The Pale Blue Eye
At West Point Academy in 1830, the calm of an October evening is shattered by the discovery of a young cadet's body swinging from a rope just off the parade grounds. An apparent suicide is not...more
Bayard writes using language and sentence structure appropriate for the time setting of this novel (1830), so his prose is more ‘flowery’ than the norm today and loaded with metaphors (“to find the snowflakes still spilling like hoarded coins from the sky’s cloud-purses” as example of both)....more
That said, I'm a big fan of a good mystery that really puzzles and gets you pondering. I've also always been a good fan of Poe and the themes and tones in...more
Augustus Landor, retired New York constable, recounts his involvement in a murder investigation that takes place at West Point in 1830. Guest starring Edgar Allan Poe. I thoroughly enjoyed the first 387 pages of this novel. It's a nice little mystery with a hint of the supernatural and lots of cold West Point atmosphere. Bayard is an engaging writer. His prose is clear a...more
When it's done well, though, who cares how many of them there are? And Louis Bayard does it well. Fresh off his fine "Mr. Timothy," his look at Dickens' Tiny Tim as an adult (OK, so Tiny Tim wasn’t historical, but you get the idea), Bayard threw Edgar Allan Poe into a novel. No, he’s not the first (or last) to do this, but "The Pale Blue Eye,"...more
Great book. The switching between the narrators was fantastic, and their voices were so distinct - or, should I say, Poe's voice was so distinct. The author easily stepped into his florid, descriptive style. Sometimes, I could've sworn I was actually reading Poe.
The story was also nicely fast-paced and eventful - no long lags in the action that took work...more
In brief, West Point cadet Edgar Allan Poe helps solve a murder mystery with a retired New York detective. Someone is killing cadets and removing their hearts. The author has done a good job in capturing Poe & his time period, as well as the language used.
But the ending left me cold. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a "twist" ending very much....heck, that's why I watch Law & Order. And I don't read a lot of myste...more
A detective murder mystery that takes place at West Point in 1830, featuring a young cadet named Edgar Allan Poe who is tasked with secretly assisting a former NYC detective (who narrates) with solving a murder. An interesting concept, a fun ending, however many of the characters (specifically Poe) were fluffy and one-dimensional.
The book is set at West Point. The Academy is still in it's relative infancy, still trying to prove itself as a producer of quality military officers. In a shocking turn of events, a cadet is found dead. Though it is still a scandal, the initial judgment that it is a suicide is somewhat of a relief to the leasers of the school. Imagine their horror when the cadet's heart is stolen from...more
Louis Bayard is not Umberto Eco, who i have liked a lot after reading The Name of the Rose. However, there is something in The Pale Blue Eye that makes you want to scratch your eye out Or maybe just pull your hair off (as this should be less painful). Surely this wasn't the MOST amazing detective story and I would have to agree with some who had reviewed...more
Louis Bayard's Mr. Timothy (2003) imagined Dickens's Tiny Tim as a young adult. Pale Blue Eye mines a similar theme; this time, Bayard fictionalizes Poe's stint at West Point. Filled with enigmatic clues, codes, cryptograms, and psychological suspense, the novel had most critics on the edge of their seats. If an outlandish climax made a few cringe, the exquisite period prose, Gothic details, and meticulous historical rendering offer an intriguing fictional backdrop to Poe's literary inspiration...more
To be honest, initially, the early 19th century, Poe-esque language was a bit cumbersome - but that is fault of me the reader, not the story itself. Once I became more comfortable navigating the verbiage, I came to appreciate the character and complexity of the writing. In the end, the style a...more
On a fun side nig...more