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The Man Who Was Poe
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The Man Who Was Poe

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  1,462 ratings  ·  161 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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Sep 16, 2009 Caris rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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
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
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
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
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!
Becky Lee
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
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
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
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
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.
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
The Man Who Was Poe...was a real dickhead, according to Avi.
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
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
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
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
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 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: torture
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Teddy Smith
When I read a mystery book I like to be challenged and try to determine the outcome. I found this mystery to not have a mystery. The clues in this book seem like they're to easy to link to other clues. It was poorly written and was very slow. I did not feel suspense in this book because most of the time Edgar Allen Poe was talking about his girlfriend. Another flaw was trying to identify characters from real life in the book. It was confusing, at one point he'd be in a cemetery then on the citie ...more
Marissa Grothe
It was very boring and the plot was not exciting. The ending was very predictable. DO NOT READ THIS BOOK IF YOU WANT TO READ SOMETHING EXCITING! Avi totally went into and supported the slander associated with Poe. The information about Poe are just stereotypes and slander. He was not proven to be like that. Very disappointing.
After the first 50 pages I was ready to give up on this book; the story seemed very confusing. In this fictional tale of Poe’s encounter with Edmund, a troubled boy who has lost all the significant people in his life, I found the portrayal of Poe most interesting. As he blurred the line between fantasy and reality and considered that perhaps his tale had come to life and he was writing the future, both the writer’s genius and his madness were portrayed. Haunted by the death of his wife, consumed ...more
The Man Who Was Poe details the story of a young man, Edmund, who is living with his aunt and sister in Rhode Island while their mother handles a recent marriage that has turned ugly. Soon his aunt is found dead and his sister goes missing from the locked room he left her in and he has no idea what is happening to his family. A local man, who turns about to be the legendary author Poe, takes interest in this mystery and helps Edmund solve this problem (while battling his own demons).
I enjoyed th
Natalie Walton
I really liked this book. I liked it because it had a lot of mysteries and drama. I think the best part was when the book started revealing secrets like who mr. Ratchet was, because everything started connecting in your head and then all of a sudden it just made sense.
Helena Oh
I was so confused. One of the most confusing books I've read. Throughout the entire novel it was so puzzling, until the end where everything just became clear. I didn't understand some of the sailing terms, but overall a great mystery novel. A quick read.
Krista Stevens
Uneven plot, unpredictable character (Poe), and a poor, lost, scared boy who never gets the help he needs. Poe comes off very unlikeable, eccentric, and having no regard for young Edmund and the fate of his sister.

Did not love it. More of a 3- for me.
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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 very much desired by readers young and old.
More about Avi...
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle Crispin: The Cross of Lead (Crispin #1) Nothing But the Truth Poppy (Tales of Dimwood Forest, #1) The Seer of Shadows

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