Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Collected Tales and Poems
of Edgar Allan Poe

Inside Flap Copy: Edgar Allan Poe was one of the most original writers in the history of American letters, a genius who was tragically misunderstood in his lifetime. He was a seminal figure in the development of science fiction and the detective story, and exerted a great influence on Dostoyevsky, Arthur Conan Doyle, Jules Verne, and Charles Baudelaire, who championed him long before Poe was appreciated in his own country. Baudelaire's enthusiasm brought Poe a wide audience in Europe, and his writing came to have enormous importance for modern French literature. This edition includes his most well-known works--"The Raven," "The Pit and the Pendulum," "Annabel Lee," "The Fall of the House of Usher," "The Murders in the Rue Morgue"--as well as less-familiar stories, poems, and essays.

The Collected Tales and Poems of Edgar Allen Poe, which also includes humorous pieces ('The Devil in the Belfry' is a hilarious tribute to the father of American literature, Washington Irving), detective fiction (Irving's 1838 story-cycle 'The Money-Diggers' stirs fluidly beneath 'The Gold Bug'), and early examples of what would come to be known as science fiction, brings together most of the author's important work.

I never realized until reading this volume of Poe's works how funny and witty he could be. He is as good of a comedy writer as he is a horror-story writer. In fact, I have come to like his humorous writings more than I like his horror writing.

This collection is a must for Poe fans.

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