Rating: 3.5 Stars ★★★☆☆
True! – nervous – very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?
Edgar Allan Poe has written some of my favourite short stories and poems. I have, however, never read his whole work. This book is an excellent introduction to it, with a good selection of his short stories and novellas. It also includes The Raven, though that’s the only poem in the book (I sort of missed Annabel Lee, another favourite of mine).
One thing all stories have in common is that they’re all full of gloom and death. Seriously, it’s all about murder, madmen, death and destruction. And you really, really don’t want to be a woman in one of his stories. They’re either already dead or they suffer terribly before finally dying.
The stories contained in this volume are varied. Some are truly amazing. To name some of my favourites:
- The Tell-Tale Heart
- The Black Cat
- The Pit and the Pendulum
- The Masque of the Red Death
I also liked the inclusion of his detective stories. I knew he was the inventor of the genre but I never actually read one of his Dupin stories. They’re quite nice.
Other stories, however, are too rambling for my taste. The Imp of the Perverse was the worst of them. I really liked the final paragraphs, the ones containing the actual story, but before it just goes on and on about procrastination.
Overall, a great introduction to the work of Edgar Allan Poe.