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Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales and Poems (Fall River Classics) Hardcover – September 27, 2012
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About the Author
Wonderfully versatile as an author and best known for his disturbing tales of terror, Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) holds a venerable place in the history of American literature.
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Top Customer Reviews
Poe is -as almost every horror story fan has admitted- great entertainer and thrilling author who raises also many deep philosophical and psychological questions in his text, but he is also using rich language and many strange and old words that are a real challenge and the place for learning for any medium-skilled foreign reader (like me) who want to improve their English skills.
Absolutely one of the best trades I have done in Amazon.
Total classics, enjoy!
I finished reading Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales & Poems about a week ago, but I wanted to give myself some time to digest everything, watch The Raven, and to formulate my final thoughts.
To start off, I think that––overall––this collection was fairly good. I did have some issues with it, as I’ve talked about before in some of the earlier parts of this massive review series. I really didn’t like that each story was just a sub-chapter of a larger heading, and formatted in a way that you couldn’t keep track of how much time was left in each segment (I often use this when I’m trying to justify staying up late or reading more during a break), and there were a few incorrectly classed pieces under the Essays section.
The compiler of the work did do a very good job formatting the poetry and fiction prose. They used true type, so even on the Kindle, it made for very lovely reading. Little embellishments, like unique titles, made the anthology look more polished.
I would have liked to have seen more context notes, because some of the stories and poems made a great deal more sense with the context I was able to glean from the internet (after only moderate searching). Since all of Edgar Allan Poe’s works are public domain, and free, I expect more of an anthology, in this regard. In many cases, the poetry or fiction notes that Edgar Allan Poe wrote to his editors at the time were not included with the stories, to the detriment of quite a few of them.
However, I know that to compile and format an anthology of this size and breadth is near impossible to do without some technical errors, and as most of my complaints were merely stylistic and subjective, I can recommend this anthology to most readers. Nothing will compare, I think, to seeing Poe’s works on paper (and being able to find quotes at a glance), but this is a close second. The section in the back which lists references to derivative or inspired works was very interesting. Much respect to Maplewood Books.
The anthology is a beast, totaling over 407,000 words total.
Now that I’m finally at the end of the collection, I would like to offer a list of recommendations. I’ll choose ten of his “classics”, ten “unknowns”, and fifteen poems which I do not think are well-known (of course everyone knows to read “The Raven”, “Annabel Lee”, “Lenore”, and so on). All of these are entirely subjective, but I think if you read nothing else but some of the thirty five I suggest here, you’ll have fairly good luck in reading something you’ll enjoy. They are in no particular order.
1. The Fall of the House of Usher
2. The Black Cat
3. A Descent into Maelström
4. The Gold-Bug
5. The Oval Portrait
6. The Cask of Amontillado
7. The Pit and the Pendulum
9. The Tell-Tale Heart
1. The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar
2. Loss of Breath
3. William Wilson
4. The Premature Burial
5. King Pest
6. The Spectacles
7. The Business Man
8. The System of Doctor Tarr & Professor Fether
9. The Colloquy of Monos and Una
10. The Power of Words
1. The City in the Sea
3. For Annie
4. The Bells
5. The Conqueror Worm
6. The Haunted Palace
7. In Youth I Have Known One
9. The Valley of Unrest
11. Sonnet – To Science
12. The Forest Reverie
13. The Village Street
It's got my favorite of his poems, "Lenore" written for a dearly departed young wife, and "To One In Paradise." Some of my favorite short stories are present as well, including "Fall of the House of Usher", "Tell Tale Heart", and "The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Feather." While not every piece of literature here is tainted with murder, many feature a character's remorse or shock of bereavement. I'm reminded of the seemingly invisible creatures drawing the carts to Hogwarts in one of the Harry Potter movies.
There, the little blonde girl 'Luna' confides in Harry, "you can only see them if you've seen someone die." As macabre as it sounds, there's a humility in confronting an ever present and certain mortality. The author of Ecclesiastes wrote it like so, "the living know they shall die." It's seed is present in the summation of the Deathly Hallows tale where the last brother finally departs with death "as an old friend." When Tolkien's Silmarillion comments on the "doom of men", as death was called by the kings of Numenor, he also notes that the Valar considered it a merciful limitation on the sufferings of humanity. Likewise, some have reckoned the act of God in Eden, prohibiting the 'knowing' humans from eating from the tree-of-life to be a mercy instead of a punitive action. Bearing the void which never leaves, 'thousands of days' instead of 'thousands of years'.