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Poe Paperback – January 5, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

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This anthology's title notwithstanding, the 19 original stories commissioned for it seem largely devoid of the Poe principle. Kim Newman (Illimitable Domain) contributes a gleefully subversive alternate history in which Poe movie adaptations take over American culture; John Langan (Technicolor) offers an incisive deconstruction of Poe's Masque of the Red Death that also functions as a magnificently creepy horror tale; and Delia Sherman (The Red Piano) proffers a horror romance whose villain is clearly modeled on Poe's sound-sensitive Roderick Usher. For the most part, however, readers will have to work toward the explanatory note each author provides at the story's end to see which Poesque resonance he or she intended. Still, Datlow (Inferno) has assembled an all-star lineup and chosen inventive stories whose quality are certainly an extension of Poe's tradition of excellent weird fiction. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Datlow has assembled an all-star line-up and chosen inventive stories whose quality are certainly an extension of Poe's tradition of excellent weird fiction.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Solaris (January 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184416652X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844166527
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,720,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brendan Moody VINE VOICE on March 16, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
[This review was originally written when I read the book in late 2008. New comments are in brackets.]

Of the two great figures of American horror fiction, Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft, Lovecraft is far more frequently imitated. Whether inspired by his cosmicist materialist philosophy, his carefully-honed ornate prose, or (most often, alas) his universe of vastly ancient godlike aliens, other writers have been working in Lovecraft's tradition for decades, almost since Lovecraft himself began writing. For whatever reason, Poe, though equally admired, is less often pastiched. And what literary homage to him does exist is more imaginative, less formulaic, than the endlessly spawning volumes of Cthulhuiana. Such imagination is on display in Ellen Datlow's new anthology Poe, which includes nineteen new stories, inspired by Poe's own works, that celebrate the bicentennial of Poe's birth. [Datlow has since edited an anthology of Lovecraft-inspired tales, which is also well worth reading.]

As Datlow observes in her introduction, these stories are not pastiche. Poe serves as a point of departure, not a tracing model. As a result, the anthology offers a range of styles and themes comparable to that in a volume with no theme. Apart from the Poe connection, the only common thread is the high quality of the prose and the elegance of each story's narrative construction. Even entries that lack novelty of plot or theme are distinguished by virtually faultless prose, so that it is impossible to entirely dislike them, they read so easily. Such consistency is a major reason Datlow's anthologies so often find their way onto my reading list.

Fittingly, the two best stories bookend the anthology. First is Kim Newman's "Illimitable Domain.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By JLC VINE VOICE on February 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
Multiple award winning editor Ellen Datlow offers a shuddersome and entertaining tribute to the works of Edgar Allan Poe in this brilliant anthology of Poe-inspired tales composed by some of the foremost writers of horror, dark fantasy and science fiction working today. For each of these nineteen brand new stories, Ms. Datlow put forth a challenge to compose a tale of terror inspired by the tales of the master, Edgar Allan Poe. There is a specific frisson induced by tales written by Poe, a disconcerting recognition of the endless abyss that yawns unseen beneath our feet, a sense of haunted reality that causes an uneasy sense of lingering dread. These nineteen stories capture the spirit of Poe's work in all of its various permutations, beginning with Kim Newman's hilarious "Illimitable Domain" that will delight fans of the various and wonderful B-grade Poe films starring Vincent Price and his bullet-bra-clad leading ladies. The tone turns dark quickly, however, with tales including the persona of Mr. Poe himself as a character, as in E. Catherine Tobler's "Beyond Porch and Portal". Laird Barron presents a gasp-inducing modern Gothic retelling of "The Masque of the Red Death" with "Strappado", Kristine Kathryn Rusch crystallizes "The Murder of Marie Roget" in her modern Manhattan story, ""Flitting Away", and Lucius Shepard goes deep into the dark heart one man's search for matchless splendor in "Kirikh'quru Krokundor". Poe was famous for tales of doppelgangers, and this venerable storytelling device becomes new and terrifying in the hands of Gregory Frost and Nicholas Royle. David Prill takes Gothic and turns it into American Gothic with "The Heaven and Hell of Robert Flud", and Southern writer Sharyn McCrumb and horror writer Glen Hirshberg also take terror into the American countryside.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Danel P. Olson on September 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
POE is a treasure in nineteen tales. A recent nominee for the 2010 World Fantasty Award for Best Anthology, it is definitely a must buy.
Brendan Moody (below) has a detailed reaction to many of the tales already, but I would only add that this new volume is also a remarkable legacy record. It shows how Edgar Allan Poe's inventiness, experimentation, and relentless explorations into human desire and agony (especially from his fertile writing period of 1827 to 1848) has grasped the living, holding tightly to our current most original writers of the strange. These would include Ms. Datlow's author choices from America, Canada, the UK, Australia, Fiji, and points beyond ...
Once raised, some dark inspirations, ideas, voices, reactions, & conflicts never let you go, and that's what we witness in this starry collection of never-seen stories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shikhar Dixit on May 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
By far, this is Ellen Datlow's best themed anthology. The stories herein are as varied and as powerful as those of the Master himself. Standouts include "Strappado" by Laird Barron, "Truth and Bone" by Pat Cadigan, "Kirikh'quru Krokundor" by Lucius Shepard and "Technicolor" by John Langan. Pick it up and read it now before, as inevitably happens with all the greatest works of contemporary horror, it lapses out of print.Poe: 19 New Tales Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe
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