- Audio Cassette
- Publisher: Caedmon; Unabridged edition (October 3, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0694524034
- ISBN-13: 978-0694524037
- Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 4.4 x 1.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 74 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,470,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Edgar Allan Poe Audio Collection Audio, Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook, Unabridged
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From Publishers Weekly
Talk about a match made in heaven! It would be hard to imagine more fitting narrators for Poe's classic horror tales than Price and Rathbone, two superb, classically trained actors who became household names starring in movies of suspense and mystery. Poe's work is especially well-suited to audio, and these remastered, archival Caedmon recordings, originally released on phonograph records, showcase the two actors at their finest. Both Price and Rathbone perfectly convey the prototypical Poe narrator trying to come to grips with the horror he has experienced. In "Berenice," Price's voice sounds refined yet deeply troubled as he struggles to explain the insidious, neurotic obsession taking over his life. "The Cask of Amontillado" finds Rathbone chuckling with evil pleasure at the well-planned murder of one who has slighted him. Among the remaining featured tales are "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Fall of the House of Usher," "The Raven," "Annabel Lee," "The Black Cat" and "The Pit and the Pendulum." This audio is an absolute must for Poe fans, and high school and college students assigned Poe stories for English class will find the literature takes on new meaning with this recording.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Poe, said to be the creator of the American Gothic tale and detective fiction, is well represented in this collection of 20 poems and short stories that was originally produced in 1954. The pieces illustrate several themes for which Poe was well known. For example, he felt that the death of a beautiful woman was the most poetical topic in the world. "The Raven," which made him famous, shows the incantatory or hypnotic quality of his rhythm, especially with Basil Rathbone's reading. Other horror tales included are "The Pit and the Pendulum," "The Black Cat," and "The Fall of the House of Usher." The people in his novels often die and then mysteriously return to life, usually after they have been entombed. In "The Imp of the Perverse," Poe expounds on his theory of humanity that we often do something simply because we should not. The literary world is grateful for his unique vision. Vincent Price and Rathbone, well-known actors, both perform excellently. Any serious collection of horror or detective fiction would not be complete without Poe's works. Highly recommended. Marjorie Lemon, SRCF-Mercer, PA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top customer reviews
By the late 1970s I was reading a lot more than I listened and when I did listen, it was either to classic British folk-rock albums or to classical music which I was just beginning to explore. The Caedmon albums gathered dust and then were accidentally ruined after having been improperly stored. Fast forward 20 years to the 1990s and to the opening of a Barnes & Noble store in my hometown. After heading to the music section to check out the classical recordings, I came across CD versions of the old LPs including this one. I bought several as they were still relatively cheap because they were considered outdated compared to several newer books and voices. I played them a few times, experienced a little nostalgia, and then put them away again but this time more carefully.
Another 20 years has passed and I have just rediscovered them again but with an older adult's perspective. Now this one is an absolute delight as I can savor the vocal inflections utilized by Rathbone & Price. Poe's 19th century prose can be quite florid and he is certainly not the most subtle of writers especially in the stories that made him famous. Some of the poetry is quite a different matter and the philosophy put forth in THE IMP OF THE PERVERSE is truly remarkable and very modern especially in light of recent actions. You need to allow yourself the time and the proper background for listening (in your car or with other distractions is not a proper background). Do that and it's easy to get caught up in R & P's vocal pyrotechnics as well as hear everything they are saying.
Rathbone narrates the lion's share of the writings, 15 in all while Price handles only 5. Basil has a more subdued approach building such stories as FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER and PIT & THE PENDULUM slowly and effectively. Vincent's LIGEIA is practically a parody but his IMP OF THE PERVERSE is masterfully done. Both actors have a wide dynamic range going from a stage whisper to some extremely agitated and powerful utterances making it hard to understand if there is any background noise. It also brings Poe's words to life in a way that many will find overly theatrical which is why I say it isn't for all tastes. No one speaks like this anymore (or writes like this for that matter) but, for me, that's what makes it so special. Now in my 60s, I find it rich & rewarding as I make the time to hang on every word.
For the cost of this one, I think it is better to look elsewhere and find a better quality cd.