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Editor reviews

This volume contains some of Edgar Allan Poe's best works, including "The Cask of Amontillado", "The Fall of the House of Usher", and "The Pit and the Pendulum". Though all the stories contained in this audiobook might not live up to these more famous narratives from the dark Romanticist, altogether the volume stands up to scrutiny from the harshest critics. The vocal performance of Bernard Setaro Clark pushes the narrative through every haunted bedroom and under every eerie floorboard. Because some of Poe's works are reminiscent of police procedurals, a performer must be able to capture the voices of detectives, perps, and accusers, and Clark does so with conviction.

Summary

A collection of classic works by Edgar Allan Poe, American author, poet, editor, and literary critic. 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 of the detective fiction genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.

This volume includes "The Purloined Letter", "The Thousand and Second Tale of Scheherazade", "A Descent into the Maelstrom", "Von Kempelen and his Discovery", "Mesmeric Revelation", "The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar", "The Black Cat", "The Fall of the House of Usher", "Silence: A Fable", "The Masque of the Red Death", "The Cask of Amontillado", "The Imp of the Perverse", "The Island of the Fay", "The Assignation", "The Pit and the Pendulum", "The Premature Burial", "The Domain of Arnheim", "Landor's Cottage", and "William Wilson".

Public Domain (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-07-14

Warning: Missing portions of the original text

Any additional comments?

Through some error of transcription or typography, sections of many of the stories in this collection have been omitted -- specifically, any and every block quotation (including all poetry) is entirely skipped, and certain paragraphs are inexplicably absent (such as Roderick Usher's climactic dialogue in "The Fall of the House of Usher"). Reviews on the Kindle edition reveal that this is the case there as well, so perhaps the narrator was reading from that version.

In general this narrator is acceptable; he regularly mispronounces certain words, but his evident understanding of Poe's often complex sentence structure makes his reading adequate. I do rather wonder how he could have failed to notice and inquire about the omissions from the text, however, as the passages in question blatantly don't make sense without the missing portions.

Some of the stories don't suffer terribly from this problem, so this collection is still a viable option for anyone seeking audio recordings of Poe's works, but be aware of this bizarre deficiency (which affected most, in my opinion, "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "The Assignation") when purchasing this audiobook.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-02-18

Boring in the extreme

I have no aversion to old prose or pre-modern style, but Poe is about as interesting a being kept alive on life support. I like an author who takes their time, good things and ideas are hard to develop, but Poe takes a life age to advance the story even a hair. He is all form, very little substance. Some people are inclined toward that, and for them maybe this could be excellent listening, but for me, and especially in an audio format, it’s tedious. I care more about the ideas and thoughts being conveyed.