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The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket and Related Tales (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 12 Jun 2008

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (12 Jun. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199540470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199540471
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 2 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 284,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

'a fine introduction to a fascinating writer'The Observer

From the Back Cover

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym is an archetypal American story of escape from home and family which traces a young man's rite of passage through a series of terrible brushes with death during a fateful sea voyage. But the plot also goes much deeper, as Pym encounters various interpretative dilemmas, and then leaves the reader with a broken-off ending that defies solution.

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Format: Paperback
Along with 'The Narrative Of Arthur Gordon Pym Of Nantucket' this book contains eight of Poe's short tales -related to Gordon Pym in a way or another- and an enlightening introduction on Poe's life and works. The tales are
MS Found In A Bottle
Loss Of Breath
Mystification
How To Write A Blackwood Article
A Descent Into The Maelstrom
The Pit And The Pendulum
The Balloon Hoax
The Premature Burial
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Quite simply a superb book.
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Format: Paperback
This is a very, very strange book. Apparently Poe wasn't that keen on writing a novel but did so to interest people in his shorter material - and it shows, especially in the book's episodic character. Essentially a sequence of increasingly implausible incidents, most of them gory, there's also a lot of padding - plagiarism from other books (not especially interesting), redundant drawings, and digressions. The violence gets rather depressing after a while and you sense Poe wasn't convinced either. Though it's an interesting precursor to Moby Dick and some of the extreme situations echo his better (shorter) work, this is definitely nowhere near his best.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Some classic Poe suspense but story loses its way half ... 23 Jun. 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some classic Poe suspense but story loses its way half way through. Prob should have been a short story not full novel.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I feared I should not be able to write, from mere memory, a statement so minute..." 13 Feb. 2006
By Mary Whipple - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Claiming that this is the true narrative of a sea voyage by Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, Edgar Allen Poe records the strange, unbelievable events aboard the ship Grampus in 1827 and on a voyage of discovery to the Antarctic six months later. Published in 1838, Poe's fictionalized narrative, supposedly penned by Pym, a young man from Nantucket, describes Pym's experiences beginning in July, 1827. Stowed away in the hold of the ship and aided 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 countermutiny, equally bloody, leaves only four men alive on the Grampus. A gale, a gruesome death ship which passes them, circling sharks, and additional deaths leave only two men alive when the brig capsizes.

The second half of the account details the trip of discovery taken by Pym and the other survivor, along with an English crew from a passing ship, 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 "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, the Aurora Borealis, hot and milky water, white ashy showers, and a huge human figure in white, not the sights reported by later Antarctic explorers.

Poe's only novel, in the romantic tradition of sea adventures, presages the publication of Melville's Typee, which is a true story. In this case, Poe plays with the reader's sense of reality, claiming that his fictional narrative is true and that the fictional Pym had "refused" to publish it because he thought no one would believe his tale. Ironies abound, matched only by the romantic embellishments and imaginative "discoveries" in Antarctica that make this fast-paced narrative as full of tense drama as any soap opera. The abrupt "conclusion" remains ironically inconclusive. Breathless excitement and near death experiences, combined with mystical visions and inexplicable events, make this exciting narrative fun to read. n Mary Whipple
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Poe's One and Only Novel: 19 April 2003
By Khalifa Alhazaa - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In this novel I had the same feeling I used to have watching or reading Treasure Island. It is one of the best adventure novels I have ever read.
It speaks about an adventure seeker, a Mr. A. Gordon Pym. He tries to leave the luxury of his little city Nantucket, where he used to live with his father. One friend of his convinces him to travel. The first voyage was a total disaster. But he did not quit his dream. He went on yet another ... Man, it was the most chilling experience I ever had. It is not like anything you dream, it is even stranger. No goblins nor trolls appear hear, yet still, Poe can really bring the horror to your heart.
A mutiny is added to the singular experience Pym had, and then Cannibalism. And after you thought the story finished, you see that Poe starts a new story which not as impressive as the first, yet turns the attention to some other direction.
The end was a bit shaky. I did not like it at all. I usually do not like open endings. That was the only reason I gave 4 instead of 5 stars.
Overall, I would recommend you to read it in the middle of the night (if you do not have anything else to do), with a cup of tea, and with no one else around! You would enjoy it even more.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A disturbing tale of shipwreck and savagery 12 Mar. 2002
By Zack Davisson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This story, Poe's only novel, is an endurance test for both reader and characters. I believe it was originally serialized, and reads like a collection of incidents rather than a complete story. However, it is a captivating tale, astounding in it's detail and casual horror. Arthur Gordon Pym was born under an unlucky star. He survives in the most inconceivable circumstances, from a drifting, overturned hulk to the frozen waters of the Antarctic. Each page turned piles more horror in his path, described with a growing clinical distance. Pym himself becomes more desensitized to each incident, until he views the irrational with a casual curiosity. The language is beautifully detailed, and some feel this story is the inspiration for "Moby Dick."
Altogether, a delightfully disturbing story. One of the best I have read.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best novel ever 20 Oct. 2008
By mood! - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I do not love novels really and mostly I only get turned on by classics, but this is by far the masterpiece of all novels in that genre! 100% must have if you are a fan of ALL of Poe or just want to read a very special novel!
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