Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

complete stories and poems of edgar allan poe doubleday book club edition 1966Complete Stories and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe, 4/5

This book organises all of Poe’s writings into just a few convenient categories: Tales of Mystery and Horror, Humor and Satire, Flights and Fantasies, The Narrative of A. Gordon Pym of Nantucket, and The Poems.  Of these, I think the first contains the best examples of Poe’s genre-defining style, including one of the first detective stories ever written (predating the strikingly similar Sherlock Holmes stories by 46 years).  The scary tales tend to be short on plot but ooze with atmosphere–the effect is almost more pictorial than literary.  Overall, I didn’t enjoy this book very much and a lot of the stories felt pointless or tedious to read, but I respect Poe’s groundbreaking literary influence.

[Why I read it: I wanted to be familiar with more of Poe’s works than just The Raven.]

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