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The Gold Bug (Hesperus Classics) Paperback – 1 Feb 2007

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More About the Author

Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston in 1809, the son of itinerant actors who left him an orphan in 1811. He became a ward of Richmond merchant John Allan and from 1815 to 1820 lived with the family in London. Upon his return, Poe received schooling in Richmond before attending the University of Virginia for a year. In 1827, he clashed with Allan and left for Boston, where he joined the army and published a slender volume, Tamerlane and Other Poems. He later attended the US Military Academy until his dismissal in 1831. The poet moved to Baltimore and began writing for magazines in 1832: three years later he secured a position with the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond and married his cousin, Virginia Clemm. Relocating in New York, Poe endured great hardship but in 1838 published his only novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym. In October 1849, he collapsed in Baltimore and died in hospital.

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'Can you read Poe and not be moved by him? You know you want to. You know he wants you to. If you can lose yourself, if you can step into the skins of his victims and monsters, then you will feel everything he wants you to feel the melancholy and misery, the joy and joylessness, the humour and the horror and the beauty' --Tobias Hill

About the Author

An extremely versatile writer best known for his tales of terror and the macabre, Edgar Allan Poe holds a remarkable place in the history of American literature. Poet and Novelist Tobias Hill was named as one of the Poetry Book Society's 'Next Generation' poets in 2004. His latest poetry collection is 'Nocturne in Chrome and Sunset Yellow' (2006).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 24 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Great Stories That Could Use Some Footnotes 1 Aug 2002
By Art Turner - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First of all, I think it goes without saying that the stories collected here are wonderful. "The Cask Of Amontillado", "The Tell-Tale Heart", "The Fall Of The House Of Usher" - it doesn't get much better (or more horrifying) than this. The price is also nice. A dollar fifty? What can you buy for a dollar fifty these days?
My sole complaint regards the absence of footnotes. Take "Cask Of Amontillado", for example. It's hardly essential to know that "motley" is the garb of a jester or a clown (or that a "pipe" is a wine cask) in order to enjoy the story, but that information would have been nice to have nonetheless.
In conclusion, this collection is a wonderful bargain, but if you have a little more money you may want to invest in an annotated collection of these tales.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Nine Great Tales by the Master of the Macabre 2 May 2004
By Michael Wischmeyer - Published on
Format: Paperback
America was a young country; its age was measured in decades. America had few established colleges and had produced few writers, artists, and musicians. It is ironic that Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), living in poverty and suffering from alcohol and opium abuse, would be one of America's greatest writers, and one of the key creators of two genre of fiction - the deductive mystery and the horror story.

This inexpensive Dover Thrift edition - The Gold Bug and Other Tales - contains nine unabridged short stories arranged in chronological order. Two are classic mystery stories. Seven are superb horror stories.

The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841) was not only innovative, but had lasting influence on later writers. Some fifty years later Conan Doyle closely patterned Sherlock Holmes on Poe's amateur detective, Monsieur C. Auguste Dupin, and Dr. Watson on Poe's unnamed narrator that had so much difficulty keeping pace with the brilliant deductions of Dupin. Would we have had Holmes without Dupin?

The Gold-Bug (1843) is the other deductive mystery story in this Dover edition. I still remember reading it for the first time years ago. I was a young, intense entomologist at that time; after reading this intriguing tale, I carefully reinspected every beetle in my collection. I will say nothing about the plot as it is best savored as a surprise.

Six of the horror stories - The Cask Of Amontillado (1846), The Black Cat (1843), The Tell-Tale Heart (1843), The Pit and the Pendulum (1842), The Masque of the Red Death (1842), and The Fall of the House of Usher (1839) - are among Poe's best known tales. They have all been adapted to films, often with considerable license on the part of the screen writer. Ligeia (1838), the earliest story in this collection, may be unfamiliar. These tales are usually told in narrative form, sometimes from the perspective of one not entirely sane.

Many years ago a teacher, Mr. McLeod, loaned me a thick, heavy book containing the complete stories and poetry of Edgar Allan Poe. I read it cover to cover. Poe remains one of my favorite authors.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
How can you go wrong?? 5 Jun 2008
By William Hoffknecht - Published on
Format: Paperback
So it is hard to go wrong with any Poe books, and especially for one this cheap. These Dover Thrift editions do not have the most amazing print quality or anything, but have some great writings in cheap, easy to own packages.

Really though, if you can spare it, spent the 15 bucks or whatever and pick up one of the many complete collections of Poe if you can.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Free SF Reader 3 Sep 2007
By Blue Tyson - Published on
Format: Paperback
This includes:

The Fall of the House of Usher
The Murders in the Rue Morgue
The Masque of the Red Death
The Pit and the Pendulum
The Tell-Tale Heart
The Gold-Bug
The Black Cat
The Cask of Amontillado

The usual suspects are here, and a bit of variety like The Masque of the Red Death. So, another fine collection from Dover.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Golden Find 27 Sep 2012
By Rah - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having recently discovered that Edgar Allan Poe published this book about 40 years prior to Robert Lewis Stevenson published Treasure Island, I had to read/reread both and compare. The Gold Bug was wonderful -- quick reading and of more interest due to its locality and U. S. historical perspective. Also, I like the fewer characters involved. This should be a wonderful book for young readers. I would have the students try to decipher the code before it is revealed as a good study of language characteristic and problem -solving.
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