Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
The Poe Shadow: A Novel Paperback – July 10, 2007
|New from||Used from|
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
"Shadow" tackles Poe's mysterious death in Baltimore in 1849 at the young age of 40. While fiction, the author goes to great lengths to remain true to the historical record, while uncovering and disclosing new facts to bolster his own theory surrounding Poe's ill-fated plans to travel from Richmond to New York in his final days. Told through the journals of the fictional Quinton Clark, a young and well-to-do attorney, the narrative is written in the vernacular of the period - a style that takes some getting used to and definitely requires more attention from the reader than the typical pop thriller. The story opens with Clark's chance observation of a burial, notable in its scant attendance and absence a grave marker. The burial, of course, was Poe's, but the contemporary press was kind to neither the author's work nor the circumstances surrounding his death. Clark, a fan of Poe's works and sometimes correspondent, vows to find the real life inspiration for Poe's C. Auguste Dupin, detective extraordinaire and hero of a number of Poe tales, including "The Murders in the Rue Morgue". By finding the real Dupin and enlisting his help, Clark figures the truth behind the author's demise will be uncovered.Read more ›
In this outing, Pearl has taken up the very real confusing and thus mysterious circumstances of the early death of Edgar Allan Poe at age 40. Pearl has given Poe an obsessive fan, a young, affluent Baltimore lawyer, Quentin Clark, engaged to the perfect socialite, who is abhorred by the error-ridden, sensational accounts of his hero's unexpected death in the local media of 1849. Clark decides to investigate. Realizing that he is no Dupin, Poe's famous detective character, Clark goes to France to find Poe's real life model. Instead, he unwittingly opens a Pandora's box of French intrigue that returns to America with him, including the person he is sure is Dupin's model as well as a con-man impersonator. There ensues, as Clark risks losing everything, by turns the fiancé, the job his inheritance and his life, a competition to reveal the truth behind Poe's death.
For those still in the thrall of THE DANTE CLUB, THE POE SHADOW presents a problem because it is entirely told through Clark's unrelenting first person narrative. We are stuck with his voice, his myopic grasp of things and his naiveté. You want to kick him in the pants sometimes. Then there is the problem of Baltimore: the setting never becomes a character or imbues character as Boston does in the first book. It's just so much pavement under the action. The red herrings are bloated beyond relief, making what can be deduced as the truth as light as a feather.Read more ›
In retrospect, this may have been a bit hasty on my part. In THE POE SHADOW, Pearl's choice to revisit the genre of historical literary mystery seems a bit forced. But before going any further, let me hasten to add that THE POE SHADOW contains many rewards. It gives a gritty and realistic description of the Baltimore of Poe's time, there are many amusing episodes, and the writing and mood are often beautifully wrought.
The bugaboo lies with the characters and plot. Our protagonist and narrator, Quentin Clark, is motivated by an obsession to clear the name of Edgar Allan Poe after the writer's death. This obsession is NEVER BELIEVABLE. It isn't logical, nor is it compellingly drawn. Now add in the fact that Quentin is also a gullible ninny who is prone to fainting spells. Mix in a creaking plot that takes a while to get moving down the tracks, and you have a tale suffering from bloat; it would, however, have made for a fine short story or novella.
Because of Pearl's prodigious skills at depiction and his obvious research, I'm rating THE POE SHADOW a bit more favorably than perhaps I should. Nonetheless, I suspect that I will still read Matthew Pearl's next work... AFTER taking a spin through its reviews.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Written well, but a bit repetitive and slow towards the middle and end.Published 16 days ago by Kristina Noto
Pearl's efforts to be historically accurate make this more of a history than a novel. It is tedious and bogs down. I found myself wishing I was finished. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Jerry Pare
I was really excited to read this book, and started it on the day of Poe's death. It took me way longer to finish it because I found the story boring and wholly uninteresting. Read morePublished 3 months ago by K. Leask
It took me weeks to get through this book. Would not recommend to anyone.Published 5 months ago by Gail R. Azia
This book is badly written.
Yes, Matthew Pearl is attempting to adopt something of the style of the time he is writing about, and there were many terrible writers among... Read more
Really doesn't live up his other books. Didn't integrate the history of the author and, as a mystery, was only average. Way too long and verbose.Published 13 months ago by April Daffodil
I haven't been able to finish it. His other book was MUCH better. (Dante)Published 16 months ago by liz