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A fictional account of Edgar Allan Poe's death,
This review is from: The Poe Shadow: A Novel (Paperback)
Edgar Allan Poe's death is one of the most intriguing events in literary history. Poe's death has been attributed to over-drinking, heart disease and even rabies and suicide. In this novel, Matthew Pearle has shown attention to detail by sifting through various primary sources and mixing fact with fiction to create a complicated tale of what really happened to Poe.
The novel features a fictional character named Quentin Clark, an attorney with a passion for Poe's writing. Clark makes Poe's aquaintance through letters and agrees to be Poe's attorney for a magazine he hopes to create.
Poe's untimely and mysterious death throw Clark into a frenzy. Various newspapers and magazine begin to attack Poe's character in print. Clark becomes determined to save the name of his beloved novelist by finding the real life inspiration for Poe's fictional character, C. Auguste Dupin. In Poe's novel, Dupin is somewhat of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot. If anyone can find out what really happened to Poe, Dupin can.
Clark negelcts his job and his fiancee, which lead to serious consequences. Clark's search for Dupin lead him to two men - Baron C Dupin, an eccentric man of questionable character and Auguste Duponte, a former attorney who exhibits all the traits of the real Dupin.
The nature of Poe's death takes a backseat to who is the real Dupin at times. Overall, I found The Poe Shadow very engaging. There seems to be some criticism about whether the language in the novel is really true to the Victorian era. I am an avid reader of Victorian literature and did find some of the language incorrect. To be fair to Matthew Pearle, very few writers can pull off proper Victorian dialogue through the entire novel. This novel was well-written. You don't have to be a Poe expert to enjoy it.