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Search tags: allan-edgar-poe
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text 2017-07-28 00:25
Reading progress update: I've read 612 out of 1020 pages.
Edgar Allan Poe: Complete tales and poems - Edgar Allan Poe

The Spectacles

My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

 

A humorous story of a young gentlemen who “marries” his own great-grandmother because he doesn’t want to wear spectacles because of how they look, which is great-grandmother and his friend use to their advantage to play this ruse on him.  Overall the story was meh, but I might have enjoyed it more if the ending hadn’t been ruined by the anthology’s introduction but I might have figured things out at the story’s beginning anyhow.

 

The Oblong Box

My rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

 

A man traveling by ship to New York from Charleston and discovers his artist friend is taking the same ship with his new wife and with his many rooms believes his friend has a fabulous new piece of art he has purchases.  After unexpected delay, the ship sets off but the man’s friend was acting strange and his new wife was really beneath his standing but the man is happy to figure out his friend has a new piece of art in the large titular object that he has put in his room.  It is only when a storm damages the ship that it begins sinking that the man discovers that his friend is obsessed with this box and dies with it only to later learn that it contained his actual wife.  Another young woman who suddenly and tragically dies…at least it focused on what happens after.

 

The Tale of the Ragged Mountains

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

 

A man with a certain condition goes on his daily walk and takes longer than he usually resulting in his personal doctor and servants to worry and collect the man’s friends to help search for him.  But the man returns just as they are about to set out and gives everyone a most enchanting-turn-morbid tale that nearly all the listeners believe was a dream, except a doctor who relates the man’s dream is exactly how his friend died in India.  Within a week, the doctor’s patient simply falls over dead.

 

The Premature Burial

My rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars

 

Before reading this anthology of Poe’s work, the only person I knew from all my reading of not wanting to be buried prematurely was George Washington.  The narrator of his story gives several “well known” incidents of premature burials with “happy” and “horrible” endings then proceeds to relate how he has a disease that makes it almost seem as if he has died if anyone who doesn’t know about it were to see him during an attack then relates his fear of being buried alive and measures he’s taken to survive.  Young women tragically dying and premature burials, there is a reason Poe is stereotyped.

 

The Purloined Letter

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

 

The third and unfortunately last Auguste Dupin detective story finds the Prefect of the Paris Police coming in search of Dupin’s aid.  A letter has been taken by a Minister from a young royal woman that has given him significant political influence by just having it while not admitting he has it, the Prefect has been asked to recover it but after investigating the Minister’s home every night for a month hasn’t been able to find it.  After Dupin tells him to investigate the entire home again, the Prefect returns shaking his head when Dupin gets the man to pay him his share of the reward money then gives the Prefect the letter.  After the Prefect leaves without asking how Dupin got it, his unnamed friend (the narrator) asks how and Dupin gives his analysis of where the Minister would have hidden it then how he got it.  While not as good as Rue Morgue, this story was significantly better than Marie Roget and sadly the last time we’ll see Dupin.

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text 2017-07-27 00:20
Reading progress update: I've read 549 out of 1020 pages.
Edgar Allan Poe: Complete tales and poems - Edgar Allan Poe

Morning on the Wissahiccon

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

 

A romantic description of a piece of nature far enough away from civilization to be isolated, but close at hand to society as well.

 

The Tell-Tale Heart

My rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

 

A man commits murder and is betrayed by his own imagination while the police are investigating a scream his victim uttered before his death.  One of the classic Poe stories that upon reflection and with a subsequent story fails to live up to the hype.

 

The Gold Bug

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 

A pirate treasure short story on a small island off the coast of South Carolina near Charleston featuring a eccentric man without his former wealth, his almost inarticulate speaking old slave, and his friend the unnamed narrator.  The title is a reference both to the insect that starts the chain of the events and what the narrator believes his infected his friend and later himself.  A great story, unfortunately the racist speak for the slave has to deduct from the rating.

 

The Black Cat

My rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

 

A man who loves animals, especially the titular pet, is unfortunately an alcoholic that has rages after he drinks including animal cruelty and eventual murder of his wife.  The later event is discovered just like the Tell-Tale Heart, which deducts a lot from the rating even though this is definitely the better story.

 

Diddling Considered as One of the Exact Sciences

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

 

Poe writes about the actions of con-men and their scams, the titular diddling, which is a very well written instruction guide to future con-men and for people who don’t want to be their marks.

 

Byron and Miss Chaworth

My rating: 1 out of 5 stars

 

A short piece about Poe’s hero Lord Byron and, I assume, his mistress which is only a page and a half long.  Wondering what the point was really.

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text 2017-07-25 01:32
Reading progress update: I've read 493 out of 1020 pages.
Edgar Allan Poe: Complete tales and poems - Edgar Allan Poe

The Pit and the Pendulum

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

 

A man in the clutches of the Spanish Inquisition in locked in a cell with a pit in the center of it and after avoiding falling in, he is drugged and strapped to a bed as a razor slowly descends towards him.  Barely escaping the razor, the man wonders what will be next when he hears the French entering Toledo to bring him freedom.  This is a fantastic piece of writing by Poe that had me glued to each page while reading.

 

The Mystery of Marie Roget

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

 

A “ripped from the headlines” Auguste Dupin deduction mystery is unfortunately not as engaging as the first Dupin story.  This story is mostly Dupin using his deduction to undermine all the theories that newspapers were putting out about the young ladies death, while it was good writing but sometimes in a detective story—yes even before the word was created—you want to see the main characters move.

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text 2017-07-24 00:57
Reading progress update: I've read 442 out of 1020 pages.
Edgar Allan Poe: Complete tales and poems - Edgar Allan Poe

A Descent into the Maelstrom

My rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

 

A hiker and his guide climb to the top of Norwegian mountain to see the Moskoe-strom then the guide relates his escape from the whirlpool that killed his two brothers.  Overall this is good story that meanders here and there pulling down the rating.

 

The Colloquy of Monos and Una

My rating: 1 out of 5 stars

 

A dialogue between a married couple in the afterlife.  This is the second dialogue of this kind that Poe has written, but the first was why better even though this one is more romantic.

 

Never Bet the Devil Your Head

My rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

 

This is a “straightforward” moral tale that is also a little humorous even though the set up was obvious from the beginning.  Could have been better if there wasn’t a introduction about the author not writing tales with a moral.

 

Eleonora

My rating: 0.5/5

 

Another first cousins growing up and marrying story with the young woman dying young, it was pretty obvious were this story was going from the beginning so this was quickly read.

 

Three Sundays in a Week

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

 

This was a humorous little story in which a great-uncle can’t just willing do something even though he’s inclined to do so.  Unable to get his consent to their marriage until there were “three Sundays in a week”; the two don’t know what to do until two sailor friends arrive back in the country after traveling around the world in opposite directions.

 

The Oval Portrait

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

 

A young nobleman and his valet break into a cottage after he is injured during a hunt, the cottage has many portraits along with a little guide book for them.  He comes across an oval portrait that feels like it’s alive and then reads the description, which gives credence to his unease that it’s alive.

 

The Masque of the Red Death

My rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

 

While this is a well written story, whether you’ve been spoiled or not before reading it, there is only one obvious outcome and frankly that takes away from the stories overall impact.

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text 2017-07-21 22:46
Reading progress update: I've read 398 out of 1020 pages.
Edgar Allan Poe: Complete tales and poems - Edgar Allan Poe

The Man of the Crowd

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

 

While watching the crowds walk along London’s busiest street, the observer sees an old man that attracts his attention then follows him through the night and far into the next day before finally stopping.  A nice piece that in the long run means nothing, but at least it was too the point of just following someone.

 

The Island of the Fay

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

 

An enthusiast describes the wonder of nature and then while enjoying a glade that has a view of an islet, he imagines seeing one of the last of the fay paddle on a boat around it.  Another nice little piece with great descriptions that is almost completely different from anything Poe had written before.

 

The Murders in the Rue Morgue

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

 

The first Auguste Dupin detective story even before the word detective was created.  Written as a study of deduction by an anonymous narrator who’s Dupin’s friend, he describes how Dupin deciphered his train of thought to the narrator’s amazement.  A few days later, the Paris papers are filled with the ghastly details of a double murder in which none of the witness differ in their accounts.  After a friend of Dupin’s is arrested, he uses his connections to study the crime scene and using his deductive skill figures out what happened and getting his friend released.  So far this is THE best story so far the complete collection and the only reason it wasn’t a perfect five was the introductory essay which while giving background to the narrator’s thought process, just wastes the reader’s time.

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