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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once upon a midnight dreary ...
Great stuff - it's hard to believe that Poe's short stories were written in the first half of the 19th century. They are superbly modern, even postmodern, in their claustrophobic obsession with mystery, darkness, death and decay, madness, cruelty and torture. Poe is a master stylist, a superb writer of English, and all the stories are compact and totally consistent in...
Published on 20 Jan 2007 by molondas

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not download. Terrible quality.
Terrible quality kindle book. Looses all text about 35% of the way through. Disappointing to say the least.
Published on 25 Dec 2010 by ZB1200


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once upon a midnight dreary ..., 20 Jan 2007
This review is from: The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Writings (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
Great stuff - it's hard to believe that Poe's short stories were written in the first half of the 19th century. They are superbly modern, even postmodern, in their claustrophobic obsession with mystery, darkness, death and decay, madness, cruelty and torture. Poe is a master stylist, a superb writer of English, and all the stories are compact and totally consistent in atmosphere and tone.

As another reviewer mentions, this collection also inlcudes the detective stories about M. Dupin, solving the mysteries of "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" and "The Purloined Letter". These are masterpieces of short fiction, while "The Black Cat" and "The Tell-tale Heart" are truly horrific. Other stories are more gothic - "Ligeia" and "The Fall of the House of Usher", while "The Pit and the Pendulum", "The Masque of the Red Death" and "The Cask of Amontillado" are compact, dense tales of medieval cruelty, torment and horror.

Also included in this edition are some poems ("The Raven" is a particular highlight) and some of Poe's non-fiction writing - magazine articles, theatre and book reviews.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not download. Terrible quality., 25 Dec 2010
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Terrible quality kindle book. Looses all text about 35% of the way through. Disappointing to say the least.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Half empty, 26 Jan 2011
The text is messed up or badly formatted and an utter mess at almost half way through and continues that way to the last nearly blank page.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Introduction, 16 Sep 2001
This a collection of the best writings of Poe, featuring all of the most well known works such as the Raven.
It is an ideal introduction to the works of one of the greatest poet/story writers ever.
A great value for money book, and as I said, the perfect introduction.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Writing, 23 Mar 2002
Edgar Allan Poe was perhaps the greatest American short story writer in our history. He is a surrealist and a subtle master of the pyschological thriller. In fact, it was Poe who created the Detective/Mystery genre, and it was he from whom Sir Author Conan Doyle drew his inspiration for Sherlock Holmes.
Poe, however, reaches his peek when he is telling a tale of madness and horror. My absolute favorite Poe tale is The Fall Of The House Of Usher. Also, the Pit And The Pendulum is an excellent read.
And, as has been stated, this book is an excellent primer for all would be Poe enthusiasts.
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2 of 2 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 - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Writings (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
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.

While the majority of the stories aren't as brilliant as "Amontillado" or "Usher", those few stories that are more than vindicate Poe's status as a great writer. And while the lesser stories like "Gold Bug", "Black Cat", and "Descent into the Maelstrom" feel slower, overwritten, and less interesting than the best of Poe, there are moments in them that stand out and make reading them worthwhile.

Then there is the poetry. "The Raven" stands head and shoulders above the others, and remains a startlingly arresting poem to read to yourself or aloud to others. It's sing-song quality is what keeps it so popular and its legendary images of a demented Raven saying "Nevermore", and entrancing lines "Once upon a midnight dreary...", make it a poem that people will willingly read, and keep returning to, until the end of time.

As with the stories, few other poems manage to reach the heights of "Raven" but there are a few gems in the poems, some excellent lines and images such as in "Lenore", "The Conqueror Worm", "Spirits of the Dead" and my favourite "Annabel Lee".

Poe's stories are a must-read for all fans of literature, whether horror, gothic or otherwise, as they're not only fascinating and well-written but are also, most importantly, great fun to read. So go on, turn off the lights, and by the glare of the silvery moon open up the pages to one of his stories, and scare yourself like it's 1842... nevermore.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So good, 28 Feb 2011
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This review is from: The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Writings (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
Only wish I had read this when I was younger - listen to Lindisfarnes Lady Eleanor and you will know what I mean!
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4.0 out of 5 stars good holiday read, 13 Aug 2013
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This review is from: The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Writings (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
I bought this book for my holiday read. It contains a variety of Poe's work and as the print is small the book is quite easily carried in hand luggage - yes, so is a kindle but I wouldnot carry one of them down to the pool and have a swim while I left it on the side.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read., 9 April 2013
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This review is from: The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Writings (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
Edgar's writing is on a different level. His use of words are exact descriptions of expression. I just loved it.
one need to read Edgar's book in a relax mood to fully understand his thoughts.
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4.0 out of 5 stars LIKED IT, 1 Mar 2013
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This review is from: The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Writings (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
I LOVED THE BOOK AND ITS STATE. VERY CLEAN AND NEW, AND WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR BASICALLY FOR MY STUDY.
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