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The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Tales

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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  51,559 ratings  ·  237 reviews
The celebrated master of the macabre, Edgar Allan Poe brought his nightmare imaginings to life in his classic stories told in his signature dark and vibrant style. This volume gathers together fourteen of his richest and most influential tales, including: “The Pit and the Pendulum,” his reimagining of Inquisition tortures; “The Tell-Tale Heart,” an exploration of a murdere ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published October 3rd 2006 by Signet (first published January 1st 1960)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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 establ
...more
Joseph
The opening sequence right away sets-up the mood of the story – “the soundlessness of the autumn day, low-hanging clouds, dreariness of the countryside, waning of the day, the melancholy house itself.” The descriptions are so amazing of the inside of the Usher House which intensifies the impression of gloom and decay given by the outside. Such symbolism too! The way that Roderick’s studio is reached “through many dark and intricate passages” suggest that access to his mind is hidden and convolut ...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
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
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.
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
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
Siyoung Yoo
Thrilling, lots of suspense. Well described and well written, loved it.
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
Katy
I wish I could rate the individual stories. Some I loved others not so much. It was fun to revisit these at Halloween.
Lola
I actually do like Edgar Allan Poe. His stories are interesting and dark, and they also pose intriguing psychological and moral questions. Poe's work is a welcomed break from Thoreau's long droning paragraphs and Whitman's self-important poetry. Still, The Fall of the House of Usher is probably my least favorite Poe story. It's long and wordy, lacking the interesting psychology of The Tell Tale Heart and The Black Cat or the vindictive revenge in The Cask of Amontillado. What I like about Poe i ...more
Josie
I just adore Poe's writing style and could read it all day.
Mike
second novel ever read....Mr Graffia's follow up to the success of The Hobbit during first half of 7th grade at St. Gen's on the northwest side. the price on the cover of my original Signet Classic copy is 60c. and it's pretty beat up, but still serviceable.

Poe is outstanding....pretty heady stuff for tween in the early 70's!

ironically, the raven is not among the stories of this collection, which prohibits the use of stock nevermore quips.

the tell-tale heart, certainly a classic, one of my fave
...more
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
Germano Dalcielo
Un grande, superbo scandagliatore dell'animo umano e dei recessi più sordidi della mente. Racconti legati tra loro da fili conduttori "cari" (amaramente cari) alla vita e all'anima stessa di Poe - come l'ossessione di essere sepolto vivo, la Bellezza della donna inevitabilmente destinata a sfiorire vittima della malattia, l'istinto puro e atavico del male, del sadismo gongolante, della vendetta fine a se stessa - e sicuramente permeati di una visione allucinata e onirica, che non si può far a me ...more
Eugenia
4.5/5 estrellas: Me encantooooooooooooooooo :D (SIN SPOILERS)
La caída de la casa de Usher es un libro más bien corto, que se lee en un abrir y cerrar de ojos, pero que en sus pocas páginas logra crear una ambientación lúgubre y melancólica. Sin duda ha sido un muy buen cuento y claramente quiero explicar porque.
La historia va sobre un hombre que va a visitar a su amigo de la infancia a pedido de él. Hablamos del Señor Usher, que junto a su hermana viven en una gran mansión, que al apenas verl
...more
Ahmed
Even after reading almost all of his work you still can't predict what is going to happen next.Edgar Allan Poe is a genius in horror books. What I like about this tale and many other Poe's tales is the big unexpected twist at the end of the each tale

Edgar goes to this house of Usher to help his old friend........the house is gloomy......Fredireck Usher has a sister.......she is sick.......... he is mentally sick as we have told in the tale....... later on his sister dies or they (Fredrick and Po
...more
Liz
In The Fall of the House of Usher, we know that the narrator receives a letter from an intimate childhood friend, Roderick Usher. Roderick writes that he is emotionally and physically ill ushering the narrator to visit. During his travel the narrator informs us of the singular incestuous nature of the Usher family. Only one member has survived from generation to generation. Once inside the narrator discovers Roderick has a sister and when they temporarily bury her he sees that she is his twin! T ...more
Steven
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bri
This book swept me away to this other wonderful world. The setting was brilliantly set. I could totally see it in my mind. But the characters were definitely my favorite part. They are all so colorful, interesting, exciting, and hilarious. The main character is just perfect. The plot moved fast enough that I couldn't stop reading lest I miss something, but the author still took the time to flesh out the details. The details are what really make or break a story.
Katsumi
The Fall of the House of Usher was a dark, morbid, and absolutely creepy short story. It's a tale about a visit to the decaying House of Usher, a house haunted by the Ushers' past evil. In the end, their evil past ultimately becomes to great for the house to hold. Of course some might not agree with me; the story is up to a good deal of interpetation. The story emphasizes the gloomy, foreboding, atmosphere with great detail that never becomes too tiresome. The suspense was excellant. At the clim ...more
Jacqueline Patricks
Poe, what I can say? The original American Gothic master of horror. My favorite story of his being The Tell Tale Heart, which I read as a teen. I'll never forget the climatic scene of the MC (view spoiler) as the police watched in confusion and horror.

As I look back on my reading history, I realize I've been fascinated with human psychology long before I truly understood what it was and how it influenced my writing.

Tha
...more
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  • The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories
  • The Turn of the Screw and The Aspern Papers
  • A Modest Proposal and Other Satirical Works
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Tales of Terror
  • Young Goodman Brown and Other Short Stories
  • In a Glass Darkly
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Graphic Novel)
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  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories
  • An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
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  • The House on the Borderland
  • Collected Ghost Stories
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 Raven

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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.” 25 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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