- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1st edition (January 19, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312262019
- ISBN-13: 978-0312262013
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,756,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hardcover – January 19, 2001
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Together they discover the body of another young woman caught under the docks and embark on an investigation which takes them from the squalor of the Five Points slums to the glitter of Fifth Avenue, where Augie learns that ruthless depravity thrives at all levels of society.
Narrated by Augie many years later "On Night's Shore" seamlessly incorporates elements of Poe's later tales into the narrative - "The Mystery of Marie Roget," "The Cask of Amontillado," "The Black Cat" - without overreaching. Poe is a gloomy, driven man whose genius is beset by poverty, nagging self-doubt and bouts of drunkenness. Augie, brutalized, clever, and resourceful ("in calamity, opportunity"), attaches himself to Poe as a father figure, enchanted by his family circle of consumptive, gentle wife and strong, generous mother-in-law.
Despite occasional backsliding into, respectively, despair and opportunism, Poe and Augie bring out the best in one another and together they delve into Mary Rogers' working class life, shattering several official versions of the murder on their winding path into the bastions of city power. Atmospheric and suspenseful, Silvis' ("An Occasional Hell," "Excelsior") character-driven story brings the city to life in all its cruelty and grandeur and the writing - mannered, gritty and eloquent - evokes the voice and sensibility of the time.
Silvis recreates 1840s New York with an unstinting and often brutal clarity. His elegant, evocative prose is suggestive of Poe's own style and his narrative integrates elements from Poe's more popular works. The characters, real and fictional alike, are masterpieces of insight into the human experience. Nowhere is this insight more evident than in the author's rendering of Edgar Allan Poe, a brilliant, compassionate and fatally complex man whose devotion to his work was exceeded only by his love for his family.