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Nevermore: A Graphic Adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's Short Stories (Illustrated Classics (Sterling)) Paperback – 15 Apr 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 119 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling (15 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1411415922
  • ISBN-13: 978-1411415928
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16.8 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,679,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By El Guapo on 13 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book itself is good, if you like Poe reimagined in the Corman tradition. Problem is it's black and white, and my copy was in poor condition, splattered with traces of jam. I had to clean the mess.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Creative visual adaptations of Poe's classic stories! 18 Feb. 2009
By Z Hayes - Published on
Format: Paperback
"Nevermore" may be a thin volume but it is packed with well-imagined graphic adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe's short stories. The team of writers and illustrators ably capture the essence of Poe's stories - be it the macabre factor, the gothic imagery or the portrayal of man's nature in its many forms - this graphic novel succeeds on all levels.

Th stories adapted here are "The Raven", "The Pit and the Pendulum", "The Facts in the Case of Mr Valdemar", "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", "The Fall of the House of Usher", "The Black Cat", "The Oval Portrait", "The Tell-tale Heart", and "The Masque of the Red Death". Each story is preceded by a brief introduction and there is also an illustrated biography of Poe at the end of the novel.

The cast of talent involved in this novel is impressive and i would highly recommend this to all fans of Poe as well as those who appreciate a well put-together graphic novel.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Edgar Allen Poe- Re-Imagined 17 April 2009
By Zack Davisson - Published on
Format: Paperback
Poe lends himself well to adaptation. His particular style of psychological horror is such that it can be twisted, lengthened, almost completely re-worked and yet still retain that precious core that can be recognized as Edgar Allan Poe.

Previous comic adaptations of Poe, such as Classics Illustrated and the modern and excellent Graphic Classics, have taken a more faithful approach. Although still allowing creativity in the adaptations, they have mainly attempted to stay true to the original works. This volume, "Nevermore" by Sterling Press, goes in the opposite direction and encourage the artists to "re-imagine" Poe's stories.

C. Auguste Dupin, with a robot servant, investigating a murder involving a brain-transplanted orangutan? Check. Roderick Usher as a fading, Ozzy Osborne-style burnt-out rock star? Check. "The Oval Portrait" featuring a fashion model, and an obsessed photographer who wants to capture her perfect beauty? Check. Prospero as the host of an end-of-the-world comic book and costume convention, into which comes someone cosplaying as The Red Death? Check.

Some of the adaptations work better than others. "The Raven" is almost wholly preserved, just updated to a guy in his apartment but otherwise the same. "The Pit and The Pendulum" works great as a 1984-style oppressive future. "The Tell-Tale Heart" featuring a blind woman who volunteers at a Center for the Blind is surprisingly effective. Some of them stray too far from the point, keeping little of Poe's original language or intent. "The Masque of the Red Death" didn't thrill me, nor did "The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar" which had the post-death Valdemar being marketed and sold for the media.

"Nevermore" certainly has its share of talent. A few seasoned comic book professionals (John McCrea from Hitman. Jamie Delano and Steve Pugh from Animal Man) show their stuff here, and weaknesses in the adaptations aside most of the art looks great. Everything is black-and-white, and the art-styles vary from German impressionistic to standard comic book to cartoony.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A hit-and-miss graphic novel anthology 28 Jan. 2013
By Kenya Starflight - Published on
Format: Paperback
I went through a brief stint in high school of loving Edgar Allen Poe's short stories. He had a definite sense of the macabre, but also a stunning gift for words, and a way of weaving characters, ideas, and taut suspense that's perhaps only rivaled by today's Stephen King. And though I no longer love him the way I used to, I still respect him as a classic writer and perhaps one of the founders of the horror and suspense genres. So when I found this graphic novel adaptation of some of his classic short stories, I knew I had to take a look.

The problem with any collaberative work, "Nevermore" included, is that quality is never a constant. No anthology is ever completely good or completely bad -- there will always be at least one truly bad story in every work, and one truly good one in every work. While I mostly enjoyed "Nevermore," I found the individual adaptations to be rather hit and miss, both in the writing and in the art style.

A brief run-down of each tale:

"The Raven" is the only story in this collection to use the original text, which is fitting given that it's a poem rather than a true short story. It keeps the dark and gloomy tone of the original poem, even if the dark illustrations sometimes make it difficult to know what's going on.

"The Pit and the Pendulum" is perhaps my least favorite story in this collection. It updates the story from the Spanish Inquisition to a "1984-ish" dictatorship, and the art style is hyper-realistic in comparison to the stylized tone of much of the rest of the book. It replaces the taut horror of the original with heavy-handed political commentary, its replacement for the original Pendulum death machine is laughable, and it alters the hopeful (for Poe, anyhow) ending of the original story with a "downer" ending that just drives home the political heavy-handedness.

"The Facts In the Case of Mr. Valdemar" is the story of a hypnotist's session gone horribly wrong, and updates the original story quite well to the modern era. The illustrations here have a blurred, dreamy quality that nonetheless heighten the paranormal horror of the situation, and I easily found it to be the most chilling story in the anthology.

"The Murders In the Rue Morgue" takes a different twist from the other tales -- it sets its story in futuristic France instead of in the present. The visual style of the story is much "brighter" than the other tales, which is fitting given that it's a Holmes-esque mystery rather than horror. And I enjoyed the look of a future Paris, which maintains a Victorian European era despite the addition of robots, hovercraft, holograms, etc.

"The Fall of the House of Usher" is a rather confusing mess. Turning the titular Usher into a burned-out Osbourne-esque rock star, its story is difficult to follow, both due to the disjointed manner in which it's told and to the art -- crooked mismatched panels and a lineless black-and-white art style that obscures more than it shows. I never quite understood the original tale, and this adaptation didn't help matters.

"The Black Cat" sets the original tale of cruelty and madness in a failing circus, and turns the titular animal into an aging black panther that was once the star of the circus... and is now the target of the drunken ringmaster's rage. This "adaptation" is so loose that it bears little resemblance to the original story, which makes me wonder why it was included in this anthology in the first place. Also, the art is rather lackluster, with many of the characters suffering from "same-face syndrome."

"The Oval Portrait" is based on a Poe story that I had not read before, but seems to be well-adapted to the modern day. The characters' speech feels natural and unforced, and the art style makes each one look like a unique character and not just a copy of every other character. And it quietly builds its sense of dread through the story, with a final shocking twist that's pulled off quite well.

"The Tell-Tale Heart" turns the original madman protagonist (antagonist?) into a blind girl volunteering at a clinic for the visually impaired... who is creeped out enough by the newest resident to be driven to murder. This was my favorite story in the anthology, both for the story -- updated to the modern day, faithful to the original but with enough of a twist to make it fresh and interesting -- and the art style, which does an impressive job at conveying how a blind person might "see" their world.

"The Masque of the Red Death" updates the original in a clever way -- the titular plague comes across almost as a zombie outbreak, and Prospero is not a prince in this version, but the vain and bombastic Master of Ceremonies of a large science fiction convention. The art is passable and the final fate of the revelers is chilling... but I never quite felt like the attendees of the convention deserved their final fate like Prospero's revelers did, and the young protester who is the closest this story has to a protagonist comes off as annoying and preachy. (The fact that she's named Morales doesn't help...)

The book's "epilogue" is a brief illustrated biography of Edgar Allen Poe's life, but it focuses primarily on his death and barely touches on the rest of his life. Those interested in learning more about Poe would be advised to seek out an additional source of information instead of simply relying on this book's afterword.

All in all, while I did enjoy reading through this book once and will go back and re-read some of the stories for my own pleasure ("Mr. Valdemar," "Rue Morgue," and "Tell-Tale Heart" especially), it contained more misses than hits for me. The art and writing were rather inconsistent, and not all the stories fared well to being adapted for the modern day. Still, it's an offbeat and entertaining little volume, and probably worth at least one read, especially if you're a Poe fan.

I would encourage people who read this book to also find and read the original Poe stories. As interesting as an adaptation can be, I always find the original source to be better, and it's very difficult for an illustrated story to capture the feel of a classic Poe tale.
Adaptation? Not Quite. 19 Dec. 2010
By Elvin Ortiz - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These are loose adaptations of Poe's stories. Perhaps, The Raven is the only one that comes close to the original. It was difficult to make a connection between the graphics and the storylines presented here with the original. There was nothing new that I could see about Poe through these adaptations. Reading the story of "The Black Cat," I don't see how one can appreciate Poe's original tale through this or whether the story could have survived on its own. I confess that "Murders on the Rue Morgue" was somewhat unique with its science fiction setting. Nevertheless, the story here is too simple.

Edgar Allan Poe stories are usually difficult to read because of his style and diction. In spite of this, his stories tend to engross one for that same reason. I would have to assume that any graphic adaptation would have to have that same impact on a person. None of the tales in this collection fulfilled that task. The worst adaptation was "The Tell Tale Heart." I just don't see how the main character there had to kill the old man and then feel guilty about it. It doesn't seem credible in this version. And the language used was very simple. Simply chnaging character and setting doesn't make an adaptation.

Besides that, this textbook wouldn't be apt for school kids who have to read these difficult texts. There were a couple of images that were not appropriate for a school setting; images that were also unnecessary. I don't expect a graphic text or a movie to be exactly like the original text, but I do expect it to honor the story by providing a proper adaptation that makes the text more accessible to the young reader's mind; and not simply make up a simple story with some dialogue and attach a famous title to it.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
An Uneven Collection 29 Mar. 2010
By K. R. Miller - Published on
Format: Paperback
I will admit to begin with that I did not realize, when I picked this book up in the library, that the stories in it were meant to be reworked versions of Poe's tales rather than simply graphic versions of the tales themselves, and that colored my expectations. However, that excuses nothing: there is no indication on either the front or back cover of the book that it is anything other than what I expected. The back flap has more specific descriptions of the stories, but I didn't bother to read that--I was already sure I would like it, seeing as it had to do with Poe.

The title of my review refers to unevenness in two areas. One, fairly objective, is the amount of reworking done by the writers and artists--each tale had a different amount of each. The other, naturally more subjective, is the quality of the adaptations. I felt that some were quite strong, others fairly weak, and other in between.

"The Raven" is one that is minimally reworked. In fact, it uses the poem word-for-word in almost its entirety. This may not have been the best choice, since any time the narrator spoke, the dialogue tags were dropped in favor of speech bubbles, causing the lines to lose their scansion. The art updates the story, indicating that the narrator is a wealthy tycoon who has recently lost his wife.

The version of "The Pit and the Pendulum" was very jarring, especially considering my expectations for the collection (which had been mostly reinforced by "The Raven"). It tells a tale of incredible torture for unknown crimes in a futuristic, totalitarian society reminiscent of "Brave New World" and "1984." Looking back, I think this was a good choice for a retelling of the story, but the fact that it had almost nothing in common with Poe's original story made it a disappointment.

"The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar" is one of the stronger stories in the collection, in my opinion. It preserves the original Poe story very well, but brings it comfortably into the modern era. The art showing Mr. Valdemar's body heightens the creepiness.

"The Murders in the Rue Morgue" is another tale that was changed significantly. The main ideas of the original story are there, but it is brought into a science-fiction setting; Dupin's assistant is a robot, and the orangutan has had a man's brain imprinted onto it, giving it very fresh twists. I felt that the explanation for an orangutan murdering women was much more satisfying than in Poe's original tale. However, almost all sense of Dupin's eccentric genius was lost.

"The Fall of the House of Usher" is a stronger one. Again, the tale is much the same, but brought into the modern era, with Roderick Usher a former rock star and the narrator an old musician friend. The art is composed of blocks of black and white, with irregularly sized and shaped panels. I thought these artistic choices were effective in helping to convey the bleakness and chaos of the Usher house, but unfortunately it also made the panels difficult to follow.

"The Black Cat" seemed to have promise at first. It is set in a failing circus, with the titular cat a tame panther, and follows the original tale fairly well. However, it contains almost no sense of the panic and paranoia from Poe's version, and the ending (lacking my favorite part from the original, the discovery of the cat boarded up in the wall) is poorly contrived.

"The Oval Portrait," while far from my favorite of Poe's tales, is without a doubt my favorite of this collection. Perhaps because the original story is so simple, the author and artist brought it quite seamlessly into the modern era, positioning the artist and his subject as a college photographer and fellow student. In addition, it ends with an even more horrifying twist--something I would not have thought could be done with Poe.

"The Tell-Tale Heart" is another fairly well-done version. Its most unique aspect is that the narrator is a blind woman, so she would be unable to see the horrible blue eye, but of course, her heightened senses would allow her to hear a heart. The art is also particularly well done, showing the narrator mostly surrounded by darkness.

Finally, "The Masque of the Red Death" is an entertaining version of Poe's tale. It is set at a comic convention in a world in which a virulent disease has forced quarantine. The story is well updated, but left me unsatisfied--I was never convinced, as I was in Poe's tale, that the revelers deserved their awful fate.
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