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The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym [Audiobook, Classical, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Edgar Allan Poe
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

2 Mar 2009
The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, Poe's only full novel, is one of his most unusual works. A riveting story, in the first person, it tells of a disastrous sea voyage involving storms, mutiny, starvation, cannibalism and a mysterious conclusion. Jorge Luis Borges and Baudelaire were among those who rated it highly. Exploring hidden tensions in American society, this intriguing novel has sparked endless interpretation and debate. The recording is timed to mark the 200th anniversary of Poe's birth.

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Product details

  • Audio CD: 6 pages
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks; Unabridged edition (2 Mar 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9626349530
  • ISBN-13: 978-9626349533
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 2.5 x 12.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 587,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Edgar Allen Poe's only novel, is read with engaging energy by Adrian Sims and unfolds with the vividness and horrid logic of a dream. It begins with a prank, when young Pym stows away to be with a friend on a Nantucket brig. Mutiny leads to his claustrophobic incarceration (a familiar Poe theme), then shipwreck, with hunger and thirst agonisingly detailed. After narrowly escaping massacre on an island where even the teeth of natives are black, the two survivors sail into a snowy white curtain of white to be welcomed by huge angelic figures. Bizarre but well worth the voyage. --Christina Hardyment, The Times<br /><br />Over-the-top and hugely enjoyable --Kati Nicholl, Daily Express<br /><br />This is a teasing, gripping adventure that travels through the mysterious deep and the blackness of death to a strange world of ethereal whiteness. --Rachel Redford, Observer

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe In his late teens, Arthur Gordon Pym, hero of Edgar Allan Poe's only full-length novel, runs away to sea with his friend, Augustus Bernard, on his father's vessel, the American whaling brig, Grampus. Their plan is that Arthur will start the voyage as a stowaway, until they are far enough out to sea to prevent his return to Nantucket. Nothing goes according to plan, however. A couple of days out, a mutiny forces Augustus to conceal Arthur's presence for his safety. Not only Arthur's fate, but his very life is in question as conditions deteriorate, and the forces of man and nature rise against him. The tale is actually in two parts, the first records this voyage of the Grampus, the second deals with an ill-conceived and somewhat fantastical voyage to Antarctica. Poe's sense of the macabre and unexpected pervades the novel, creating an ever-rising suspense. Adam Sims, a veteran of radio, television, and theater performances, renders a very successful recounting of Arthur's tale, most of which is delivered in the first person. Sims conveys Arthur's naivete, adventurous spirit, ingenuity, and optimism concerning all the perils that befall him during the two journeys. This audiobook will appeal to adult and teen readers alike who love sea stories with a captivating story line and laden with heightened suspense. Several graphic passages dealing with cannibalism and violence may not be appropriate for junior high audiences. --Susan Allison, soundcommentary.com

About the Author

Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849), American poet, a master of the horror tale, credited with practically inventing the detective story. Poe's first collection, Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque (1840) contained one of his most famous works, "The Fall of the House of Usher." During the early 1840s Poe's best-selling work was The Conchologist's First Book (1839). The dark poem of lost love, "The Raven," brought Poe national fame, when it appeared in 1845. "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" (1841) and "The Purloined Letter" are among Poe's most famous detective stories. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Professing to be the true account of a sea voyage made by Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, Edgar Allan Poe records the strange, unbelievable events aboard the ship Grampus and on a voyage of discovery to the Antarctic six months later. Published in 1850, but professing to have taken place in 1827, Poe's fictionalized narrative, supposedly penned by Pym, a young man from Nantucket, describes Pym's experiences beginning in July of that year. Stowed away in the hold of the ship by his friend Augustus Barnard, whose father is captain of the Grampus, Pym endures more than a week, alone and in almost total darkness, before he discovers that a mutiny has occurred onboard.
Macabre details of ghastly deaths and unrelieved bloodlust, the massacre of the crew, and the casting adrift of the captain presage even more gory events. A counter mutiny, equally bloody, leaves only four men alive on the Grampus. A gale, a gruesome death ship which passes them, another ship which does not see them, circling sharks, and the deaths of two of the survivors leave only two men alive when the brig overturns.
The second half of the account details the trip of discovery taken by Pym and the other survivor, along with the English crew which rescues them, south to the "Antarctic Sea," a voyage in which they go "more than eight degrees farther south than any previous navigators." On this journey they encounter a monstrous, swimming "Arctic bear," more than 15 feet long, a cat-like animal with red teeth and claws, warm water with Galapagos tortoises, a series of islands inhabited by canoe-paddling natives organized by one leader, the Aurora Borealis, hot and milky water, white ashy showers, and a huge human figure in white.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This novel is piece of early horror/fantastic fiction from 1845 By Edgar Allan Poe.The first part of which follows young stowaway Arthur Pym's blood soaked adventures on the high seas aboard a whaler in 1827 encountering sufficating confinment, mutiny,shipwreck,starvation and even eating human flesh.The remainder tells of Pyms'exploration of an imaginary South Pole populated by unusual animals and duplicitous savages.

This book has a toweringly high body-count with battles,violence and visceral horror lavishly spread throughout.Poe also creates a sense of menacing eeriness with his portrayal of strange unknown lands and gives us such memorable imagery and set-pieces.

The ending leaves a few loose threads,and an interesting sequel,'An antarctic mystery or the sphinx of the ice fields'by the mighty Jules Verne emerged in 1897.Get both.Really glad I read this one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good read. Hard to categorise into a genre. 27 Sep 2013
By Rachel
This is very different to the shorter stories and poetry by Edgar Allan Poe and although I prefer the short stories this longer one still held the charm and enjoyment that I have had on previous readings. It follows the escapades of Gordon Pym after he stows away on a sailing ship with his friend Augustus, and what happens to them after the boats is part of a mutiny.

It has a similar sort of descriptions as some of to some of his more satirical and humorous novel, but there are aspects of the gothic attached, and while longer than Poe short stories it is still quite short and easy to read in one sitting. Overall it is a journey about exploration of not just new lands but about what a person will do in able to survive. It's an interesting concept which is hard to classify into a genre but very different to his more well known horror and gothic short stories.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I could be wrong, but I thought I already ... 8 Aug 2014
By Joyce N. Jacobson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I could be wrong, but I thought I already responded to a survey request on this purchase (CD of Arthur Pym). Admittedly, it may have been from the underlying vendor. Assuming that I am correct about multiple surveys (regardless of where they came from), I strenuously object to getting multiple surveys on a given product.
I add, parenthetically, that we have not tried to play the CDs in question yet and won't for at least a month (they were purchased for a road trip planned for October) and so my rating of five star rating is subject to change once we play them.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay 2 Jan 2013
By SheerClass - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is okay. There's a lot to be said about racial issues in this book and it also has a lot to do with death. But, if you're interested in tragedies, then this is definitely that.
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