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Tales of Mystery and Imagination

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Extraordinary artwork recreates three classic Poe tales.


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Extraordinary artwork recreates three classic Poe tales.

30 review for Tales of Mystery and Imagination

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kyriakos Sorokkou

    Tales of Mystery & Imagination Since I've written mini reviews for each of the stories I will have them here slightly edited along with an overall rating and review for the collection as a whole. 1) The Gold Bug A treasure hunt story involving cryptography, directions, clues, skulls, and a lot of digging. It felt like watching Dora the Little Explorer but in a much darker atmosphere. 4 main characters, the narrator, his friend Mr Legrand, Legrand's dog and Legrand's servant, a nigger, yes another s Tales of Mystery & Imagination Since I've written mini reviews for each of the stories I will have them here slightly edited along with an overall rating and review for the collection as a whole. 1) The Gold Bug A treasure hunt story involving cryptography, directions, clues, skulls, and a lot of digging. It felt like watching Dora the Little Explorer but in a much darker atmosphere. 4 main characters, the narrator, his friend Mr Legrand, Legrand's dog and Legrand's servant, a nigger, yes another story that has racist remarks. Anyway this was a 3.5 stars story nothing more than a treasure hunt. But I've enjoyed it more than others. 2) The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar A practitioner of mesmerism (a precursor of hypnosis) tries through the medium of hypnosis/mesmerism to revive a recently deceased person. A macabre little tale worthy of 3 stars. Didn't blew my mind though. 3) MS. Found in a Bottle A story about a man that scrambles aboard a gigantic ship manned by elderly crewmen who are unable to see him (possibly a ghost ship). A sea tale that ends abruptly and with a sense of doom. 3 stars because I needed more, something that Mr. Poe rarely does. 4) A Descent into the Mælström At the summit of a mountain climb in Lofoten (mentioned in Kavvadias Ο Πιλότος Νάγκελ), in Norway, an old Norwegian is telling the story of his near escape from a massive whirlpool called Mælström. Interesting story but there's no actual rising action or suspense because you know that the narrator is going to survive since he's the one telling the story. Almost 3 stars. 5) The Murders in the Rue Morgue A tale that is considered the first detective story, written 46 years before the first Sherlock Holmes story in 1887. A gruesome double murder is committed in Rue Morgue in Paris and amateur detective C. Auguste Dupin investigates the crime scene. What he finds is beyond suspicion. 3.5 6) The Mystery of Marie Rogêt A sequel to the previous story. The longest and most boring story so far. It doesn't have a plot. Dupin just discusses with the narrator whether the murdered girl was murdered and then thrown into the river or the other way round, whether her clothes were torn intentionally or not, or whether the newspaper articles were telling the truth or were inventing things about the murder &c. You will enjoy this essay-like story only if you are a forensics/criminology student. 2 stars 7) The Purloined Letter Definitely better story than The Mystery of Marie Rogêt but definitely not as good as The Murders in the Rue Morgue, or moreover an enjoyable reading. It is a discussion more or less of how Dupin managed to take back the Purloined Letter from the villain of the story (a blackmailer) and give it back to the police. They also talk about versions of reality and mathematics. 2.9 stars 8) The Fall of the House of Usher Finally, a decent gothic story by Mr. Poe in this collection. Our narrator arrives at the gloomy, gothic, decaying house of his childhood friend Roderick Usher and the atmosphere is oppressive even for the reader who anticipates this fall of the house that looms over the story like a threat. An eerie story that you enjoy even though some elements remain inexplicable. 3,5 stars 9) The Pit and the Pendulum From Wikipedia: Terror is the feeling of dread and anticipation that precedes the horrifying experience. By contrast, horror is the feeling of revulsion that usually occurs after something frightening is seen, heard, or experienced. So this is a terror story, the narrator describes his experience of being tortured next to a pit full of rats and a pendulum above him is about to cut him in half. The story was a disappointment though even to George R.R. Martin, who while at high school he changed the story into a much gruesome and horrible ending which I approve. 10) The Premature Burial A horror short story on the theme of being buried alive (!) In the first part the narrator describes different cases of premature burials from where some victims escaped and some not! In the second part he describes his own experience as a man who suffers from anxiety of being buried alive. Graves, corpses, tombs, graveyards, mausoleums. Everything I like to read this time of the year. 3.5 11) The Black Cat Violence against animals, which is followed by a series of ghastly revenges. The narrator, a most unlikable character. He deserved everything he suffered (IMO). Moreover the story is a critique of the perverse actions brought on by alcoholism. 3.5 12) The Masque of the Red Death The title says it all: Death. The story starts and ends with death. All the characters of the story die drenched in blood. 3.5 13) The Cask of Amontillado This was one of the first stories I've ever read in English back in 2009 when my English was worse than Tsipras's. Since then I've read it at least 3 more times. A favourite story of revenge, wine, and murder. . . 4 stars. 14) The Oval Portrait From Wikipedia: "The Oval Portrait" is a short story [...] involving the disturbing circumstances surrounding a portrait in a chateau. It is one of his shortest stories, filling only two pages in its initial publication in 1842. I believe this tale might have inspired Oscar Wilde to write his only novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. 3.5 15) The Oblong Box Nice little story but of course I saw what was coming. A mysterious box belonging to an even more mysterious man, on a ship full of passengers. 3 stars because it was simply interesting but not long enough. 16) The Tell-Tale Heart A story that was pretty similar with the Black Cat but with a more sinister feeling and a very unreliable insane person as a narrator. The ending was the same with Black Cat's ending so I was a bit disappointed to read the same thing again. 3.5 stars though. 17) Ligeia The story can be divided into 3 parts. Part 1 where the unnamed narrator describes his wife Ligeia, her appearance and her mind and then she falls ill and dies. Part 2 where the narrator moves to an unnamed gothic abbey in England marries a second wife Rowena who also falls ill and dies. Part 3 is where the supernatural elements of the story come alive. . . Can't say more, you have to read it yourself. Atmospheric and eerie, yet verbose and slow. 3 stars 18) Loss of Breath What a weird little story. A man literally loses his breath and everybody thinks he's a corpse and so they throw him out of a carriage, they dissect him, they hang him, they bury him, but he can't feel anything because he's out of breath! It was strange and macabre but the concept didn't convince me. How is it possible to live after losing your breath? Well it's fiction but again. . . 3 stars 19) Shadow - A Parable A story 3 pages long and it left me standing in the shadows. After 2 readings I was still feeling like an ignoramus. 2 stars 20) Silence - A Fable A fable about a demon and a man in an enchanted land. The demon tells his story, the man listens, and I am confused. Again. . . Can't say more about this story because I simply can't. I just need to point out that the epigraph of this story was in Ancient Greek. εὕδουσι δ΄ ὀρέων κορυφαί τε καὶ φάραγγες πρώονές τε καὶ χαράδραι Since the feeling of the story was quite eerie I will give it 2.9 stars. I'm a good man. 21) The Man of the Crowd A man follows an old man through a crowded London for almost two days and then he decides to stop following him because the old man is the man of the crowd. [...] worse than the Hortulus Anime; and perhaps it is one of the great mercies of God that er laßt sich nicht lesen. Τι λες σοβαρά; Σουαχίλι γιατί ξέχασες να γράψεις; Again no explanation, which left me disappointed even though following a man for such a long time is quite creepy. 3 stars 22) Some Words with a Mummy Finally, the last story, and an interesting one. 4 stars. A group of intellectuals try to revive a mummy and the mummy now revived begins a conversation with the men. It was a witty story, a satire on Epyptomania and a criticism on the supposed superiority of the west. The end was one of the best parts of the story. My wife is a shrew. The truth is, I am heartily sick of this life, and of the nineteenth century in general. I am convinced that everything is going wrong. Besides, I am anxious to know who will be president in 2045. As soon, therefore, as I shave and swallow a cup of coffee, I shall just step over to Ponnonner's and get embalmed for a couple of hundred years. To be honest I'm anxious too to know who will be president of the United States in 2045; if they survive the (likely) Armageddon called Donald Trump. Overall 70.2/22=3.19 which translates into 3 stars. A satisfying collection I had lying unread on my shelves since 2011 but not something I enjoyed 100% Certainly I will buy the 'sequel' to this collection Tales and Poems but I don't think I will bother buying all his writings since it's obvious I will be disappointed by most of them. Well done if you've reached this gargantuan, lengthy, sheety review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kyle

    Poe is now a household name. An American institution. Everyone knows Poe, though few have really delved into more than one or two of his short stories. I'm also pretty sure he was completely insane. Which means he was brilliant, and everyone should read his work. As the title of the book says, there are many different stories in here, and admittedly, they are not all of the same caliber. It seems that Poe generally became a better writer as he wrote more and more stuff, and I think his later work Poe is now a household name. An American institution. Everyone knows Poe, though few have really delved into more than one or two of his short stories. I'm also pretty sure he was completely insane. Which means he was brilliant, and everyone should read his work. As the title of the book says, there are many different stories in here, and admittedly, they are not all of the same caliber. It seems that Poe generally became a better writer as he wrote more and more stuff, and I think his later work is (in general!) superior to his earlier work. Some stories in this compendium are 3-star stories, and some are 5-star stories, with the remainder taking 4-stars. All of Poe's popular and well-known shorts are in here, The Cask of Amontillado, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Fall of The House of Usher all make their respective appearances. Some of my favorites ones however, were his lesser known works William Wilson, Morella, and A Descent Into the Malestrom were all fantastic surprises to me. There was even a delightful comedy stowed away in here in the form of Some Passages in the Life of A Lion (Lionizing). Imagine that; an actual comedy from Poe! Though Poe chose the short story as his main body of work, there is a common theme about Poe's work. Poe is, ultimately, a blender. A boundary weakener. A line eraser. The boundaries between life and death, good and evil, one world and another. The line between soundness and insanity. None of these are sacred to Edgar Allan Poe's tinkering, and you can't help but admire Poe for the artful way he manipulates the reader's preconceptions. His methods inspired hosts of other writers to explore the same themes (H.P. Lovecraft obviously, and some of Robert Louis Stevenson's work can all be traced to Poe's influence), yet Poe remains an independent, unique, and terrifyingly brilliant voice. In short: Read Poe! You might hate him and go insane (ah well, can't get them all), you might love him and still go crazy (face it, you were probably crazy to begin with), OR you could become entranced by Poe's stories and start a "Poe Boy's" fan club. Whichever way, you should never be forgiven for not reading as much Poe as you can.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    I have to open with a confession, for those of you who do not know I am a self-confessed Poe obsessive so there is every possibility that this review is a tad biased. Having said that this collection of 10 tales and poems shows his genius at capturing the darker side of humanity, from the ability to torment and torture to the sometimes unbelievable determination to survive, even when pounding on death's door. This collection includes some of my absolute favourites from Poe including The Raven, w I have to open with a confession, for those of you who do not know I am a self-confessed Poe obsessive so there is every possibility that this review is a tad biased. Having said that this collection of 10 tales and poems shows his genius at capturing the darker side of humanity, from the ability to torment and torture to the sometimes unbelievable determination to survive, even when pounding on death's door. This collection includes some of my absolute favourites from Poe including The Raven, which for me is one of the darkest and most heartbreaking poems ever, and The Tell-Tale Heart, which is more than disturbing with it's glimpse into the mind of the guilty. Each tale/poem is illustrated by a different artist so the styles vary with each but they all manage to capture the essence of the associated story and I'm sure Edgar would be rather happy with them too. An excellent collection and a good introduction to one of the masters of the macabre should you need it. The full contents is: MS. Found in a Bottle The Raven Hop-Frog The Tell-Tale Heart The Black Cat The Conqueror Worm The Oval Portrait The Bells The Pit and the Pendulum The Thousand-and-Second Tale of Scheherazade The Masque of the Red Death The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar A Descent into the Maelstrom

  4. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Strömquist

    Partly, but quite sufficiently different selection of Poe's stories compared to Selected Tales, which I also have and re-read from time to time. Absorbing, suspenseful, chilling and very very good! Partly, but quite sufficiently different selection of Poe's stories compared to Selected Tales, which I also have and re-read from time to time. Absorbing, suspenseful, chilling and very very good!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Blair

    I read this compendium of Poe's stories while still at high-school. Loved it then and love it now. Poe was a trailblazer in the mystery, suspense and horror genres and his writing has been hugely influential, changing the world of literature. "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", considered the first modern detective story, is a short masterpiece. Grisly and gory by the standards of its day, this tale is well worth a read today, as are all the other wonderful tales in this collection of Poe's works. I I read this compendium of Poe's stories while still at high-school. Loved it then and love it now. Poe was a trailblazer in the mystery, suspense and horror genres and his writing has been hugely influential, changing the world of literature. "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", considered the first modern detective story, is a short masterpiece. Grisly and gory by the standards of its day, this tale is well worth a read today, as are all the other wonderful tales in this collection of Poe's works. In particular, "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Pit and the Pendulum".

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ana Luisa

    Tales of Mystery and Imagination is a great compilation of short stories by Egdar Allan Poe, including some of his most appraised works, like "The Tell-Tale Heart", "The Black Cat", and "The Murders in the Rue Morgue"; and quite a few of lesser known - and also great - works, such as "The Colloquy of Monos and Una" and "Berenice". This collection was a good mixture of horror and mystery, and I highly recommend checking out Poe's works if you haven't already! Tales of Mystery and Imagination is a great compilation of short stories by Egdar Allan Poe, including some of his most appraised works, like "The Tell-Tale Heart", "The Black Cat", and "The Murders in the Rue Morgue"; and quite a few of lesser known - and also great - works, such as "The Colloquy of Monos and Una" and "Berenice". This collection was a good mixture of horror and mystery, and I highly recommend checking out Poe's works if you haven't already!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Imke

    Personally, his hort stories did not entice me that much. Poe Seems to save the weirdest things he could came up with for the shortest ones. I think he shines brighter in his works that contain 10+ pages. I especially enjoyed the detective stories: they are just dripping with gruesome details, which for me, makes it oh so much more enjoyable. This edition of his collected works is just beautiful. The gorgeous drawings and lay-out take the experience of reading this work to another level.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Morrison

    A great example of how well books were once made and presented. From the engraved image of Mr Poe himself through to the feel and smell of the paper and decorated cover (rather than a dust jacket). Old world quality. Beautifully presented and with a fine sampling of his tales, all the classic included, of course! Murder in the Rue Morgue, The Pit and the Pendulum and so forth! For me, two men created and defined horror mysteries, Poe and Lovecraft, so get your fill of the grandfather of them all. No A great example of how well books were once made and presented. From the engraved image of Mr Poe himself through to the feel and smell of the paper and decorated cover (rather than a dust jacket). Old world quality. Beautifully presented and with a fine sampling of his tales, all the classic included, of course! Murder in the Rue Morgue, The Pit and the Pendulum and so forth! For me, two men created and defined horror mysteries, Poe and Lovecraft, so get your fill of the grandfather of them all. Now there is one problem, but it only affects those of us of a certain age, alas. The writing is way too small. Why not those of us who need some light and normal size words?

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ahmed~ Ali

    interesting, page-turner, and scary 0.o

  10. 5 out of 5

    carlageek

    I came to understand, while reading this collection, that Poe is remembered for his ideas, rather than his writing. He is often credited as the origin of such innovations as the unreliable narrator and the modern detective story, and such inventiveness is amply on display in these stories. But it’s blended with object lessons for any beginning writer struggling with such technical matters as the importance of selecting the right point of view for a story, or the value of showing over telling. In I came to understand, while reading this collection, that Poe is remembered for his ideas, rather than his writing. He is often credited as the origin of such innovations as the unreliable narrator and the modern detective story, and such inventiveness is amply on display in these stories. But it’s blended with object lessons for any beginning writer struggling with such technical matters as the importance of selecting the right point of view for a story, or the value of showing over telling. In short, Poe’s ability to invent a story is magnificent. His ability to tell one, however, is middling. Too often he provides a first-person narrator at a remove from the story, so that the narrator is being told a summary of the actual story by another character who is more central to it. The detective stories featuring C. Auguste Dupin, for instance, are related by a first-person narrator to whom Dupin tells the actual story, in summary masquerading as dialogue. (Other 19th-century writers suffered from this same contorted POV problem; Mary W Shelley’s Frankenstein and Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights leap to mind.) Or a narrative that begins inside the story will then take a leap away from it, as does “The Gold Bug,” which begins with a first-person narrator trying to make sense out of his friend's apparent madness, appears to climax with the friend’s vindication as they dig up a pirate’s massive treasure, and then disintegrates with a coda longer than the story itself in which the friend explains to the narrator how he came to discover the treasure map, how he deciphered the encoded message it contained, and so on. The trouble with this kind of narrative distance is that it sucks the energy out a story. There is no suspense at all in the decipherment of the treasure map, because the reader has already seen the treasure discovered. There’s likewise diminished suspense in “Descent into the Maelstrom,” for the man who experienced the harrowing ride on a ship sucked down into a huge ocean vortex is sitting on a rock, relating that experience to the story’s narrator. And it’s a terrible waste of some of Poe’s excellent ideas. All that technical complaining aside, there are some superb stories in this volume, and the ones that are best known are generally also the best executed. “The Cask of Amontillado” is everything for which one reads Poe, with its demented unreliable narrator, rationalizing a particularly cruel murder while never telling the reader exactly what wrong was done to him that justifies it in his mind. In “The Tell-Tale Heart,” a murderer’s conscience famously gets the better of him. And “William Wilson,” my overall favorite, shows a dissolute man with a splintered identity, at war with his own conscience, which he perceives as a separately incarnated man. I read that Patricia Highsmith was particularly influenced by Poe, and I believe it; one can see quite distinctly in these stories the embryos of men like Charlie Bruno, Guy Haines, and Tom Ripley.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Horace Derwent

    tried to tidy up my book stash, i really can't read this. how can i preserve this antique? damn, it's older than god! tried to tidy up my book stash, i really can't read this. how can i preserve this antique? damn, it's older than god!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brad

    We did it! Jess and I have been reading this one out loud together for over three years, nearly the whole time that we have been in Ohio. We weren't terribly consistent over the latter part of that time, but we made a big push in the past week to get through the last hundred pages or so. Overall a pretty good anthology that showcases most of Poe's well-known works as well as many that I had never heard of before. While I wouldn't recommend it for everyone, it is a classic and scratches a gothic We did it! Jess and I have been reading this one out loud together for over three years, nearly the whole time that we have been in Ohio. We weren't terribly consistent over the latter part of that time, but we made a big push in the past week to get through the last hundred pages or so. Overall a pretty good anthology that showcases most of Poe's well-known works as well as many that I had never heard of before. While I wouldn't recommend it for everyone, it is a classic and scratches a gothic itch. Average of 2.886 stars over all of the stories. Rating: PG-13, because of murder. THE GOLD BUG (4/5) I had expectations for this one to be more of a horror story than an adventure, but it was a fine tale nonetheless. I was surprised that Poe described all the steps (accurately) of simple substitution cipher decryption. Pretty great story. THE FACTS IN THE CASE OF M. VALDEMAR (4/5) This story was kind of creepy, and was more of what I had expected from this book. Poe ventures a little into the unknown, and ends with a somewhat grotesque finale. (view spoiler)[The man somehow suspends his life and lives beyond death. When he ends his experiment, I think he ages and decays very rapidly, Indiana Jones style. (hide spoiler)] MS FOUND IN A BOTTLE (2/5) Meh, not really that exciting. Maybe because I'm not one who's terrible intrigued by the sea? Granted, it made me curious about the old men on the ship who spake in a different tongue and seemed to be on a voyage of discovery (snicker). A DESCENT INTO THE MAELSTROM (4/5) Ok, this was a good sea story. The narrator looks down on a massive whirlpool with a guide who survived it. The story is all about the whirlpool and how the guide made it through. Exciting. THE MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE (4/5) This story reminded me of Sherlock Holmes. Dupin has a similar mind, and is able to figure things out from clues that most people would have overlooked. In this story, he figures out who committed a horrible murder and how it was done. (view spoiler)[The murder was committed by an orangutan who had swung his way in to the house. (hide spoiler)] THE MYSTERY OF MARIE ROGET (2/5) Another story of Dupin, and thus reminiscent of Holmes. However, this story seemed to drag on and on, and seemed heavy on details that we didn't care about and light on the actual resolution of the story. THE PURLOINED LETTER (3/5) Dupin returns again, and figures out where a scoundrel has hidden a blackmail letter that he stole. The police thoroughly search the scoundrel's apartment without a trace of the letter, but (view spoiler)[Dupin figures it must be hidden in plain sight; he goes to the apartment, finds the letter, leaves his snuffbox, returns home to make a fake letter, returns the next day for his snuffbox and switches the letters. (hide spoiler)] THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (2/5) This is one of the stories that I had heard of previously, but had no idea what it was about. As far as I could tell, it's about (view spoiler)[an estate that is somehow linked to its owners, the Usher family. The last remaining members of the family, a brother and sister, are in a depressive funk, and then the sister is presumed to die. She is placed in a coffin in the keep of the estate, but it turns out she's not really dead--she comes to her brother, bloody from working herself out of her coffin, and she falls on him, dead. The shock (?) kills the brother, the narrator leaves the house, which then cracks down the middle. (hide spoiler)] THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM (3/5) Another story I was somewhat familiar with from before. Probably would have received an additional star if there wasn't so much dilly-dallying in the beginning. (view spoiler)[Our narrator is a victim of the Spanish Inquisition, and this story details his torture--almost falling in the pit, barely escaping from the sharp pendulum with the help of some rats, and then almost falling into the pit as the walls are heated and closing in. Luckily he is rescued at the last minute. (hide spoiler)] THE PREMATURE BURIAL (2/5) Kind of a boring story about several people who were thought to be dead, but weren't. The narrator then finds himself in a similar situation after his years of obsession and cataplexy, except that (view spoiler)[he's actually just waking up in the tight berth of a ship he was on (hide spoiler)] . THE BLACK CAT (4/5) Ah, this was excellent--short and sweet. No lengthy monologues by the narrator, just a good telling of a spooky story. (view spoiler)[A guy who loves animals as a kid becomes a drunk in later life. He starts mistreating his pets and wife, and when his cat bites him he gouges out one of its eyes. Eventually in his frustration he also hangs the cat, and that night his house burns down. He later finds another, similar cat that follows him home, but eventually frustrates him. He swings an axe at it, but his wife stops him. He then kills his wife with the axe and hides her in the wall. He walls the cat up with her, and the cat yowls when the police investigate the home. The corpse is discovered and the man goes to the gallows. (hide spoiler)] THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (3/5) Interesting imagery, and I liked the infectious "bad guy." The colored rooms seemed like an interesting place for a party. THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO (4/5) A creepy revenge story. (view spoiler)[I liked the way that the narrator "tried" to disuade Fortunato from continuing along, and that only strengthened Fortunato's resolve. And then he got walled into the crypt. (hide spoiler)] THE OVAL PAINTING (2/5) A very lifelike painting is discovered by the narrator. (view spoiler)[He reads about it and finds out that it was of the artist's wife, and that he was so focused on making the painting come to life that his wife died as he finished it. (hide spoiler)] THE OBLONG BOX (2/5) The twist in this story probably was awesome back when Poe wrote the story, but is pretty easy to guess now. (view spoiler)[A man brings his dead wife's body on a trans-Atlantic voyage. The wife's maid impersonates the wife for the trip without anyone being the wiser. The man's friends discovers what was in the oblong box (the body) after the man tied himself to it and threw himself into the sea after a terrible storm. (hide spoiler)] THE TELL-TALE HEART (4/5) Excellent story, and rightfully one of Poe's better known tales. Short and sweet. LIGEIA (2.5/5) Reeeaally slow to start, but had a great ending. (view spoiler)[Guy describes his first wife in painstakingly verbose prose. She dies. He remarries a lady who marries him for his money. They don't get along, she gets sick, and then some invisible thing poisons her and she dies. The corpse is reanimated and Ligeia has returned (by force of will?) (hide spoiler)] LOSS OF BREATH (4/5) This one caught me off guard because of how humorous it was--pretty funny story of a guy who loses his breath when yelling at his wife. Then, (view spoiler)[he gets sat on in a carriage, is thought to be dead, is taken to a surgeon who cuts off his ears and removes some of his bowel, has his nose eaten off by cats, jumps out the window of a turret into a wagon of a criminal who looks just like him, is hung, and is buried. In the sepulcher he soliloquizes about the other dead around him. One of them happens to be the neighbor his wife fancied, who coincidentally has too much breath. He transfers one to the protagonist, and all ends well. (hide spoiler)] SHADOW - A PARABLE (1/5) Um, I guess I didn't get it. Short. Maybe the point being that death comes for everyone? Dunno. SILENCE - A FABLE (1/5) Same as above. Didn't really get it--a demon tells a man about another man he met who was only mildly cowed by a large storm the demon called up. THE MAN OF THE CROWD (2/5) ? I think that the man was a personification of the crowd? But I'm not really sure. He hurried to places with people and didn't seem himself on his own. SOME WORDS WITH A MUMMY (4/5) A very strong ending for this anthology. Some gentlemen resuscitate a mummy and have a talk with him. Turns out he's a one-upper and that everything was better in ancient Egypt than in modern times. Quite amusing, like Loss of Breath.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Anna Maria Ballester Bohn

    The edition I've read is actually a Spanish translation (in a wonderful 80's edition for children that would certainly not be possible today), but what I love most about it are Arthur Rackham's absolutely terrifying illustrations, accompanied by some equally gruesome ones by Harry Clarke. The stories about people buried alive fascinated me to no end when I was a child, but I think my favorite story now is The Black Cat, because it packs so much sheer evil in so few pages. The stories about adven The edition I've read is actually a Spanish translation (in a wonderful 80's edition for children that would certainly not be possible today), but what I love most about it are Arthur Rackham's absolutely terrifying illustrations, accompanied by some equally gruesome ones by Harry Clarke. The stories about people buried alive fascinated me to no end when I was a child, but I think my favorite story now is The Black Cat, because it packs so much sheer evil in so few pages. The stories about adventures at sea and the Maelstrom bore me a little. But it's certainly stil a great read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Zoë

    I will have to reread this book another time regardless. Most of the stories were not memorable and even boring. As soon as I had read them, they were gone from my memory again. Only a small handful did give me an ominous feeling. I don't think I felt in the mood for this. I will have to reread this book another time regardless. Most of the stories were not memorable and even boring. As soon as I had read them, they were gone from my memory again. Only a small handful did give me an ominous feeling. I don't think I felt in the mood for this.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jammin Jenny

    I really enjoyed this collection of short stories by Edgar Allan Poe. My favorite story was probably The Raven - I just love that one being from Baltimore...I also liked the Rue Morgue and the Tell-Tale Heart. Great collection and quick read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Harry Doble

    An anthology of Edgar Allan Poe's short stories. Obsessed with the macabre, he typically wrote horror but also in a variety of genres such as dark fantasy, adventure, and detective fiction. Three things are characteristic to all of his stories for me. The first is a lofty writing style that is as concise as it is erudite. Poe was an educated man and his stories frequently reference themes in esoteric philosophy. It is in this sense I can see his influence on another one of my favourite writers, An anthology of Edgar Allan Poe's short stories. Obsessed with the macabre, he typically wrote horror but also in a variety of genres such as dark fantasy, adventure, and detective fiction. Three things are characteristic to all of his stories for me. The first is a lofty writing style that is as concise as it is erudite. Poe was an educated man and his stories frequently reference themes in esoteric philosophy. It is in this sense I can see his influence on another one of my favourite writers, Jorge Luis Borges. The second is a strong ability to describe his characters' psychology. Poe often writes in first person and describes the intricacies of consciousness and emotion in striking detail. The third is logic and the reasoning process in general. Characters frequently engage in a dialogue with themselves and others as they try to make sense of things they don't know or understand, whether they are piecing together the clues of a murder mystery (the Dupin stories), searching for a buried treasure location (The Gold Bug), or trying to understand the horrible predicament they are in (The Pit and the Pendulum). There is a lot of time spent rationalizing actions as Poe tries to show empathy towards the minds of those who would commit horrible sins. He does it so well that I can see quite clearly why he was such a towering influence over later developments in horror. These are nearly all very good stories, but some of Poe's shortcomings are that he framed some stories around pseudosciences like phrenology (The Imp of the Perverse) and mesmerism (The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar) which comes across as very dated. Many of his stories that run over similar themes become very samey as well, especially his stories about sick, dying women (Ligeia, Eleonora, Berenice, and Morella). Arthur Rackham's illustrations in this edition also don't do a lot for me. Otherwise, this is an excellent collection.

  17. 4 out of 5

    James

    It's almost impossible to review this book, because - now - it's impossible to get the feeling of how it would have been when it first came out one and three-quarter centuries ago. By modern standards, it seems tame, long on atmosphere and short on plot, and above all horrendously pedantic. Many of the stories are twice the length they perhaps should be, by today's standards, filled with asides and unnecessary details. In "The Gold-bug", for example, Poe spends pages explaining how to unravel a It's almost impossible to review this book, because - now - it's impossible to get the feeling of how it would have been when it first came out one and three-quarter centuries ago. By modern standards, it seems tame, long on atmosphere and short on plot, and above all horrendously pedantic. Many of the stories are twice the length they perhaps should be, by today's standards, filled with asides and unnecessary details. In "The Gold-bug", for example, Poe spends pages explaining how to unravel a cypher, and the introduction to "The Murders in the Rue Morgue' spend several largely unnecessary pages in the nature of intuition and analytical thought. Despite this, the work is thoroughly enjoyable, if read with the above caveats taken into consideration, and many of the stories it contains are justifiably regarded as classics. But this is not the point. Poe was, above all, an innovator. He was the primary force in the creation of the detective story. Without Dupin, there would be no Sherlock Holmes, no Columbo, no Jonathan Creek, nor any of the myriad of analytical detectives before, between, or since. He also virtually invented the short story, developing it along the basic rule that the weight of every word is vital to the whole (ironic given the amount of unnecessary exposition already mentioned). Poe was also, through this careful weighting of text, the creator of fantastic atmosphere. Poe also gives - arguably - one of the finest literary descriptions of paranoid schizophrenia as seen from the sufferer's viewpoint in "The Tell-tale Heart". Stories such as "The Fall of the House of Usher" rely almost solely on Poe's power of description to weave their spell - in stories which, when written, would have been horrific in their lurid details. That they seem more tame today is not the fault of the writer.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    A very nice edition, I bought this as a reading copy from Barnes and Noble this Christmas after I had stumbled across a gorgeous original 1920s edition with all of Harry Clarke's original artwork in it. I did not want to add wear to that large volume by actually reading it from cover to cover, so I was happily surprised to find this copy. Not all of Clarke's brooding, creepy, beautiful Art Nouveau artwork is included in this edition, but it does include most of it. I am not sure why some was not A very nice edition, I bought this as a reading copy from Barnes and Noble this Christmas after I had stumbled across a gorgeous original 1920s edition with all of Harry Clarke's original artwork in it. I did not want to add wear to that large volume by actually reading it from cover to cover, so I was happily surprised to find this copy. Not all of Clarke's brooding, creepy, beautiful Art Nouveau artwork is included in this edition, but it does include most of it. I am not sure why some was not included--some of the work is quite risquee--but not more so than several pieces included in this volume. I would recommend going on Amazon or Ebay and finding one of the original copies (they ARE there), but this version is great to actually read, especially if you do not already have a Complete Poems and Tales of E.A.P. in your library.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Rhys

    A huge collection of tales which reflect Poe's remarkable versatility and range as an author. His brilliance is not in doubt, and a number of the grotesque horror tales he is most identified with are simply radiant and well told. Once your brain manages to embrace his florid (perhaps once could also say dated) style it is easy to lose yourself as if hypnotised in the worlds he builds. Poe can cleverly manage tension and deliver extremely satisfying endings. This is a substantial collection howev A huge collection of tales which reflect Poe's remarkable versatility and range as an author. His brilliance is not in doubt, and a number of the grotesque horror tales he is most identified with are simply radiant and well told. Once your brain manages to embrace his florid (perhaps once could also say dated) style it is easy to lose yourself as if hypnotised in the worlds he builds. Poe can cleverly manage tension and deliver extremely satisfying endings. This is a substantial collection however, and as a result I found it quite hit and miss. A number of stories included were complete misfires to me, and as soon as my brain didn't click with a story I sank under the tedious verbosity of his style, struggling sentence by sentence to the next story. Some collections can be too complete I think, and to my mind this one could be trimmed by about a quarter.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sam Grove

    Very good Mr Poe, very good. Wasn't expecting too much from this as I was really only reading it as I'd never read them before. People rave about him all the time so I thought I should give him a bash. Turns out they're right! The language can sometimes be a barrier and found myself re-reading parts to understand what had been said (especially with Dupin in Murder at Rue Morgue) but the horror and dreadful excitement in all of his stories transcends the difficult language and actually grips you. Very good Mr Poe, very good. Wasn't expecting too much from this as I was really only reading it as I'd never read them before. People rave about him all the time so I thought I should give him a bash. Turns out they're right! The language can sometimes be a barrier and found myself re-reading parts to understand what had been said (especially with Dupin in Murder at Rue Morgue) but the horror and dreadful excitement in all of his stories transcends the difficult language and actually grips you. By far my favourite was Pit and the Pendulum due to the sheer terror described by being placed in that dungeon really felt like I was there experiencing it. Overall very impressed with the master of horror.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    "And then there stole into my fancy, like a rich musical note, the thought of what sweet rest there must be in the grave. The thought came gently and stealthily, and it seemed long before it attained full appreciation; but just as my spirit came at length properly to feel and entertain it, the figures of the judges vanished, as if magically, from before me; the tall candles sank into nothingness; their flames went out utterly; the blackness of darkness supervened; all sensations appeared swallow "And then there stole into my fancy, like a rich musical note, the thought of what sweet rest there must be in the grave. The thought came gently and stealthily, and it seemed long before it attained full appreciation; but just as my spirit came at length properly to feel and entertain it, the figures of the judges vanished, as if magically, from before me; the tall candles sank into nothingness; their flames went out utterly; the blackness of darkness supervened; all sensations appeared swallowed up in a mad rushing descent as of the soul into Hades. Then silence, and stillnes, and the night were the universe." (From "The Pit and the Pendulum")

  22. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    This novel is a fantastic compilation of Poe's short stories. One thing this book does fantastically well is that the stories it contains are very well varied. From the more imaginative stories such as "The Sphinx" to the darker stories like "The Raven" Poe's writings will keep you captivated from the moment you open the book to the last time you close it. Overall I recommend this book to not only Poe fans, but also to anyone who enjoys horror and mystery novels. This novel is a fantastic compilation of Poe's short stories. One thing this book does fantastically well is that the stories it contains are very well varied. From the more imaginative stories such as "The Sphinx" to the darker stories like "The Raven" Poe's writings will keep you captivated from the moment you open the book to the last time you close it. Overall I recommend this book to not only Poe fans, but also to anyone who enjoys horror and mystery novels.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Heni Akbar

    The Tell-Tale Heart is my favorite, alright. It deserves 5 stars. However, the sleuth in this anthology is not actually my taste. Murders in the Rue Morgue is (in my opinion) highly overpraised. Well, maybe because it was the pioneer of its time, like The Mystery of Yellow Room. Still, Poe's descriptive is beyond comparison. It took me whole concentration to finish one story only. Have difficulty in reading English in this version, highly advanced and so 18th century 😂 Love this piece. The Tell-Tale Heart is my favorite, alright. It deserves 5 stars. However, the sleuth in this anthology is not actually my taste. Murders in the Rue Morgue is (in my opinion) highly overpraised. Well, maybe because it was the pioneer of its time, like The Mystery of Yellow Room. Still, Poe's descriptive is beyond comparison. It took me whole concentration to finish one story only. Have difficulty in reading English in this version, highly advanced and so 18th century 😂 Love this piece.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Czarny Pies

    Where would be without Edgar Allen Poe His formula for writing, creepy sinister tales has proved easy to imitate by other writers and to transfer to the cinema. The legacy that Poe has left us is an unending stream of books and movies that have provided us with cheap thrills for almost 200 years.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mohammed

    Edgar Allan Poe writing style might be a bit archaic but he is able to write some really great writing. His Gothic horror stories are masterful,unbeatable when its about sheer terror,atmosphere. C.Augustine Dupin stories are great crime stories. Timeless character,stories.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Olívia

    I remember reading most of these tales in the Summer of 2010, so this pocket book that my sister gave me was more of a throwback than anything. Timeless.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Simon

    Big disappointment. Some stories hold up, like House of Usher, Masque of the Red Death, Pit and the Pendulum. But the vast majority are pretty tedious. The worst are the detective stories: Murders in the Rue Morgue and its sequels. Instead of a plot we get an arrogant, insufferable bore lecturing us at length, explaining in mind-numbing detail how he solved an absurdly convoluted puzzle. Two other stories consist of nothing more than endless descriptions of landscapes in the driest, least evocati Big disappointment. Some stories hold up, like House of Usher, Masque of the Red Death, Pit and the Pendulum. But the vast majority are pretty tedious. The worst are the detective stories: Murders in the Rue Morgue and its sequels. Instead of a plot we get an arrogant, insufferable bore lecturing us at length, explaining in mind-numbing detail how he solved an absurdly convoluted puzzle. Two other stories consist of nothing more than endless descriptions of landscapes in the driest, least evocative manner possible. Many others can barely be described as stories, with little in the way of characterisation or plot, and I don't believe this is because Poe was somehow keen to experiment with the form of fiction.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shane Lewis

    This is a great edition of Poe’s stories if one can find it. Arthur Rackham’s illustrations perfectly compliment the dark romanticism of Poe. There are quite a few lesser-known stories included that are well worth the read like Hop-Frog and William Wilson.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Gina Baik

    hehe I just realized that this book was written by EDGAR ALLAN POE. how did I miss that..... anyways, this was a nice short read but none of the stories were scary.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Karla Kaman

    Good collection of Poe's popular stories Good collection of Poe's popular stories

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