Tales and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe

Tales and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe: I have several overlapping collections of Poe, so I decided, once I’d finished reading them all, to put them all together in a single post here. I think by and large that I like Poe, but he seems to alternate between marvelous horror at his best and boring nonsense at his worst.

  • The Assignation – I couldn’t follow this one. What did the drowning child and the art aficionado have to do with one another?
  • The Balloon-Hoax – Wow. That was really boring.
  • The Bells – Fun to read aloud.
  • Berenice – Delightfully disturbing.
  • The Black Cat – Deliciously horrific.
  • The Cask of Amontillado – I think makes Poe so memorable is his vivid first-person accounts from the point of view of a killer.
  • A Descent into the Maelstrom – Not too memorable.
  • Diddling – A random essay on swindling.
  • The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar – Enjoyably bizarre.
  • The Fall of the House of Usher – Not as interesting as his others, but good atmosphere.
  • Hop-Frog – Um. What is this man’s obsession with orangutans?
  • The Imp of the Perverse – A strange little story on why we knowingly act not in our own interest – such as lying, procrastinating, drinking, and other things sure to get us into trouble – to explain a confession of murder.
  • Ligeia – Didn’t really go anywhere.
  • The Man That was Used Up – Silly, amusing, but ends a bit too abruptly.
  • The Masque of the Red Death – Meh. Weird for no reason and kind of boring.
  • Metzengerstein – I’m not sure I entirely understand what happened in this one.
  • MS. Found in a Bottle – Good suspense, but the ending confused me.
  • The Murders in the Rue Morgue – A rather silly Holmes-esque mystery tale.
  • The Mystery of Marie Roget – Needlessly complicated and hard to follow. There’s a reason Holmes became famous and Dupin did not.
  • The Narrative of A. Gordon Pym – Some good bits, but I think I just don’t like maritime fiction.
  • The Pit and the Pendulum – A delightful tale of suspense.
  • The Purloined Letter – Not bad, but far too wordy.
  • The Raven – An old favorite. I love the contrast between the subject matter and the singsong cadence.
  • A Tale of the Ragged Mountains – Kind of weird. I’m not sure if I liked it or not.
  • The Tell-Tale Heart – Funnier than I’d remembered. One of my all-time favorites.
  • “Thou Art the Man” – Clever but very predictable.
  • William Wilson – Brilliant piece of horror.
  1. I much prefer his poetry to his stories. I find most of his stories incredibly boring, although having said that, I do like ‘The Tell-tale Heart’ & ‘A Premature Burial’. They read very different to his other stories that I’ve subjected myself to. Generally, his stories appear to me to be very rigid, and they’re like reading a text book as opposed to ficticious horror. But then his poetry flows effortlessly! He was certainly a man of contrast!

  2. I loved Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories…and just as a throw in to the crazy stupid stuff I have in my head, Sherlock Holmes is said to have a base in C. Auguste Dupin, who was written about 46 years before Holmes and believed to be the first true fiction detective….so technically Holmes was Dupinesque ;) Sorry, I am a bit of loon sometimes. I think my favorite story of his would be ‘The Tell-Tale Heart” though.

    On another thought, this is my first trip to your blog, it’s really great.

  3. Yeah, I know that Dupin was the first detective and a precursor to Holmes. Doyle just did a better job than Poe. (That said, Poe’s horror kicks Doyle’s booty any day.) :)

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