Sunday, September 09, 2007


Rating : 2.5/5
Reason for Reading : Classics Challenge, RIP Challenge, So Many Books So Little Time Challenge, Guardian Greatest Books Challenge

A collection of 73 tales and 52 poems spanning the writing career of Edgar Allan Poe. He is best known for his poem "The Raven" and tale of "The Tell-Take Heart". A favourite among gothic horror fans, I was really looking forward to reading this complete collection.

Sadly I was quite let down. There was a lot of gothic horror tales, but there were a lot of random tales as well. The ones I really enjoyed were:
  • The Unparalled Adventures of one Hans Pfaal (non-horror)
  • The Gold Bug
  • The Murders in the Rue Morgue
  • The Mystery of Marie Roget
  • The Black Cat
  • The Tell-Tale Heart
  • A Predicament
  • Diddling (non-horror)
  • Hop-Frog
  • William Wilson
  • Beatrice
  • The System of Dr Tarr and Professor Fether
  • Narrative of A. Gordon Pym
  • Eleonora
  • Some words with a Mummy (non-horror)
  • The Spectacles
This is only a list of 16 tales and out of 73 it's a pretty small proportion. I found that there were far too many I didn't enjoy between those I did which mad it very difficult to keep going and finish them all.

On the other hand, I really enjoyed the poetry and they are something I would go back and read again. I think the best thing to do is stick to a collection of his best horror ones to save being disappointed with the rest (however they do become a little formulaic after a while).

6 comments:

DesLily said...

wow that's a lot! Of the ones you listed I barely remember reading the Tell-tale Heart when I was in middle school (I think lol) I think the only other thing like this I read back then was The Pit and the Pendulum.

Stephanie said...

I have this same book....I'm reading only some of the stories for Short Stories Sunday! I guess I know which ones to read!

By the way...love the red hair! I've gone back and forth between red, dark brown and dark blonde for years!

Trish said...

I'm reading a condensed version: 12 tales. I just finished 3 of them today and just can't ever seem to come to grips with how creepy he really is. :) Thoroughly enjoying them, though.

Nymeth said...

That's the problem with complete collections...you get the good and the bad. I've only ever read collections of "selected tales". I guess they pick the best ones for that.

BooksPlease said...

I'm reading Poe's Tales too and yes I'm finding some of them disappointing and leaving me thinking that's not what I thought they'd be like. I thought the Black Cat was quite sickening, but not scary and I guessed what was coming at the end.

Alice Teh said...

I haven't read any of his books but I do have one in my TBR. It's The Raven and Other Writings. Happy reading!