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Selected Tales (Penguin Popular Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Edgar Allan Poe
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Since their first publication in the 1830s and 1840s, Edgar Allan Poe's extraordinary Gothic tales have established themselves as classics of horror fiction and have also created many of the conventions which still dominate the genre of detective fiction. As well as being highly enjoyable, Poe's tales are works of very real intellectual exploration. Attentive to the historical and political dimensions of these very American tales, this new selection places the most popular -- `The Fall of the House of Usher', `The Masque of the Red Death', `The Murders in the Rue Morgue; and `The Purloined Letter' -- alongside less well-known travel narratives, metaphysical essays and political satires.

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About the Author

Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 49), was born in Boston, USA. He was a short-story writer, editor and literary critic, and is considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor the detective-fiction genre.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The moon never beams without bringing me dreams" 18 Oct. 2012
By Sam Quixote TOP 500 REVIEWER
Edgar Allan Poe is a writer whose reputation rests solely upon a handful of short stories and a poem; there are very few writers in the Western canon, or anywhere really, where this is the case. There's usually a novel that they're famous for and while Poe wrote a novel "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym", it isn't particularly good and doesn't hold up to the short stories.

But what stories they are! They're all filled with madmen, murder, jealousy, betrayal, revenge, magic, death, hatred, ghosts, haunted mansions, talking dead, hypnotists, and jesters - all the elements that went on to make up the horror genre that exists today. Poe is the grandfather of horror whose imagery still captures peoples' imaginations today.

The creepy old man with the one large eye in "Tell-tale Heart" whose still-beating dead heart drives his murderer insane; crazy Roderick Usher who sits in his crumbling mansion haunted by his dead sister's ghost; the figure of death who intrudes upon a prince's party in a locked up castle while all among the countryside reigns the Red Death; the nightmarish swinging pendulum; the living death of "M. Valdemar"; the sweet revenge of "Cask of Amontillado"; the immolated bullies of "Hop-Frog"; the murderous doppelganger of "William Wilson"; and the early template for the detective stories of later years in "Murders in the Rue Morgue", "Mystery of Marie Roget" and "Purloined Letter" - these are all first class stories that hold up superbly today.

The appeal of these captivating stories goes hand in hand with knowledge of Poe's own tortured life that contained numerous instances of heart-ache, loneliness, and loss, tinged with addiction to alcohol and drugs, and a mysterious death that remains unexplained to this day.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poe's Tales 22 Jan. 2006
In terms of this anthology in particular, all of Poe's well-known stories seem to be there, including 'The Pit & The Pendulum' and 'The Tell-Tale Heart.' However, Poe's frequent use of foreign languages in his stories can spoil enjoyment, and on at least two occasions I could not fully grasp the ending of a story because no translation to these languages was given in this edition. This is a particular concern for the opening story, 'Duc de L'Omelette'.
In terms of Poe's writing, my opinion is divided. His stories (those in this book, at least), seem to be either his famous tales of terror or more essay-type pieces. The tales of terror, especially 'The Pit & the Pendulum' and 'The Cask of Amontillado', are very well-written and I enjoyed them a lot. However, a number of his stories are more like essays and these can be hard to follow in the old-fashioned language Poe used and, if you are unaccustomed to Poe, can leave you waiting forever for the story to begin. Overall, I enjoyed Poe's writings supplied here and they grew on me as I became more used to his style, but they are not as scary nor as easy to follow as more modern tales.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poe-fect 29 April 2009
Poe's Gothic horror stories can seem dated - well they are all over a hundred years old! However, classics such as 'The Cask of Amontillado', 'The Pit and the Pendulum' and 'The Black Cat' still have the power to shock and appall readers, and this is consequently an engaging collection. I agree with a previous reviewer that there are several less accessible essays in here, but there are enough great stories to make up for it. Highly recommended for lovers of Gothic horror and not of a sensitive disposition - you may have nightmares!
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1.0 out of 5 stars RIGHT AUTHOR WRONG BOOK. 28 Jun. 2014
By mrcloth
Format:Unknown Binding
Received an item that wasn't what was advertised. Extremely disappointed. Havn't used Amazon in awhile and definitely won't be using this seller again. Same author, different title, different cover. Totally not what was I was expecting from the description and photo. Offered a refund but whatever. I don't fancy sodding about sending books back when it just takes abit of honest selling and some attention to detail to avoid things like this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Alan Parsons Project 15 Jan. 2013
Or listen this as a part of it as a part of this. Tales Of Mystery And Imagination by Alan Parsons Project.
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