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The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, Vol. II of V: The Tell-Tale Heart and Others, Fiction, Classics, Literary Collections

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Poe is generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre and is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. Here is a sampling, the second volume in a reprint of a famous edition of the works of Poe, a driven, passionate, difficult, often desperate man -- "three-fifths of him genius," as Lowell said, and three fifths is more Poe is generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre and is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. Here is a sampling, the second volume in a reprint of a famous edition of the works of Poe, a driven, passionate, difficult, often desperate man -- "three-fifths of him genius," as Lowell said, and three fifths is more than most of the rest of us can claim or will ever have claimed for us. This volume includes "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Fall of the House of Usher," "The Purloined Letter," "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar," "William Wilson," and many others.


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Poe is generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre and is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. Here is a sampling, the second volume in a reprint of a famous edition of the works of Poe, a driven, passionate, difficult, often desperate man -- "three-fifths of him genius," as Lowell said, and three fifths is more Poe is generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre and is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. Here is a sampling, the second volume in a reprint of a famous edition of the works of Poe, a driven, passionate, difficult, often desperate man -- "three-fifths of him genius," as Lowell said, and three fifths is more than most of the rest of us can claim or will ever have claimed for us. This volume includes "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Fall of the House of Usher," "The Purloined Letter," "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar," "William Wilson," and many others.

30 review for The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, Vol. II of V: The Tell-Tale Heart and Others, Fiction, Classics, Literary Collections

  1. 5 out of 5

    Apatt

    “I had always felt aversion to my uncourtly patronymic, and its very common, if not plebeian praenomen.” “It was night, and the rain fell; and falling, it was rain, but, having fallen, it was blood. And I stood in the morass among the tall and the rain fell upon my head—and the lilies sighed one unto the other in the solemnity of their desolation.” Say what?? Is it rain or is it blood, or is it a plebeian praenomen? And WTF is a praenomen anyway? Edgar Allan Poe is not the easiest author to get on “I had always felt aversion to my uncourtly patronymic, and its very common, if not plebeian praenomen.” “It was night, and the rain fell; and falling, it was rain, but, having fallen, it was blood. And I stood in the morass among the tall and the rain fell upon my head—and the lilies sighed one unto the other in the solemnity of their desolation.” Say what?? Is it rain or is it blood, or is it a plebeian praenomen? And WTF is a praenomen anyway? Edgar Allan Poe is not the easiest author to get on with. From time to time he lapses into writing weird indecipherable passages like the ones above. People often accuse H.P. Lovecraft of writing purple prose, but Lovecraft has nothing on Poe whose prose is so purple he is probably Prince’s (RIP) favorite author*. Still, the stories in this collection are mostly great if you can get through “the language barrier”. Certainly for Halloween you would be hard pressed to find a better anthology. When professional reviewers review an anthology they don't normally review each story in the book. Fortunately I am not a pro and this is how I like to do it, so here we go: 1. The Tell-Tale Heart One of Poe’s best known stories. Our unreliable narrator decides to kill his granddad because he has an annoyingly weird eye. That is just the beginning of the story, what transpires is literally insane and quite disturbing. 2. The Black Cat Another unnamed psychotic narrator /protagonist kills his pet cat and later his wife. Trouble starts for him when he attempts to kill a second cat. The most violent story in the book, lots of madness, mayhem, and spooky felines. Gives me the willies. An excellent Halloween read. 3. The Cask of Amontillado A story of revenge for unknown offences. Whathisname lures his friendenemy to his creepy wine cellar with the promise of a cask of vintage Amontillado. Interestingly this story seems to have brought Poe back into vogue with the Tumblr generation. The Cask of Amontillado has become a meme! (Thank you, Cecily for the info). 4. Fall of the House of Usher Probably as famous as The Tell-Tale Heart. Quite sane unnamed protagonist visits his almost sane friend Roderick Usher at his creepy creaky and cracked in the middle house, where he lives with his dying sister Madeline. The poor lady soon dies and things go from bad to…. OMG! That ending! Read twice for full effect. Don’t miss hilarious Thug Notes Summary & Analysis of this story (Youtube clip) 5. The Masque of the Red Death One of Poe’s more overtly supernatural stories (most of them seem to be psychological horror). Prince Prospero throws a masquerade ball during a time when the “Red Death” plague has gone more viral than Rick Rolling. Different coloured rooms, a creepy clock that chimes every hour and unfailingly stops all the partiers in their track as they can never get used to it. At midnight, as the party is in full swing, a mysterious hooded figure in a horrible robe and wearing a scary mask gatecrashes… Very spooky. 6. The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar “My attention, for the last three years, had been repeatedly drawn to the subject of Mesmerism; and, about nine months ago it occurred to me, quite suddenly, that in the series of experiments made hitherto, there had been a very remarkable and most unaccountable omission:—no person had as yet been mesmerized in articulo mortis.” LOL! Well, that is going to work out well for him – not! Some people just have very strange hobbies. Our unnamed narrator is very much into hypnotism and conducts an experiment on his pal M. Valdemar who is literally at death’s door. The results are unexpected and horrifying. 7. Ligeia A bit of a long-winded ghost story. Opium-fueled hallucination or supernatural shenanigan. You decide! 8. The Murders in the Rue Morgue Aha! Surely you have heard of this one! Monsieur C. Auguste Dupin, prototype pre-Holmes ace detective investigates an impossible murder in Paris while mocking the The Parisian police for their lack of imagination. “The Parisian police, so much extolled for acumen, are cunning, but no more. There is no method in their proceedings, beyond the method of the moment.” Inspector Lestrade probably has a cousin working there. There is even a prototype Watson narrating the story, unfortunately he is a Poe narrator so he does not get a name. Dupin is awesome but a very long-winded fellow. His elaborate explanations go on and on and Watson his sidekick should have said “My dear fellow! TMI!”. Still a great story, though and more violent asnd graphic than any Holmes or Poirot adventure. I was going to post a nice picture to illustrate this story a bit but they are either spoilers or not very good, so no pics. 9. The Purloined Letter Dupin is back! (and he barely just left) “That is another of your odd notions," said the Prefect, who had a fashion of calling every thing "odd" that was beyond his comprehension, and thus lived amid an absolute legion of "oddities." ” Burn! A story of a stolen important letter that can be used for blackmail purposes and destroy careers of public figures. It is not very fast-paced and Dupin is even more long-winded here. Excellent denouement, though. Clever stuff and quite entertaining, Dupin’s super long-winded expositions notwithstandiung. The old "look over there!" trick from sneaky Dupin Conan Doyle's tribute to Poe is Holmes dissing Dupin!† 10. A Descent into the Maelström A stunningly boring tale of a whirlpool, it sucked me down its vortex and left me unconscious on my chair for at least 15 minutes. An excellent soporific. In all fairness you may enjoy it, I just find an entire story based on a whirlpool very dull. 11. The Pit and the Pendulum Our unnamed narrator finds himself—quite unexpectedly—in the clutches of the Spanish Inquisition. OK, got that out of my system! Alas, no comfy chair for the poor fellow. More this sort of thing: No sexy girlie to watch over him, though (damn Hollywood!) A fantastic and very visceral story, beautifully constructed and the creepiness builds and builds. You can just about feel the pendulum’s blade swishing over your chest. 12. MS. Found in a Bottle I thought it was going to be about a genie in a bottle, turned out to be a dull ghost ship story. How can a ghost ship story be dull? Poe was so versatile and talented he could do anything; including writing dull ghost ship stories. 13. The Premature Burial A weird story about our unnamed narrator’s obsession with being buried alive by mistake. The narrative starts with Whathisname regaling the readers with documented cases of people being buried in error when they were still alive. The narrator suffers from a rare (of course) disorder that puts him into a state of death-like catalepsy. So his biggest fear is becoming cataleptic in places where he is not known, he imagines that he may one day wake up to find himself six feet under, struggling to get out. (not a spoiler) Great story! 14. William Wilson A bizarre Twilight Zone-ish story. I did not like it to begin with, as Poe was rambling again earlier on, but I quickly changed my mind when weirdness ensues. A strange, possibly allegorical story of a doppelganger. Supernatural or psychological? Again, you decide! I tend to favor the supernatural explanation because that is the kind of guy I am! 15. Eleonora A fable with an unexpected non-twist. WTF? LOL! Poe got me there, I find it kind of hilarious when I got to the end (not sure if that is the effect Poe has in mind). 16. Silence - A Fable Mine eyes glazed over this story from beginning to end, and I can’t really tell you anything about it. Read my friend Glenn's erudite review of this story instead. 17. The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket This is Poe’s only full length novel. I have not read it yet, I am sorry to say. I suspect Poe – like Lovecraft - is better in small doses. I may get around to it one day. You will be the first to know (well, top ten at least!) As mentioned earlier Poe prose is sometimes hard to read, or even downright impenetrable. He often starts his stories with pages of rambling to set the scene to his stories. Fortunately, the stories often take wing after he is done setting the scene. Occasionally that does not happen and he just rambles on until the end. At his best, his stories are fascinating and often horrifying. The images that his best stories conjure up are indelible in my mind. Better still, the very best ones can be read again and again; sometimes even immediately after having just read them. It is all too easy to miss details on the first read because his prose is often convoluted> However, rereading these stories often yields greater understanding and appreciation. * He is a much better prose stylist then Lovecraft, though. Poe is naturally eloquent whereas I feel Lovecraft tries too hard and often end up with verbiage. I have not reviewed the poems in this book because I have not yet read them (except The Raven, which is awesome). I don’t think I should attempt reviewing poems, I will leave that to my friend Cecily. Spooky Quotes: “It was not a groan of pain or of grief—oh, no!—it was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe.” “That perverseness is one of the primitive impulses of the human heart—one of the indivisible primary faculties, or sentiments, which give direction to the character of Man. Who has not, a hundred times, found himself committing a vile or a silly action, for no other reason than because he knows he should not?” “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 who ponders over the perfume of some novel flower—is not he whose brain grows bewildered with the meaning of some musical cadence which has never before arrested his attention.” (WTF?) † External quote: Sherlock Holmes dissing Dupin: “No doubt you think that you are complimenting me in comparing me to Dupin,” he observed. “Now, in my opinion, Dupin was a very inferior fellow. That trick of his of breaking in on his friends’ thoughts with an apropos remark after a quarter of an hour’s silence is really very showy and superficial. He had some analytical genius, no doubt; but he was by no means such a phenomenon as Poe appeared to imagine.” From A Study In Scarlet

  2. 5 out of 5

    K.D. Absolutely

    My first time to read and finish a collection by Edgar Allan Poe and I was just blown away. This was one of my two Halloween reads this year and it made my long Halloween weekend truly worth remembering. Here are my reactions to each of the 32 writings included in the book by Edgar Allan Poe. STORIES 1) The Tell-Tale Heart. 3 STARS Quite scary. The narrator murders his or her (there is no pronoun used) master who has a "vulture-like" eyes. The narrator admits the crime at the beginning of his My first time to read and finish a collection by Edgar Allan Poe and I was just blown away. This was one of my two Halloween reads this year and it made my long Halloween weekend truly worth remembering. Here are my reactions to each of the 32 writings included in the book by Edgar Allan Poe. STORIES 1) The Tell-Tale Heart. 3 STARS Quite scary. The narrator murders his or her (there is no pronoun used) master who has a "vulture-like" eyes. The narrator admits the crime at the beginning of his narration but what he or she is trying to prove is his or her sanity. EAP has the ability to vividly describe his milieu and draws you in immediately right from the first paragraph of the story. 2) The Black Cat. 4 STARS I find this better-written and more complex than the first story. A man and his wife are fond of animals and they have a black cat named Pluto (Roman God of the underworld). They love the cat until the man becomes alcoholic. One evening, he plucks out the eye of the cat and hangs the poor animal by the tree. Critics say that this is the darkest among EAP's tales. 3) The Cask of Amontillado. 4 STARS Very simple story yet it can send chills to your nerves. Just the mention of catacombs and niche in the kind of prose only EAP can write makes this reading truly apt for this season of Trick or Treats. The fact that there is no clear given reason why Montresor is leaving Fortunato alive inside the catacomb makes the story fresh and very inventive that is different from what I normally expect or demand from the contemporary crime novels. 4) The Fall of the House of Usher. 5 STARS I was reading this late last night and I could not sleep because I got scared. The narration comes alive and the images are playing in my mind. Madeline, the sister, entombed alive by Roderick Usher, his brother. The gothic scenes: the castle, the lighting, the eerie song. Unbelievably scary! I have never read a novel (or a short story) that can keep you awake until it is really really time for you to sleep because it is 1am and you have work or school to attend to in a few hours. 5) The Masque of the Red Death. 4 STARS A real treat but less scary. It seems to tell us the inevitability of death as symbolized by the many rooms and the different colors of the costume. The Red Death is like the Boogeyman who "gets" Prospero and his guests and as they fall or die one-by-one, it just mimics that happens in real life. EAP's prose is just exceptional. There is nothing like his play of words to impart the eerie but still really beautiful stories. 6) The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar. 4 STARS Very interesting. The use of hypnosis to a dying man. At first, I did not know what was going on until I realized that the narrator was conducting an experiment by using magnetism to hypnotize Mr. Valdemar who kept on saying "I'm dying" or "Dead, dead, dead." I could not imagine this happening in real life. It is too unkind. But this is a Halloween read but if Madeline was entombed alive by her brother, this is nothing. 7) Ligeia. 3 STARS Seems to me like a wishful thinking kind of story. When the man's first wife dies, he imagines the second one to be the reincarnation of the first. Opium was probably not prohibited during that time and it was even considered as an over-the-counter medicine so the grieving man who is taking care of his first wife drugs her for a painless death. The second half of the story seems like a hallucination. 8) The Murders in the Rue Morgue. 3 STARS This one feels like a Sherlock Holmes short story rather than Edgar Allan Poe's. I have read the whole Holmes canon and I liked it but I prefer EAP to be himself and his forte is horror. There is a certain EAP touch on this though, the double murder is more gruesome than any of the Holmes'. 9) The Purloined Letter. 3 STARS C. Aguste Dupin is back. Hay, it's good that the 3rd story, "The Mystery of Marie Ruget," is not in this collection. Again this story is a detective instead of a horror story. The story revolves around a stolen letter that is being used by the powerful thief to blackmail an influential woman in the society. The letter contains some juicy information about her. It is up to Dupin to bring the bribing thief into open by wearing a green Ray-Ban. 10) A Descent into the Maelstrom. 4 STARS A story within a story and it is refreshing because it is not a horror story but a science fiction! I did not know that EAP wrote a sci-fi. I could imagine him writing a detective story because the movie "The Raven" starring John Cussack that I saw a couple of weeks back was really a detective story similar to those of Sherlock Holmes. Here in A Descent into the Maelstrom, there is a theory that the bigger or heavier body descends faster into the whirlpool. Also, this made me remember the instant graying of the hair when subjected to too much stress. I heard that story from my high school history teacher who was a fan of Edgar Allan Poe. 11) The Pit and the Pendulum. 4 STARS Very much like the movie series "Saw." Or it even pales in comparison because in Saw, the prisoners have to saw off their limbs to have the chance to escape. However, this story should be credited for two things: Poe's narrative is just wonderful. The first half of the book focuses on the prisoner's fears in reaction to what he sees, feels and hears. The swinging of the pendulum producing swish-swish sound, the darkness, and the sight of the rats. 12) MS. Found in a Bottle. 3 STARS This is said to be the story that launched Edgar Allan Poe's career. It won in a contest for short stories. It is about a man who survives a shipwreck and found a new one manned by an elderly crew. The survivor finds writing journal and egins writing a manuscript that he plans to toss into the sea afterwards. 13) The Premature Burial. 3 STARS Like #2 "Amontillado" and #3 "Usher" above, this story is about a man getting buried alive. During Poe's time, public was fascinated about vampirism so dead people are buried right away as they might turn into vampires. This is a bit passe now considering that particularly here in the Philippines, wakes last from 3 or more days prior to interment. 14) William Wilson. 4 STARS OMG. I heard this word "doppelgänger" from a teenager girl while nightswimming with her last Thursday, Nov 1st. When I heard that word, I asked what does it mean. She explained that it is having some kind of spirit mimicking you by looking and acting like you. I said, "wow, I learned something from a very young person like you." 15) Eleonora. 4 STARS Said to be the story that EAP wrote to alleviate the guilt that he felt falling in love with another woman after his first wife died. What makes this short story different from the rest of his stories is that this is basically autobiographical and has an relatively happy ending. 16) Silence - A Fable. 4 STARS A short piece, only a couple of pages long, it is more like a dream than a story with real characters. It is full of symbolism and rich imagery. Very deep, very intense. I'd like to know what Poe was thinking when he wrote this. Was he trippin? NOVEL 17) The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nuntucket. 4 STARS The only novel in this collection. It involves shipwreck, mutiny and cannibalism. The narrator, Arthur Gordon Pym, is saved by Dirk Peters and the narrative continues when they land but get into conflict with black native men. They go back to the sea and the narrative ends while they are heading to the South Pole. This novel is partly adventure, partly sci-fi, party travelogue, partly gruesome and macabre. I liked the first-person narrative. That distinct voice that only EAP has is very evident and enjoyable when he is using first-person narrator. It feels creepy and classy. I enjoyed his better than Nathaniel Hawthorne's. Also, this is said to have inspired the works of Herman Melville and Jules Verne. POEMS 18) Stanzas. 4 STARS The power of the moonlight. The mystic energy that comes from the sun. I remember a Tagalog song from my childhood that is a song about the moon: "O maliwanag na buwan / Nakikiusap ako / Ang aking minamahal / Sana ay hanapin mo. // Tadhana ma'y magbiro / Araw man ay magdaan / Ang pagibig ko sa kanya / Ay hindi magbabago / Magpakaylan pa man." 19) Romance. 4 STARS A poem about looking back (first stanza) and regret (second stanza). The narrator used to love romance that he compares to a bird: "to lisp my very earliest word" and I also remembered that when I was a young man, I just lie down on the grass covered earth and think about the future. Now, I don't have time for that anymore akin to the feeling of the narrator: "I have no time for idle cares" and so he regrets the lost of his younger years. 20) To Helen. 4 STARS An obvious reference to Helen of Troy because of the use of classical beauty: "Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face." This poem is EAP's tribute to female beauty similar to Pablo Neruda's "Ode to a Beautiful Nude" where Neruda describes the nude female body. I enjoy this kind of poem because poetry itself is like a female body, it is smooth, soft and invigorating to the senses. 21) Israfel. 4 STARS Quite different from the other poems and works of EAP. This is cheery, positive and inspiring. The title comes from the Islam angel Israfel who will show up during the Second Coming playing the trumpet. She plays very well so everyone will be looking and hearing her every note. Nice to read something not only different from most of the works in this collection but also appreciate EAP when he talks about angels rather than demons or supernatural beings. 22) The City in the Sea. 3 STARS This is what I am saying in #21. This poem is the classic usual EAP. I mean this is gothic through and through. It talks about a city that is ruled by demons. The city is by the sea and it is in the west of it and when that is the scenario, the city is said to be doomed. It is good that Manila is in the east although it is surrounded by China Sea and Pacific Ocean. Hmmm. 23) The Sleeper. 4 STARS EAP proudly claimed that this his is best poem. Better than "The Raven." It is about the death of a lovely woman and goes with the woman is his love. A melancholy and painful poem to read but nevertheless very beautiful. 24) The Valley of Unrest. 3 STARS The speaker in the poem asks if all lovely things are far away. It mentions (again) a woman called "Helen" that according to critics was Jane Stannard, EAP's first love and the mother of a friend. It also talks about the valley that is partly Satan, angel and also a large part broken heart. This is another sad poem in this collection. 25) Lenore. 4 STARS Unlike #23, #24 and his other works with dying or dead beautiful woman, in this poem, EAP talks about the possibility of meeting the woman in paradise (after life). Here the Lenore's (the dead woman) fiance, Guy de Vere, says that they should not be sad because she will soon be very happy with the angels in heaven. 26) The Raven. 5 STARS The best (so far) poem in this collection. It is many things to me: it is painful and sad (the speaker is lamenting the lost of his love Lenore - see #25) yet it is musical and not really gloomy, overall. The verses are playful and you can imagine the raven flying in the air, through the window, and settling on the statue. The raven also talks - it keeps on saying "Nevermore" - and it adds to the childlike playful prose. It is sad yet it is happy (in a way). However, the playful scene ends when the speaker begins to talk to the raven while sitting on the statue of Pallas. He asks if he is to be reunited with Lenore and when the raven says "Nevermore," he gets angry and the feeling of doom dawns on the poem. 27) A Valentine. 5 STARS EAP is a women's guy. His writings are mostly about death, life, love and...women! In this poem, you can find the name of his girl, Frances Sargent Osgood. To find the name, take the first letter of the first line, then the second letter of the second line, then the third letter of the third line, and so on. (Source: Wiki). I did see it! Very clever. 28) Ulalume - A Ballad. 5 STARS Almost put tears to my eyes while reading. This is similar to the other works of EAP that talk about a death of a woman he loves. Just how many deaths did EAP experience in his life? I know his wife died and he remarried. But I guess even the loss of his many girlfriends (he was a playboy, wasn't he?) became like death to himself. The setting of this poem is by the lake on a moonlit night and with tears in his eyes, he stumbles the grave of his loved one, Ulalume. Very sad. 29) For Annie. 5 STARS A dying man gives thanks that his "lingering illness," life, is finally over. He is now beyond pain and suffering. But no one, he says, should think pityingly of him. After all, everyone will lie in the same bed he does. Moreover, his death is not final. As his lover, Annie, looks on him and cries because she thinks he is dead, he declares that his heart and his thoughts are more alive than ever, for they are filled with the sight of Annie's love. Though dead, he lives on because of her love. Is there any other poem sadder than this? 30) Annabel Lee. 5 STARS This is the only poem of EAP that I still remember reading during my school days (not sure whether in elementary or high school). This poem is very romantic compared to the dark gloomy ones that he wrote particularly #28 and #29 above. This talks about him missing his beautiful woman named of course, Annabel Lee while he is in his room (unlike #28 that has a setting by the lake). Short and sweet yet of course sad. If I will be asked to choose one poem by him, now I do not know which one to choose: this or "The Raven." 31) The Bells. 4 STARS What amazed me here is the use of the word "bells" to mimic the actual sound when a bell rings. The repeated use of that word: bells, bells, bells, bells,... in the lines just did not remind me of the ringing of bells but also what those ringings signify to us in different points in our lives. When I was baptized, for example, the church bells rang. When I got married, they also rang. When I will die, they will also ring for the last time. These different stages in man's life is also captured in the use of the bells from the start to the end of the poem. The mood becomes gloomier and gloomier. 32) Alone. 4 STARS Simply beautiful. It tells us that no matter what we went through in life, we will always end up by ourselves. Alone. We were born to this earth alone (unless you a twin) and we will all die alone (unless you die with a mass of people like in a battle or a catastrophe). What a nice poem to cap this beautiful beautiful collection. I think I prefer Edgar Allan Poe as a poet rather than a short story writer or a novelist. However, I rarely read poems so maybe that's the reason why I particularly enjoyed very much the poems in this collection. I had no expectations about his poems prior to this. This book made my Halloween this year truly memorable. Priceless read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    Once a year, if you observe the horror holiday Halloween, you should read one or more of Poe’s chilling stories. Why not “The Tell Tale Heart”? I just this evening heard my neighbor Ann read it aloud before a gathering of block party neighbors in my street. “True, nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am, but why will say that I am mad?! The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute.” The incomparable Vincent Price Once a year, if you observe the horror holiday Halloween, you should read one or more of Poe’s chilling stories. Why not “The Tell Tale Heart”? I just this evening heard my neighbor Ann read it aloud before a gathering of block party neighbors in my street. “True, nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am, but why will say that I am mad?! The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute.” The incomparable Vincent Price reading the story in its entirety: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTxyN... “And have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the sense? --now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well, too. It was the beating of the old man's heart. It increased my fury, as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage.” Here’s the 1960 film version of the story: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x19bn1a “I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief --oh, no! --it was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. I knew the sound well. Many a night, just at midnight, when all the world slept, it has welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me. I say I knew it well. I knew what the old man felt, and pitied him, although I chuckled at heart.” You want to read it for yourself or frighten your friends and family? Here you go: http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/poe... When I was first a high school English teacher I used to tape poster board over my classroom windows to keep the light completely out, dress in a long black choir robe, dab dark makeup near my eyes and read it over a single candle. Boo! Happy Halloween!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Armstrong

    You know, I'm pretty sure most people like this (and Poe) for the kind of creepy slightly Gothic effect, but I think that is a very superficial and silly way to read it. The beating of the heart has absolutely nothing to do with redemption, nothing to do with guilt or anything, it has to do with the futility of existence. Read the story again and think of the mentions of heartbeat and pulse and think of the unreliability of the narrator. It's not the pulse of the man he kills and it isn't the You know, I'm pretty sure most people like this (and Poe) for the kind of creepy slightly Gothic effect, but I think that is a very superficial and silly way to read it. The beating of the heart has absolutely nothing to do with redemption, nothing to do with guilt or anything, it has to do with the futility of existence. Read the story again and think of the mentions of heartbeat and pulse and think of the unreliability of the narrator. It's not the pulse of the man he kills and it isn't the beating of the mans heart - its his heart and pulse. Considering this is Poe's most famous work (discounting Raven) I'm a little depressed that it is so often read as just macabre and nothing more. I don't love Poe, but I love what he attempted to do. He makes narrators who try to convince you of one thing while he, as the author, has to try and convince you of the truth. It's really quite amazing to try and piece together each puzzle and see how good a job Poe actually did. Furthermore, it makes sense when one considers that Poe is the father of the detective novel. Oooooooooh! Right? See, it makes sense now.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lᴀʏᴀ Rᴀɴɪ ✦

    No other writer evokes horror in its rawest, most human form like Edgar Allan Poe. Sometimes his stories are a blunt force trauma while others are drilled into the mind using precision instruments of terror. His themes and depictions of people's greatest fears are very diverse and uniquely constructed, more visceral in some aspects but also cerebral in execution for a select few. This anthology The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writingsis comprised of his finest works in short story and poetry forms No other writer evokes horror in its rawest, most human form like Edgar Allan Poe. Sometimes his stories are a blunt force trauma while others are drilled into the mind using precision instruments of terror. His themes and depictions of people's greatest fears are very diverse and uniquely constructed, more visceral in some aspects but also cerebral in execution for a select few. This anthology The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings is comprised of his finest works in short story and poetry forms tackling what is readily terrifying, certain terrors that elude the psyche, and the unfortunate ways human beings transform into the very monsters they fear. With seventeen gruesome tales and sixteen morbid poems, this anthology is a must-have for any aficionado of the genre. The prose that Poe crafts in each of his pieces is spellbinding; we get descriptive ramblings of mad men and women, psychologically layered instances and premonitions, and frightening yet subtle symbolisms plus debated interpretations of each work. Reading his short stories transport you right into the disturbed minds of irredeemable individuals who heed the call of misery and darkness, acting both predator and prey of their own machinations and failures. His best pieces are those that make readers experience paranoia and dissociation themselves and such stories have become a classic for that very reason. The titular The Tell-Tale Heart is a brief yet searing account of a man haunted by his macabre misdeed while The Black Cat and The Cask of Armontillado have characters who commit murders for reasons somewhat hollow and petty; the former was discovered in the most absurd way possible while the other was successful in concealing it but is forever tainted after the fact. We also have allegorical pieces such as The Masque of Red Death, The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar, and A Descent in the Maelstorm which evoke a series of unavoidable misfortunes, marking its characters in blood and death. And then we have tales that have more non-conclusive interpretations and resolutions such as The Fall of the House of Usher, Ligeria, The Pit and the Pendulumand The Premature Burial. All four of these stories are imaginative and insidious, dealing with fantastical elements and spine-tingling primitive fears that plague as all, only if we allow ourselves to contemplate deeper about them. A few other stories deal with catastrophic, life-altering conflicts which are found in Ms. Found in a Bottle and Silence--A Fable. And then we have the character-centric baffling accounts of William Wilson, Eleanora, and The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, the last of which has the most trying length. Before there was ever a more defined detective genre and its formulaic elements, Poe has created C. Auguste Dupin, the first crime reasoner who used deductive reasoning in solving criminal cases that later on inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle with his more famous great detective Sherlock Holmes. Dupin only appeared in two stories, The Murders in Rue Morgue and The Purloined Letter which deserve multiple readings to be acquire a more nuanced appreciation for the groundwork and thought process that Poe has employed in characterizing his detective and resolving the plots. After readers had their fill of his gripping short stories, they can move on to the assortment of his poems which offer a more economical way of slaking their interest and intrigue for the memorably horrific and sometimes even upsetting concepts regarding ailments and discord that people will always find themselves caught up in and often not overcoming. Poe's poetic style is refined and elegant in a lot of respects but there are moments of sporadic contemplations and truly intense retrospective epiphanies that will keep reeling readers in. I personally enjoyed Israfel, The City in the Sea, The Valley of the Unrest, The Sleeper, The Bells and Alone. With a vigorous and daring marksmanship in which he penned his works with, Poe's prose is very much alive--rustling, palpitating, throbbing, moaning and groaning and every other vivid ways that may drive weaker minds mad upon reading. His tales are cavernous places, buried deep in the recesses of our minds we never fully acknowledge. But every so often we can hear them calling for us--like a bell tolling from a distance--or the low, persistent humming of a heartbeat; whether concealed in a crypt, lodged inside a bottle in the middle of an ocean or has made itself comfortable right under our very beds where we believe we are most safe when we really aren't. RECOMMENDED: 9/10 DO READ MY REVIEWS AT

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jessaka

    How Poe Wrote the Tell-Tale Heart It was All Hollow’s Eve and Poe was at his writing desk with a pen in hand. No, it must be a typewriter even though they were not invented at this time. So, he was sitting at his desk typing on his typewriter, typing out a story of a man who had given another man the evil eye. “I will kill this man who gives the evil eye,” he thought, but first I need to set the stage. He realized that he was having problems writing on this dark and stormy night, so he went into How Poe Wrote the Tell-Tale Heart It was All Hollow’s Eve and Poe was at his writing desk with a pen in hand. No, it must be a typewriter even though they were not invented at this time. So, he was sitting at his desk typing on his typewriter, typing out a story of a man who had given another man the evil eye. “I will kill this man who gives the evil eye,” he thought, but first I need to set the stage. He realized that he was having problems writing on this dark and stormy night, so he went into the closet to look for a bottle of whiskey to loosen his mind from its tangles. When he opened the closet door, a dead mouse was on the floor staring at him, and it made him think of that evil eye again. He went back to his desk and poured himself a drink, then another. Did Poe even drink? I don’t know, but this is my story, and so I am going to make up all kinds of scenarios. It was said in one biography that he was insane and on drugs. It has also been said that this was entirely wrong, so I will just allow him to drink some whiskey. After a brief time, he began typing again, then he heard a knocking sound. He went to the door; it was his neighbor. Poe, you see, lived at a rooming house. His neighbor could hear everything in the room next to his. Poe asked, “Can I help you?” “Yes,” the man said, “Please stop typing. I can’t sleep!” Poe answered, “I need to write now because it is the witching hour, and that is the best time to write. I can give you some ear plugs if it will help.” His neighbor gave him the evil eye, so Poe slammed the door in his face and went back to typing. After a half hour the knocking began again. It didn’t sound like the door, so he went to his window and there it was, a raven tapping at his window. He opened the window and the wind blew the rain into his room along with the raven who went right to his typewriter and began pecking at the paper in its roller. “Stop!” Poe yelled. The raven ignored him. He went to the closet to get a weapon, saw a dead mouse, picked it up, opened the door to the hallway and threw it into the hall. The raven just stared at the mouse, who then got up, gave Poe the evil eye and ran back into the room and into the closet. Poe closed the closet door and head downstairs to the kitchen to find a weapon. In the meantime, his neighbor came back to Poe’s room and began to fiercely knock on his door. The door flew open, and his neighbor saw the typewriter on Poe’s desk, but it was typing all by itself. Then the raven flew at him, hitting him in the face. Poe was on his way back up the stairs with a broom in hand, when he saw his neighbor flying down the stairs with a suitcase, the raven following. When he came into his room his typewriter was sitting quietly on his desk. Ah, he thought, peace and quiet. He began typing again. Soon, he heard knocking sound coming from the closet.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Eyehavenofilter

    Poor Edgar, always so sad, but he sure can write a terrifying story. I wonder if it was the drugs he was on, of if this state of mind made him turn to the drugs. Either way he was a master of the macabre, and he always caught your attention. I think this is where my fascination with this type of literature began. No one wrote like Poe. No one left you hanging, literally, walled in, literally,and figuratively, like Poe. He could tap into our basest fear, anger and regret.make victims, beg for Poor Edgar, always so sad, but he sure can write a terrifying story. I wonder if it was the drugs he was on, of if this state of mind made him turn to the drugs. Either way he was a master of the macabre, and he always caught your attention. I think this is where my fascination with this type of literature began. No one wrote like Poe. No one left you hanging, literally, walled in, literally,and figuratively, like Poe. He could tap into our basest fear, anger and regret.make victims, beg for mercy, and yet understand why people did the terrible things they did. Some have even tried to copy his methods, years, decades, centuries after his untimely death. His paranoia became ours. His terror was so well crafted that it has satyed with for a lifetime. We don't forget his stories. EVER!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

    I've read this story, not the whole book. In my opinion, this is a masterpiece of suspense, and a powerful story about how a person's guilt will betray them in the end. I love the way Poe builds up the tension slowly but surely until the end, with a careful use of narrative. I believe this is the story that made me a Poe fan.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    A collection of work by the illustrious deviant with the charming monogram E.A.P. Let me begin by trying to be helpful for anyone out there looking to pick up a copy of Poe’s work: do NOT settle for this edition, for a few more bucks you can get the Complete Poe (several available editions). If you’d rather settle for this half-assed collection and a KFC Meal Deal instead of Poe’s unabridged output, be my guest, odds are I’ll be the guy behind you in line getting the Extra Spicy Chicken A collection of work by the illustrious deviant with the charming monogram E.A.P. Let me begin by trying to be helpful for anyone out there looking to pick up a copy of Poe’s work: do NOT settle for this edition, for a few more bucks you can get the Complete Poe (several available editions). If you’d rather settle for this half-assed collection and a KFC Meal Deal instead of Poe’s unabridged output, be my guest, odds are I’ll be the guy behind you in line getting the Extra Spicy Chicken Sandwich and toting a haggard copy of The Incomplete Writings of Chekov. So what does Bantam deliver in this collection? Seventeen stories (one being what the publisher calls Poe’s only Full Length Novel “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym” and another they describe as a Glorious Prose Poem “Silence-A Fable”) followed by sixteen poems. While I usually enjoy reading collections of stories, I’ve noticed that I have a hard time rating them, much less providing a sensible review. Fear not; these things have never stopped me before, and certainly aren’t going to today. The problem with providing a ‘rating’ or review on a collection (for me, at least) is that I’d prefer to rate each short story on its own merits and just be done with it. Of course, that would mean I’d be rambling on for thousands of characters for each short story, and nobody needs that. My biggest dilemma comes when I have to provide a single rating for the whole kit and caboodle, I start overanalyzing just what I’m attempting to do. Should I rate each story on a 1-to-5 scale and provide a Final Rating based on which was given most frequently? Should I take into consideration the percent of the total page count for each rating that was awarded and weigh it that way? These seem like practical things to do, but that would also entail employing what you might call mathematics, and if you think my writing is bad, you ought to have a look at my math skills, or lack thereof. So, I’m just going to start typing and see where that leads me. This ought to be good…… “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym” makes up the bulk of this book, and unfortunately, I think that this story sucks. I personally can’t confirm if this was Poe’s only novel-length work or not, but if it is, I can certainly see why he never went back to the novel. There were three things that I simply could not enjoy about Pym’s narrative, which I’ll try to tackle in order of their annoyance. Firstly, the story itself is just ass-bitingly boring; I didn’t find any of the events within exciting, for the most part, all they accomplished was allowing me to experience the tedium of 19th century sea travel; be it the initial drunken episode involving Arthur and his pal Augustus, Pym’s recounting his terror at being imprisoned within the belly of a boat during a mutiny, and finally, the completely grating voyage to the South Pole, which I can only compare to the latter half of Verne’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth” (which I consider hella boring). Secondly, the abrupt end of the story doesn’t provide anything resembling a decent conclusion and managed to wrangle the honors for Worst Ending from “The Stand” (at least the rest of “The Stand” was entertaining, where the narrative of Pym advances sluggishly throughout). Lastly, narrator Pym breaks from the story on several occasions to discourse at length on subjects which usually have little or no involvement with the story whatsoever, be it his informative rambling about various methods of freight stowage, his mind-boggling dialog on penguin and albatross roosts, and his need to expound on the controversies surrounding the discover dates of miscellaneous islands. All of these are beyond boring, and none do anything to advance the story one bit and the story stagnates while the narrator goes on these worthless tangents. As a last complaint, I couldn’t help thinking Poe was trying to emulate or one-up “Candide” by having the protagonist suffer an unbelievable chain of misfortunes. I’ll quickly wrap up the other elements of the collection I didn’t enjoy. The poems did nothing for me, but I rarely enjoy poetry at all, so this wasn’t shocking and didn’t bother me much. I really couldn’t get into “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar”, especially since Lovecraft apparently ripped this story off and improved upon it. Both of Poe’s tales of love lost also failed to do anything for me, these being “Ligeia” and “Eleonora”. I can’t say that I took any pleasure in “Ms. Found in a Bottle” or the preposterous ‘prose poem’ “Silence-A Fable” either. Perhaps what I liked least about this edition was that the poems and weak novel-length comprised the second half of the book, a very poor way to conclude; it’s entirely up to the first 200 pages of the book to showcase Poe’s brilliance as a short-story writer. I personally found the highlights of the book to be the pair of stories involving the analytical mastermind C. Auguste Dupin, the stories included being “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” and “The Purloined Letter”, both of which kick ass and left me wanting more of these stories (if anyone out there can provide information on whether or not Poe wrote more involving Dupin, please let me know). Other stories which I liked included “The Black Cat”, “The Masque of the Red Death”, “William Wilson”, and perhaps my favorite story within was “The Cask of Amontillado”, which was also the only story which I found humorous. The rest of the collection was decent, including his more well-known shorts such as “The Tell-Tale Heart”, “The Fall of the House of Usher”, and “The Pit and the Pendulum”, none of which I enjoy as much as the stories mentioned just above. The other two stories within that I thought were only so-so were “A Descent into the Maelstrom” and “The Premature Burial.” One thing which I found rather bothersome throughout was how similar some of the stories were, making me question whether I’d even want to bother with the other half of Poe’s work, as his range seems stunted. “Maelstrom”, “Ms. Found in a Bottle” and the Pym narrative all involve some sort of nautical mishap (usually a boat being sucked into an abysmal whirlpool), I couldn’t tell you what the difference between “Ligeia” and “Eleonora” is, and the recurring subject of premature burial comes up in the Pym narrative, “Black Cat”, “Amontillado”, “Pit & Pendulum”, and (no doubt) “The Premature Burial”. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, for some of the duds in the collection I was left thinking “Didn’t I just read this?” If this is what the other half of Poe’s output is like, perhaps I’m better off with this edition and some of Colonel Sanders finest after all.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    I have read this for the 3rd time and finished 10/08/12. Very good! I like Poe. This collection wasn't the best, though. For example, I wish Hop Frog was in it. I like that short story. I like Marie Roget, too, but I can see the editing of that from this book since we have two detective stories already. The last story I finished in this book was The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym. Aside from the racism in the story (and Poe is now dead and he wrote in the 1800's, so nothing can now be done about I have read this for the 3rd time and finished 10/08/12. Very good! I like Poe. This collection wasn't the best, though. For example, I wish Hop Frog was in it. I like that short story. I like Marie Roget, too, but I can see the editing of that from this book since we have two detective stories already. The last story I finished in this book was The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym. Aside from the racism in the story (and Poe is now dead and he wrote in the 1800's, so nothing can now be done about that) it's an interesting narrative about a man on a boat heading to the Antarctic. There's perhaps too much seafaring detail in there for my tastes. The ending to that story is definitely unsatisfying. I also got a good sense of 19th values toward "conquering the world" reading this narrative. It seemed like the majority of the stories mention the words "opium" and "ague" at least once. I got to the point where I started looking for the first mention of opium and ague every time I started a new story. I also get the feeling that being buried alive was one of Poe's worst nightmares. I think that was a general feeling of the population during that time in history. ***** I have just found out Jules Verne wrote a sequel to Arthur Gordon Pym called An Antarctic Mystery. I am glad. Very glad. I have requested it from the library and hope to read it sometime soon.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Amanda L

    Never have I encountered such uncanny description of acute insanity from the inside out. [Case in point, the opening lines: "TRUE! nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why WILL you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How then am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily, how calmly, I can tell you Never have I encountered such uncanny description of acute insanity from the inside out. [Case in point, the opening lines: "TRUE! nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why WILL you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How then am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily, how calmly, I can tell you the whole story."] The tension mounts but along the way you'll surely identify with psychosis, sometimes unwittingly. A beautiful embodiment of the power of short story. Art truly mimics life.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Prashant

    "No, no, don't fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. You should have seen me." I read this one story after hearing a lot of appreciation for it. Lately I have been reading Edgar Allan Poe's one work at a time and my gosh!, the genius keeps on getting better. Here he tells a story of a young person(gender is not mentioned) who kills an old man in a cold and calculated manner. The way in which the story is told is simply magical. I could not peel my eyes away even for a moment. There is a new emotion "No, no, don't fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. You should have seen me." I read this one story after hearing a lot of appreciation for it. Lately I have been reading Edgar Allan Poe's one work at a time and my gosh!, the genius keeps on getting better. Here he tells a story of a young person(gender is not mentioned) who kills an old man in a cold and calculated manner. The way in which the story is told is simply magical. I could not peel my eyes away even for a moment. There is a new emotion and aspect unfolding in every line. The killer took utmost precautions while performing the murder and getting rid of the body but the heart (ah! you heartless bitch!) still tells the tale.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Leonard

    “A wrong is unredressed when the retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.” With this cruel vengeance Montresor, with malicious patience and deceptive friendliness, lured Fortunato into the vault and buried him alive in a niche. The reader knows the target to be doomed and watched the drunken man step deeper into the snare. As usual, Poe was able to portray the criminal mind, with its “A wrong is unredressed when the retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.” With this cruel vengeance Montresor, with malicious patience and deceptive friendliness, lured Fortunato into the vault and buried him alive in a niche. The reader knows the target to be doomed and watched the drunken man step deeper into the snare. As usual, Poe was able to portray the criminal mind, with its unrepentant hatred and cruel delight, as if he were a comrade.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mel Vincent

    Edgar Allan Poe is a unique and prolific writer. he delves into his writings in a way that it reflects his emotion and understanding of life. we all know he lived a very sorrowful life from start to end and by choosing a genre such a mystery and sorrow as his recurring motives he has defined and made it one of the best works since Shakespeare. I praise and admire his poetry and his stories which tell the readers that life isn't all pretty. and I'd like to think that E.A.P was the father of the Edgar Allan Poe is a unique and prolific writer. he delves into his writings in a way that it reflects his emotion and understanding of life. we all know he lived a very sorrowful life from start to end and by choosing a genre such a mystery and sorrow as his recurring motives he has defined and made it one of the best works since Shakespeare. I praise and admire his poetry and his stories which tell the readers that life isn't all pretty. and I'd like to think that E.A.P was the father of the detective stories which others are reluctant to give him the title.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ricks Eric

    Once a reader understands Poe's obsession with trying to evoke the sublime (uncontrolable emotion, such as horror or love) in his writing, a reader of a Tell-tale will see how masterfully Poe evokes these emotions. The art in Poe's writing is how deeply he connects inevitable emotion of the human experience to the meaning of words through the pacing and rhythm of his writing. This short story is a must read. If once can let go of there attachments to the world around them and be swept into the Once a reader understands Poe's obsession with trying to evoke the sublime (uncontrolable emotion, such as horror or love) in his writing, a reader of a Tell-tale will see how masterfully Poe evokes these emotions. The art in Poe's writing is how deeply he connects inevitable emotion of the human experience to the meaning of words through the pacing and rhythm of his writing. This short story is a must read. If once can let go of there attachments to the world around them and be swept into the emotional reality that Poe creates.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Chloe

    The stories are creepy and well-written, the illustrations are amazing, and this book itself is so beautiful that I just had to buy it. I also have the Barnes and Noble leather bound book of Poe's stories and poems, so when I finally sit down with that, it'll be to read the poems, and any stories that weren't featured in this edition. I love his style, his poetry is definitely my preference to his stories, but they're so iconic for the horror genre and referenced all the time in modern works. I The stories are creepy and well-written, the illustrations are amazing, and this book itself is so beautiful that I just had to buy it. I also have the Barnes and Noble leather bound book of Poe's stories and poems, so when I finally sit down with that, it'll be to read the poems, and any stories that weren't featured in this edition. I love his style, his poetry is definitely my preference to his stories, but they're so iconic for the horror genre and referenced all the time in modern works. I would love to see, or write, some feminist retellings of some of these stories, because we all know the role of the female in his works is typically to be beautiful and to die. It's not a criticism per say because I understand it's very closely linked to Poe's personal life and what moved him, but it'd be very fun to play with and make some of his girls a little more layered.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Angela Wallace

    Another author whom I had the great pleasure to discover, while at University. Edgar Allan Poe's stories are so dark, but impossible to put down. He cleverly weaves his tales, and leaves his readers in a state of disbelief.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Contents: The Tell-Tale Heart The Murders in the Rue Morgue The Fall of the House of Usher The Pit and the Pendulum William Wilson The Black Cat The Cask of Amontillado Eleonora

  19. 4 out of 5

    Yasmeen

    One of my favorite childhood books. Yes, I had one weird childhood.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Βασίλειος Μέγας

    One of my favourite authors, one of my favourites tales.

  21. 5 out of 5

    L

    "Fear of being buried alive is the fear of being placed in a grave while still alive as a result of being incorrectly pronounced dead. The abnormal, psychopathological version of this fear is referred to as taphophobia (from Greek τάφος - taphos, "grave, tomb" and φόβος - phobos, "fear"), which is translated as "fear of graves". Before the advent of modern medicine, the fear was not entirely irrational. Throughout history, there have been numerous cases of people being buried alive by accident. "Fear of being buried alive is the fear of being placed in a grave while still alive as a result of being incorrectly pronounced dead. The abnormal, psychopathological version of this fear is referred to as taphophobia (from Greek τάφος - taphos, "grave, tomb" and φόβος - phobos, "fear"), which is translated as "fear of graves". Before the advent of modern medicine, the fear was not entirely irrational. Throughout history, there have been numerous cases of people being buried alive by accident. In 1905, the English reformer William Tebb collected accounts of premature burial. He found 219 cases of near live burial, 149 actual live burials, 10 cases of live dissection and 2 cases of awakening while being embalmed." Thank you, Wikipedia! That pretty much sums up my E.A.P. reading experience.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Frank

    Having not read Poe since high school, I figured that I would read a collection of his works. Boy did some of them bring back memories. I must say that Poe holds up for me these years later. What I really noticed this go around was the depth of Poe's writing ability to go deep in the mind's inner recesses. Many say that he is also the father of the English language detective (Murders in the Rue Morgue) story, which I tend to agree with dating before Wilkie Collins' Woman in White and The Having not read Poe since high school, I figured that I would read a collection of his works. Boy did some of them bring back memories. I must say that Poe holds up for me these years later. What I really noticed this go around was the depth of Poe's writing ability to go deep in the mind's inner recesses. Many say that he is also the father of the English language detective (Murders in the Rue Morgue) story, which I tend to agree with dating before Wilkie Collins' Woman in White and The Moonstone. In any event if you haven't tried Poe, you should.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brucie!

    VERY creepy! We were forced to read it in English... AHH!!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    M. Nicolas

    The human psyche and the weight of guilt.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Harvey

    Poe, the master of prose, a writer with a traumatized childhood, obsessed to kill all his sassy female characters in his short stories.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ensiform

    "The Cask Of Amontillado.” A man takes cold, calculated revenge on a noble whom he perceives has insults him, walling the poor guy up in a catacomb. Very creepy, especially the part where he echoes the noble’s screams. [read three times] "The Tell-Tale Heart.” A elderly man with a cloudy eye is murdered by (presumably) his caretaker. This reading really brought home how bat-shit insane the murderer is: he takes a full hour to put his head in the door. The themes of guilt and paranoia run deep "The Cask Of Amontillado.” A man takes cold, calculated revenge on a noble whom he perceives has insults him, walling the poor guy up in a catacomb. Very creepy, especially the part where he echoes the noble’s screams. [read three times] "The Tell-Tale Heart.” A elderly man with a cloudy eye is murdered by (presumably) his caretaker. This reading really brought home how bat-shit insane the murderer is: he takes a full hour to put his head in the door. The themes of guilt and paranoia run deep here. Deservedly a classic. [read twice] "The Fall of the House Of Usher.” A new Poe story to me. A man comes to visit a childhood friend, Roderick Usher, and finds him suffering from a possibly mental illness that makes him react in horror to most light and sounds. His twin sister is also suffering from catalepsy. She dies, and they entomb her in the house, but that’s when the really morbid stuff starts happening. This story is just pure Gothic horror. There doesn’t seem to be any kind of allegory or meaning here, just a portrait of supernatural fear (the house seems to be almost sentient). It’s written in an extremely lofty style, making it rather inaccessible to the casual reader, so it lacks the emotional punch of the previous two stories. Still, it’s a spooky tale. "The Black Cat.” A man, once known for his kind disposition, is corrupted by drink and kills one of his pets, a cat. Disaster and murder follow, capped by an ending very similar to “The Tell-Tale Heart,” except with a more gruesome twist. Though this story isn’t narratively tight as the former, I found it just as compelling. It talks of the overpowering spirit of perverseness, doing “wrong for the wrong's sake only,” in all people. It mixture of the fantastic (the cat’s shadow on their burned house) and the mundane (drunken dissolution) is also appealing. Terrific and creepy as hell. "Berenice.” Possibly the most pointlessly gory of Poe’s tales. A man suffering from spells of obsession on minor details becomes fixated on the teeth of his cousin, Berenice, who, though once athletic and merry, has succumbed to a degenerative disease. So he removes them while she’s still alive. Apparently, Poe himself said this story crossed the line of good taste. “The Man Who Was All Used Up.” A rather humorous piece; the narrator meets a general famed for his bravery and is foiled at every turn when he tries to find out details. Finally, he goes to the general himself, only to find that scalping and the removing of limbs was only the start of what those savages did to him. Not brutally told, this is a light story, and it was amusing, thought he constant repetitions of the interlocutors grated after a bit.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Phyllis

    I absolutely love this short story, it does things to me as most of Poe's works seem to, to strike something exciting inside my mind. I think this is one of the better known of Poe's works, something like The Raven or The Pit and the Pendulum. Poe does a very good job of making you invested in the characters and the plot in a very short amount of time, as always, and gets your heart rising at the apex, which quickly falls to a satisfying insanity. The man from whose perspective the story is told I absolutely love this short story, it does things to me as most of Poe's works seem to, to strike something exciting inside my mind. I think this is one of the better known of Poe's works, something like The Raven or The Pit and the Pendulum. Poe does a very good job of making you invested in the characters and the plot in a very short amount of time, as always, and gets your heart rising at the apex, which quickly falls to a satisfying insanity. The man from whose perspective the story is told is obsessed with an old man, or rather, his eye. It haunts him, he needs it gone. He plots to kill the old man, and it's in this portion that the tension rises as he slowly prowls in on the man with a lamp. He kills the man and hides him beneath the floorboards just in time as the police come at the request of a neighbor who heard the old man cry out. The man is seemingly getting away with his crime, he is smug watching them standing unsuspectingly over the body; that is, until his conscience starts getting the better of him. [image error] It drives him to hear the beating heart, like the sound of a watch beneath layers of cotton, through the floorboards. The policemen look unaware, though he's sure it's just a ploy, he knows they can hear it. The heart beats louder and louder, and he can't hear himself think over the incessant beating, which eventually leads him to confess everything in a screaming rage; the entire work holds a tone of insanity, bringing the feeling throughout so you can gain the tension more perfectly. Once again, a masterpiece from Sir Edgar.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ben Fuchs

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. In “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe, the narrator is a person who kills an old man. Even though the old man has never wronged him, he hates the old man’s eye because it looks like a vulture’s eye. He goes in every night for 7 nights and shines a light on the eye and then he kills him on the 8th night. In the “Tell Tale Heart” there are three themes: be careful who you trust, killing makes you crazy, and mental illness should be addressed. One theme is to be careful who we trust. The In “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe, the narrator is a person who kills an old man. Even though the old man has never wronged him, he hates the old man’s eye because it looks like a vulture’s eye. He goes in every night for 7 nights and shines a light on the eye and then he kills him on the 8th night. In the “Tell Tale Heart” there are three themes: be careful who you trust, killing makes you crazy, and mental illness should be addressed. One theme is to be careful who we trust. The narrator (who is the main character) says “he had never wronged me, but the eye is what I hate.” He is crazy because he hates someone because of the way they look. He is willing to kill him for that reason. That means everyone needs to be careful. He had planned the murder very carefully because he made sure there was no blood stain by killing him and immediately putting the body in a bathtub and cutting up the body.

  29. 4 out of 5

    David

    This collection had three tales: The Telltale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado, and The Black Cat. If you are unfamiliar with these classics, you should really read them. They are old-school horror, served chilled. They're all creepy as hell - Poe depicted narrators going completely mad better than just about anyone else, including florid ol' Lovecraft. This would be fine listening on a dark Halloween night.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Colleen Houck

    I listened to this story on a record in high school as an actor read it in a creepy voice and I screamed when he described the heart beating under the floorboards. I wasn't the only one either. Fantastic story.

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