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The Best Short Stories of Edgar Allan Poe

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  3,213 Ratings  ·  90 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 Digireads (first published 1833)
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Sep 30, 2011 Hache rated it it was amazing
The original EMO ha ha
Jan 31, 2013 Haley rated it liked it
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
Apr 17, 2012 LauraJade marked it as to-read
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
Amanda Jane
Apr 15, 2015 Amanda Jane rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
I read all the stories in one night...What fun Mr.Poe and I have!
It is 2:45 am and time for me to turn out the light...I guess I will find out just how much fun it truly was or how frightening.
I have a feeling it will be the latter!
As long as I don't think about the cat I should survive the night.....fingers crossed!
Mar 23, 2015 Arcadia rated it liked it
Shelves: ibliterature
ummmmmmm, i guess i just got into the emo mood with the two last stories. the narrative lost me sometimes. i really really liked 'the tell-tale heart'.
review to be revised upon studying in class :)
Jan 23, 2014 Ron rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So, many, commas.
Douglas Fugate
Jul 17, 2015 Douglas Fugate rated it it was amazing
We all have our favorites.
Nalini Sharma
Dec 26, 2016 Nalini Sharma rated it really liked it
A short and satisfying read this was. With Poe's obsession with the subject of death, this never seemed dull. There is also a lot about premature burials. The characters are, let's just say, 'unusual'. Unlike some of the most memorable characters, who are dead, this book has a pulse.
Avishek Das
Jan 09, 2017 Avishek Das rated it really liked it
As usual it was short but not w=sweet...there is an amazing balance of pain & pleasure!
Jul 01, 2009 Erika rated it really liked it
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
Mar 23, 2015 Laurent rated it liked it
"The Best Short Stories of Edgar Allan Poe" is a fairly self-explanatorially titled compendium of the celebrated author's greatest works. Ranging from treasure hunts for buried pirate gold, to the brilliant, crime-resolving assertions of a Holmes-like Frenchman, to Poe's universally known tales of the macabre, this collection of short stories is horrifyingly riveting and alarmingly thought-provoking. Though I cannot, in earnest, begin to explain Poe's striking brilliance, his cleverly-devised pr ...more
Aug 11, 2014 Marina rated it liked it
Shelves: classics
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
Jul 13, 2013 James rated it it was amazing
The works of Edgar Allan Poe are every bit as enigmatic as their author. Poe’s talent for writing short stories is outstanding, but when you include his poetry you start to scratch the surface of the complexities of the man. A man that perhaps needed to always be on the edge of madness to write the stories he wrote. A contemporary of Dicken’s, though they never met the did exchange correspondence and gave praise to one another’s work publicly.

Poe still is and has for nearly 200 years, been the s
Oct 15, 2008 April rated it it was amazing
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
May 26, 2008 Danny rated it liked it
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
Oct 20, 2012 Yukino rated it liked it
- 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
Lynne Woodcock
May 25, 2009 Lynne Woodcock rated it really liked it
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
Feb 17, 2009 sastrapertala rated it liked it
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
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
Dec 02, 2008 Janice rated it it was amazing
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.
Feb 21, 2015 Bri rated it liked it
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.
Jul 26, 2008 Helen rated it really liked it
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!!)
Mar 05, 2009 Ashley rated it really liked it
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...
Jun 27, 2013 Kätlin rated it did not like it
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.
Jul 03, 2008 Nicole rated it really liked it
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.
Pam Sawyer
Aug 23, 2012 Pam Sawyer rated it it was amazing
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!!!
Jul 14, 2008 Mike rated it liked it
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.
Surbhi Tiwari
Jul 06, 2014 Surbhi Tiwari rated it it was ok
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 :)
Michelle Michelle
Jan 29, 2016 Michelle Michelle rated it really liked it
This book is very easy to read, it takes only one afternoon. Stories are short and memorable. My favourite ones are The Black cat, 'Thou Art the Man' and The Gold Bug :-) stories are original and detective ones are stories of suspense :-)
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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 hundreds of ...more
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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-pleasurable, 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 reveler upon opium—the bitter lapse into every-day 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. What was it—I paused to think—what was it that so unnerved me in the contemplation of the House of Usher? It was a mystery all insoluble; nor could I grapple with the shadowy fancies that crowded upon me as I pondered. I was forced to fall back upon the unsatisfactory conclusion that while, beyond doubt, there are combinations of very simple natural objects which have the power of thus affecting us, still the analysis of this power lies among considerations beyond our depth. It was possible, I reflected, that a mere different arrangement of the particulars of the scene, of the details of the picture, would be sufficient to modify, or perhaps to annihilate its capacity for sorrowful impression; and, acting upon this idea, I reined my horse to the precipitous brink of a black and lurid tarn that lay in unruffled luster by the dwelling, and gazed down—but with a shudder even more thrilling than before—upon the remodeled and inverted images of the gray sedge, and the ghastly tree stems, and the vacant and eye-like windows.” 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” 4 likes
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