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The Portable Edgar Allan Poe (Penguin Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Edgar Allan Poe , J. Gerald Kennedy
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $20.00
Kindle Price: $14.36
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Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC


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Book Description

A fully revised collection of Poe's work

The first new edition of this landmark anthology since 1945 presents a more complicated, perverse, and culturally engaged Poe. Along with the author's familiar masterworks in poetry and fiction, this new Portable Poe includes satirical tales that reflect his critique of American culture.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

J. Gerald Kennedy is William A. Read Professor of English at Louisiana State University.
J. Gerald Kennedy is William A. Read Professor of English at Louisiana State University.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door —
 Only this, and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; — vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow — sorrow for the lost Lenore —
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore —
 Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me — filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
"'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door —
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; —
 This it is, and nothing more."

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you"— here I opened wide the door; —
 Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!" —
 Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore —
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; —
 'Tis the wind and nothing more."

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door —
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door —
 Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore —
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"
 Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning— little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door —
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
 With such name as "Nevermore."

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered— not a feather then he fluttered —
Till I scarcely more than muttered, "other friends have flown before —
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before."
 Then the bird said, "Nevermore."

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore —
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
 Of 'Never — nevermore'."

But the Raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore —
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
 Meant in croaking "Nevermore."

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er,
 She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee — by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite — respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!"
 Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! — prophet still, if bird or devil! —
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted —
On this home by horror haunted— tell me truly, I implore —
Is there — is there balm in Gilead? — tell me — tell me, I implore!"
 Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil — prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us — by that God we both adore -
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore -
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore."
 Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend," I shrieked, upstarting —
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!— quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"
 Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
 Shall be lifted — nevermore!

Product Details

  • File Size: 909 KB
  • Print Length: 676 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0143039911
  • Publisher: Penguin Classic; Revised edition (October 3, 2006)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #219,209 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ahh Poe. . . July 23, 2000
By Alex
Of all the writers you were forced to read in High School, Poe may be the most contemporary. After all, where would today's Alternative Goth culture be without the influence of Poe.
In this volume, fans of the strange genius are given a rare treat. Editor Philip Van Doren Stern has collected not only the all-time greats (e.g. "The Tell-Tale Heart" "The Pit and the Pendulum" "The Raven" etc.), but also some eccentric choices like "The Man of the Crowd". In addition, the book gives several non-fiction articles and literary reviews written by Poe showing that he was not without a practical side.
But perhaps the most fascinating thing is a section of letters Poe wrote, to among other people, his stepfather, his wife, his mother-in-law, and various members of the literary community. These paint a colorful picture of his often desperate existence. After reading these letters, you may think Poe tragic, pathetic, pretentious or maybe even egotistical, but you wll never think of him in quite the same way you previously did.
Read this book for a fresh look at one of American literature's greatest geniuses.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All the Poe You'll Ever Need September 19, 2001
Unless you're a collector or completist, this volume compiles all the Poe you could possibly ask for. All the classic stories are here, and you can clearly see how Poe broke new ground and influenced all creative fiction that came after him. While most people are wary of "classics" that everybody talks about, but nobody seems to really like, Poe's classics will give you a true appreciation for his genius. You will truly be enthralled by such well-known tales like "The Pit and the Pendulum", "The Tell-Tale Heart", "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" (in which Poe invents the detective story), and especially the immortal "The Raven".
The editor has included many of the surviving letters that Poe wrote to the various women he unsuccessfully tried to court, and especially to his cruel stepfather, which provide great insight into Poe's inner demons. If you ever wonder why most of Poe's stories are based on death and/or madness, these letters will show you why. The only problem with this particular book is that it is a little too exhaustive, and includes many items that are more of historical interest than they are readable. This is true of most of the entries in the Articles, Criticism, and Opinions sections of the book.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Work, Poorly Organized Kindle Book March 21, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This review is intended as a review of the book, not of the work of Edgar Allan Poe. As a Poe fan, I purchased this book just for the pure fun of reading Poe on my Kindle. However, the book is so poorly organized that finding a particular tale or poem is a real pain and takes a lot of the fun out of it. While there is a table of contents, the individual works are not list there; rather there are groupings of the works so you have to know (or guess) to which group the work you may be looking for belongs. Alas, there is also no index. This is an electronic book: I should be able to toggle down a table of contents to a particular work, select it, and be taken there, but it doesn't happen that way. Not recommended for Kindle readers!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The essential Poe September 19, 2005
This volume contains the essential Poe, the stories and poems for which he is most well- known.

Like all American schoolchildren I had to read Poe when I was quite young. And I remember how his tales did not provide the kind of pleasure and insight I had found in other literature. "The Gold Bug" confounded me , and "The Tell- Tale Heart" frightened me, and the truth is even in adult years I have never taken much delight in the reading of the fictions of Poe.

The horror of real life has always seemed to me more than enough, and I have never particularly enjoyed the mood and tone of Poe's fictions.

I must admit too that Poe always seemed to me even when reading him as a child , 'extremely weird' to use a children's word. And ' weird' not simply with the connotation of ' strange' but of 'frighteningly so'.

In any case there is a Poe that I have treasured. It might not be in the whole of the poem, but in the rhythmn of 'Nevermore' there did strike a kind of fascinating note. And there are in the poetry of Poe great lines, 'the beauty that was Greece, the glory that was Rome'. And a sadness and a feeling of tragedy in some of the love- poetry.

Poe is of course much else to most other readers than to me, and the lovers of mystery stories, and detectives, of fictional conundrums tending toward horror, and of strange obsessions with beauty that dies young, will find more than they ask for in this anthology.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the latest edition fills in the holes May 31, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Portable Poe is worth buying simply because it contains a selection of Poe's letters. This latest edition fills in the some holes left by omissions in the previous version, by including such stories as The Imp of the Perverse, The Oblong Box, The System of Tarr and Fether, and Some Words with a Mummy; these stories for me anyway make it more comprehensive. Of course for a Poe fan I am sure some beloved stories are not included, but one can read this volume and have a pretty comprehensive view of Poe. On a minor note, I personally preferred the arrangement of the previous edition in terms of putting the letters first as opposed to last. Why this is? I cannot really say. The expansion of the Observations section is nice as well. Overall if you own a previous edition, no real need to buy this newest one, if you don't own the older one, get this one.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars As an eBook it is a fail
While this eBook has a table of contents it is a colossal fail is it does not even list the individual items contained, forget about linking directly to a particular story or poem. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Charles Ridgway
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this; buy another
I am seconding the comments of another reviewer who has rightly observed that the lack of a useful table of contents renders this particular collection unusable. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Webb Chiles
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
We purchased this book to be used with our homeschool curriculum. I'm anxious to use it this next school year.
Published 14 months ago by Danielle Lawman
5.0 out of 5 stars My most beloved author...
since I was a boy...
Now I can read him in his original words, what is for me a luxury...
Now I can understand why he is a real master in his art.
Published 17 months ago by Augusto Pouchain JR
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Condition
Thank you for making this resource available. It will help fill the requirement for a class my daughter is taking.
Published 18 months ago by Gwendolyn Bielicki
5.0 out of 5 stars Short Story Collection
Just a collection of Poe's short stories. I like the book, and definitely would recommend it to anyone interested in reading his works. Read more
Published on July 4, 2012 by Adam H
2.0 out of 5 stars Kindle Buyer Beware!
Find another version for ebookery, or go hard copy on this one. The table of contents, like the print version, organizes Poe's work into general categories, but stops there. Read more
Published on June 23, 2012 by TominVA
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent poe
if you want an overview of the work of poe this is the book!!! it has a comprehensive selection of his work and also criticism. Read more
Published on September 20, 2010 by James S. Banko
4.0 out of 5 stars What can I say? It's Poe. Love him as you tremble.
I've read about a dozen pieces so far for a gut-gripping course I'm enjoying. My favorite tale of enjoyable shivers (frisson? Read more
Published on April 26, 2010 by Jim Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars Always a great book...
All I can say is that this is a nice nearly complete compilation of his work. A must read in my educated opinion.
Published on October 21, 2009 by Gary B. Wack
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