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Berenice

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  919 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Suspense, fear and the supernatural provide the center for this tale by the master prose writer.
24 pages
Published (first published 1835)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,284)
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Glenn Russell
Since there are a few dozen reviews already posted here, in the spirit of freshness I will compare Poe’s tale with a few other tales, each of these other tales picking up on a ‘Berenice’ theme.

Obsession
In ‘The Gaze’ by Jean Richepin, the narrator peers through the window of a cell at a madman, arms spread, head uplifted, transfixed by a point on a wall near the ceiling. The doctor-alienist relates to the narrator how this inmate is obsessed with the gaze of eyes from an artist’s portrait. “For t
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Shivam Chaturvedi
"Berenice! I call upon her name. Berenice! and from the gray ruins of memory a thousand tumultuous recollections are startled at the sound!"

"...to muse for long unwearied hours with my attention riveted to some frivolous device on the margin, or in the topography of a book; to become absorbed for the better part of a summer’s day, in a quaint shadow falling aslant upon the tapestry, or upon the door; to lose myself for an entire night in watching the steady flame of a lamp, or the embers of a fi
...more
Althea Ann
I've read nearly all of Poe at some point or another, but I didn't have a memory of reading this one before.
For such a short piece, I felt like it took a while to draw me in. However, it certainly ends with some drama... ("Pow, right in the kisser...?")
Here we have a young couple - the young man: dark, brooding, and perhaps unhealthily obsessive... the young woman: lovely, without fault, yet languishing of illness.
Of course, tragedy will strike - and horrors beyond tragedy.

Just coincidentally,
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Diana Cigher
"Berenice! -I call upon her name - Berenice! - and from the gray ruins of memory a thousand tumultuous recollections are startled at the sound!"

The first important thing in this book which I noticed was the Latin quotation with which the book starts: "Dicebant mihi sodales, si sepulchrum amicae visitarem, curas meas aliquantulum forelevatas." I have to admit that my translation, without looking at the footnote was awfully wrong. I guess my Latin has worsened a lot. Although, after looking at the
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Bonnie
Poe's language is not the easiest to get to grips with, especially if you're not fluent in French and Latin, so, given its short length, it is ideally suited to being read at the computer with easy access to a translator at hand.

The version I read is the edited one at http://www.online-literature.com/poe/23/. This version was self-censored by Poe to remove one particular scene in which the narrator sits with his cousin's body.

The story is definitely disturbing. With the events told through the e
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Graham Worthington
Despite all who have attempted the genre since, Poe remains the supreme master of the horrific short story. From this collection I select "Berenice" to comment on, not only because it is a classic example of Poe, but also because it deals with a subject so typically his, that of obsession.
There is little point in trying not to "spoil" a Poe story by avoiding telling the final outcome, for in this story, as in much of his work, the fascination lies not in a teasing or elaborate plot leading to a
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Viji Sarath (Bookish endeavors)
I re-read the story after reading the end. And I bet many others might have done the same. The story till the end is something and when it reaches the end it's completely another. I was shocked. I'm going to get the creeps every time somebody compliments on my eyes or teeth hereafter.
A truly great story.
Kitty
While I think the award of most upsetting Poe story has to go to "The Black Cat" I think the most violent and gruesome belongs to "Berenice". Man oh man, if only we had been reading THIS in AP Lit back in high school rather than the usual ho hum Poe I would have paid closer attention in class.

To say too much of the plot and story would be to spoil it. It's a long, long build up of a series of happenings of seemingly little import or interest - we've seen Poe do the whole separated lovers thing b
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M. Ashraf
This is one of the best Horror stories from Poe, it was gruesome, crazy and disturbing;
so it is great!!!!



MISERY is manifold. The wretchedness of earth is multiform. Overreaching the wide horizon as the rainbow, its hues are as various as the hues of that arch, --as distinct too, yet as intimately blended. Overreaching the wide horizon as the rainbow! How is it that from beauty I have derived a type of unloveliness? --from the covenant of peace a simile of sorrow? But as, in ethics, evil is a
...more
Hoda
I have read this over 5 years ago, and I never forgot it because it terrified me to read the last page. When he opens that box, MY OH MY! Alright, no spoilers, but this was one sick psychotic short story that made me think maybe Poe is a serial killer. It also made 'The Raven' seem ordinary next to this one.
This should be a Halloween read :)
Lou
This story was terrifying and disgusting at the same time. The narration is excellent but if you imagine the scenes, is a bit strange to think of how the narrator extracted Berenice's teeth. Anyway, I liked the story.
Jeraviz
No es el más conocida, ni tal vez el mejor de Edgar Allan Poe, pero como cualquier otro relato suyo, tiene que ser leído.
Jessica
Same as Morella-- I was horrified and disgusted and I kept glancing at my teeth in the mirror for an hour. It was perfect.
Matthew Coleman
What happens when you combine a monomaniacal, bookish protagonist with a model of physical pulchritude? Poe happens. The story is a concise portrait of phantasmagorical insanity. It is frightening, morbid, gruesome, and downright strange. Much aligned with Poe's work, the female character is not treated with any weight beyond being a model of affection. The male protagonist, Egaeus, is stark-raving mad. The story also has one of Poe's best openings.

"Misery is manifold. The wretchedness of earth
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Joe
It is immediately clear from looking at this story that Poe is a masterful writer, with an unusual command of imagery and language devices.
Regrettably, the story itself amounts to little more than these - it is quite simply a story of monomania and consuming obsession, which, when exhausted, leaves the victim both emotionally and personally empty.
On a personal note, I have noticed when reading the work of Poe that his stories seem to take place in very isolated conditions, almost in a vacuum, w
...more
Mare
Es un cuento muy corto. Realmente corto. Pero fantástico. El nivel de creatividad y de genio del Señor Poe cada día me sorprende más. Egaeus como personaje es sorprendentemente raro. De verdad, su monomanía es algo que me aterra. Pero en fin: marco perfecto, perfecta descripción del espacio y el característico suspenso. No se puede esperar menos.
David
Whew, this was gruesome. This story took a bit for me to get into, I think because of the differences between language in Poe's day and that of ours, plus he throws in some Latin & French. But the events at the end of the story just left me staggered. What I think is masterful is how we, the reader, look into a box along with the main character of the story, and upon learning what's in it, we're repulsed because we know what kind of violence & horror must have been involved for these par ...more
Tabatha
Nov 21, 2014 Tabatha rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Edgar Allen Poe Fans
Shelves: classics, horror
I should have expected the end of this, but I didn't. The fascination of it...I simply don't understand the insanity in it. This of course is what makes me love Edgar.
sabisteb
Nachdem Daibler überfällig ist, weil die Insel mit Dr. Bakers Irrenhaus wegen des Ausbruchs einer Säuche unter Quarantäne steht, machen sich Poe, Leaonie und Kaptain Hardy auf die Suche nach einem Boot um die Quarantäne zu durchbrechen. Hardy ist dem Alkohol verfallen und wird von Anna, der der Gesicht zerschnitten wurde, gepflegt. Sie will mit ihm nach England fahren und ein neues Leben anfangen, er willigt ein, will aber noch diese eine Fahrt machen und Poe und Leonie helfen. Anne prophezeit, ...more
Barbara Bradley
What a sick little piece. Never fails to disappoint. Well worth the goosebumps.
Shaunya Able
The freakiest thing I have ever read it my LIFE!! Holy Crap!!
Jill
In reading background on this one, I discovered, but was hardly surprised that the readers complained about the violence in it. It is without question the most disturbing piece of his I've read yet, but I thought it was wonderfully crafted. I love the way the story unfolds with all the surprise and drama of a good novel, though it's only a "tale." I can't write much more than that without having to mark this with spoilers.
Sarah
This was my first time reading this particular story, and it has quickly become one of my favorites. It's a surprise that it isn't more well-known. "Berenice" is an absolutely horrifying little story about a dying woman and her husband's fixation on her teeth...in other words, it's a Poe masterpiece about madness and obsession.
ebru pessoa
''But as, in ethics, evil is a consequence of good, so in fact, out of joy is sorrow born. Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish today, or the agonies which are have their origin in the ecstasies which might have been.''
Rina
Not great. It felt very choppy and random in parts. The ending was a bit confusing at first, I had to read it more than once to really get it. It wasn't a satisfying ending and I was left thinking "really, that's it?"
Abby
Poe is at his best when he delves into the crooked minds of his narrators. This reminded me of The Tale-Tale Heart in that there is a fixation on a particular part of the body of the victim.
Laura
Uno de los mejores relatos de miedo de E.A. Poe, me sorpredio enormemente. Os lo recomiendo, es corto y entretiene mucho además de llevaros la sorpresa del final.
Jeremy
This story took forever to develop, but stick with it because the ending is amazing. I would love to see this as a film.
Adam Sprague
I'm not sure what to say about this one. It was very confusing and left no lasting impression on me whatsoever.
Elizabeth
Gruesome as fuck. He pulls the teeth out his dead fiance's corpse. What a mad bastard. Brilliant.
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4624490
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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“To muse for long unwearied hours with my attention riveted to some frivolous device upon the margin, or in the typography of a book — to become absorbed for the better part of a summer's day in a quaint shadow falling aslant upon the tapestry, or upon the floor — to lose myself for an entire night in watching the steady flame of a lamp, or the embers of a fire — to dream away whole days over the perfume of a flower — to repeat monotonously some common word, until the sound, by dint of frequent repetition, ceased to convey any idea whatever to the mind — to lose all sense of motion or physical existence in a state of absolute bodily quiescence long and obstinately persevered in — Such were a few of the most common and least pernicious vagaries induced by a condition of the mental faculties, not, indeed, altogether unparalleled, but certainly bidding defiance to any thing like analysis or explanation.” 23 likes
“En la extraña anomalía de mi existencia, los sentimientos en mí nunca venían del corazón, y las pasiones siempre venían de la inteligencia.” 4 likes
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