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Selected Tales

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  4,281 ratings  ·  51 reviews
In 'The Fall of the House of Usher' and 'The Black Cat' he wrote the first and best tales of terror; with 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue' and his fictional detective M. Dupin he invented the detective story; and tales such as 'MS. Found in a Bottle' and 'Von Kempelen and His Discovery' pioneered modern science-fiction.

As readers will discover, Poe possessed an unrivalled c
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Paperback, Penguin Popular Classics, 406 pages
Published June 28th 2007 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published 1895)
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Nikki
Oh, look, I can review this book from my computer. The ins and outs of this problem deeply, deeply confuse me...

Anyway, to actually review the book: the Penguin edition of selected tales of Edgar Allan Poe is an interesting one. His writing is interesting, reasonably absorbing most of the time, and it was quite good to read the forerunners of modern detective fiction in the form of 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue', and 'The Mystery of Marie Roget', though both of them got a little tiresome by the
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Laura
I know Edgar Allan Poe is credited with being a master of horror stories, pioneering the first real sci-fi tale, and inventing the detective genre; but does that really mean I have to like him?!
Firstly, good God he has an obsession with premature burial/entombment. A horror story isn't necessarily inventive if each one he writes involves some element of claustrophobic tomb and/or a question mark over death, madness, or the reliability of a narrator. Once or twice, then fine, wonderful, it's int
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Sharon Bolton
We’re supposed to love and revere Poe, we writers of scary tales, but I rather struggle to do it.

I had to read him again, just recently, because I was taking part in a discussion at the Danish crime fair, Krimimessen, in Horsens, on the subject of the macabre in crime fiction. Invariably, on such occasions, Poe will raise his ashen face. I dug out my old paperback copy and re-read a few of the tales: The Fall of the House of Usher, The Black Cat, the Masque of the Red Death, The Premature Buria
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Chris
It's hard to wrap your mind around in the 21st century, but in this one volume you can watch the drug and depression-addled mind of Edgar Allan Poe invent the horror story, the detective story, the genre of science fiction, and perhaps the cornerstone of English absurdist and manic fiction that blossomed out of the fresh corpse of post-war modernism. The real genesis of this could probably be attributed to Rabelais, whose obscene epic probably does much more than, say, the relatively terse Masqu ...more
Anna-Kathrin
E.A. Poe is for me, personally, one of the best writers of all times.
I love all of his work, it's perfect to me.

While this collection does of course not have all of his work, it features the most well known stories and is a good start for everyone who wants to get to know Poe's haunting tales.

But honestly:
If you love dark and morbid stories, get everything by him!


Isabel
And then my vision fell upon the seven tall candles upon the table. At first they wore the aspect of charity, and seemed white slender angels who would save me; but then, all at once, there came a most deadly nausea over my spirit, and I felt every fibre in my frame thrill as if I had touched the wire of a galvanic battery, while the angel forms became meaningless spectres, with heads of flame, and I saw that from them there would be no help. from "The Pit and the Pendulum"

This book includes so
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Irma
This took TOO. LONG. What to say? There were stories I loved, there were stories I liked and there were stories I thought 'what on Earth was THAT?' As, I guess, with any collection. Still, most of the stories I really liked and, well, it IS a classic.

A warning though, especially for those whose native language isn't English - the language can be quit difficult no matter how much or how long you've already been reading in English. Still, once you get used to it, it's quite fun discovering new (ol
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Lilith711
I really enjoyed "Selected Tales" by Edgar Allan Poe. All the stories were unique and interesting. None of the stories seem to be the same. The writing was really good and had good descriptions. I think one of the things Edgar Allan Poe did the best was fluency and thoughts. The thoughts he incorporated into most of the short stories were very expressive and long. Being that the stories were written in another time period, some concepts are hard to understand. But apart from that, I liked readin ...more
Ronaldo Quercia
Een beetje misleidend is het wel. Met een voorwoord van Jan Wolkers staat er voor op de bundel Verhalen van Edgar Allan Poe. Dat voorwoord blijkt echter het essay De bretels van Jupiter te zijn, verschenen in het NRC Handelsblad van 24 december 1987, in 1991 in de bundel Tarzan in Arles en in 2001 in de verzamelde essays De schuimspaan van de tijd. Niks nieuws onder de zon dus. Maar goed, ik las het nooit eerder, dus waar klaag ik over?

De bretels van Jupiter is een prachtige inleiding. In zijn t
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Eric
While I previously thought Poe only did randomly rhyming poems in story form, this was a pleasant read. Granted the 'horror' wasn't exactly horrifying, but that was part of Poe's charm. I particularly enjoyed the length to which Poe went to describe things, like the scenery and the characters, leading to an altogether interesting narrative.
Simon
It is somewhat noteworthy that despite taking an active interest in horror fiction, I have until earlier this year been a casual fan at best of Edgar Allan Poe. Part of this reason is that I've read very little literature from before World War 1 and even less before the Industrial Revolution, which in turn has several different reasons. The most obvious one is that with each of those paradigm shifts in human history, the lifestyles and modes of thinking that the writing is calibrated towards bec ...more
Anne
"I blush, I burn, I shudder, while I pen the damnable atrocity."

I bought this book more than four years ago, but it is only a few days ago that I decided to read it completely. Sure, I've read some of the stories, but only about five or so. I have always loved The Black Cat and The Tell-Tale Heart, the latter I read for at least five times. I will first present my individual ratings of the stories (the rating three stars for the book would be the average):

The Duc De L'Omelette
MS. Found in a Bot
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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.
Carla Krueger
What more can be said about this writer that hasn't already been said a million times over? Undisputed gothic horror genius. His dark, disturbing, beautiful ideas were, and still are, some of the best in the genre. If you've never tried reading Poe, where've you been?! The works are literary – nothing like a modern horror writer – but that makes them as good, if not even better. Chilling, mysterious, morbid, macabre, brilliant.
Clari
Mar 04, 2015 Clari marked it as to-read
Shelves: tbr-pile
The Duc De L'Omelette /5
MS. Found in a Bottle /5
The Assignation /5
Ligeia /5
How To Write a Blackwood Article /5
The Fall of the Rue Morgue /5
William Wilson /5
The Murders in the Rue Morgue /5
Luigi
E' stata una lettura un po' sofferta: alcuni racconti troppo pieni di descrizioni(il peggiore stato "The domain of Arnheim") che, forse anche per via della lettura in inglese, non mi hanno preso per niente; quelli di Dupin pure non mi hanno entusiasmato molto, forse per via del genere.
Quelli del terrore invece mi sono piaciuti, anche se, a parte "The masque of the Red Death", non mi hanno suggestionato come mi aspettavo, probabilmente un po' per la mediazione delle immagini provocata dal legger
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Hannah
i wanted to die because i didn't like it but i mean maybe he's not my style or whatever i just didnt like it but here are a few faves i did like and read and loved because they made sense to me or that it was narrated well or whatever...

the fall of the house of usher
the black cat
ligeia
william wilson
the murders in rue morgue
the oval portrait
the masque of the red death
the tell tale heart
the facts in case of M. valdemar

and those are my faves thoug i have read more than those stories the others i re
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Raiya Hashmi
Must read for horror and mystery fans. In some stories I even liked Edgar's detective more than Sherlock Holmes.
Maria
Classic, creepy, horror and amazingly written. What else does one need?
Marie Bouteille
I'd already read it but the thrill is still there. Poe's a great story-teller and with a little detail here and a little detail there, he manages to scare us to death. His stories are fascinating.
Cherie
Good for the middle school library
Oscar
A good selection of stories from a great writer. Poe is often thought of as being super Gothic and miserable, and he is great at that sort of thing, but this this collection does a good job of showing the wider abilities of Poe too. From humour ('How to Write a Blackwood Article'), to debatably the first detective stories (the 'Dupin' trilogy, all of which are in this), and even touches of science fiction. Poe is a great writer, and this is a great collection to dive into. There aren't much in t ...more
Hassan Chaudhry
Edgar Allan Poe as most of you should know was a poet who was not really know during his time. By the way this isn't the exact copy of the book of selected works but I could not find the one that I had read. Anyway the book contains some of his famous works like such as Annabel Lee and and the cask of amontillado. They are good but you should already know a lot of his work is quite depressing to read. So if depressing works of death and despair are not your thing, then the work of Edgar Allan Po ...more
Anna Schno
I enjoyed some of these stories very much. Other's had me lifting my eyebrow but kept me ging and the rest I did not finish because I couldn't get into them.
Overall this is a great mix and my reading might've turned out differently if I was more in the mind to read Poe. His stories are not for everyday I think and one has to be in the mood for his style and topics.
Maybe it's best not to read it consecutively but only when the mood strikes?
Manisha Giri
May 16, 2014 Manisha Giri is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, ditched
just started with the first story. Only if Mr. Poe was easy on French.... :/
Pat Tucker
He is still worth reading. I read The Cask of the Amontillado, The Fall of the House of Usher, the Purloined Letter.
Thomas Strömquist
For me, as for many horror fans, it starts with Poe. If you haven't read him, it's almost impossible to describe the almost hypnotic effect his stories exert when you immerse yourself in them; "House of Usher", "Masque of the Red Death", "Tell-Tale Heart", "Case of Amontillado"... I would probably name all collected here if I went on. Classic and indispensable.
Dominika
Mr. Poe ! You are truly my biggest bookish love !
Ola Allam
There's no doubt that Edgar Allan Poe is a master of short stories and horror tales. His style of writing, the way he describes the events, and his narrations makes it impossible for the reader to forget the details of the stories. I definitely recommend this book for anyone who's a fan of the Gothic literature, the supernatural, and the horror genre.
Craig
Good collection of tales, some better than others.
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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!” 6 likes
“In pace requiescat!” 5 likes
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