The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Tales
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The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Tales

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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  47,987 ratings  ·  282 reviews
Master of the macabre Edgar Allan Poe brings his nightmare visions to vivid, dramatic life in this definitive collection of 14 of his classic stories, including The Pit and the Pendulum, The Tell-Tale Heart, and his only full-length novel, Narrative of A. Gordon Pym.
Paperback, 416 pages
Published October 3rd 2006 by Signet Classics (first published October 1st 1839)
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Ben Winch
I wrote this review a while ago. What was I thinking? Now I'll have to explain myself. Anyway, here it is...
I go through phases where I think Poe was the greatest writer that ever lived. They usually pass in 2-3 weeks or so, once I've had time to read and re-read his best stuff and be appalled by his worst. For the most part, this collection sticks to the best. There's not much of it. 200 pages would probably do it. Maybe 12 stories, some poems ('The Raven', 'Annabel Lee'). But page for page I d
...more
jzhunagev
Jan 06, 2011 jzhunagev rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to jzhunagev by: the "Voice"


Inspired Madness
A Book Review of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Tales


There’s no denying that much of modern horror fiction — as we know it anyway — grew out of the gloomy, chaotic depth of the 19th century when a few demented souls were churning out tales of things that go bump in the night. These were writers who were dubbed freaks during their time and, as if the patina of age hasn’t wore off, are still considered as such today. They broke taboos, infringed establis...more
melydia
The Balloon-Hoax - Wow. That was really boring.
Ms. Found in a Bottle - Good suspense, but the ending confused me.
A Descent into the Maelstrom - Not too memorable.
The Murders in the Rue Morgue - A rather silly Holmes-esque mystery tale.
The Purloined Letter - Not bad, but far too wordy.
The Black Cat - Deliciously disturbing.
The Fall of the House of Usher - Not as interesting as his others, but good atmosphere.
The Pit and the Pendulum - A delightful tale of suspense.
The Masque of the Red Death - Me...more
Melissa Jackson
This is my favorite of all Poe's stories. (Which considering my love for him, was not an easy choice to make.) I have read it several times over, numerous times out-loud and in scary voices to entertain my little brother :). It's incredible how Poe can write in this helter skelter fashion so that you really don't know exactly what's going on-- and then in one final paragraph, or even the final sentence, he brings it all together and has you so thoroughly creeped out and simultaneously blown your...more
Jean

This selection of short stories reveals Edgar Allan Poe in all his moods. All the stories have been reviewed, but some have their own separate review and star rating. These are indicated as they occur. The review and star rating here is for the remainder of this selection. In all Poe wrote 69 short stories, but this book contains just 14, plus a novella - The Narrative of A. Gordon Pym - a nautical adventure. The first 3 are also nautical stories:

The Balloon Hoax (1844), interestingly, was e...more
Amber
This was my first ever collection i have read of mr. Poe and I enjoyed most of the stories in this collection. The collection was my pick for all hallow's read to read for Halloween this year. I also hosted a readalong of this collection online on facebook andat the all about books book club on goodreads. This month from october 20th through tonight we read and discussed the stories by poe that was in this collection along with the novel A narrative of A. Gordon Pym. It also included my favorit...more
John Yelverton
This story will absolutely freak you out. Of course, you should expect that from the greatest suspense writer of all time.
Madeline
Hearing your name given to literary characters is a weird experience. I guess I should be thankful I don't have a more common name, like Sarah or Kate or whatever. Sharing a name with a fictional character doesn't happen to me often - the last one I can remember is The Departed, where the single female character was named Madeline but it didn't really matter because she got called by name a whopping one time - but when it does it's weird.

Especially when you're reading this story by Poe, and the...more
Dark Slayer
Edgar Allan Poe has succeeded in creating an extremely excellent Gothic work, which contains the famous characteristics of this genre, such as terror, suspense, depressing landscape, haunted house and gloom’s metonymy.

A dearth of setting is the first and clear observation that we have in mind. In other words, when this story begins, it states just an unnamed narrator standing in front of a gloomy and frightening house on an autumnal and overcast day. Therefore, neither a location nor a precise...more
Ben Siems
"From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were — I have not seen
As others saw — I could not bring
My passions from a common spring ... "
—Edgar Allan Poe, "Alone"

I wonder what percentage of those who cheer for the Baltimore Ravens football team realize that they are supporting the only major North American sports franchise whose name is derived from a a great work of literature. I'm guessing it would be pretty low.

Reading this book, which I did some time ago, gave me a lasting appreciation f...more
Rachel
Reading this whole book really expanded my conception of Poe. First of all, the introduction was interesting in that it downplayed the things you usually hear about Poe (married his young cousin, was an alcoholic, etc).

As for the guts of the book went, I have to say I suffered through most of the poetry, but the tales were great. Who knew that Poe basically invented the detective story? His are great! And the "Gold Bug" is such a fun story. (I remember reading it as a kid, though I didn't remem...more
Tracey
oh my goodness just read the pit and the pendulum it is truely frightening. Loved it one of the best psychological tales I have ever read. WOW 5 stars from me for this story alone.
A brilliant introduction to Poe .
There were lots of stories and poems in here that I admit to using my hi lighter pen on and that is not something I do regularly.
The Raven is a personal favorite of mine and The Pit and the Pendulum again Wow but there is much more to be enjoyed from this master of the macabre..
Carol
First, let me say that I'm terrified by scary movies or stories -- blame it on my childhood! But secondly, I'm amazed by "The Fall of the House of Usher." Poe's writing is amazing. Coming upon the House, "with an utter depression of soul which I can compare to no earthly sensation more properly than to the everyday life." OR "There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart-- an unredeemed dreariness of thoughts which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime...more
Brina
Edgar Allan Poe - jeder kennt ihn, viele mögen ihn und ich habe ihn bislang immer gemieden. Nachdem ich mich letzten Monat an "Ligeia" gewagt habe, wollte ich nun auch "Der Untergang des Hauses Usher" eine Chance geben. Es hat sich definitiv gelohnt!

Die Geschichte beginnt recht düster und melancholisch. Edgar Allen Poe hat es geschafft, dass das Buch im Laufe der Zeit diese Stimmung nicht verliert und hat sie sogar noch einmal gesteigert. Durch die sehr detaillierte Beschreibung des Hauses Usher...more
Eric Kneisler
This story takes place in the 1800’s. Most of the story is in a dark, old mansion. The mansion is owned by a man named Roderick Usher. He lives there with his twin sister, Madeline. The story is told by a narrator. The narrator goes to the mansion. He thinks it feels “eerie” and kind of sad.
Roderick is pale and not feeling well. He has “morbid acuteness of the senses”. All of his senses are affected. (sounds are too loud, lights are too bright, etc) His sister was very sick.
While the narrator is...more
Eric Cartier
I read most of these stories in anthologies in middle school, but revisiting them, I found myself trapped in Poe's imaginative grip. "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" "The Pit and the Pendulum" "The Masque of the Red Death" "The Tell-Tale Heart" "The Fall of the House of Usher" Don't the titles themselves plunge you into terrible remembrance?

From "The Black Cat": "Who has not, a hundred times, found himself committing a vile or stupid action, for no other reason than because he knows he should not...more
Michael Kelly
Poe's prose reads like his poetry, and that's about the best praise I can give. His writing is lyrical, fantastical, strange and evocative. It's like weird music and this, as much as *what* he writes, accounts for much of his effectiveness.

All of his most famous tales are in here, the highlight for me being 'Murders in the Rue Morgue'. The best of his poetry is here too. The last section of the book consists of a collection of reviews and articles, which I confess I didn't read as it was the fic...more
Kevin
Old Poe really didnt like encroaching science at the time he was living in (1830/40's). Sonnet To Science is quite revealing; he saw science as slowly destroying age old ideas and myths...

'Why preyest thou thus upon the poets heart,
Vulture, whose wings are dull realities?'


Not only that, but how about:

'Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood,
The Elfin from the green grass, and from me
The Summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?'


Not much more to say. He is right of course.
Maria Carmo
This little book includes three short stories by Edgar Allen Poe, each involved in an atmosphere of dark fear and somber and misty waters... Curiously, the one I liked the best was the last one, about the man of the crowd... This is a book which gives the reader merely a sample of Edgar Allan Poe's genius. but it was worthwhile reading and "soaking into the atmosphere" - although feeling such delight at coming out again into the light and warmth of the Sun!

A good-read.

Maria Carmo,

Lisbon, 29th. A...more
Siyoung Yoo
Thrilling, lots of suspense. Well described and well written, loved it.
Catarina
Este livro reúne na verdade 3 contos de Edgar Allan Poe, sendo o primeiro, "A Queda da Casa Usher", o que realmente gostei mais. Talvez por se aproximar mais do estilo que esperava de Poe, o tal mistério, o gótico, o assustador...e é fantástico como Poe é capaz de descrever um ambiente, uma situação, de uma forma tão tenebrosa e arrepiante! Parece mesmo que estamos a vivenciar o que acabámos de ler, sempre com o temor do que vai acontecer a seguir! O 2º conto, "A Descida do Maelstrom", pareceu-m...more
Sorento62

While I don't like horror stories, and a lot of Poe's endings leave me unsatisfied, the range of his writings, the influence he had on later writers and the course of literature, and the story of his life are fascinating. I had not realized that he wrote more than horror and poems.

My favorites in this book were:
Introduction by Stephen Marlowe
The Balloon-Hoax (From this you can tell Poe studied the physical sciences and mechanical technologies of his day. This is almost sci fi.)
The Murders in th...more
Fatima
i don't like this book because it don't have alot of details.it will be better if they ztick to one story and finish it.i recooened this book to the people who like scary stories.it will be also good if you read it at halloween.after i read this book i couldn't sleep.
Alondra
2 Stars... meh.

The only thing saving this particular edition, was The Pit and the Pendulum and the Black Cat. Nice and creepy, with some crazy thrown on top.

The downside, was the full length novella of Narrative of A Gordan Pym. Utterly boring.

Katy
I wish I could rate the individual stories. Some I loved others not so much. It was fun to revisit these at Halloween.
Kat Stark
I will keep on loving Poe's works until the day I die.
Denise
Good ol' creepy Poe. A classic.
Andree
I decided Poe would be a good book on my shelf to read during the week of Halloween.

This wasn't bad. I put it in kind of three sections, myself. The first three stories seem to be in the vein of "Characters encounter some odd kind of natural disaster and then tell someone else about it - usually in a not-quite traditional way," then we move into odd/strange, more typical (or at least what I typically thought of) when it comes to Poe. This section contains some of the classic stories, a few of wh...more
ayanami
Kind of a hit or miss collection. There were a few stories that I found really dull to read, but I really enjoyed the title story, "The Fall of the House of Usher", along with "The Black Cat", and all the classic Poe tales, "The Tell-Tale Heart", "The Masque of the Red Death", etc. Poe is a master at delving into the dark psychological recesses of the human mind.

I also really liked the Dupin tales, which reminded me a lot of Sherlock Holmes-- makes sense since apparently Poe's Dupin provided the...more
D.M.
Well, that was a long, hard slog through a broad range of fiction, but it's finally over. And with it, I'm proud to say, I've completed my stack of classic fiction from the Great Writers Library! Thenk yew, thenk yew.
This book is probably the first time I've read Poe since high school (aside from occasionally running into The Raven). I saved it until last in this stack of books I've been reading, because I expected to really enjoy it. I was disappointed. Poe's painfully purple style and last-thr...more
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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 Essential Tales and Poems The Cask of Amontillado The Pit and the Pendulum

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“During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher. I know not how it was--but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit. I say insufferable; for the feeling was unrelieved by any of that half-pleasureable, because poetic, sentiment, with which the mind usually receives even the sternest natural images of the desolate or terrible. I looked upon the scene before me--upon the mere house, and the simple landscape features of the domain--upon the bleak walls--upon the vacant eye-like windows--upon a few rank sedges--and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees--with an utter depression of soul which I can compare to no earthly sensation more properly than to the after-dream of the reveller upon opium--the bitter lapse into everyday life--the hideous dropping off of the veil. There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart--an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime.” 17 likes
“[E]very plot, worth the name, must be elaborated to its dénouement before anything be attempted with the pen. It is only with the dénouement constantly in view that we can plot its indispensable air of consequence, or causation, by making the incidents, and especially the tone at all points tend to the development of the intention.” 6 likes
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