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The Best Short Stories

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  2,660 ratings  ·  71 reviews
This volume contains a collection of some of the best short stories ever written by Edgar Allan Poe. A master of the macabre, Poe exhibits his literary prowess in these classic short stories. Contained within this volume are the following: The Gold-Bug, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Balloon-Hoax, The Purloined Letter, A Descent into the Maelstrom, The Black Cat, The F ...more
Paperback, 116 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by (first published 1833)
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Nine Stories by J.D. SalingerThe Complete Stories and Poems by Edgar Allan PoeA Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O'ConnorDubliners by James JoyceThe Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
Collections of Short Stories
9th out of 1,772 books — 1,368 voters
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt VonnegutThe Sound and the Fury by William FaulknerIf on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo CalvinoHouse of Leaves by Mark Z. DanielewskiUlysses by James Joyce
Style as Text
53rd out of 224 books — 77 voters

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May 29, 2013 Haley rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Haley by: Smith Prep
Edgar Allan Poe is definitely depressing. I was really interested in the quotes starting each story. Fortunately, I was able to translate some of it; however, it was pretty confusing, so I had to research the rest. In the end, I found that the quote before The Pit and the Pendulum says, “Here an unholy mob of torturers, with an unquenchable thirst for human blood, once fed their long frenzy. Our homeland is safe now, the baneful pit destroyed, and what was once a place of savage death is now a s ...more
I have to admit, I only read five of the ten short stories in this book, because I have no motivation to read the others anymore. I bet there is NO short story by Edgar Allan Poe that does not contain the word 'mad'. And very often I found myself thinking "What.Am.I.reading?". There are some parallels to the stories, like e.g. very often one of the characters goes mad or is believed to be mad, very often a riddle is somehow to be solved AND the reader gets a fully detailed explanation of this ri ...more
I didn't enjoy all of them but overall a pretty good collection. Poe is a great author. I'm glad I read this.

The Gold-Bug, (NOV 19/2009): An interesting story to begin with. It has great promise with an actual gold bug and this crazy lunatic looking for gold. But halfway through it pretty much just turns into an instruction booklet for deciphering codes.

The Murders in the Rue Morgue, (OCT 23/2009): This is my favourite by far. The manner in which the main character comes to his
May 07, 2012 LauraJade is currently reading it
The Gold-Bug - read 17th-18th April 2012

This is such an effortless, fluent, fantastically formed short story. A curious story about a hunt for treasure, and a code-breaking pirate map. Great detail has gone into the execution of the tale, and I have just read that it was the apparent inspiration of R. L. Stevenson's 'Treasure Island' which I had no idea about, but is easy to see why!

The Murders In The Rue Morgue read 7th May

'The first detective story'
Truly fascinating, this short story is clear
I haven't read Poe since junior high and so I decided to read his "best" short stories in keeping with my eerie October reads. Overall, I loved the collection. I was able to see just why Poe is such an icon. His work was chilling, but not graphic or scary enough to keep me, a total wuss, from reading it.

The Gold-Bug - *** stars, good introduction to Poe's work because only the very last lines were creepy.

The Murders in the Rue Morgue - ** stars, pretty gory, ridiculous plot. It did introduce me
part of me wanted this to be scarer, the other part realizes this is just what i was expecting.
After having experienced the most frightening experience of my life in a 'poe' themed promenade theatre evening in Battersea arts center i was determined to delve into the dark world of Edgar Allan Poe.
some of the stories seem to drag however, and i witness none of that trademark bone chilling tension that has made him so popular- perhaps it because of the wide varieties of themes he tackles and the ne
Surbhi Tiwari
I am not a create macabre genre fan ... But few of the stories are good like A descent into
The Maelstrõm ,The golden bug , The Tell-Tale heart ..The stories are dark with death in the content and background ...

But the remarkable experience is Poe's style :)
Paul V.
E.L Doctorow calls Poe the best bad writer ever, or words to that effect. I think what he wrote was haunting, and it gives me a chill just thinking back on some of his stories.
Again, I had to read this for a school assignment and I hated it. I liked the stories, but I just don't like the way Edgar Allan Poe writes. Quite frankly, it bores me to sleep.
Jun 21, 2010 Assmaa added it
This story is very interesting as is disscussed important,fruitul themes and topics.The Gothic style became popular during the Romantic time period.Edgar was a great example of authors who wrote gothic.We can see this style through the description of the mysterious setting and even characters.Poe heavily rely on symbolism through the house's sinking and the fissure or the cack which symbolize the madness and also the discussas Isaid many themes such as death, fear,madness,......All thes ...more
Lynn Harron
I could only read 'Fall of the House of Usher'
- Ladder series, L3
- Time= 68 mins
- 7-word summary: mother-dauhter-killed-Dupin-solved-murderer-orangutan
- Discussion questions
1. Can you recognize some languages when you just hear them?
Actually, I can recognize them a little bit. Languages have many characteristic sounds, and that makes some languages sound like themselves.
2. If you heard someone screaming and if it sounded like a crime, what would you do?
I would never go close to the problem because I would be afraid of watching something. Pr
Ady Wicaksono
good book, n good stories
Lynne Woodcock
I read the Oxford Classics Edgar Allen Poe's selected tales. It's a great collection with an ace cover. The stories contain beautiful, compelling language and there is a lovely sense of humour exhibited in Poe's love of madness, which is a recurring theme. My favourite so far is The Tell-Tale Heart, one of his best known short stories, a tale of a madman with an obsession with an old man's dodgy eye. For an example of Poe's beautiful language seek out The Fall of the House of Usher, an atmospher ...more
I bought this book not only because the cover is bright n beautiful (not this checkered boring look) but Poe is also known as a prominent horror author. Though at the time (2000) I only knew his name, not his works.. shame on me! :p

This is wonderfully written, gives you just enough creeps without going overboard, and leaves you with the chill that lasts for ever. One of my favourites is the Masque of the Red Death, when Death entered every room in the castle and casts its spell, that was just fa
Dec 02, 2008 Janice rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: drama buffs
Recommended to Janice by: Sister John Paul
Not a "beach read", but a "woodsy qiet alone read". No computors, phones or even the imagining of such devices to steal time away from his crafty work. Just a quiet stirring deep among beating pulses, waiting for the frantic scintillating transmission of nerves to jolt our imagination away from the cares of this world. Words, oh words of an overactive unstrung mind gone absolutely wild with visionary plots and schemes! Poe, poetic, immemorial, yet "mear man", until the end.
As far as I'm concerned he's the ultimate writer of "thriller" type stories. These scare me but not too much and they scare me more through anticipation than gruesome acts. Got hooked on him when I was in Junior High and have always like his stories. XM radio replays many of them on Saturdays (not during election years though when POTUS 08 takes over Sonic Theatre station on Saturdays!!!GRRRR!!)
What is important: Edgar Allan Poe has a unique writing style, fantastically descriptive and he's an overall good writer.

I just hate his short stories. Personally, they're too creepy and disgusting for me. I had to read them, because they were compulsory at my school and I didn't enjoy reading them at all.

But maybe horror and creepiness is for you.
I haven't read these in ages but I just loved them when I was young. I didn't know anything about Gothic literature at the time; I just knew that Poe's stories were deliciously creepy and I loved reading them late at night and spooking myself. The Tell-Tale heart stands out in my memory as one of my favorites.
The book I have is called Great Tales of Horror, by Poe, but they don't have that copy on here. I really enjoyed reading this. It was very... interesting. Some of the stories were a little wordy, and some were very concise. I did enjoy it though. Poe is definitely an interesting, and rather disturbing man...
I think these were good when written, and probably a good read for younger kids, but all these stories have been retold in so many different formats (book and film) that the endings were all obvious to me very early in each short story. Not as fun to read as I hoped.
Ashleigh Cartmill
I'd say 3.5 to this book. Some of it dragged for me, although that could be because it was a lot of Poe to read in a short space of time and his writing is very dense. But now when people talk about certain stories, I know exactly what they're talking about.
Glenda Thistle
Poe is a wordy little bugger. His unique style makes me want to wish for a conversation with him. My ancestry tree puts me in a cousin relationship... Which might explain these ocassional feelings of darkness... How glorious macabre can be!!!
Pam Sawyer
Poe suggests that writers begin crafting their tale by solidifying the ending. In so doing, the rest of the story can build up more anticipation by the reader. Well, he certainly does this as an author!!!
One Trick
He was ahead of his time like most inovaters, he was torn man. Perhaps the first "emo" out there.

I love the idea of Abigail lee. Sadly movie producers have stolen his concepts.
Absolutely delightful. I love reading old books especially, so this was a real treat. It includes many of the classics one would expect, as well as some I wasn't as familiar with.

I really enjoyed a couple of the stories and didn't like a couple of the stories at all. The stories weren't as quick of a read as I thought they'd be because of the dense writing.
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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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“Ah, Death, the spectre which sate at all feasts! How often, Monos, did we lose ourselves in speculations upon its nature! How mysteriously did it act as a check to human bliss - saying unto it "thus far, and no farther!” 5 likes
“Edgar Allan Poe was an American poet, short story writer, playwright, editor, critic, essayist and one of the leaders of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of the macabre and mystery, Poe was one of the early American practitioners of the short story and a progenitor of detective fiction and crime fiction. He is also credited with contributing to the emergent science fiction genre.Poe died at the age of 40. The cause of his death is undetermined and has been attributed to alcohol, drugs, cholera, rabies, suicide (although likely to be mistaken with his suicide attempt in the previous year), tuberculosis, heart disease, brain congestion and other agents. Source: Wikipedia” 3 likes
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