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Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Mystery and Madness Hardcover – September 1, 2004


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Frequently Bought Together

Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Mystery and Madness + Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Death and Dementia + Gris Grimly's Frankenstein
Price for all three: $49.27

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 11 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Later Printing edition (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689848374
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689848377
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 Up–Grimly's deliciously malevolent illustrations are the perfect complement to Poe's macabre stories. Four of the writer's most popular tales are presented in an abridged format: "The Black Cat," "The Masque of the Red Death," "Hop-Frog," and "The Fall of the House of Usher." The watercolor and pen-and-ink artwork is populated with deftly drawn cartoon humans, animals, and other beings, many with grotesque or sinister expressions. The pictures cover, crisscross, or circle the margins of the pages and are often contained in ornate art-deco frames along with small blocks of text. Libraries needing an additional copy of Poe's writings should consider this one.–Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 7-12. Archetypal horror writer Poe has received a variety of graphically enhanced treatments in recent years, including a volume in Eureka Productions' Rosebud Graphic Classics series (2001) and Jonathan Scott Fuqua's In the Shadow of Edgar Allan Poe (DC Comics, 2002). This exceptionally well-produced collection of four tales will, perhaps, reach a wider audience. The gently abridged retellings are in Poe's original language, and Grimly's wonderfully ghastly, full-color spot and full-page art splendidly depicts the mayhem that leads to murder in "The Black Cat," the partying in the "The Masque of the Red Death," the vicious genius of "Hop-Frog," and the dual connotations of "The Fall of the House of Usher." In addition to varied sizes and presentation of images, Grimly uses different typefaces to set off aspects of the narratives, which flow across the pages in the traditional manner rather than appearing in comics-style panels. With high-production values and gothic sensibilities thoroughly reflected in both text and art, this is an essential purchase for libraries. Adults can use it to lead young people to some great literature; readers will pluck it off the shelves themselves for creepy, entertaining fun. Francisca Goldsmith
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 39 customer reviews
I love Edgar Allan Poe, and I love art.
Solo Artist
I would recommend for anyone who likes horror to read this book.
A Customer
Classic stories, beautifully illustrated.
Claire O'Neil

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Tim Hewitt on November 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
There are a multitude of Poe's out there to choose from, but the real draw here is the art of Gris Grimly. The book features slightly abridged texts for young readers of "The Black Cat," "The Masque of the Red Death," "Hop Frog," and "The Fall of the House of Usher." What makes this volume special is the way that text is embraced by and woven through Grimly's gloriously whimsical and twisted full color art that captures perfectly the macabre and maniacle tone of Poe. The volume is richly illustrated with art on every page. All in all a beautiful book and a great introduction to Poe for young readers of twisted tastes.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I read Edgar A. Poe's Tales of Mystery and Madness. This book has 4 stories; Black Cat, The Masque of the Red Death, Hop Frog, and The Fall of the House of Usher. I won't go into detail about all the stories but my favorite story was The Masque of the Red Death.

The story starts with people who were having a masquerade at Prince Prospero's house. Each hour the clock chimed. At the 12th chime a person in a red cape came out of the clock and frightened everyone at the masquerade. Prince Prospero tried to kill him but the Prince died when he saw his face. Then, anyone who saw his face or dared to enter the red blood shot room died by bleeding to death. Will anyone survive? You will have to read it yourself to find out.

I though all of the stories in the book were scary and cool. I also thought the illustrations by Chris Grimley were very creative. I would recommend for anyone who likes horror to read this book.

David - age 9
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Papa Hemingway on January 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a great collection for Edgar Allen Poe fans and children's book collectors alike. Grimly's art has the wildness of Ralph Steadman and the darkness of Edward Gorey.

It is worth noting that although it is a picture book, some of the imagery and definitely the Poe stories themselves are graphic, so maybe don't cuddle up with your five year old with this one.... Older kids, especially these days, should have no problem.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Oster on December 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As so many others have said, the pictures are what make this book. The illustrations are simply phenomenal and hysterical. In the interest of full-disclosure, I was expecting simplified versions of the stories, and that is not at all what this is. But, the illustrations make it easy for anyone--child or adult--to understand some of the more archaic words.

Absolutely fabulous. I would not hesitate to recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Covart on January 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a wonderfully illustrated book of 4 short stories by Edgar Allen Poe. I would highly suggest getting it if you like either illustrations of the author. I wouldn't necessarily call it a children's book but it's wonderful to look at for anyone old enough.

Updated - 9/1/13

I had totally forgotten I had gotten this online and while I was looking through my reviews I remembered! I figured I should add some things with an update.

I'm an art teacher and had brought this in as a visual example or story illustration to my highschoolers for a project. Later on I saw one of my students who was always giving me trouble was reading it and I'm talking REALLY reading it not just looking at the pictures. At the end of class, which was at the end of the day, I saw he still hadn't left yet and went over to chat. It turns out he really wanted to finish and when he closed the book and asked him if he realized he had just read stories by Edgar Allen Poe (someone he'd heard about but disregarded in English class). He seemed throughly surprised and when I informed his English teacher she loved it! I gotta say I didn't by this book expecting to help expand a students knowledge that way but hey, you gotta appreciate it's impact!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Adam'sgrl on July 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book came in excellent condition....it is for ages; especially young teens. The art work was beautiful...Great Deal Everyone!!
Buy it!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have never been a fan of Gris Grimly's writing -- his rhyming poetry is truly and deeply cringe-inducing, as evidenced in these samples from his book Wicked Nursery Rhymes:

'After his instruction's through, he leaves to go find someone new.
When he chooses to meander, he flies away upon his gander.'
-- from the poem Father Grim

'She would scream, curse, spit, and swear.
She said things children wouldn't dare.
To other classmates, she would be cruel,
And so she made no friends at school...'
-- from the poem Miss Muffet

'Jill would jab him with a pin
While she bared an evil grin.
Jack would bash her on the head,
Without guilt, until she bled.'
-- from the poem Jack and Jill

(If you're looking for a book of rhyming poetry, skip Grimly's Wicked Nursery Rhyme series and check out J.T. Holden's Alice in Verse: The Lost Rhymes of Wonderland instead -- at times wicked, always clever, and thoroughly engaging, the poetry of Alice in Verse is galaxies beyond Grimly's pedestrian jingles...and Holden wisely leaves the illustrations to Andrew Johnson, whose art brings the characters of Wonderland to life in truly stunning halftones.)

That said, Grimly's artwork is another matter altogether. What he lacks in skill with the pen, he more than makes up for with his brush. With Tales of Mystery and Madness, Grimly has wisely chosen to leave the writing to a professional and concentrate his effort on what he does best. Leaving little to the imagination (and that's a good thing here), Grimly paints a stark and vivid backdrop for the classic spine-tinglers of Edgar Allen Poe.
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