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Edgar Allan Poe Audio Collection Audio, Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook, Unabridged

64 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Talk about a match made in heaven! It would be hard to imagine more fitting narrators for Poe's classic horror tales than Price and Rathbone, two superb, classically trained actors who became household names starring in movies of suspense and mystery. Poe's work is especially well-suited to audio, and these remastered, archival Caedmon recordings, originally released on phonograph records, showcase the two actors at their finest. Both Price and Rathbone perfectly convey the prototypical Poe narrator trying to come to grips with the horror he has experienced. In "Berenice," Price's voice sounds refined yet deeply troubled as he struggles to explain the insidious, neurotic obsession taking over his life. "The Cask of Amontillado" finds Rathbone chuckling with evil pleasure at the well-planned murder of one who has slighted him. Among the remaining featured tales are "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Fall of the House of Usher," "The Raven," "Annabel Lee," "The Black Cat" and "The Pit and the Pendulum." This audio is an absolute must for Poe fans, and high school and college students assigned Poe stories for English class will find the literature takes on new meaning with this recording.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Poe, said to be the creator of the American Gothic tale and detective fiction, is well represented in this collection of 20 poems and short stories that was originally produced in 1954. The pieces illustrate several themes for which Poe was well known. For example, he felt that the death of a beautiful woman was the most poetical topic in the world. "The Raven," which made him famous, shows the incantatory or hypnotic quality of his rhythm, especially with Basil Rathbone's reading. Other horror tales included are "The Pit and the Pendulum," "The Black Cat," and "The Fall of the House of Usher." The people in his novels often die and then mysteriously return to life, usually after they have been entombed. In "The Imp of the Perverse," Poe expounds on his theory of humanity that we often do something simply because we should not. The literary world is grateful for his unique vision. Vincent Price and Rathbone, well-known actors, both perform excellently. Any serious collection of horror or detective fiction would not be complete without Poe's works. Highly recommended. Marjorie Lemon, SRCF-Mercer, PA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Caedmon; Unabridged edition (October 3, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0694524034
  • ISBN-13: 978-0694524037
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 4.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #387,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

109 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Zack Davisson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 30, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This 5 disk collection of Edgar Allen Poe's works is one of the best audio collections I have ever heard. Generally, I am a fan of the "radio play" style of spoken audio, with a full cast and appropriate sound effects. Yet, Poe's work (especially on the represented stories) tends to be from a single point of view, and largely take place in the mind of the main character. This first person style lends itself well to a single narrator. I could not imagine two better chosen narrators.
The heritage of radio shines in there performances. These are two actors who cut their teeth in radio, in shows such as "Suspence," "Inner Sanctum" and "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes." Voice acting is almost a lost art. It is amazing, the sheer richness that comes from hearing Poe's words manipulated by such talented voices.
Vincent Price, famous for his sinister voice, is a natural for Poe. He does fewer pieces, voicing "Ligeia," "The Imp of the Perverse," "Morella," "Berenice" and "The Gold Bug." All of them are well done, with "Ligeia" being a stand out.
Basil Rathbone does the lion's share of the CD set. As I was not as familiar with him, I was a little disappointed about this. Then I heard him speak. Wow. His voice is superb, and obviously highly-trained. I prefer him to Price on the recordings, and I am thankful that he voices my favorite pieces. He slips easily between prose and poetry, and has a voice full of both emotion and cold regard.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Garret on February 19, 2003
Format: Audio CD
The reviewers for this audio box set of Edgar Allan Poe's most famous works of fiction are absolutely right. There is perfection in this product. The talented Vincent Price and Basil Rathborne lend their voices to the narration of the classic tales of horror and suspense. This is an antique. It is valuable and very reminiscent of the old World War II days of radio-plays sponsored by soap companies. This same style was responsible for the popularity of H.G. Well's "War of the Worlds". When Orson Welles narrated the story, his voice and the drama of the radio was so convincing, people actually believed flying saucers were invading American cities. The power of radio was very strong in the time before television media. At any rate, my point is that this same magnetism is felt in the drama that Vincent Price and Basil Rathborne provide to the original master of horror pre-Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe.
Poe was responsible for creating the detective story, some would say the short story, American Gothic, macabre tales that gripped readers with haunting melancholia, dread and superstition. It was as if he took drugs and hallucinated and wrote down what he saw. Among his most famous tales, of which Vincent Price and Basil Rathborne perfectly read with powerful narration are "The Cask Of Amontillado", "The Fall of the House of Usher", "The Mask Of The Red Death," "The Pit and the Pendulum", "The Tell-Tale Heart" and the "Black Cat". It is unfortunate that they did'nt include selections from "Tales From The Rue Morgue". Among the poems that are read and made Poe quite a literati are "The Raven" and "Annabel Lee".
With all the well-constructed suspense and literary Gothic, poetic romanticism, the tales of Edgar Allan Poe are suddenly alive and fresh in the old radio style.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Richard P. Mayhew on October 17, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Any fan of Mr. Poe's shocking stories will be happy to obtain this very fine collection, they read like a "greatest hits" list; The Tell-Tale Heart, The Fall Of The House Of Usher, The Cask Of Amontillado (my favorite), The Black Cat, The Masque Of The Red Death, The Pit And The Pendulum and several others. The poetry of Mr. Poe is also well represented with his most famous works being included in this collection. There could be no better choice of narrators, Vincent Price and Basil Rathbone both possess voices that translate very well to the works of Mr. Poe, they are perfect in their gesticulation and their delivery. To hear Mr. Rathbone's voice rise into a frenzy of madness as the police come to investigate "a shriek in the night" durring the performance of The Tell Tale Heart is wonderful, the creepy narration of Mr. Price will remind you of listening to an old serial radio show. This is a large volume, 5 CDs that contain 6 hours of material, the sound quality is good despite the fact that these performances (at least Mr. Rathbone's) were taped in the 60's, I found no skips or static. This style of horror short story and especially POEtry are more difficult to follow than one would expect, I don't think this would be a good subsitute for a book on tape to listen to in a car, this collection demands your attention. So why you ask do I only rate this collection at 3 stars?Read more ›
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