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Edgar Allan Poe: Collected Stories and a Selection of his Best Loved Poems

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 This collection of Poe's work includes some of the most exciting and haunting stories ever written. They range from the poetic to the mysterious to the darkly comic, yet all possess the genius for the grotesque that defines Poe's writing. They are peopled with neurotics and social outcasts, obsessed with unknown terrors or preoccupied with seemingly insolvable mysteries.   This collection of Poe's work includes some of the most exciting and haunting stories ever written. They range from the poetic to the mysterious to the darkly comic, yet all possess the genius for the grotesque that defines Poe's writing. They are peopled with neurotics and social outcasts, obsessed with unknown terrors or preoccupied with seemingly insolvable mysteries.  This beautiful hardcover edition is a collector's volume, illustrated throughout, and makes a wonderful addition to a library, or a perfect gift for a lover of classic literature.


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 This collection of Poe's work includes some of the most exciting and haunting stories ever written. They range from the poetic to the mysterious to the darkly comic, yet all possess the genius for the grotesque that defines Poe's writing. They are peopled with neurotics and social outcasts, obsessed with unknown terrors or preoccupied with seemingly insolvable mysteries.   This collection of Poe's work includes some of the most exciting and haunting stories ever written. They range from the poetic to the mysterious to the darkly comic, yet all possess the genius for the grotesque that defines Poe's writing. They are peopled with neurotics and social outcasts, obsessed with unknown terrors or preoccupied with seemingly insolvable mysteries.  This beautiful hardcover edition is a collector's volume, illustrated throughout, and makes a wonderful addition to a library, or a perfect gift for a lover of classic literature.

30 review for Edgar Allan Poe: Collected Stories and a Selection of his Best Loved Poems

  1. 4 out of 5

    Diana | Book of Secrets

    A motley collection of short stories from Poe (the complete collection!) – horror, suspense, comedy, detective, general life observations, even science fiction. At times the stories are too wordy, but Poe always entertains with his grand imagination. I greatly enjoyed Bob Thomley's narration of the audiobook. ♥ 𝓓𝓲𝓪𝓷𝓪 | Instagram | Pinterest | ✿ A motley collection of short stories from Poe (the complete collection!) – horror, suspense, comedy, detective, general life observations, even science fiction. At times the stories are too wordy, but Poe always entertains with his grand imagination. I greatly enjoyed Bob Thomley's narration of the audiobook. ♥ 𝓓𝓲𝓪𝓷𝓪 | Instagram | Pinterest | ✿

  2. 5 out of 5

    AnarchyReads

    How many times does one need to read a single book to deem it 'completed'... I don't think I'll ever get enough of Poe, I've read this so many times.. and I'm sure I will read it so many more. How many times does one need to read a single book to deem it 'completed'... I don't think I'll ever get enough of Poe, I've read this so many times.. and I'm sure I will read it so many more.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chris Gager

    Started this last night. recently rescued I think. Needed something else to read. From now on I think I'll keep a book of short stories going. Or maybe poetry. This book has both. The Telltale Heart - Amusingly creepy and funny. I think Michael Richards might have learned from this one! The Masque of the Red Death - brief and morbid. Roger Corman somehow made a full-length movie out of this starring Vincent Price(of course) as Prince Prospero. The Cask of Amontillado - already read a couple of year Started this last night. recently rescued I think. Needed something else to read. From now on I think I'll keep a book of short stories going. Or maybe poetry. This book has both. The Telltale Heart - Amusingly creepy and funny. I think Michael Richards might have learned from this one! The Masque of the Red Death - brief and morbid. Roger Corman somehow made a full-length movie out of this starring Vincent Price(of course) as Prince Prospero. The Cask of Amontillado - already read a couple of years ago. Revenge is SWEET! Metzengerstein - Got confounded by pronunciation(Poe's little joke on us?) of those German names as well as confused about whet the heck was going on. Something about revenge, transmigration of souls, a crazy-assed/possessed horse, a bad-boy Baron and so forth. Not my favorite so far. The Pit and the Pendulum - Another re-read from long ago. Must've been in H.S. This is a good one with that rescuing, last-second hand of General LaSalle! So far I think I've read all of these before and the next one too - duh! - the manipulations of the torturers are reminiscent of "The Hunger Games" and the arena. The Fall of the House of Usher - This one supposedly takes place in Scotland and I will be reading closely to confirm that - it's in a trivia question. Read before fairly recently. So - once again I find no mention of Scotland in the story so I assume that Poe must have identified the setting as Scotland outside of the context of the story. The story itself is a bit problematic... - Why doesn't our narrator persuade Roderick to take Madeline and get the bleep AWAY from that foul place??? - That narrator is Mr. Ineffectual on steroids - no help at all! - The narrative style is more elaborate and "precious" that the previous stories, lending more support to the weakling friend notion. It also makes the story a bit less enjoyable to read. - Fuseli - ? - Poe glosses over the "is she really dead" question. Where's the doctor??? A little mirror held up to her mouth might have helped - eh!!! Was the friend(an ineffectual moron) as nutty as Roderick? - Why does Roderick call the friend/narrator a madman? Did the friend even exist? If he doesn't then who tells the story? The Black Cat - Not a favorite due to the cruelty-to-an-animal content - UGH! Our narrator is an unredeemed and nasty-crazy scumbag. A Tale of the Ragged Mountains - A bit of a Rip van Winkle rip-off in this one. The story is strange rather than scary and what all it's about is a mystery to me. Diverting enough ... The Oblong Box - A brief and creepy tale. Not scary. Nice writing about the trials of a ship at sea in "challenging" weather. A la Conrad ... The Murders in the Rue Morgue - Have only read the scratching introduction so far. All about chess, checkers, whist and ??????? Finished last night. I knew the solution because I'd seen the Karl Malden film version with a guy in a gorilla(oran-utan) suit. I might have seem the Bela Lugosi one too. M. Dupin is very Sherlockian ... before Sherlock. The Purloined Letter - More from EAP about how to think super-logically(like M. Dupin). This one continues the Sherlocky stuff nicely. I read this one not too long ago, perhaps in "Fiction 101" ??? Ms. Found in a Bottle - A fantastic seagoing tale and much fun to read. Links to Coleridge and Conrad. The Oval Portrait - A short short story with a philosophical message. Berenice - Another buried alive tale(can't these Poe people find some way to verify that someone is REALLY dead before they go and bury them????) with a gruesome twist. I think I might've read this one before. A Descent into the Maelstrom - Another intense, Conradian sea-tale, this time about a very real place in Norway. I looked it up in my Nat. Geo. World Atlas. The opening of it took me back to an unnerving experience I had while mountain- hiking in Colorado many years ago. Think you've had stressful experiences? Read this story! Thou Art the Man - An amusing, if incredible, whodunit tale in which the reader suspects strongly(and correctly) all along who the killer really is. The fun is in the explanation at the end - ingenious! Mystification - another amusing, lightweight tale of a boorish fool being made fun of and not understanding AT ALL. Good stuff by the ironic Mr. Poe. The Imp of the Perverse - Introduction - This is a stand-alone piece, actually, and quite amusing and interesting. It's fun to read this stuff aloud and doing that will help in the understanding of it as well. Poe can be clear as a bell, if somewhat convoluted/archaic when he so chooses. At times he himself becomes a bit perverse and writes in such a baroque style that it becomes harder to read and difficult to comprehend! The Imp of the Perverse - Another killer who can't keep his mouth shut a la "The Tell-Tale Heart." The Premature Burial - A tale perversely both humorous and scary. William Wilson(plus introduction) - An odd-one about a guy with a split personality(I think). Ligeia - Filmed as "The Tomb of Ligeia" ... Creepy-crawly ghost story a bit reminiscent of "The Yellow Wall-Paper." Morella - Another entertaining tale that dances around the same supernatural and death-focused flames of many preceding stories. I only read one a night lest I get bored with the sameness of them. The writing is always a treat but Poe's narrators are ALL tormented, unbalanced men. Like the author, I suppose! Shadow: a Parable - more death mysteries ... The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion - all about the afterlife. I really enjoyed this one. Silence - More of that impressively fantastic and imaginative prose. An inspiration to Lovecraft I assume. Poems - all the big hits are here. No problem rating this book a solid 4* though I do believe that people make the mistake of taking Poe too seriously. He can be pretty funny!

  4. 4 out of 5

    pstreads

    This guy. THIS guy.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Linette Marie Allen

    Gorgeous and disturbing! A master's hand a work, traipsing the cellars of the mind. Gorgeous and disturbing! A master's hand a work, traipsing the cellars of the mind.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    This collection was really hit or miss for me. Many of Poe's most famous works are fun to read, but there was little here that changed my life. I've had many friends say they found Poe when they were in their angsty teens and that he was a breath of fresh air for the, so maybe I just came to explore him too late. I can totally appreciate his influence on modern literature, but many of his stories were too simplistic. In most cases, they were little more than anecdotes. A few of them stood out to This collection was really hit or miss for me. Many of Poe's most famous works are fun to read, but there was little here that changed my life. I've had many friends say they found Poe when they were in their angsty teens and that he was a breath of fresh air for the, so maybe I just came to explore him too late. I can totally appreciate his influence on modern literature, but many of his stories were too simplistic. In most cases, they were little more than anecdotes. A few of them stood out to me, like "The Angel of the Odd." In many cases, his stories were thinly veiled covers for philosophical treatises, which got me wondering if one could pull that off today. The best surprise for me was "William Wilson," as story I'd never heard of before but quite enjoyed. And of course, "The Raven" is always a classic.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Aurélie Knit & Read

    *Listened to Audiobook* I remember loving Poe's novellas when I read a few of them separately as a teenager. They were dark and twisted and it was right up my alley. I could not finish this. Either I've grown into a snob, or these novellas, once read back to back in an anthology, all sound the same and lose their collective - and individual - magic. Same kind of narrator (story told at the first person, a male who leaves a journal or a letter claiming he hasn't lost his mind, etc), same kind of st *Listened to Audiobook* I remember loving Poe's novellas when I read a few of them separately as a teenager. They were dark and twisted and it was right up my alley. I could not finish this. Either I've grown into a snob, or these novellas, once read back to back in an anthology, all sound the same and lose their collective - and individual - magic. Same kind of narrator (story told at the first person, a male who leaves a journal or a letter claiming he hasn't lost his mind, etc), same kind of story/mystery, same kind of ending... I'm sorry Edgar, but reading a collection of your novellas is not very flattering to your writing because it's as though you've kept using the same recipe over and over and it's utterly boring. So sad Poe has lost his mojo in my eyes. I wish I could love those tales like before, but I guess now it's too late for that... Shame.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tisha (IG: Bluestocking629)

    You know how some days you go to Target/Marshall’s/TJMaxx/Hobby Lobby and you have to sneak in the shopping bags, a few at a time, because there are so (too) many; then other times you come home with a pumpkin flavored candle, only? Well reading a compilation of short stories, even from a master like Poe will sometimes only yield a few shopping bags. Some stories I flat out hated and couldn’t wait for them to end. God awful (in my humble opinion). Others I rather enjoyed. Others I loved so much I You know how some days you go to Target/Marshall’s/TJMaxx/Hobby Lobby and you have to sneak in the shopping bags, a few at a time, because there are so (too) many; then other times you come home with a pumpkin flavored candle, only? Well reading a compilation of short stories, even from a master like Poe will sometimes only yield a few shopping bags. Some stories I flat out hated and couldn’t wait for them to end. God awful (in my humble opinion). Others I rather enjoyed. Others I loved so much I know they will stay with me. One (“A Predicament”) I even retold to my mom. (She hated it, naturally). Then there are some lines so quote worthy they made it into my quote book; such as: “If there is any thing on earth I hate, it is a genius. Your geniuses are all arrant a$$es - the greater the genius the greater the a$$...” My particular favorite in this collection is “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”. I remember when I was little a local channel would play two horror movies on Saturday. They called it Creature Double Feature. One movie was The Murders in the Rue Morgue. I remember watching it, but I have no idea how much of it was identical to this story. I simply remember it being very dark. I abhorred the story: “The Black Cat”. I suppose that may partly have to do with the fact I have a black cat. Oh and I think Poe had some kind of mental disorder or something. Who makes this sh*t up? What sane person anyway? He either had mental issues or he was the most brilliant man alive. Wildly entertaining, overall.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carlos Olivo-Valverde

    I didn't read the whole volume with the complete stories, but only a handulf of these. More specifically, those who I had previously included in my reading list for 2021. The stories read were: 1. The facts in the case of M. Valdemar (page 829); 2. The pit and the pendul (page 590); 3. The fall of the House of Usher (page 365); 4. The murders in the Rue Morgue (page 473); 5. The Mistery of Marie Rogêt (page 543); and 6. The Purloined Letter (page 684). Of these, I would rate the first with 5 stars, the I didn't read the whole volume with the complete stories, but only a handulf of these. More specifically, those who I had previously included in my reading list for 2021. The stories read were: 1. The facts in the case of M. Valdemar (page 829); 2. The pit and the pendul (page 590); 3. The fall of the House of Usher (page 365); 4. The murders in the Rue Morgue (page 473); 5. The Mistery of Marie Rogêt (page 543); and 6. The Purloined Letter (page 684). Of these, I would rate the first with 5 stars, the next three with 4 and the last two with only 3 stars. I believe that "The facts in the case of M. Valdemar" and "The fall of the House of Usher" are masterpieces of the terror genre, where in my opinion (and Julio Cortazar's) Poe reigns. "The pit and the pendul" also belongs to Poe's terror cycle, where, as said, he excelled. However, in this case I couldn't help noticing a slightly shoddiness in Poe's narrative technique (like in Poe's "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym"). In spite of that, it is overall a thrilling story, another classic of the genre that deserves 4 stars for its good conception. Despite criticisms by some reviewers and "whodunit" lovers alike, in my opinion "The murders in the Rue Morgue", with its Dupin detective character, stands as the seminal work which inspired Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and even Dostoevsky's Porfiry Petrovich in "Crime and Punishment". Only for that, it deserves the 4 stars. However, I found the other two "Dupin" stories rather boring. In both, the main character delves into extended phylosophical and theoretical elaborations of his analytical skills as long preludes to the resolution of the cases themselves, which are dealt with in a perfunctory and rather simplistic manner. Therefore, the stories almost work as essays on crime deductive analysis in the 19th century, and as such have only relative value to the reader.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Morgan Mcbride

    The purpose for writing this book was to entertain readers. Since Edgar Allan Poe wrote during the Romanticism era he focused on the Gothic part. This means that he would speak about the known and the unknowns of the world. He also focused on the imagination of the Romantics. For example; he had a bird that talked, a heart beat only heard by one man, and a devil in disguise as an ordinary man. His use of Romanticism helped entertain people with its ominous, suspicious, and chimera writing. Since The purpose for writing this book was to entertain readers. Since Edgar Allan Poe wrote during the Romanticism era he focused on the Gothic part. This means that he would speak about the known and the unknowns of the world. He also focused on the imagination of the Romantics. For example; he had a bird that talked, a heart beat only heard by one man, and a devil in disguise as an ordinary man. His use of Romanticism helped entertain people with its ominous, suspicious, and chimera writing. Since there were many books I read out of this book, to say there is a theme to the whole book is false. I will give a theme of from the story The Black Cat. The theme was not to confuse reality with illusions. Alcohol was a key contributor to the story. The main character would see many images while he was under the influence and it would both confuse and inspire him. He was not able to tell what was real and what was not real anymore. His illusions cause him to be very angry and lash out on the loved ones around him. He only ever spared his cat Pluto, but eventually one day he did attack his cat. Thus being proof that one must distinguish between reality and illusions properly. This book is written as a narration because every story starts with a main character and is explained through a series of events within the story. For example, in The Masque of the Red Death the story starts with what is happening in the country and how the Red Death has affected it. It then goes to explain the main characters emotions about the Red Death and what he feels as it slowly starts to affect his life. The story then continues through a series of events until the ending is reached. In this ending the main character and everyone else around him dies. I personally love Edgar Allen Poe, so reading these stories were very easy for me and I was entertained. In order to like any of the stories you have to like Poe's style of writing. He is a very dark and mysterious writer, which is probably why I like him so much. His stories are never cliche and somehow always pertain to death. Since I have only read about six stories I would have to say Tell Tale Heart is my favorite. I like the way it shows a humans guilt to a crime they committed and how it can drive them crazy, but it also has great detail that is paid attention to while reading it. I would like to read more so Tell Tale Heart might not be my favorite forever.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    After reading the entire book, it is clear why Edgar Allan Poe is still so widely read and respected today, even though all of his writing was done in the late 1800's. There are those stories everyone knows-The Pit and The Pendulum, The Telltale Heart, Ms in a bottle (his first published work), The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Masque of the Red Death. There are other, equally macabre as well, like The Oval Portrait, and Elenora, Berniece and Morella, that are pe After reading the entire book, it is clear why Edgar Allan Poe is still so widely read and respected today, even though all of his writing was done in the late 1800's. There are those stories everyone knows-The Pit and The Pendulum, The Telltale Heart, Ms in a bottle (his first published work), The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Masque of the Red Death. There are other, equally macabre as well, like The Oval Portrait, and Elenora, Berniece and Morella, that are perhaps not as well known. Some of the stories were somewhat long and tedious, and did not stand the test of time. His one and only novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, was a most interesting and sometimes disturbing tale of life at sea in the 1800's. Of the poems, obviously, The Raven, and also Alone, are the 2 most eloquent and macabre. Poe was a sad genius. The book is not always an easy read, as the writing is often archaic by today's standards. It is definitely not something to read in a few days! But, overall, it is well worth it. He still reigns as the master of the macabre!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Hicks

    I’ve been curious about Mr. Poe ever since having visited the historical town of Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina. It was there you could find all sorts of reverence and references to his works. You could go to the dimly lit restaurant of Poe’s Tavern and grab yourself an “Annabelle Lee” or “Gold Bug” for lunch. Go to the restroom and read his stories papered on the wall, while an eerie old sounding voice recites his work over the radio. Or mosey on down Raven Street. In any case, long story sho I’ve been curious about Mr. Poe ever since having visited the historical town of Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina. It was there you could find all sorts of reverence and references to his works. You could go to the dimly lit restaurant of Poe’s Tavern and grab yourself an “Annabelle Lee” or “Gold Bug” for lunch. Go to the restroom and read his stories papered on the wall, while an eerie old sounding voice recites his work over the radio. Or mosey on down Raven Street. In any case, long story short, I finally went down to the library and picked up “His Complete Works” ... I figured go big or go home, right? And man was this book a BRICK. This wasn’t gonna be easy reading, I could tell (that is - physically speaking - just holding up the pages!) I think what strikes me off the bat, when reading this book is the sheer variety of its content. Of course, most people are familiar with his more gothic pieces like the poem “The Raven” and “The Tell-Tale Heart”. But there are also quite a few adventure stories here too, involving hot air balloon trips to the moon (The Unparalleled Adventure of one Hans Pfall), harrowing trips at sea from whirlpools, haunted ships, starvation (Message Found in a Bottle, A Descent into the Maelstrom, the Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym). Including mysteries, that give Poe the title of “the one who invented the detective story” like Murders in the Rue Morgue and the Purloined Letter. Monsieur Auguste Dupin is the original Sherlock Holmes - though far less prolific, only occurring in three stories, and far less well known. Some of these stories aren’t even fiction but historical treaties of real events like Astoria, that tells of the history and founding of Astoria, Oregon. Another, the last story (and the longest), tells of the accounts of Poe’s friend Arthur Gordon Pym, or his adventures at sea and his multiple brushes with death - a real page-turner that one. Still ... there are even other stories of a more philosophical, religious nature. Which I think this surprised me the most about Poe. One story takes place in ancient Jerusalem. Another story speaks from the perspective of two angels (presumably, two humans that recently BECAME angels) which is merely a conversation between the two discussing how the world ended in the apocalypse: “Then—let us bow down, Charmion, before the excessive majesty of the great God!—then, there came a shouting and pervading sound, as if from the mouth itself of HIM; while the whole incumbent mass of ether in which we existed, burst at once into a species of intense flame, for whose surpassing brilliancy and all-fervid heat even the angels in high Heaven of pure knowledge have no name. Thus ended all. Another story, “Review of Stephens’ ‘Arabia Petrae’” reads almost exactly like a work of Christian apologetic. Take this paragraph for instance: “It, however, was distinctly foretold that this country of kings (referring to Egypt) should no longer have one of its own - that it should be laid waste by the hand of strangers - that it should be a base kingdom, the basest of the base - that it should never again exalt itself among the nations - that it should be a desolation surrounded by desolation. Two thousand years have now afforded their testimony to the infallibility of the Divine word, and the evidence is still accumulative.” Keep in mind, this is the same author that wrote a story about someone murdering an old man in his bed and then hiding his remains under the floorboards because he “had an evil look to him”. He is a bit of enigma... (((He also wrote some poetry with spiritual undertones as well. Here are some lines from one I quite like called “To M. L. S.”))) “Of all who, on Despair’s unhallowed bed Lying down to die, have suddenly arisen At thy soft-murmured words, “Let there be light!” At thy soft-murmured words that were fulfilled In the seraphic glances of thine eyes— Of all who owe thee most—whose gratitude Nearest resembles worship—oh, remember The truest—the most fervently devoted, And think that those weak lines are written by him, By him who, as he pens them, thrills to think His spirit is communing with an angel’s.” The most pervasive themes in Poe’s work involve questions of death, including its physical signs, the effects of decomposition concerns of premature burial, the reanimation of the dead, and mourning. The concern about being buried alive was a very real fear back in the day. In the early nineteenth century, medical knowledge was primitive, and there would be many cases of people undergoing some form of epileptic shock that would put the bodies under a catatonic state ... giving the false appearance of death. One story in particular, Premature Burial, was genuinely fear-inducing. I’ve read a lot of horror stories for the sake of intrigue, but this one nearly gave me chills just thinking of the utter panic (and claustrophobia) of being mistakenly buried alive with no one to call for help! There are a lot of truly great stories in this collection like The Gold Bug, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, Hop-Frog, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfall, Message Found in a Bottle, The Angel of the Odd, and so on and so forth ... but there’s also a lot of inevitable major flops as well (which I will get to in a moment). Poe’s work sort of has that atmospheric dread you get from reading Lovecraft (minus the underhanded sneering of religious sentiment). Other times Poe’s work is like reading the deductive reasoning of Sherlock that concludes in that satisfying feeling of everything falling into place. And yet ... other times you aren’t at all sure what you’re reading and have no choice but to conclude you’re reading incoherent nonsense. I really wanted to give Poe five stars, but the fact remains that are at LEAST a dozen stories in this collection that could easily been shaven off and would have greatly increased the overall quality of work. Stories like “The Philosophy of Furniture” for example. This isn’t even a story but is literally just Poe giving his opinions on the best way of decorating your house. That’s it. I guess when you’re reading the “Complete Works” that should include one’s shopping list as well? (After all, it is TECHNICALLY something you wrote). Another story, “The Duc de L’Omelette”, which I think is genuinely the worst of the lot, I literally have no idea what’s going on. Yes, there are recognizable letters here that form familiar words. And yes, these words do arrange themselves into grammatical sentences. But that’s as far as it goes. Beyond that ... just pure incoherence. And these aren’t the only stories ... there’s also “Diddling” and “X-ing a Paragrab” ... which the titles alone should give you a hint you’re about to read something truly bonkers. One story that “almost” makes the cut for being decent would be “Landor’s Cottage”. The descriptive qualities of this one is excellent ... but it’s literally just descriptive of a beautiful landscape, described in extravagant detail. There is no plot. There is no story. It would seem to make more sense to make this into a poem so as it justify its plotlessness. Another is one called “Maelzel’s Chess Player”. The premise follows a magician who owns an animatronic machine that plays you at chess. The story plays out asking the question whether or not it’s purely mechanical or if it’s directed by some human intelligence behind the curtain (keep in mind this is the early 1800s which had very primitive technology). I thought the concept to be really intriguing and kept expecting some crazy twist in the end ... but yet it never ended up coming. Another is a group of stories told in sequence, “Ligeia”, “Berenice”, “Morella”, and “Eleonarra”.... all of these stories have incredibly similar plot lines involving the death of a beloved woman, and something involving bringing them back to life or finding out they aren’t actually dead. Perhaps just one of these stories would have been fine ... but having them all in the same collection and appearing in sequence with one another, they blend together so as to be nearly indistinguishable from each other. Other Criticisms (Though Smaller) of Poe Poe, very liberally peppers his work with foreign words and lines. Mainly from French but also of Latin and Greek. I wouldn’t mind this so much ... except there aren’t any handy English translations presented as a footnote (as would be the most convenient) appearing at the bottom of the page. And I can’t always be bothered to constantly look them up online. Other authors do this as well ... like Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, and his constant utterances of “Bon ami!”. But these words and phrases are basically just aesthetic garnish for Poirot’s character ... not something that is vital to understanding what you’re reading or the overall plot line. The same can’t be said about Poe’s work where one feels you’re missing out on some important information ... which is like hearing a joke in English but then hearing the punchline in Spanish! I’m not sure what the reason for this is, other than to either say that people in the nineteenth century were more educated and people were just expected to know the foreign words ... or Poe is merely an academic, and puts that on a higher level of importance than being plainly understood. —The Poetry of Poe— I think Poe really is a talented poet. It’s the kind of poetry that has a musical quality when read aloud, where even if the words themselves lacked meaning (they don’t, but speaking hypothetically) the sounds alone would be pleasant to the ears. His outlook on poetry is that it shouldn’t be focused on giving you a moral lesson dressed up in rhymes ... but rather that it takes you to a place of “transcendent beauty”. It’s about dreaming, passion and escapism, in other words. His best poems, to me, are The Raven, To Helen, Annabelle Lee, A Dream Within a Dream, Sonnet to Science, The Bells, To M. L. S., and Alone. While I won’t bother quoting all of the poetry I truly liked, I will share some lines from “Sonnet to Science”. “Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car? And driven the Hamadryad from the wood To seek a shelter in some happier star? Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood, The Elfin from the green grass, and from me: The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?” Basically this poem talks about how the advent of science can feel as though it’s tearing away at the magic and mythology of the world. How scientific explanation (while useful) can take away one’s childlike wonder at the things we didn’t comprehend nor understand. But now that the rabbits out of the hat ... what then? I can relate to this feeling a lot and wrote a dramatic poem about it myself at one time. I hope you found this review helpful. -Tim

  13. 4 out of 5

    David

    *Ignore the start date, that is incorrect by at least several months. I have finally gotten through E.A Poe. There were many great short stories in this collection and I got a good laugh out of the made up names “Allamistakeo” the Egyptian Mummy. His visions of what future life would be like was one of the most interesting to me as it showed what his main concerns of the time were. I wonder what he would say about our modern world? Curiously, the stories he wrote involving getting married all end *Ignore the start date, that is incorrect by at least several months. I have finally gotten through E.A Poe. There were many great short stories in this collection and I got a good laugh out of the made up names “Allamistakeo” the Egyptian Mummy. His visions of what future life would be like was one of the most interesting to me as it showed what his main concerns of the time were. I wonder what he would say about our modern world? Curiously, the stories he wrote involving getting married all ended in nearly the same tragic way, he had a fascination with disease and death of some one he loved. I may read this over again some day, his syntax and manner of writing were hard to grasp at times. All in all, a worthwhile read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    HB

    Reading Poe requires a lot of things at once: patience, appreciation for nuance, the ability to not skip ahead, a smattering of French. (And Latin, for that matter.) And if you haven't read a lot of his writing consecutively, as I had not before this, you'd be forgiven for not recognizing his massive influence in the wild. Reading the non-school-required work of Poe is like listening - actually, really listening - to The Beatles: the B-sides, the "filler" songs, the less-wildly-popular albums; a Reading Poe requires a lot of things at once: patience, appreciation for nuance, the ability to not skip ahead, a smattering of French. (And Latin, for that matter.) And if you haven't read a lot of his writing consecutively, as I had not before this, you'd be forgiven for not recognizing his massive influence in the wild. Reading the non-school-required work of Poe is like listening - actually, really listening - to The Beatles: the B-sides, the "filler" songs, the less-wildly-popular albums; and realizing that these in-betweens are the near-plagiarized foundations of so much modern literature. I lost track of how many times I stopped dead at a name, or slowly identified the framework of a story I know from another author. Reading this book was like watching The Lion King and realizing it's a retelling of Hamlet. Full disclosure: this collection is almost 1000 pages, and I skipped a few stories, usually if I got to the second or third page and wasn't sure what was going on. ("Bon-Bon", for example, I gave up on pretty quickly.) Five stars because it's Poe and you should read it, even if you don't read all of it. Yes, you. What follows is much more for my own recollection later, when I'm reminded of a detail but don't recall from where. "A Tale of Jerusalem" The stories in this collection are not organized in any particular manner; this one seems a bit odd for an opening gambit. It's one of the first stories he ever saw published, and does the reader the favor of illustrating immediately Poe's gift for telling a full tale in a few short paragraphs. "Bon-Bon" As above, I gave up on this. No idea what was going on. Classified as "humor" but better suited to "nonsense". "The Duc de l'Omelette" "Had Alexander not been Alexander, he would have been Diogenes." "Ms Found In A Bottle" "Who has only one moment to live has nothing more to hide". So begins this story with an untranslated French quote; it's not the first story in the collection to open this way, but it proved the point of looking up these foreign lines when Poe offers them, as they more often than not illuminate what might otherwise be an enigmatic story. ("Bon-Bon" does not enjoy this advantage.) "Silence - A Fable" A popular interpretation of this 13-paragraph writing is that Poe was either lucid-writing or high as a kite. "Shadow: A Parable" The literary "rule of two" is visible in most of Poe's writing, which roughly equates to a yin-and-yang balance; if there's discussion of the physical, there will be a corresponding exploration of the metaphysical, even if not in the same writing. "Shadow", published anonymously, seems to correspond to "Silence". "Berenice" Inside Out, the Pixar film about emotions, seems to be inspired by inverting the first paragraph of "Berenice": "...how is it that from beauty I have derived a type of unloveliness? From the covenant of peace, a simile of sorrow? But, as in ethics, evil is a consequence of good, so, in fact, out of joy is sorrow born. Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish of to-day, or the agonies which are, have their origin in the ecstasies which might have been." ...and the finale of this story seems to have inspired the darkest parts of Gillian Flynn's Sharp Objects. "Ligeia" I think he poisons his second wife and she returns from the dead as a version of his first wife? "The Fall of the House of Usher" Of all the verbose place-descriptions, the verbal illustration of the House of Usher is maybe the most complete, the creepiest, and the most important to the success of the story. This isn't the original example of extrapolating a human into an object as metaphor, but it's one of the best. "William Wilson" So... this feels like Poe's exploration of multiple personality disorder (now "dissociative identity disorder", which doesn't have quite the same ring to it). It's billed as a horror story but feels like the prose version of a psych investigation. "A Descent Into the Maelstrom" Masterful. Poe's command of the nuances of English are on full display here; I found my tension slowly but steadily rising throughout the narrative. Feels like the first-person account of "Manuscript Found in a Bottle". "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" The debut of the original modern detective, C. Auguste Dupin, who Conan Doyle credits as being the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes. I was struck by the banality of the title of this story in contrast with the extraordinary plot and outcome; it reminds me of Conan Doyle's decision to release the first full-length Holmes story as "A Study in Scarlet", rather than "A Tangled Skein", which was the original title, and would have undoubtedly engaged far fewer readers. "Murders in the Rue Morgue" is a brilliant if bonkers recounting of the brutal slaying of a woman and her daughter, whose murderer is just about the last suspect you'd ever guess. Truly, whatever remains, however improbable... "The Mystery of Marie Roget" My god I thought he'd never get to the damn point. "The Pit and the Pendulum" Finally, the inspiration for any of Stephen King's deeply unsatisfying endings! (Looking at you, The Stand.) After that much suspense - and good lord Poe is the master of slow-building, blood-chilling suspense here - we get a merciful ending? This is the type of writing that gets beaten to death in AP Lit classes. "Discuss: what actually happens to our condemned protagonist at the end of the story? Does he really get rescued just in the nick of time, or is his vision of General Lasalle a final hallucination? Do you think the escalating horrors of the dungeon's tortures are real, or is the prisoner imagining them based on the rumors he has heard about the prison, as his mind slips into insanity?" "The Masque of the Red Death" To read about the pervasiveness of disease in the midst of an actual pandemic was maybe the most unnerving part of all of Poe. "The Oval Portrait" Maybe the inspiration for the Mirror of Erised? "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live." Also maybe the inspiration for The Picture of Dorian Gray. "The Gold-Bug" Racism! Cyphers! Pirate treasure! "The Tell-Tale Heart" If you went to public school in America you probably read this. Poe really likes describing the process of descending into madness, from multiple viewpoints, so much that it makes me wonder if he considered writing about it his own personal madness-amulet. "Diddling" Billed as "parody", this piece is proof that Poe had fully intact senses of humor and mischief. "The Purloined Letter" Or, "The Many Advantages of Hiding Something in Plain Sight". This story has been told a million times. "The Premature Burial" Both a quasi-scientific exposition on a horrific thing that actually used to happen rather frequently and a morality tale about living your life rather than simply surviving it. Extracurricular information: the terms "graveyard shift" and "dead ringer" both come from the reality that people were interred while alive before embalming corpses became the custom. "The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether" Or, the non-tragic version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Apparently there's no adjectival form of the word "levity". "The Ragged Mountains" The clearly-fiction version of "The Facts in the Case of M Valdemar". "The Oblong Box" Even if you sort out the charade here right away, the emotional ending makes it entirely worth reading. "The Facts in the Case of M Valdemar" This story reminded me a lot of Orson Welles's radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds that was mistaken for a real story at the time. "The Cask of Amontillado" I still can't believe this was published in a women's publication in 1846. Truly fucked up. Also reminds me, of course, of a particular Neil Gaiman story. "The Sphinx" ...I can't believe I didn't see this ending coming. Well played, Mauer. "Hop-Frog" Again, Poe's ability to tell a whole story in a few short pages is unparalleled here. "Hop-Frog" and "Trippetta" might be Shakespearean names, and the dwarf's vengeance here is served more poetically than Shylock's. For better or worse, I Googled "best Poe short fiction" and made my own list from the top fifteen lists. A lot of the writings contained in this volume didn't appear on any of those lists, so I skipped them.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    I wanted to expand my knowledge of Poe somewhat, and this volume was useful for that. I'm not going to read the whole thing right now (it's too long, and I have too many other things waiting), but I will talk a bit about the stories I did read. I think what surprised me the most was how reminiscent Poe’s style in some of these was of Ambrose Bierce. Bierce was born just six years before Poe died, so obviously it was Poe that was influential on Bierce, and not the other way round, but I read Bierc I wanted to expand my knowledge of Poe somewhat, and this volume was useful for that. I'm not going to read the whole thing right now (it's too long, and I have too many other things waiting), but I will talk a bit about the stories I did read. I think what surprised me the most was how reminiscent Poe’s style in some of these was of Ambrose Bierce. Bierce was born just six years before Poe died, so obviously it was Poe that was influential on Bierce, and not the other way round, but I read Bierce before I read these stories. The one that seemed the most clearly Bierce-ian to me was “Loss of Breath,” which would stand as a “Tall Tale” of the Western variety if listed in a Bierce collection. Since Poe was never in San Francisco, however, we have to question the attribution of the outlandish style by Bierce’s critic in The Complete Short Stories. Obviously Americans had been swapping outrageous tall tales throughout the country for quite some time, and Poe does an excellent job, telling of a man whose breath is “lost,” but who keeps living, after a fashion, and has several morbidly hilarious adventures. Several other stories were comedic in intent, and actually all of them included at least a little humor. Among the most obvious satires were “Bon-Bon,” “The Duc De L’Omelette,” and Four Beasts in One – the Homo-Camelopard.” The other writer I was reminded of, to my surprise, was Jules Verne, who also became known after Poe’s death. The comparison was especially strong in “The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfall,” which was a straight science fiction story – the earliest I have read. In it, the eponymous hero narrates his adventure to the Moon, by use of a new kind of hot-air balloon. Some of this story was clearly intended to be silly, but Poe takes pains to make it scientifically plausible (according to the science of his times, at least), to the point that at times there are pages of technical detail, very much in the vein of Verne. It ends with an extended note in which Poe derides other fiction writers working on the same theme, so obviously he was not alone in exploring this theme, suggesting that sci fi has been around longer than I thought. In all, the stories I read were very good, and not at all the sort of creepy, atmospheric material most people associate with Poe. When it dealt with morbid or frightening subjects, it did so on satirical terms, which makes me suspect that some of his better-known stories also may have been intended to be funnier than people realize. Certainly, this makes me re-think the scene in “Usher” where the narrator reads aloud to Roderick Usher from that feeble book of knightly adventures. Someday I will re-visit this volume, when I have more time to work on it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Edgar Allan Poe is one of America’s most famous, and most misunderstood, men of letters. As this book shows, he was much more than just a horror writer. He made his living, such as it was, with his pen, so he did all sorts of writing. He wrote satire, comedy, poetry, adventure and gothic stories. He was also one of the originators of the mystery genre, along with being an inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle. Poe was also known as a literary critic; others may have disagreed with him, but they coul Edgar Allan Poe is one of America’s most famous, and most misunderstood, men of letters. As this book shows, he was much more than just a horror writer. He made his living, such as it was, with his pen, so he did all sorts of writing. He wrote satire, comedy, poetry, adventure and gothic stories. He was also one of the originators of the mystery genre, along with being an inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle. Poe was also known as a literary critic; others may have disagreed with him, but they could not discount his arguments. He did not write easy-to-read, "tabloid" fiction; his stories required some effort on the part of the reader. The stories that one would expect in any Poe collection are here, like "The Purloined Letter," "The Cask of Amontillado," and "The Masque of the Red Death." Included is one of his many satires, looking exactly like a newspaper article describing a successful trans-Atlantic trip by balloon. In the 1840s, the public was abuzz with talk of balloon trips across the Atlantic greatly shortening the travel time. Poe simply took that national obsession and ran with it. With illustrations by Harry Clarke, this book is very much worth reading. It’s good for scholars and researchers looking for lesser-known Poe works. It’s good for those who enjoy 19th Century writing. It’s also good for those who like a variety of really good writing. It gets two thumbs-up.

  17. 5 out of 5

    LobsterQuadrille

    Edgar Allan Poe is most famous for his mystery and horror stories, but he also wrote tales that were funny, satirical, or even mystical. It was wonderful to finally reread this collection and get reacquainted with his lesser-known stories. Many of Poe's stories are true classics, ranging from chilling to hilarious to wonderfully eloquent. I don't know how I forgot how creepy "William Wilson" is! Some stories are very slow and forgettable, but the great ones easily make up for the collection's l Edgar Allan Poe is most famous for his mystery and horror stories, but he also wrote tales that were funny, satirical, or even mystical. It was wonderful to finally reread this collection and get reacquainted with his lesser-known stories. Many of Poe's stories are true classics, ranging from chilling to hilarious to wonderfully eloquent. I don't know how I forgot how creepy "William Wilson" is! Some stories are very slow and forgettable, but the great ones easily make up for the collection's low points. Listed here are my personal favorites: The Black Cat Ligeia The Tell-tale Heart William Wilson Berenice "Thou Art the Man" Hop-Frog The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Feather The Literary Life of Thingum Bob, Esq. How to Write a Blackwood Article A Predicament The Man That Was Used Up The Angel of the Odd X-ing a Paragrab The Sphinx The Spectacles Never Bet the Devil Your Head

  18. 4 out of 5

    Norma Christensen

    Edgar Allan Poe is certainly an interesting character and I rather enjoying reading his macabre tales. I read The Telltale Heart, which seemed to be much scarier when I was young. I had also read The Murders in the Rue Morgue when I was young, but I had always thought the Rue Morgue was a morgue and didn't realize until now it was a place. Then I read The Fall of the House of Usher, which I liked okay and finished with The Black Cat, which was absolutely horrid and very scary. Great Halloween st Edgar Allan Poe is certainly an interesting character and I rather enjoying reading his macabre tales. I read The Telltale Heart, which seemed to be much scarier when I was young. I had also read The Murders in the Rue Morgue when I was young, but I had always thought the Rue Morgue was a morgue and didn't realize until now it was a place. Then I read The Fall of the House of Usher, which I liked okay and finished with The Black Cat, which was absolutely horrid and very scary. Great Halloween story and I'm glad to have read Poe again. I read numerous poems and I have to say that the Raven is a favorite of mine, having memorized part of it when I was in High School and remembering it all these years later. I also like Annabel Lee in her sepulcher by the sea. I might even read some more scary stories before Halloween. What could be better.....

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rivka

    We're delving into the writings of Edgar Allan Poe for our October book club and I'm glad for the chance to clear the dust from this book. His writings are haunting and not thrillers and I love that! We get to choose our own selections so I started with his poetry (not in this edition). For short stories I began with "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" and then had to follow with the other Dupin stories, "The Murder of Marie Roget" and "The Purloined Letter". Logic and mystery make a captivating rea We're delving into the writings of Edgar Allan Poe for our October book club and I'm glad for the chance to clear the dust from this book. His writings are haunting and not thrillers and I love that! We get to choose our own selections so I started with his poetry (not in this edition). For short stories I began with "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" and then had to follow with the other Dupin stories, "The Murder of Marie Roget" and "The Purloined Letter". Logic and mystery make a captivating read. I think the next on my list will "The Fall of the House of Usher", "The Pit and the Pendulum" and "The Tell-Tale Heart", and then I'm going to hit a few of the ones I'm less familiar with. Short story collections are fun!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lorenzo Berardi

    I am afraid that Edgar Allan Poe will never be my favourite cup of tea. There is a genius behind some of these tales and a forerunner of many literary genres, but I just find his prose too outworn and verbal. It's just like with Britons pouring milk in their tea. I can see how this milky addition has a point and a whole geography of culture and mannerisms in it, but I do prefer my old slice of lemon. Edgar Allan Poe tales are like tea with too much milk: good primary ingredients but mixed up in a I am afraid that Edgar Allan Poe will never be my favourite cup of tea. There is a genius behind some of these tales and a forerunner of many literary genres, but I just find his prose too outworn and verbal. It's just like with Britons pouring milk in their tea. I can see how this milky addition has a point and a whole geography of culture and mannerisms in it, but I do prefer my old slice of lemon. Edgar Allan Poe tales are like tea with too much milk: good primary ingredients but mixed up in a way that doesn't really suit me.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Annette Jordan

    short story collections can be very mixed bags and that is especially true in this case. While there are some striking and chilling stories there are many more which can only be described as dull and tedious. wading through these diminished my enjoyment of the book as a whole. Also many of the stories are very similar which feels repetitive when reading. The highlights are The Black Cat , The cask of Amontillado and of course The Tell Tale Heart.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Katie Brown

    Edgar Allen Poe was a very talented but haunted author.Everything that went wrong for him, he was able to take and mold into something inspiring for aspiring authors such as myself today. And even though his words weren't recognized until after his death,at least, he knows somehwere in heaven that his words will now live on forever. Continuing to make a difference. Edgar Allen Poe was a very talented but haunted author.Everything that went wrong for him, he was able to take and mold into something inspiring for aspiring authors such as myself today. And even though his words weren't recognized until after his death,at least, he knows somehwere in heaven that his words will now live on forever. Continuing to make a difference.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Shawn

    My reference text for all things Poe, finally out of storage. IIRC the editors have some crazy argument that all critics of Poe are missing the fact that all his work is intended as satire - or something like that. I'll have to read this again. My reference text for all things Poe, finally out of storage. IIRC the editors have some crazy argument that all critics of Poe are missing the fact that all his work is intended as satire - or something like that. I'll have to read this again.

  24. 5 out of 5

    DeAnna Knippling

    An eye opener to read ALL the stories together, as an adult. You can cut Poe' s work in a number of directions, and make him a horror writer, or a mystery writer, etc. But reading everything together--even the eye willingly bad ones--gives a greater richness to all. An eye opener to read ALL the stories together, as an adult. You can cut Poe' s work in a number of directions, and make him a horror writer, or a mystery writer, etc. But reading everything together--even the eye willingly bad ones--gives a greater richness to all.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    I should probably give this 4 stars, as there were a few stories that I really didn't care for, but whatever, I'm a Poe fangirl, it's fine. (Yes I know he married his 13 year old cousin, please don't remind me.) I should probably give this 4 stars, as there were a few stories that I really didn't care for, but whatever, I'm a Poe fangirl, it's fine. (Yes I know he married his 13 year old cousin, please don't remind me.)

  26. 5 out of 5

    J.A. McLachlan

    Poe is a master of Horror. Read this book if you haven't already read his stories. Poe is a master of Horror. Read this book if you haven't already read his stories.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Just won this in a giveaway from goodreads!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tina Denbo

    Love Poe already have several of his books. He was a misunderstood mystical genius.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Ruby

    Edgar Allan Poe, A sick twisted minded pleseant writter that I shall always admire.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Shana

    Excellent collection of Poe's work. The annotations are a perfect guidance for the reader to understand the context and get the most out of the stories. Excellent collection of Poe's work. The annotations are a perfect guidance for the reader to understand the context and get the most out of the stories.

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