Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe
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Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  632 ratings  ·  50 reviews
A new selection for the NEA’s Big Read program

A compact selection of Poe’s greatest stories and poems, chosen by the National Endowment for the Arts for their Big Read program.

This selection of eleven stories and seven poems contains such famously chilling masterpieces of the storyteller’s art as “The Tell-tale Heart,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Cask of Amont...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published February 16th 2011 by Vintage (first published March 1st 1940)
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Michael Gerald Dealino
From the guilt and madness in "The Tell-Tale Heart", to the grim, macabre claustrophobia of "The Cask of Amontillado" and "The Pit and the Pendulum", to the obsession and deception in "The Oblong Box", to the despondent gloom of "The Masque of the Red Death" and "The Fall of the House of Usher", to the Treasure Island-like feel of "The Gold-Bug", to the whodunit in "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", and the haunting resonance of poems like "The Raven", "The Bells", and "Annabel Lee", the quirky ge...more
Edgar Allen Poe was an incredible writer. He has a subtlety to his writing that is impressive, in that he can get the reader to picture the most terrifying and horrible scenes in his or her mind despite the fact that Poe rarely uses actual vivid descriptions (a point my students argue about every year, and then are amazed when I point out that it is, in fact, true!).

Poe was also a master of the ambiguous - many of his works leave readers to draw their own conclusions about what, precisely, happ...more
Rebecca ♥ Kishan & Warner ♥
The Pit and the Pendulum is one of my absolute favourite stories ever. Thats why I bought this book. I wanted more of Poe's words. I love the words he chooses to say something. I first read The Pit and the Pendulum when I was in eighth grade and I remember hating Poe because he used so many words to say something simple and it really frustrated me, but now I think its beautiful. He can turn something mundane into something poetic.

I also especially enjoyed Hop-Frog and The Murders in Rue Morgue.
I am a big fan of Poe. He is the best author of horror genre alongside with Stephen King of course. Poe's stories are terrifying, horrifying, and bewildering. They are so scary and dark that I just shiver sometimes while reading them. On the opposite side, he has very nice, affectionate, full of love, and full grief poems.

There are 13 short stories in here. I read only the best 6 stories. I will write them down in order of they greatness;

#1 the tell-tale heart
#2 The black cat
#3 The masque of th...more
I have a love/hate relationship with Poe. I love his finely crafted prose, his spine tinglingly poetry and his scintillating wit. I hate his overly verbose and bloated paragraphs and slow buildups that take dozens of pages before getting to the meat of the story. Poe, though I adore you, it will likely be a while before our paths once again cross.
A strange and amusing combination of things in my life has resulted in an unfair prejudice against Edgar Allen Poe, and I felt bad for disliking him considering I've barely read anything by the poor guy. I think my opinion of him sort of maybe improved a little bit. Reading all of these in one shot probably wasn't the best course of action, because it didn't take me very long to start getting bored. But, some of them managed to freak me out a little bit and I appreciated the weird vibes, which i...more
Vic Brotzman
I feel that a review of this type ought to include two different ratings: one for the quality of the collection, and one for the actual content.

On that first note, I do feel this is an excellent collection of Poe's works. I do not pretend to know his bibliography extensively, but this volume includes every work that I would have sought. Beyond the obvious inclusions such as "The Raven" and "The Tell-Tale Heart," many more lesser-known gems can be found here, much to the delight of a casual fan s...more
All right, I'll obviously need to read these in English, but for now, the Bulgarian translation is quite good as well. Something that struck me is that Poe has an unusual way with words. He does an incredible job in creating an unique atmosphere, which, coupled with Alan Parsons' "Tales of Mystery and Imagination" really makes for a peculiar and interesting reading.
The poems I've read so far have an unexpected bright side to them. I can't say I'm thoroughly enjoying them, but this discovery was...more
Review by Dr. Photo:
This book offers a thorough taste of a successful poet's lifework. Perhaps one of America's most renowned poets and short story writer, Edgar Allen Poe has entertained both young and old for generations. His reputation as a masterful storyteller is wonderfully represented by this book.

This book contains 34 of Edgar Allen Poe's most popular poems. In this collection are The Raven, Lenore, Annabel Lee, Eldorado, and Sonnet -- To Science. One of my favorite poems is A Dream With...more
Erik Graff
Dec 17, 2011 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Americans
Recommended to Erik by: Lajla Stousland
Shelves: literature
Being an only child until age eight and my little brother being rather uninteresting until he began speaking, I found most of the time spent with family rather boring. And we spent a lot of time with family, our parents visiting father's mother and her friends at their home in Park Ridge almost every weekend.

Grandmother Lajla, Dad's mom, was fine when one was alone with her, but during those weekend evenings she and her husband--Dad's dad having died when I was five--were "entertaining", so ther...more
Britney Johnson
This book has been one of my favorites to read. If you're already a fan of Poe's work, then there's no reason why you shouldn't have this book. Two of my favorite stories are "The Tell Tale Heart" and " The Cask of Amontillado". The beginning is short and helpful; it leads directly into Poe's poems. If you have ever read any of Poe’s work and have enjoyed it and think you'd like to see more of that type of work, you won't be dissatisfied with this book. There are other collections of Poe's work,...more
As with almost any collection, I enjoyed some of these stories and poems more than others. I love most of the well-known ones, including "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Black Cat," "The Pit and the Pendulum," "The Raven," and "Annabel Lee." I discovered a few new favorites, too, such as "Gold-Bug" and "Dream within a Dream." On the other hand, some of the stories didn't hold my attention ("Ligeia" and "Descent into the Maelstrom," I'm looking at you). Nevertheless, this is a fantastic collection. I'...more
Mike  Davis
Much of Poe rates a 5-star. I read the complete works which included many early poems, a genre that Poe professed to love, and some secondary early works that lack the polish and sophistication of his masterpieces, hence the overall 4-star rating. I find Poe somewhat of a humorist with his occasional use of absurd character names and his tongue-in-cheek sophisticated language in many of his tales, including those usually associated with horror.

I don't know if I would expect readers to plow throu...more
Rick Wong
I didn't read the whole book, we were only required to read some of the short stories. Poe must have fallen off the tallest branch, if you know what I mean. Some of these shorts are just down right weird.

Shorts I did read: The Tell Tale Heart; The Cask of Amontillado; Hop Frog; The Black Cat; The Masque of the Red Death; The Purloined Letter; The Pit and the Pendulum; and The Sphinx.

Like I said some were downright weird. Hop Frog was my favorite character. Though each of the main characters were...more

The Cask of Amontillado
The Purloined Letter
William Wilson
The Fall of the House of Usher
Started this book 2 years ago and it was so tedious that I abandoned it. Started it over 7 months ago and put it down in June again, because Poe's stories are buried in so many details that it is hard to keep focus on the point/story he is trying to make or tale. I finally picked it up again this weekend and finished the stories. The poems section was much better than the tales section and went quickly. Like Melville with Moby Dick I feel poets should not be novelists nor tale stories. Even thou...more
I loved Poe in high school and enjoyed getting reacquainted during my library's Big Read 2011. (I was on the speech team in high school and read The Tell-Tale Heart and The Bells as part of my repertoire.) His stories and poems are downright disturbing and the best of them stick with you a long time. ("True! nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why WILL you say that I am mad?") I gave this book Four Stars only because it contains some of his less compelling works as well...more
I've decided I don't care much for Poe. I found his "suspense" to be predictable, his morbid tales despicable and his mystery stories a bunch of rambling nonsense. However, his creation of a narrative lunatic is fascinating.
In the midst of this collection, I did find favor with the "Pit and the Pendulum." I guess I found it the only minutely suspenseful piece. I also appreciated the rare redemption of the narrator.
Of his poems, which I must admit are better than his prose, I enjoyed "The Bells...more
I read this for "The Big Read" book discussion. I loved Poe when I was a teen and enjoyed our study of his work in school, so I was surprised to find his stories and poems did not have the same effect on me as an adult. The horror stories seem mild compared to current writing. Poe expressed depression and madness, his dark side, in his writing, and this book is valuable as a study of the author, but from a leisure reader's perspective his work seems dated and not all that interesting.
I read this for The Big Read at school. Poe has his good points but some of it just doesn't seem to translate now to this time. He is also thick with language that is obscure or no longer current and allusions that I can only follow from the notes. The notes in this edition don't give you a sense enough of why he made the allusions. Still I enjoyed some of it and read more deeply into Poe both stories and poems than I ever have before.
That Lady
In an age of vampires and zombies, I found this precursor to today's fads entertaining. The content in itself is a bit too morbid for my taste. But I found Poe to be a descriptive provocative writer. Undoubtedly a large body of his work was written in either a drug fueled or possibly manic state. But I was able to keep up with it. I am a fan of both short stories and poetry. This book is perfect for summer/vacation reading.
I've been reading mystery/suspense this month for my book club (the one where we don't have a book, we have a theme). This was an interesting read; some of these I read in high school, and it was interesting to re-read them. I didn't finish all of the stories, but I read The Telltale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado, Hop-Frog, and The Black Cat.
I would have given this 3.5 stars. I found a new appreciation for Poe that I did not develop as a high school student. This was the first time I'd read his detective stories, and I enjoyed them, especially "Murders in the Rue Morgue." Other favorites are "Ligeia," "The Pit and the Pendulum," and "A Descent into the Maelstrom."
Feels good to have read this tortured soul's work! Although there are still debates, I would have to be in the YES side. YES that he should be considered as one of the most influential writers in Literature. He's also quite the trend-setter. This makes me want to look at pop culture more closely and find some hints of Poe.
Edgar Allen Poe an undisputed master of the English language (and he seemed to know a good deal of French and German as well). I only give it four stars because you can probably find a nicer edition. The bold and compressed text in this one makes it kind of hard to read.
Feb 27, 2008 Tricia rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Yikes! I couldn't finish reading this, it was too ugly. I'd read a few of his stories and poems years ago and found them interesting, so I thought I'd try reading them again, but I couldn't do it. The stories are really morbid and leave you feeling dark. Not my kind of reading.
Adria Berry
I read this book in the 9th grade and it changed my life (I stole it from my mom's bookshelf! ha!). I don't know where to begin but basically the dark tone of Poe's work is enthralling. My favorite poem is "Annabel Lee" and my favorite story is "The Tell-Tale Heart".
Not sure if this is the collection I read it in, but I had to memorize "The Raven" in high school, and can still recite the first half of it flawlessly. I have always enjoyed Mr. Poe's work, and recommend it to anyone who loves a well-told story.
I only got through the two tales in this collection, The Cask of Amontillado and Ligeia. Though many of my friends are Poe enthusiasts, I'm afraid I must disappoint them and say that the little I read in this tome really did nothing for me.
I read all of the poems in this book and some of the stories. Poe is such a great writer. And he does morbid and gothic so well. I really like The Pit and the Pendulum, as well as The Fall of the House of Usher. A must-read author.
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The name Poe brings to mind images of murderers and madmen, premature burials, and mysterious women who return from the dead. His works have been in print since 1827 and include such literary classics as “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Raven,” and “The Fall of the House of Usher.” This versatile writer’s oeuvre includes short stories, poetry, a novel, a textbook, a book of scientific theory, and hundr...more
More about Edgar Allan Poe...
The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings The Complete Stories and Poems The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Tales Essential Tales and Poems The Cask of Amontillado

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“Convinced myself, I seek not to convince.” 229 likes
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