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Poe: 19 New Tales Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe Paperback – January 6, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
To coincide with the 200th anniversary of the birth of Poe is an anthology celebrating his writings and presenting talents inspired by Poe's tales. Read morePublished on July 18, 2009 by Midwest Book Review
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. Read morePublished on May 17, 2009 by Shikhar Dixit