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The Man Who Was Poe

3.53  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,614 Ratings  ·  185 Reviews
The Old City Lay Dark And Cold...It is night. And Edmund is alone. His mother is gone. His aunt, who went in search of her, is dead. His sister has disappeared. Edmund has no one. Except for a stranger of the night.A dark, mysterious stranger who flees from demons of his own...who follows Edmund with grim determination through the cold and shadow city, promising to help, b ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published July 1st 1997 by HarperCollins (first published October 1st 1989)
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Cody Stark P8 It was based on Rhode Island. Okay nevermind I don't know.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,521)
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Sep 16, 2009 Caris rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
I was more than a little pissed off when I found this book in the children's section of the library. My younger brother was assigned to read this for a book report. He's in 8th grade. Too old, I felt, for the kid's section.

Having finished it, I'm not sure where I stand. I don't know where I'd put this book if I were in charge of the library. It does feature a young protagonist in an adventure story, but there is murder, alcoholism, and one of the more complicated characters I've read in recent m
Amy Sturgis
As a young reader, I read and thoroughly enjoyed some of Avi's novels. I fully expected to love this one.

There's a lot to recommend it: a genuinely baffling mystery with the fate of a young boy and his sister hanging in the balance, plenty of atmospheric settings in one of my very favorite cities (Providence), and a clever tribute to Edgar Allan Poe's C. Auguste Dupin, the first great literary detective.

There's even an extended sequence that takes place in St. John's Churchyard and the home of S
Sep 22, 2015 Heather rated it really liked it
Edmund and his sister are desperate it has been 3 days and Auntie is still not home. Edmond ventures out for food and when he returns, Sis is gone! Edmund meets Auguste Dupin aka Edgar Allan Poe and Poe unwillingly stumbles upon clues and helps Edmund solve the mystery. Edmund's life parallels Edgar's, and Poe is able to create a story from the circumstances he is experiencing. Clever and fun and informative!
Apr 12, 2013 Ken rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-reader
This middle-reader is the second book that I have read by Avi, the first being The Seer of Shadows, which I enjoyed immensely. Avi tackles some pretty dark topics.

In this book, we find Edgar Allan Poe acting as Detective Dupin to help a young boy find his missing mother, sister and aunt. In the process, he finds himself in the middle of a murder mystery and investigating a bank heist.

This book had all the ingredients: Poe, murder, kidnapping, robbery. But, I found this book overly confusing.

After being left alone for three days, twins Edmund and Sis have run out of what little food they have. Although they were under strict orders from their aunt to stay indoors, Edmund makes the decision to head out in search of food. Unfortunately, when he returns, he discovers his sister is nowhere to be found. With his mother, aunt, and sister missing, Edmund is on his own with only a strange man to help him. Who is this man, where are his family members, and just what is the man writing?

I went
Feb 05, 2014 Louloukay rated it liked it
The story had a limited omniscient narration where the reader has insight into both of the main characters' thoughts,emotions,and actions. It was a very reliable narration because the protagonists in the story were the commentators so they gave all of the information that would help solve the mystery. It was set in old New England where it seems as though it is always gloomy and raining which helps to make the story more interesting. The message this book gives is to have a little hope. Edmund d ...more
This historical fiction mystery follows a boy named Edmund who came to America from England with his sister and aunt with the hope of tracking down his mother. After his aunt and sister go missing, Edmund runs into Edgar Allan Poe, who is intrigued by the boy's plight and thinks it might get him out of a writing rut because he can model his next story after the boy's problems. Poe helps Edmund to an extent in the search for Edmund's sister, but he also lets his drinking get in the way. With or w ...more
William Redd
Feb 01, 2014 William Redd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, I had a complete misconception of this book when I first bought it from a book fair back in '91. I thought it was a book about Edgar Allan Poe, that it told some story of his past, or just his life story in some way.

I was wrong.

Instead, The Man Who Was Poe is about a young boy named Edmund who, after leaving his sister alone in search of food, returns to find her gone from a locked room. In his panic, he bumps into a man newly arrived in Providence who claims his name is Auguste Dupin. Of c
Feb 11, 2016 Katie added it
Shelves: goodreads-1-10
The story starts with a young boy and his twin sister. It begins when Edmund's sister (Sis) disappears and as he searches for her he runs into Edgar Allen Poe who he is able to convince to help him find his missing sister, mother, and aunt. Through several events they uncover that the two mysteries in the area are connected and between Edmund and Poe they unravel the people who are in charge of kidnapping Sis and stealing the goal that is in the vaults.
I thought this story was very interesting.
Becky Lee
May 06, 2015 Becky Lee rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I liked how unexpected things happened in the story and also how the author used descriptions to describe scenes and character. One thing I didn't like about this book was how some parts were confusing. However, I really enjoyed this book.
Kevin Jung
May 06, 2015 Kevin Jung rated it it was amazing
This mysterious/confusing book is OSM this book takes some examples that happened to Poe in real life. The story was kind of flying place to place but it was one of the best books ive ever read. People that like realistic Fiction WILL LUV THIS BOOK
Jan 05, 2009 Jan rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. It was something different. I thought it was a young adult book because I have read other Avi books and they a usually for children or young adults. I think that it was an adult book though. It was interesting and a fast read.
Kyle Tsang
May 06, 2015 Kyle Tsang rated it it was amazing
I gave this book a five star rating because this book is full of suspense, and I was really sad when the book ended. I wanted to continue reading the story, and of there was a sequel, I would read that too.
Alex Clevenger
May 06, 2015 Alex Clevenger rated it liked it
Lots of suspense, Poe seemed to annoy me a lot because when I thought he would help he never did. The author did good using lots of clues, at times it seemed repetitive.
Cliffside Park Public Library (NJ)
The book is about a boy named Edmund looking for his sister. Along the way he meets a man named Poe who we later find out is the world famous author going through an identity crisis. Helping each other, Poe remembers he is actually Auguste Dupin and Edmund's Sis is saved.
I would recommend this book to anyone that likes your average mystery. I wouldn't recommend this book to a majority of my friends because I found the book predictable. I did like the book to a certain extent but it's not somethi
Miss Amanda
gr 7-10 205 pgs

1848, Rhode Island. 11 year old Edmund is in trouble. First his mother and his aunt disappeared and now his sister is missing. When he meets a man claiming to be Auguste Dupin (actually Edgar Alan Poe), Edmund hopes that he will help find them like he promises. Although "Auguste" does gather clues, he is occupied with turning this mystery into a story and seems to have trouble telling the difference between reality and the story he is trying to write.

The story was a little slow a
Andrea Stone
May 21, 2016 Andrea Stone rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the mystery of it all. I just didn't get if Mr.Poe does have some type of sickness or not. It's just so confusing. I liked though that at the end, they found out it was Mr. Rachett and Mr.Peterson behind it all. I was a little sad but also touched when the aunt sacrificed herself so her sister can see her children again. I was scared at the part where Mr.Poe was at the graveyard and he thought he saw a ghost, that really scared me because I hate ghosts and I try not to believe i ...more
Katrina Christensen
Oct 23, 2015 Katrina Christensen rated it really liked it
This book is my Edgar Allen Poe. I would recommended this if you are looking for a mystery that will keep you guessing this is the book. The books starts out in Rhode Island in late 1840's, a boy and she sister got abandon by their aunt and have been hungry for a few days now. They came from London searching for their mother. The boy (Edmund Brimme) leaves his sister to get some food. He made sure that she would be safe so he locked her in their room. After getting some food he returns and finds ...more
Aug 11, 2010 Erin rated it it was ok
The Man Who Was Poe...was a real dickhead, according to Avi.
Dec 25, 2015 Rachie rated it really liked it
I love Poe and I'm fascinated by all the books that feature him as a character. I grabbed this off the library shelf for the title alone. In some way how he is presented in this novel is believable and in another it can be a bit of a stretch. Avi's portrayal of Poe is closer to the unfounded diatribe that Rufus Griswold published after Poe's death. But I could also see his descent into madness and drink as plausible. He's lost everything at this point. He's penniless and he's in grief over the l ...more
Sep 24, 2014 Charlene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I read this more for the nostalgia of reading a book like the ones I read in my youth. They were usually simple, absorbing and suspenseful stories and this book fit that bill completely. The character development is light, it's mostly about the plot and the mystery. Edgar Allan Poe is a character in the story - and the story spins him into a character with many flaws as an alcoholic and a man consumed by his art and his imagination. It sounds true to the idea of Poe, but it also makes the charac ...more
Feb 04, 2016 Chazzi rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile, mystery
Edmund has run out for just a short bit to get something to eat. Aunty has left him and his sister alone in the single windowed tenement room for two days. She told them to stay in the room till she came back. Two days ago. No food, heat or word where she had gone. Perhaps she had finally found their mother?

While out he finds he is being followed by a man. A man in a long black army coat, with a pale complexion and dark hair and mustache. What is it this man wants?

When Edmund arrives back at the
Stormi (Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my!)
The Man Who Was Poe is a reissue and I must say the cover has a much better design on it than the older edition. It's a historical mystery set in the nineteenth-century and was sort of dark for a middle grade book.

The story starts out with Edmund and his sister (Sis) being left alone while their Aunt went in search of their mother. It has been three days, they have no food and are starving. Sis urges Edmond to go out and try and buy them some food but he doesn't want to leave her alone. Aunt Pru
Dec 02, 2011 Vincent rated it liked it
I remember reading The Man Who Was Poe in middle-school and really enjoying it. Just the other day, and more than a decade later, I found my copy in a box of old books and on a nostalgic whim I grabbed it on my way out the door, for something to pass the time. I must say, to my surprise, I still really enjoyed it.

Avi weaves an interesting suspense mystery of interlocking story-lines, complete with Gothic settings of graveyards and foggy streets in 1848 Providence, Rhode Island. And of course, we
Dec 11, 2012 Caitlin rated it liked it
This story begins with Edmund who is in a small room with his little sister who he calls sis. Their Aunt has disappeared and they are afraid to leave in case the returns. Edmund leaves to get them food, but when he returns his sister has disappeared. Edmund goes out into the street to find help and happens to come upon a man that calls himself Dupin. Dupin is a strange man that keeps many mysteries from Edmund, but he agrees to help him try to find his sister and aunt, how had left to find Edmun ...more
Jul 09, 2013 Kaycee rated it really liked it
Alone and desperate Edmund searches the city for his missing sister, looking for anyone who can help him. He runs into a man, who says his name is Mr. Dupin. The man agrees to help him but everything about him seems a bit strange to Edmund. His emotions are volatile, he drinks, and he is secretive. At the same time the man is brilliant and even though Edmund isn't sure he can rely on him Dupin is able to give some shocking insights into his missing sister. The mysterious Mr. Dupin is of course E ...more
Mar 01, 2011 Tamra rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: torture
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melody Savage
Mar 28, 2016 Melody Savage rated it liked it
Shelves: jr-high
Clean. A I presents the typically accepted image of Edgar Allan Poe - mysterious, depressed, genius drunkard. It's a darkish mystery whose real purpose seems to narrate a snapshot-biography of Poe post-Virginia Clemm with the sketchy facts available about the last years of his life. It provides an interesting experience with the great America writer which might help students form background images to bring to reading his poems and fiction.
Dena (Batch of Books)
When it comes to middle grade mystery novels, I don't know that I've ever read one quite as breathtakingly gripping as The Man Who was Poe. It is a tale of murder, deceit, and madness. The fictionalized Poe is a sour, selfish man that cares only for material to create a story. Edmund is a sweet, naive little boy with no one else to turn to. Together they unravel the mystery of where Edmund's mother and sister have disappeared to.

The plot is full of suspense and kept me guessing until the very en
English Teacher
Jun 03, 2015 English Teacher rated it did not like it
I am an English teacher and I picked this book for my students. They did not like it and it was too obvious. This book game me a lower salary. I am graded on my student satisfactory. I was soon fired. Thanks a lot book. I am living on welfare from Obama. Hence, I will still soon lose my internet. As a last remark, I must say this: Please send in donations too Thank You.
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Avi is a pen name for Edward Irving Wortis, but he says, "The fact is, Avi is the only name I use." Born in 1937, Avi has created many fictional favorites such as The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Nothing but the Truth, and the Crispin series. His work is popular among readers young and old.
More about Avi...

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