical to base, upon what has been, a vision of what is to be. Accident is admitted as a portion of the substructure.” Thus, Poe questions the role of reason and logic, not just in the process of detection, but in the creation of literature. Self-Evident Non-Concealment Poe pursues the counter-intuitive in “The Purloined Letter”, the facts of which Dupin describes as “simple and odd”, as well as a mystery that is “a little too plain, a little too self-evident”. The stolen letter has been concealed, but all logicał attempts to locate it have failed. Dupin comes to the conclusion that, “to conceal the letter, the Minister had resorted to the comprehensive and sagacious expedient of not attempting to conceal it at all.” In other words, the letter had been hidden in plain sight. Deathly Swoons and Slumbers “The Black Cat” is a Gothic tale concerning an attempt to conceal a murder that comes undone, i.e., another example of a failed concealment. The concealment tales are followed by a number of mistaken entombment tales, the first being “The Fall of the House of Usher”. In “The Pit and the Pendulum”, it is the narrator who is entombed during the Inquisition: “In the deepest slumber - no! In delirium - no! In a swoon - no! In death - no! Even in the grave all is not lost. Arousing from the most profound of slumbers, we break the gossamer web of some dream.” The Bewilderment of the Visionary Poe describes near-death experiences in terms of the visionary: “He who has never swooned, is not he who finds strange palaces and wildly familiar faces in coals that glow; is not he who beholds floating in mid-air the sad visions that the many may not view; is not he whose brain grows bewildered with the meaning of some musical cadence which has never before arrested his attention.” Darkness Evermore Poe continues into the realm of horror in “The Premature Burial”. Again, the narrator recites numerous real-life examples of such events to add to the veracity of his tale, before admitting that this event actually happened to him: “I knew that I had now fully recovered the use of my visual faculties - and yet it was dark - all dark - the intense and utter raylessness of the Night that endureth for evermore.” Near-death is as close to death as we are able to experience and live to tell the tale. The Confession of Guilt In “The Cask of Amontillado”, the narrator entombs a friend without being detected. His friend rests in peace, even if the narrator doesn’t. In “The Imp of the Perverse”, the narrator murders a friend, only to be plagued by the temptation to confess his crime. The spirit of the perverse condemns us to do what we should not, even if it threatens our own safety. My Wife and My Dead Wife In “The Oval Portrait”, the narrator recounts a story about a painter who fell in love with a painting of his own wife, who perishes from his subsequent neglect. The narrator in “The Assignation” also loses something of value over the matter of a painting: “Ill-fated and mysterious man! - bewildered in the brilliancy of thine own imagination, and fallen in the flames of thine own youth! Again in fancy I behold thee!” Self-Denial and Confession “The Tell-Tale Heart” is another story in which the drive to confess to a crime prevails. In “The Domain of Arnheim”, Poe returns to the difference between reason and the imagination: “In truth, while that virtue which consists in the mere avoidance of vice appeals directly to the understanding, and can thus be circumscribed in rule, the loftier virtue, which flames in creation, can be apprehended in its results alone. Rule applies but to the merits of denial - to the excellences which refrain. Beyond these, the critical art can but suggest.” Cursed and Caught Out “Berenice” is another tale in which the narrator finds that he has killed a friend (his cousin) and been found out (this time without needing to confess). In “Eleonora”, memories of the narrator’s deceased love curse a subsequent relationship. “Ligeia” witnesses life after death, but still highlights the ephemerality of life and beauty, and the terrors of death. The narrator suffers doubly from his opium-induced dreams. In contrast, the narrator of “Morella” longs for the death of his eponymous wife, who eventually dies while giving birth to a daughter with the same name and characteristics. Convinced by (an) Imperfect Vision In “Shadow - A Parable”, Poe recognises the incredibility of his tale (set in ancient Egypt) by anticipating that some readers will disbelieve it and some will doubt it instead. “The Spectacles” comically cautions the reader against love at first sight, especially when you have less than perfect vision. “The Oblong Box” plays with the format of a wife in a coffin. “Three Sundays in a Week” returns to the linguistic tricks of “The Gold-Bug”. “Thou Art the Man” is a humorous tale of how the deceased victim manages to confront his murderer with his guilt. “Some Words with a Mummy” reprises “The Thousand-And-Second Tale”, only the mummy compares the current world unfavourably with his own world thousands of years before. For all Poe’s Gothic Romanticism, horror and humour, his metafictional objectives make his tales that much more interesting, entertaining and relevant to our time. January 26, 2017

  8. 5 out of 5

    Johann (jobis89)

    "Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door - only this, and nothing more." 312 days later and I have completed this mammoth collection of Poe tales and poems. Considered to be the master of tales filled with mystery and/or the macabre, Poe delivers a range of short stories and poetry that are all contained within this collection. My rating for this collection may seem harsh, but let me explain... When Poe is good, he is GREAT. But when he is not... it is torture and absolutely unb "Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door - only this, and nothing more." 312 days later and I have completed this mammoth collection of Poe tales and poems. Considered to be the master of tales filled with mystery and/or the macabre, Poe delivers a range of short stories and poetry that are all contained within this collection. My rating for this collection may seem harsh, but let me explain... When Poe is good, he is GREAT. But when he is not... it is torture and absolutely unbearable at times. I have zero intention of revisiting about 75% of this collection. In comparison, I'm pretty sure I would be happy to revisit the majority of Lovecraft tales at some point in the future. A lot of readers will compare the two, but for me, when comparing their complete bodies of work, there is no competition. I was actually surprised by the number of non-horror stories I found. I had assumed Poe primarily wrote these chilling stories filled with dark nights and graveyards, and haunting residences. What I actually found was a great number of mystery and crime stories, which I did not care for. At the beginning of the collection there are also a few stories that focus on hot air balloons. Yep. You heard me right. Safe to say you can avoid these like the plague. So many of the stories were meandering and pointless, it's really quite shocking to me the range in quality across Poe's work. But enough negativity... the highlight for me, if I had to choose just one, would be The Raven. It is hard for me to even think of this poem without simultaneously considering the corresponding Treehouse of Horror episode in The Simpsons. But thankfully I got past this by listening to the Christopher Lee narration whilst reading along. I would highly recommend doing the same as the narration is so haunting and chilling with accompanying sounds of falling rain and church bells tolling. The grief and sorrow for his lost love Lenore is so heavy in this one, as the raven acts as the embodiment of rationality - reinforcing the fact that Lenore is not coming back through that chamber door. The melancholy tone really sticks with you (once again demonstrating my love for any writing related to grief and loss). I also loved the poem Annabel Lee. It's a really gorgeous poem that was a joy to read (and by gorgeous I mean quite melancholic and depressing at times - hey, it's Poe!). I'm not really a big fan of poetry, but I appreciated the simplicity and beauty of this one. In terms of the stories, the following stood out for me: The Fall of the House of Usher - a perfect gothic tale with its quintessential features, such as a haunted house, a dreary landscape and a mysterious sickness The Masque of the Red Death - a wonderfully written allegory about life and death, and no matter how rich you may be or what you have in the world, you can't avoid death The Tell-Tale Heart - quite a disturbing story focusing on paranoia and mental deterioration The Black Cat - this was horrifying and disturbing and I would highly recommend reading As you can see, my highlights from the collection are the well-known ones. So if you're interested in checking out Poe, I would strongly recommend sticking to a "Best of" collection. You'll get all the good stuff without the dead weight. It was a long and trying experience reading everything Poe has ever written, but I'm glad I did it. Even through the incredibly boring stories, it was still nice to immerse myself in the works of Poe. I'll just stick to my smaller collections when I revisit in the future. 3 stars.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Vit Babenco

    Edgar Allan Poe’s stories are the tales told by the raven on the longest winter night long after midnight… Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore; Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door— Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door— Perched, and sat, and nothing more. Though it is impossible to name the most favo Edgar Allan Poe’s stories are the tales told by the raven on the longest winter night long after midnight… Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore; Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door— Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door— Perched, and sat, and nothing more. Though it is impossible to name the most favourite tale now I remember when I read his stories first time in my childhood somehow I was hypnotized most by The Cask of Amontillado, probably because the festive atmosphere turns into the perfectly sinister one so unexpectedly. We continued our route in search of the Amontillado. We passed through a range of low arches, descended, passed on, and descending again, arrived at a deep crypt, in which the foulness of the air caused our flambeaux rather to glow than flame. At the most remote end of the crypt there appeared another less spacious. Its walls had been lined with human remains, piled to the vault overhead, in the fashion of the great catacombs of Paris. Three sides of this interior crypt were still ornamented in this manner. From the fourth the bones had been thrown down, and lay promiscuously upon the earth, forming at one point a mound of some size. Within the wall thus exposed by the displacing of the bones, we perceived a still interior recess, in depth about four feet, in width three, in height six or seven. It seemed to have been constructed for no especial use within itself, but formed merely the interval between two of the colossal supports of the roof of the catacombs, and was backed by one of their circumscribing walls of solid granite. Even now, due to their narrative power and chilling macabre storylines, such tales as The Fall of the House of Usher, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Masque of the Red Death, The Murders in the Rue Morgue and many others remain unforgettable and matchless. Ever since cave man has been sitting by his primitive hearth huddling close to the fire scared of every shadow we still keep our primordial fear. And to win over this fear reading dark tales is a great pleasure.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bailey Jane

    Definitely not light reading, but perfect for the fall and winter. My grandmother bought this leatherbound collection for me when I was 12 or so and it took me 5 years or so to read it in its completion. I have to be in the mood to read Poe, but when I am it's the best reading in the world. Very dark and poetic. Great stories, and each story is just short enough to maintain attention span. I recommend this to anyone who appreciates a challenging read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Manuel Antão

    If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. Peering at the Self: "Complete Tales & Poems" by Edgar Allan Poe (Original Review, 1992-12-16) Can a reader in this and age fully appreciate Poe? Maybe the age of the reader is significant - I first encountered Poe over four decades ago - in the sense that time on the planet, life lived, experiences felt and understood, are part of the maturing process essential to entering Poe's visions and dream-states. Some of the comments I’ve re If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. Peering at the Self: "Complete Tales & Poems" by Edgar Allan Poe (Original Review, 1992-12-16) Can a reader in this and age fully appreciate Poe? Maybe the age of the reader is significant - I first encountered Poe over four decades ago - in the sense that time on the planet, life lived, experiences felt and understood, are part of the maturing process essential to entering Poe's visions and dream-states. Some of the comments I’ve read elsewhere suggest a fidgety class of pre-adolescents who have lost - if ever they had - what might be called attention spans. Then again, maybe Poe is uniquely American and the Europeans cannot fully grasp him.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joe Valdez

    I feel like I need to post a letter to Edgar Allan Poe explaining that it's time we started seeing other people. It's for his own good as well as mine. I can see we just want different things in a relationship. I cracked open this comprehensive collection of Poe's stories and poems right after New Year's. It's been five months. The snow has melted. Summer camp is about to begin for Lumberjane Scouts. Campfires are being built and eerie stories are to be shared in the dark, but after reading two I feel like I need to post a letter to Edgar Allan Poe explaining that it's time we started seeing other people. It's for his own good as well as mine. I can see we just want different things in a relationship. I cracked open this comprehensive collection of Poe's stories and poems right after New Year's. It's been five months. The snow has melted. Summer camp is about to begin for Lumberjane Scouts. Campfires are being built and eerie stories are to be shared in the dark, but after reading two dozen of Poe's most celebrated tales, my relationship with the 19th century mad genius needs space. A lot of it. Poe's writing is often exquisite, his ambiance sinister and ghoulishly delightful, but his antebellum storytelling often left me dissatisfied. -- The five tales of Edgar Allan Poe that left me with an icy chill are as follows: 1. The Premature Burial (1844) My favorite. Not only did I agree with Poe’s sentiment — and his frequent theme — that being buried alive is the end all be all of terror, but the story was written in a fanciful yet macabre fashion. Poe recounts several news items regarding premature burial and then his narrator launches into his own tale of living nightmare. This story rocketed along and was a sublime blend of Poe’s two obsessions: the intricately plotted detective mystery and the horror tale. 2. The Oblong Box (1844) My second favorite story in this collection. Not only does the writing possess clarity and a dash of romance (set aboard the packet-ship Independence as she sails from Charleston, S.C. to New York) but the requisite mystery of what is inside the peculiar oblong box that the narrator’s friend has lugged into his state room is presented with vivid delight. I found this one of Poe's more accessible stories and thus, a wonderful entry point. 3. William Wilson (1839) The first Poe tale I read where the author’s sensibility came alive for me. The writing is like a Swiss watch and Poe does a craftsman’s job of generating dread. A man using the alias “William Wilson” recounts how beginning in his school days in England he was plagued by a classmate with the same name and physical traits. Wilson’s doppelgänger began to dress like him and insists on addressing the narrator in a whisper. Balancing the creepiness is the narrator’s descriptions of his own rakish behavior drinking, chasing woman or cheating at cards. 4. The Black Cat (1843) In an unnamed city, one I pictured as New Orleans due to mayhem and murder weighing down on the narrator like barometric pressure, a docile man who shares a love of animals with his wife turns bitter with alcohol abuse, ultimately heaping hell on the black cat that he loves. As the man’s morbid self-intentions play out against the feline, there is a lesson: never fuck with a cat! This seven page long tickles with terror and was the first time I felt that Poe’s sometimes obtuse prose decoded itself. 5. The Cask of Amontillado (1846) A wonderfully ghoulish story documenting the exacting efforts of an Italian nobleman named Montresor to avenge an insult by a peer named Fortunato. His revenge involves luring Fortunato into the catacombs beneath Montresor's palazzo using a cask of amontillado sherry wine as bait. Of course, Poe leads the reader to his central obsession: being buried alive, which was apparently to 19th century man what needing to call Comcast is to 21st century man. The horror! -- These four tales spooked me a bit, but I found out it was only the wind: 6. The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841) In an obscure library in the Rue Montmarte in Paris, our narrator introduces C. Auguste Lupin, a young gentleman from an illustrious family reduced to poverty (autobiographical material from Poe). The expatriate takes up residence with the analytical Frenchman in a “time-eaten and grotesque mansion” where the boys read and write and live a bohemian existence that seems to have been the inspiration for the characters in Fight Club. Their sabbatical is interrupted by the sensational murders of a Madame L’Espanaye and her daughter, Mademoiselle Camille L’Espanaye on the Rue Morgue, which Dupin employs his considerable observational skills to solve. The story is alternatively ghoulish and fun, with wild reverberations to Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, albeit with a nearly impenetrable prologue in which Poe issues a treatise on chess. 7. The Facts In the Case of M. Valdemar (1845) In Harlem, New York, our narrator recounts his study of Mesmerism, which Poe classifies as a form of hypnotism that enables the practitioner to interview subjects who have been placed into a deep state of relaxation and can travel outside their own bodies. With the health of the narrator’s good friend M. Ernest Valdemar in serious decline, he places the subject under hypnosis on his death bed and attempts to defeat the effects of death. Madness and horror ensue! Terrific final paragraph. 8. The Sphinx (1846) This is a pretty good tale. I enjoyed the clarity of the writing and the manner in which Poe sets the tableau of a cottage on the Hudson River where the narrator is spending the summer with a friend while a cholera outbreak ravages New York. News is delivered by post revealing the passing of another acquaintance to the outbreak while the narrator observes something terrifying out the window. My expectations for thrills or chills weren’t met, but the story is a beguiling one. 9. The Oval Portrait (1842) Very short tale in which a wounded man and his valet seek refuge in a villa that features some macabre artwork on the wall. I loved how succinct this story was and its setup, but ultimately, there was really no threat present to the narrator other than some mild surprise. -- Now, we have something completely different than I'm completely indifferent about: 10. The Gold-Bug (1843) The most popular tale Poe ever wrote. On the remote Sullivan Island off the coast of Charleston, our narrator recounts an adventure with his hermit friend, Mr. William Legrand, and Legrand’s loyal companion, an old negro called Jupiter. A naturalist and analyst, Legrand becomes obsessed with a rare gold beetle he discovers, which he is convinced leads to riches. Rather than a descent into horror, the story has an uncharacteristically fantastic rather than tragic ending for Poe with the discovery of the buried treasure of Captain Kidd. Casual racism and obsessive cryptography also included. -- And finally, we have some stuff that didn't stick to the wall and just made a mess: 11. The Mystery of Marie Roget (1842) Sequel to The Murders in the Rue Morgue. Initially published in three installments in Snowden’s Ladies’ Companion, this story has the heft of something where the author was paid by the word. Amateur detective C. Auguste Dupin is contracted to solve the mysterious drowning of Marie Roget, a perfume shop employee. I abandoned it. Page long blocks of dialogue will do that. 12. The Purloined Letter (1844) Another sequel to The Murders in the Rue Morgue. A police inspector seeks the help of C. Auguste Lupin to consult on an unsolved crime. A letter has been stolen by the nefarious Minister D— which places an unnamed woman at his mercy. The authorities know that D— has the letter but have been unable to recover it from his residence or person. inspector spends two pages describing the crime and then Lupin returns to describe in four pages how he solved it. 13. The Fall of the House of Usher (1839) In an unnamed county, our narrator is drawn into the dissolution of a gloomy and unsettling mansion he passes in his travels. The master of the house, Roderick Usher, is a childhood friend now ailing from a melancholy of spirit and the narrator is summoned to keep his old friend company. Usher has a sister, Madeline, also suffering from madness who soon dies. The men seal her in a tomb below the house. This is a tale I must believe was written under the influence of beer; a convoluted work of gobbledygook. The ending is vivid but the story rambles on for too long. 14. The Tell-Tale Heart (1843) Four-page tale of madness, murder and terror in which the narrator fashions the homicide of a kind, elderly neighbor whose pale blue eye upset the narrator. However, the ticking of his victim’s dead heart haunts him. This is one of Poe’s more drunken and disorderly stories. It seems to be missing a beginning and end. The atmosphere of his better stories like The Black Cat or The Facts In the Case of M. Valdemar is missing. 15. The Pit and the Pendulum (1842) I’m not sure whether I missed something about this tale. Our narrator is sentenced for high crimes by some scary judges in Toledo and wakes up in a dungeon, where he’s alternatively tortured by choosing between a plunge into a deep circular pit, or being sliced by a razor sharp pendulum, swinging from the ceiling. What is this, Saw: The Early Days? 16. The Hop Frog (1849) Here’s a story that I’m convinced Poe wrote drunk: a crippled dwarf known as Hop Frog, who serves as court jester in some unidentified kingdom (specifics of no concern to the inebriated wit) takes stock of the cruelty the king and his seven advisers visit on a fellow subject of the court and plans revenge. I wasn’t laughing at the end of the story — which has the venom and brutality of a Punch and Judy show — as I was cringing. 17. The Spectacles (1844) The first half of the story is as close as Poe comes to a love story and his descriptions of lust in the 1840s—when a man needed to be introduced socially to an attractive women, asking her what she was reading out of the question--are splendid. Suffice it to say, this does not end well for the lovestruck man, or for me, as I was baffled and disappointed by the resolution to the tale. 18. Ligeia (1838) Ugh. More adventures in necrophilia by Edgar Allan Poe. This story is so obtuse. The narrator goes to absurd lengths to describe how beautiful his dead wife Legeria was that it was all I could do not to want him to throw himself from a train and join her. 19. Some Words with a Mummy (1845) Tedious. 20. A Tale of Jerusalem (1832) Unreadable. In summary, my initial foray into the world of Edgar Allan Poe reinforced instincts that my ardor lies in the craft of storytelling and introduction of characters whose desires I can relate to on some level. Poe can spin words beautifully but this is not always the same thing as spinning a great yarn. In fact, it rarely is for me. I think my enjoyment of his work would be magnified by one hundred times if I attended a live reading of some of these stories, but as for thrills that were able to leap off the page 170 years ago and delight me, the sensation was fleeting, I'm sorry to report. I own a copy of this volume and may pull it off the shelf in the countdown to Halloween Night in the coming years, but I'm glad to move on to authors who are stronger at story.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Arah-Lynda

    The Master himself It was many and many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived whom you may know By the name of ANNABEL LEE And this maiden she lived with no other thought Than to love and be loved by me. I was a child and she was a child, In this kingdom by the sea; But we loved with a love that was more than love- I and my ANNABEL LEE; With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven Coveted her and me. And this was the reason that, long ago, In this kingdom by the sea, A wind bl The Master himself It was many and many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived whom you may know By the name of ANNABEL LEE And this maiden she lived with no other thought Than to love and be loved by me. I was a child and she was a child, In this kingdom by the sea; But we loved with a love that was more than love- I and my ANNABEL LEE; With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven Coveted her and me. And this was the reason that, long ago, In this kingdom by the sea, A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling My beautiful ANNABEL LEE So that her high-born kinsmen came And bore her away from me, To shut her up in a sepulchre In this kingdom by the sea. The angels, not half so happy in heaven, Went envying her and me- Yes!- that was the reason ( as all men know, In this kingdom by the sea) That the wind came out of the cloud by night, Chilling and killing my ANNABEL LEE. But our love it was stronger by far than the love Of those who were older than we- Of many far wiser than we- And neither the angels in heaven above, Nor the demons down under the sea, Can ever dissever my soul from the soul Of the beautiful ANNABEL LEE, For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams Of the beautiful ANNABEL LEE; And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes Of the beautiful ANNABEL LEE; And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side Of my darling-my darling- my life and my bride, In the sepulchre there by the sea, In her tomb by the sounding sea. Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

  14. 5 out of 5

    John Wiswell

    Holy crap, it’s a brick of brilliance! This doorstop-sized volume contains the complete works of Edgar Allen Poe. The poetry, the essays, the short stories – you got it here. Holy crap. Pick this up and skim a few of his works and you’ll know whether or not you want it. If you’re studying authors, though, why wouldn’t you get this? It gives you unparalleled access to the complete artistic thoughts of one of America’s most important early writers. In reading this I was surprised by how many good one Holy crap, it’s a brick of brilliance! This doorstop-sized volume contains the complete works of Edgar Allen Poe. The poetry, the essays, the short stories – you got it here. Holy crap. Pick this up and skim a few of his works and you’ll know whether or not you want it. If you’re studying authors, though, why wouldn’t you get this? It gives you unparalleled access to the complete artistic thoughts of one of America’s most important early writers. In reading this I was surprised by how many good ones were in here. Previously I’d been assigned to read the terribly dated and melodramatic or borderline nonsensical Poe classics, like “The Raven” and “The Pit and the Pendulum.” But reading through his works freely I found a lot of variety and interesting stories I’d never heard of. “Hop Frog,” the revenge story of an abused dwarf. “Black Cat,” of a bizarre murder plot. “Annabel Lee,” of a lost beauty and the sea. Gothic thinking, careful plotting and macabre morality for hundreds of pages. Come and get your Poe.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    I'm not sure how screwed up Mr. Poe really was as I have read that a lot of the criticisms of him were exaggerated. But screwed up or not the man could write. Fears and tears all are here for the reader. I love Poe's writing. He's a voice that edges at times on madness (The Fall of the House of Usher) and sometimes IS the voice of madness (The Tell Tail Heart). Unlike the madness we find in H.P.Lovecraft Poe writes the actual man's madness. The madness of revenge for what may be a real or imagine I'm not sure how screwed up Mr. Poe really was as I have read that a lot of the criticisms of him were exaggerated. But screwed up or not the man could write. Fears and tears all are here for the reader. I love Poe's writing. He's a voice that edges at times on madness (The Fall of the House of Usher) and sometimes IS the voice of madness (The Tell Tail Heart). Unlike the madness we find in H.P.Lovecraft Poe writes the actual man's madness. The madness of revenge for what may be a real or imagined slight (The Cask of Amontillado) or the madness of obsession (The Premature Burial). Then again the madness may be in the situation or the act that the protagonist has to deal with. Here Poe originates the detective story (The Murders in the Rue Morgue) and his detective C. Auguste Dupin reappears later (in The Mystery of Marie Rogêt). Poe originated plots and plot points that were used and reused across the years (The Purloined Letter). I was introduced to Edgar Allen Poe when I was around 11 or 12 years old by a teacher at a small school in Tennessee (thank you Ms. Arnold) and have read him often ever since. If you haven't met Mr. Poe and his characters you have a great treat ahead. Edgar Allen Poe: "I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity."

  16. 4 out of 5

    J.G. Keely

    Not many people outside of literary study or detective fiction fandom realize that the character of Sherlock Holmes was inspired by Poe's Dupin. Dupin was the brilliant and insightful idle noble who occasionally aided the authorities in particularly difficult cases. However, unlike Holmes, Dupin took it up merely as a hobby, mimicking Holmes' brother Mycroft. I'm not fond of Poe's poetry. Emerson's leveling of 'Jingle Man' is appropriate. Poe puts sounds together, but usually says very little wit Not many people outside of literary study or detective fiction fandom realize that the character of Sherlock Holmes was inspired by Poe's Dupin. Dupin was the brilliant and insightful idle noble who occasionally aided the authorities in particularly difficult cases. However, unlike Holmes, Dupin took it up merely as a hobby, mimicking Holmes' brother Mycroft. I'm not fond of Poe's poetry. Emerson's leveling of 'Jingle Man' is appropriate. Poe puts sounds together, but usually says very little with them. It is unusual that his prose was so varied while his poetry tended to obsessive repetition. Poe presents an example of the turning point when poetry ceased to represent the most complex and dense literary form (as in Milton and Eliot) and became the most frivolous and unrefined (the beat poets), while prose moved contrarily from the light-hearted to the serious. When divorced from his single-minded prosody, Poe's mastery of the language elegantly serves the needs of mood, characterization, and action. This is not always the case: his Ligeia retains his poetic narrowness, but his detective stories have a gentleness and wit found nowhere else in his oeuvre. The three Dupin stories helped to inspire detective fiction, using suspense and convoluted mystery to tantalize and challenge the reader. He may not have been as influential or innovative as Wilkie Collins, but his contribution still stands. Any book of Poe's is worth purchasing simply for these three stories. They are studies in the careful use of language to develop mood, character, and drive--even in a sparse plot. They are not quite the equals of Ambrose Bierce's short fiction, but they are solid enough.

  17. 4 out of 5

    BAM The Bibliomaniac

    Poe has an impressive, comfortable grasp of vocabulary and sentence structure, but like King, one sentence often equates to one paragraph. The first story to catch my interest was 100 pages in-The Gold Bug, a brief tale of treasure hunting. This was soon followed by Marie Roget. For those of you who find this tale of interest, check out The Beautiful Cigar Girl, a nonfiction account of Mary Rogers' death and investigation, as well as An American Tragedy, a fictional rendering of a crime based on Poe has an impressive, comfortable grasp of vocabulary and sentence structure, but like King, one sentence often equates to one paragraph. The first story to catch my interest was 100 pages in-The Gold Bug, a brief tale of treasure hunting. This was soon followed by Marie Roget. For those of you who find this tale of interest, check out The Beautiful Cigar Girl, a nonfiction account of Mary Rogers' death and investigation, as well as An American Tragedy, a fictional rendering of a crime based on a similar scenario. Then we come to a masterpiece-The Purloined Letter. Poe lays the groundwork for every ratiocination plot to come. How I could be such a Holmes fan and have never read this story is beyond me. I should be ashamed. Immediately after is The Tell Tale Heart. This short story conjures memories of 7th grade literature class. I was scared out of my wits! Then there is The Imp of the Perverse, what reminds me of stream of consciousness writing, merely subtract "murder" and add "alcohol". Of course no discussion of Poe's works would be complete without s mention of The Masque of the Red Death. Just party til you cant party anymore because you'll never outrun death. The Assignation may be the most tragic short love story I've ever read, and I did not expect that from him. Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether was brilliant fun. And then he goes off the deep end with several spiritualist writings. I realize the theosophist movement was in its heyday, but I really did not see a deep connection. Then suddenly I read The Spectacles. Truly I laughed so hard. I had no idea Poe had such a sense of humor considering most of his writing is so morose. Oh the poems, the poems! Greatly excited to read this section. Every Halloween, I go to an historical museum here in the city that produces quite a few of Poe's seminal works. The Raven never fails to give me the chills. I can easily sense the hysteria building in the room. But then I read The Valentine, a bit of a coded piece, which doesn't surprise me in the least that Poe would have written. Ulalume's metric beat is absolutely hypnotic, forcing me to read it aloud. Annabel Lee screams about an unhinged lover. I'll be honest; I never thought much about this poem, but it is simply heartbreaking, not only because she is dead, but because he is obsessed with her. At last, my favorite Poe poem-The Bells. I can hear them 'clanging, tolling, chiming". Nowhere is Poe's tortured soul more evident than in his poetry. However, his intelligence is expressed in his prose. All in all, I am quite thankful for this author's ouvere. He truly touched my heart.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Emm - One Thousand Years of Books

    A lasting piece of written silver and obsidian, still as dark and haunting as it was over a century ago. Poe's influence is as far-reaching as that of the thematically similar Grimms or even Carroll's Alice. The ghosts and creatures of his imagination still float powerfully through the culture, and continues to earn respect for horror and poetry as literature. His stories explore primal and preternatural fears with wit and eloquence. Being trapped, being driven to insanity and not knowing if the A lasting piece of written silver and obsidian, still as dark and haunting as it was over a century ago. Poe's influence is as far-reaching as that of the thematically similar Grimms or even Carroll's Alice. The ghosts and creatures of his imagination still float powerfully through the culture, and continues to earn respect for horror and poetry as literature. His stories explore primal and preternatural fears with wit and eloquence. Being trapped, being driven to insanity and not knowing if the horror you see is real or hallucination, being face to face with the grim reaper. They are not necessarily formulaic - some begin as an average event and descend so gradually into madness. Some begin on a dark note and only get creepier. Personal favourite is "Masque of the Red Death", about a group of influential and wealthy people sheltering themselves in a ballroom while the town below dies of plague, that is, until the plague himself arrives in person. Some other favourites, "The Black Cat", "The Tell Tale Heart", "Fall of the House of Usher", and "The Conqueror Worm". Most, if not all of these are in public domain, but in my opinion is well-worth having a beautiful bound copy of. I also highly recommend the illustrated editions by Gris Grimly.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Eliza

    Poe is an amazing writer - no doubt about that - but I'm not a fan of all of his stories and poetry, so 4-stars it is.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Daviau

    It feels like such a huge accomplishment to finally have knocked Poe’s complete works off my TBR! I read a couple Poe stories in high school and college as I'm sure most everyone has but this is the first time I take a complete plunge into his work. And I have to say, I’m mildly disappointed. When Poe is good, he is GREAT. But a great majority of the stories were only mediocre and quite a few were downright tedious and bored me to tears. A seemingly endless story about a man in a balloon? No tha It feels like such a huge accomplishment to finally have knocked Poe’s complete works off my TBR! I read a couple Poe stories in high school and college as I'm sure most everyone has but this is the first time I take a complete plunge into his work. And I have to say, I’m mildly disappointed. When Poe is good, he is GREAT. But a great majority of the stories were only mediocre and quite a few were downright tedious and bored me to tears. A seemingly endless story about a man in a balloon? No thanks! I don’t want to sound like I’m hating on Poe because I’m really not! The stories I enjoyed, I didn’t just enjoy them, I adored them! The big stars for me are The Masque of the Red Death, The Oval Portrait, The Fall of the House of Usher and The Tell-Tale Heart. I was so engrossed by each of them, all for very different reasons. My advice, stick to a best of compilation if you want to read Poe!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Let me clarify: some of the stories totally deserve four or even five stars. The Raven, The Black Cat, The Tell-Tale Heart. These are all famous for a reason. They're fantastic. But let me tell you, the stories you haven't heard of--they are, likewise, unknown for a reason. Oy, the tedium. Poe really really really liked to describe things. And sometimes that's literally all that he did. No plot, no characters, just descriptions. And because he does the macabre so well, it was a shock to the syst Let me clarify: some of the stories totally deserve four or even five stars. The Raven, The Black Cat, The Tell-Tale Heart. These are all famous for a reason. They're fantastic. But let me tell you, the stories you haven't heard of--they are, likewise, unknown for a reason. Oy, the tedium. Poe really really really liked to describe things. And sometimes that's literally all that he did. No plot, no characters, just descriptions. And because he does the macabre so well, it was a shock to the system to read his other stuff that doesn't fit into that category.

  22. 5 out of 5

    MischaS_

    Love, love Edgar Allan Poe. There is not a single thing from him which is not perfect. However, the Raven is my favourite. I still remember a paper I wrote about in High school when I compared the differences between the original and the different Czech translations.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Pyjov

    '' If I felt any emotion at all, it was a kind of chuckling satisfaction at the cleverness I was about to display in extricating myself from this dilemma; and I never, for a moment, looked upon my ultimate safety as a question susceptible of doubt'' ♫ "He finally made me a low bow and departed, wishing me, in the language of the archbishop in "Gil Bias," beaucoup de bonheur et un peu plus de bon sens" My favorite quotes about Edgar Allan Poe: (there are a lot, but I found them very interesting, wr '' If I felt any emotion at all, it was a kind of chuckling satisfaction at the cleverness I was about to display in extricating myself from this dilemma; and I never, for a moment, looked upon my ultimate safety as a question susceptible of doubt'' ♫ "He finally made me a low bow and departed, wishing me, in the language of the archbishop in "Gil Bias," beaucoup de bonheur et un peu plus de bon sens" My favorite quotes about Edgar Allan Poe: (there are a lot, but I found them very interesting, written in that older style of English) "In raising images of horror, also, he has strange success, conveying to us sometimes by a dusky hint some terrible *doubt* which is the secret of all horror." "Mr. Poe's secret lies mainly in the skill with which he has employed the strange fascination of mystery and terror. In this his success is so great and striking as to deserve the name of art, not artifice." "His conversation was at times almost supramortal in its eloquence. His voice was modulated with astonishing skill, and his large and variably expressive eyes looked repose or shot fiery tumult into theirs who listened, while his own face glowed, or was changeless in pallor, as his imagination quickened his blood or drew it back frozen to his defined, in terms of utmost simplicity and clearness, he rejected the forms of customary logic, and by a crystalline process of accretion, built up his ocular demonstrations in forms of gloomiest and ghastliest grandeur, or in those of the most airy and delicious beauty, so minutely and distinctly, yet so rapidly, that the attention which was yielded to him was chained till it stood among his wonderful creations, till he himself dissolved the spell, and brought his hearers back to common and base existence, by vulgar fancies or exhibitions of the ignoblest passion." "He was at all times a dreamer-dwelling in ideal realms-in heaven or hell-peopled with the creatures and the accidents of his brain. He walked-the streets, in madness or melancholy, with lips moving in indistinct curses, or with eyes upturned in passionate prayer (never for himself, for he felt, or professed to feel, that he was already damned, but) for their happiness who at the moment were objects of his idolatry; or spell, and brought his hearers back to common and base existence, by vulgar fancies or exhibitions of the ignoblest passion.'' "Perhaps there is no task more difficult than the just criticism of contemporary literature. It is even more grateful to give praise where it is needed than where it is deserved, and friendship so often seduces the iron stylus of justice into a vague flourish, that she writes what seems rather like an epitaph than a criticism. Yet if praise be given as an alms, we could not drop so poisonous a one into any man's hat. The critic's ink may suffer equally from too large an infusion of nutgalls or of sugar. But it is easier to be generous than to be just, and we might readily put faith in that fabulous direction."

  24. 5 out of 5

    April

    Need I write a review in an attempt to praise this wonderful, wonderful man? Poe is a genius. A total classic in every way - the stories still give me chills! I think my love of Poe will always lie in the beautiful way he writes poems, though. With works such as 'Israfel' and 'Annabel Lee' how could it not? Those days I spent idolising him in senior school were days well spent; a total masterpiece.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    An influence on an array of artists from Jean Cocteau and Baudelaire to William Burroughs, Federico Fellini and the recently departed Lou Reed, Edgar Allan Poe was a writer of great import to not only America but the world. Yesterday, after spending all of the earlier part of this month immersed in the poetry and tales of Poe, I finally made by way to Poe’s “The Imp of the Perverse,” one of a handful of his stories that I had a previous acquaintance with, having read it many years ago after seei An influence on an array of artists from Jean Cocteau and Baudelaire to William Burroughs, Federico Fellini and the recently departed Lou Reed, Edgar Allan Poe was a writer of great import to not only America but the world. Yesterday, after spending all of the earlier part of this month immersed in the poetry and tales of Poe, I finally made by way to Poe’s “The Imp of the Perverse,” one of a handful of his stories that I had a previous acquaintance with, having read it many years ago after seeing an interview that Lou Reed did with journalist Hanneke Groenteman (the wonderfully entertaining “Fucking Porcupine” interview). As I read that tale on this rereading I listened to the track of the same name on Lou Reed’s 2003 concept album, The Raven, and thought of the similarities between him and Poe (just as when I had watched Cocteau’s La Belle et Le Bête I thought of the parallels between his work and Poe's). Hours later I heard of the sad passing of Lou Reed, one of my favorite musicians. I suppose I will always associate hereafter my reading of Poe with the death of Reed – two artists that explored the deep dark depths of the human psyche, the macabre and the strange. For Poe, murder, madness, drug use and death were favored themes. Reed (along with John Cale of the Velvet Underground) explored many of these same themes (“The Gift,” “Lady Godiva’s Operation,” “Heroin,” “Sister Ray” and “The Murder Mystery” are just a few notable examples) adding to them such themes as sadomasochism, transgender relations and prostitution. Both artists (Poe and Reed)– though from the States – enjoyed greater celebrity status in Europe than in the U.S. and both would have tremendous influence on subsequent artists in each of their respective crafts. But enough about Lou Reed, my focus now is on Poe and I will proceed by identifying a few themes and symbols that I found prevalent throughout Poe’s rich and varied tales. While Poe is rightfully often associated with material that chills the marrow of our bones, to use an expression he used in his own writing, he also offers some tongue in cheek humor and much philosophical inquiry. Here are a few subjects I think worthy of further exploration: (1) Madness and the Frailty of the Human Psyche This is a subject Poe deals with repeatedly, most notably in “The Tell-Tale Heart,” but also in stories like “Berenice” (in the former, the protagonist’s monomaniacal obsession is with the old man’s eye, in the latter with the young girl’s teeth – both of which drive the obsessed from socially acceptable madness to homicidal lunacy). We also find this explored in the very dark piece, “The Black Cat,” and in “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “William Wilson,” (undoubtedly the influence for Darren Aronofsky’s 2010 film, Black Swan). In “William Wilson,” Poe explores how quickly sanity can crack: “Men usually grow base by degrees. For me, in an instant, all virtue dropped bodily as a mantle. From comparatively trivial wickedness I passed, with the stride of a giant, into more than the enormities of an Elah-Gabalus.” (2) The Thin Line Between Life and Death Legend holds that Robert E. Lee’s mother was subject to cataleptic spells and that she was entombed while still alive. Though there is little substantive evidence to back this up, this was a subject that piqued Poe’s interest, the possibility of being buried alive; the question of when life ends and death begins. Similarly, he was interested in the possibility of consciousness after death. In works such as “Berenice,” “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Premature Burial,” Poe explores catalepsy and the eerie possibility of being buried alive. The thin line between life and death is further explored in works such as “Some Words with a Mummy” and “The Colloquy of Monos and Una.” (3) Tales of Mystery Often seen as one of the pioneers of detective fiction, Poe gave us several stories where reasoning was used to solve mysteries of some sort or another. Among these are the fantastic treasure hunt adventure mystery “The Gold Bug,” and (most recognizably) the trilogy of mysteries involving the Chevalier C. Auguste Dupin: the far-fetched (though best of the three) “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Mystery of Marie Roget” (based in part on a true story in New York) and “The Purloined Letter.” (4) Truth is stranger than fiction The strangeness of this material world (you couldn’t make some of this stuff up if you wanted to!) was of particular interest to Edgar Allan Poe, and an expression that can be found in many of his tales. Poe was also fond of adding footnotes to his stories to let readers in on the fact that certain oddities did indeed have factual bases. Works that deal with the strangeness of truth include the humorous “How to Write a Blackwood Article” (one of the two comedic pieces involving the celebrated Signora Psyche Zenobia, one of Poe’s most eccentric characters) and, most significantly, the darkly humorous “The Thousand-and-Second Tale of Scheherazade,” which picks up with the 1,002nd tale of Scheherazade, from One Thousand and One Nights, who tells a story to the king which he finds so ridiculous and unbelievable (though the piece is filled with footnotes from Poe demonstrating the veracity of such points) that he decides not to spare Scheherazade’s life, as One Thousand and One Nights would have us believe. (5) The Ridiculous Literary World A critic, an editor, poet and a writer of short stories, Poe had his fair share of experience with the literary world in various roles. He had many pieces rejected, he was criticized by poets like Yeats, who found no literary value in his work (I think that time has undoubtedly proven Yeats wrong), he hated the “drudgery” of editing and found the salary of an editor “contemptible,” he found greater respect among Europeans (not unlike other American writers/poets of this period, like Whitman) and had a tumultuous career, -- impacted by his substance abuse -- finding greater celebrity as a writer after his death than while he was still living. All of these factors led Poe to have a certain love-hate relationship with the literary world. He probes this world with a bittersweet humor in stories like “How to Write a Blackwood Article” (“In a Blackwood article nothing makes so fine a show as your Greek. The very letters have an air of profundity about them. . . . In short, there is nothing like Greek for a genuine sensation paper”), “X-ing a Paragrab” and “Literary Life of Thingum Bob, Esq.” (the literary magazine titles in this story are Rowdy-Dow, Lollipop, Hum-Drum and Goosetherumfoodle. (6) Technology, “Progress” and the Modern World From the sensational story, “The Balloon Hoax” (which really did serve to trick many people) to “Hans Phaal” (another fantastic balloon story) to his descriptions of modern London (a city with “the most deplorable poverty” and “the most desperate crime”) in “The Man of the Crowd” to his futuristic “Mellonta Tauta,” Poe explores these interrelated themes cheekily. And he deals with these, most memorably, in “Some Words with a Mummy,” in which he takes issue with the great strides of progress in the modern world, demonstrating that many of the greatest achievements of the 19th century are simply reworkings of ideas originally conceived in the ancient world (the narrator in this piece concludes: “The truth is, I am heartily sick of this life and of the nineteenth century in general. I am convinced that everything is going wrong”). Whether one is interested in Poe’s tales of terror and mystery (really what he is best known for, for he does these stories better than perhaps anyone else), such as “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Murders of the Rue Morgue,” “The Pit and the Pendulum” and “The Tell-Tale Heart,” or his philosophical ponderings (as in “The Colloquy of Monos and Una” or “Mesmeric Revelation”) or in humorous works (as in “The Spectacles,” a cautionary tale of love, the stories involving Signora Psyche Zenobia or “The Thousand-and-Second Tale” or the black humor of “Hop-Frog”) Poe has much to offer all different sorts of readers. A master of the macabre Poe certainly is, though he is also so much more.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bionic Jean

    The samples here are of stories which we would now class as "horror" or "suspense", but which Poe submitted to the public mainly as essays. The Premature Burial (1844) by Edgar Allan Poe purports to be a factual account or essay. It tells of several cases where a person suffering from catalepsy was buried alive, some of which were discovered in time, some not. There is a strong attempt on the part of the narrator to convince the reader that, "truth can be more terrifying than fiction," in order The samples here are of stories which we would now class as "horror" or "suspense", but which Poe submitted to the public mainly as essays. The Premature Burial (1844) by Edgar Allan Poe purports to be a factual account or essay. It tells of several cases where a person suffering from catalepsy was buried alive, some of which were discovered in time, some not. There is a strong attempt on the part of the narrator to convince the reader that, "truth can be more terrifying than fiction," in order to prepare the ground for belief in his final example. Nowadays we would probably categorise this condition as sleep paralysis but it was a common fear of the time. Indeed it is one of Poe's favourite themes, as is the crypt. After the careful build-up (view spoiler)[ of "true cases" we are presented with a personal experience. The narrator has lived a shallow life avoiding reality through his catalepsy. He has indulged in fantasies and visions because of his obsession with death, and many precautions were taken on his part to avoid being buried alive. (hide spoiler)] The ending to this tale provides a nice twist. Some Words with a Mummy (1845) was again presented as an essay, but is actually an example of Poe's satirical humour at its blackest. The narrator has overindulged at a dinner he has attended, and retires to bed. He is (ostensibly) awoken and summoned to an unwrapping of a mummy at his friend Dr Ponnonner's house, along with a group of other learned men. There is a careful account of the unwrapping of the mummy's many-layered coverings, (view spoiler)[ followed by the men's use of a "voltaic pile" (an early form of electrical battery) to reanimate it. The enlivened mummy goes on to explain that Ancient Egyptians had a significantly longer life span than modern men, living in total for about one thousand years. Their process of embalming arrested their bodily functions allowing them to sleep through hundreds of years. They could then be reactivated and go on with their lives centuries later. The modern-day men in turn proceed to boast about all the discoveries and progress they expect to have taken place since Ancient Egypt, only for the mummy to counter with his own examples every time. In desperation a trivial contemporary product is suggested, for which the mummy has no counter-suggestion. Having saved face the men return to their homes, where the narrator becomes dissatisfied with his life and times. He considers the advantages of going back to his friend's house to get embalmed for a few centuries - after eating his breakfast. (hide spoiler)] The story satirises both science and knowledge, poking fun at Egyptology on the way. The prevailing attitude of the time was that in the Western world humanity had reached the height of civilization and knowledge due to scientific and industrial revolutions. (view spoiler)[ The mummy is able to prove them mistaken at every point, and that his society's inventions were far from being inferior, and frequently superior. The only progress which is unquestionable seems to be the invention of cough drops. (hide spoiler)] A nice touch is that the mummy of the title is called "Allamistakeo". William Wilson (1839) is a semi-autobiographical story. It takes much of its setting from the early schooldays of Poe himself, referring back to when he spent 3 years at a boys' boarding school in Stoke Newington, London. It is told in the first person; William meets another boy in his school who shares the same name, has roughly the same appearance, and is born on exactly the same date. This other William often imitates the narrator's voice and mannerisms, whispering arrogantly in the narrator's ear, making him increasingly uneasy and nervous. (view spoiler)[ The narrator describes his own actions as he tries to run away from his tormentor, but becomes more and more debauched and criminal. The other William is always there insinuating and condemning. There is a growing suspicion on the part of the reader that this other William is a doppelganger, especially since he seems to follow the storyteller around the world dogging his footsteps. Despite the cogent rational descriptions, the narrator seems almost to be haunted by his namesake, and is losing his sanity. It is interesting too that the other William seems to be a better version of himself, as if he is acting the part of his conscience. The final episode describes a murder which then reveals itself as a reflection in a mirror, saying, "In me didst thou exist - and in my death, see how utterly thou hast murdered thyself." (hide spoiler)] Poe sent a copy of this story to Washington Irving, so the ending may well be an homage to a specific story of Irving's, (view spoiler)[in which the main character kills his double with his sword, only to see his own face behind the mask. (hide spoiler)] Thou Art the Man (1844) is an early experiment in what became known as "detective fiction." It is however not nearly as successful as "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", possibly because the standpoint taken is that of the narrator seeking to expose the true murderer, so that the element of mystery is missing. It is a tale of a missing body, murder and betrayal; there is a decaying corpse, a case of vintage wine and a certain amount of sleight-of-hand. And somebody near the end pronounces the devastating words, "Thou art the Man!" The Imp of the Perverse (1845) is another example of a story posing as an essay. It is an examination of theories, rather than being heavy on plot. The "imp of the perverse" is a metaphoric spirit, and refers to the urge we humans feel to do something "merely because we feel we should not." The flimsy story describes (view spoiler)[ an act of murder, which was meticulously planned to look like an accident, and therefore would never have been detected save for "the imp of the perverse." The narrator arouses suspicion by behaving oddly, by running around and ultimately by confessing to the murder in a clear and "distinct enunciation." The entire story describes an act of self-destruction, as the narrator was ultimately tried and hanged for the murder. (hide spoiler)] Some critics theorise that Poe was forming an early theory, which was later developed by Sigmund Freud into that of the self-conscious and repression: "We stand upon the brink of a precipice. We peer into the abyss - we grow sick and dizzy. Our first impulse is to shrink away from the danger. Unaccountably we remain…" Five of Edgar Allan Poe's short stories have been reviewed here. I have previously reviewed many others, and those reviews can be displayed by searching for Edgar Allan Poe on my Goodreads shelves. Here are links to reviews of 2 other stories which the author himself presented to the public as essays: The System of Dr Tarr and Professor Fether link here The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar link here

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tanya Bansal

    Poe is certainly the greatest writer of all times. I keep going back to reading his works time and again. Especially when I am not feeling good. He is a mood to me. The gothic backdrop he creates in his stories and poems make you crave to know what’s going on with this spooky writer. Many of these are my all time favorites with The Raven topping the list. Alone, The Tell-Tale Heart, Metzengerstein precede it. Edgar Allan Poe’s spooky raven enters the narrator’s house, perches on a bust above his Poe is certainly the greatest writer of all times. I keep going back to reading his works time and again. Especially when I am not feeling good. He is a mood to me. The gothic backdrop he creates in his stories and poems make you crave to know what’s going on with this spooky writer. Many of these are my all time favorites with The Raven topping the list. Alone, The Tell-Tale Heart, Metzengerstein precede it. Edgar Allan Poe’s spooky raven enters the narrator’s house, perches on a bust above his chamber door, and repeats only one word, “nevermore.” The narrator soon learns the raven has come to stay and that he’ll never be free of longing for his lost love, Lenore. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ When Poe was writing "The Raven," his wife, Virginia, was suffering from tuberculosis. It was a weird marriage—Virginia was Poe’s first cousin and only 13 years old when they married—but there’s no doubt that Poe loved her deeply. Having lost his mother, brother, and foster mother to tuberculosis, he knew the toll the disease would take. "The Raven" is a poem written by a man who’d lost many loved ones, and was soon expecting to lose one more. “Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.” —Edgar Allan Poe

  28. 4 out of 5

    Josh Caporale

    This collection of Edgar Allan Poe's short stories and poems is perhaps the most definitive that you are going to come across and it is the reason that I am satisfied with owning just this collection and nothing more. If I come across a nice looking Poe collection, I may consider purchasing it. I also own a collection of some of his short stories in an illustrated format, but I am from the mold that is satisfied with having one of a particular work in good quality. For what it is worth, this col This collection of Edgar Allan Poe's short stories and poems is perhaps the most definitive that you are going to come across and it is the reason that I am satisfied with owning just this collection and nothing more. If I come across a nice looking Poe collection, I may consider purchasing it. I also own a collection of some of his short stories in an illustrated format, but I am from the mold that is satisfied with having one of a particular work in good quality. For what it is worth, this collection of Poe's works is completely satisfactory! This collection has all of his complete works (works like his very last, incomplete work, "The Light-House," are not included). Everything from his familiar tales like The Tell-Tale Heart and The Cask of Amontillado are included and also those that are not necessarily brought up in everyday discussion. All of his poems are included as well, from the familiar, such as The Raven and The Bells, to those from his younger days. One can be perfectly content with this collection alone as far as Edgar Allan Poe is concerned. This collection is also a really good buy, as many of his collections will have a selected amount of works and be worth more than this one. You can find Literary Gladiators discussions about Poe's works here: The Tell-Tale Heart (containing spoilers): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDvU0... The Cask of Amontillado (containing spoilers): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_jfD...

  29. 4 out of 5

    Zachary Johnson

    Ever since I became a slight reader, I had heard people talk of the Great and Horrid tales of a mad man at a typewriter. I always was told that I couldn't grasp the severity of the dark stories of this man. But, here I am. I have changed a lot since the times that I read books just to fill book reports. I feel bad about all of the times that I skimmed paragraphs of detail just to get to the dripping dialog. But here I am. I know I sound like a drama queen in the paragraph above, but I feel like Ever since I became a slight reader, I had heard people talk of the Great and Horrid tales of a mad man at a typewriter. I always was told that I couldn't grasp the severity of the dark stories of this man. But, here I am. I have changed a lot since the times that I read books just to fill book reports. I feel bad about all of the times that I skimmed paragraphs of detail just to get to the dripping dialog. But here I am. I know I sound like a drama queen in the paragraph above, but I feel like it is something that is deep and poetic but about something that shouldn't be poetic at all. It could be summed up in a sentence like, "I read Edgar Allan Poe, he is scary but a good writer." but why would I take the time to write that, Because those who can change things in writing to make them more interesting or engrosses the mind with detail is worth reading, in my book (Punn intended). That is why I like Poe, quite a lot. I always use to think that it was a ban wagon thing like, 'OMG! I love Edgar! He is so talented', kinda like going to indie concert with a boat load of hipsters and that one girl that no one knows who she is and only knows the one hit song they sang. And I didn't feel ready to look like one of those people but I can't help it. It was too darn Good. I loved how he could make something so bloody and awful so beautiful. Like in the telltale heart, how you felt that it made sense for him to kill the old man. But what I loved most was how he could build emotion for a character so quickly, in 30 small pages of the angel of odd and I thought I was going to die along with the poor drunk. genius. Just Genius. I had never read poetry before in my life. And after reading this work, I think I will. The Raven was nice but what really hit me were poems like the Valley of Unrest. They are some full of ideas and imagery that when i read them before bed, It felt like I was dreaming with the lights on. I can't describe it. It was beautiful. In short, Poe has/will have a deep place in my heart. I read a completion of his best works, so I am unsure of his lesser works but an artist is judged by his Masterpiece and Loved for his other works. I would and have suggested Poe to people and I think it was wasted on some because it is suggested so often that no one listens, they just take it as at base level. If you hated my review, how I wrote it, Or Grammar Nazi me, I accept it with open arms. Also suggestions on other poets would be great.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Denisse

    I wish I had loved every page of this collection, but I didn't. Anyway for every boring atory there was a great one and some of them are absolutely incredible! Poe definitely a tormented mind, but a clever one too.

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