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The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  180,383 ratings  ·  910 reviews
Edgar Allan Poe remains the unsurpassed master of works of mystery and madness in this outstanding collection of Poe's prose and poetry are sixteen of his finest tales, including "The Tell-Tale Heart", "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", "The Fall of the House of Usher," "The Pit and the Pendulum," "William Wilson," "The Black Cat," "The Cask of Amontillado," and "Eleonora". ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 448 pages
Published September 28th 2004 by Bantam Classics (first published 1843)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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K.D. Absolutely
My first time to read and finish a collection by Edgar Allan Poe and I was just blown away. This was one of my two Halloween reads this year and it made my long Halloween weekend truly worth remembering.

Here are my reactions to each of the 32 writings included in the book by Edgar Allan Poe.

STORIES
1) The Tell-Tale Heart. 3 STARS
Quite scary. The narrator murders his or her (there is no pronoun used) master who has a "vulture-like" eyes. The narrator admits the crime at the beginning of his n
...more
Nicholas Armstrong
You know, I'm pretty sure most people like this (and Poe) for the kind of creepy slightly Gothic effect, but I think that is a very superficial and silly way to read it. The beating of the heart has absolutely nothing to do with redemption, nothing to do with guilt or anything, it has to do with the futility of existence. Read the story again and think of the mentions of heartbeat and pulse and think of the unreliability of the narrator.

It's not the pulse of the man he kills and it isn't the be
...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
I've read this story, not the whole book. In my opinion, this is a masterpiece of suspense, and a powerful story about how a person's guilt will betray them in the end. I love the way Poe builds up the tension slowly but surely until the end, with a careful use of narrative. I believe this is the story that made me a Poe fan.
Eyehavenofilter
Poor Edgar, always so sad, but he sure can write a terrifying story. I wonder if it was the drugs he was on, of if this state of mind made him turn to the drugs. Either way he was a master of the macabre, and he always caught your attention.
I think this is where my fascination with this type of literature began.
No one wrote like Poe. No one left you hanging, literally, walled in, literally,and figuratively, like Poe. He could tap into our basest fear, anger and regret.make victims, beg for mer
...more
Chris
A collection of work by the illustrious deviant with the charming monogram E.A.P.

Let me begin by trying to be helpful for anyone out there looking to pick up a copy of Poe’s work: do NOT settle for this edition, for a few more bucks you can get the Complete Poe (several available editions). If you’d rather settle for this half-assed collection and a KFC Meal Deal instead of Poe’s unabridged output, be my guest, odds are I’ll be the guy behind you in line getting the Extra Spicy Chicken Sandwich
...more
Prashant
"No, no, don't fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. You should have seen me."

I read this one story after hearing a lot of appreciation for it. Lately I have been reading Edgar Allan Poe's one work at a time and my gosh!, the genius keeps on getting better.

Here he tells a story of a young person(gender is not mentioned) who kills an old man in a cold and calculated manner. The way in which the story is told is simply magical. I could not peel my eyes away even for a moment. There is a new emotion
...more
Amanda L
Never have I encountered such uncanny description of acute insanity from the inside out. [Case in point, the opening lines: "TRUE! nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why WILL you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How then am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily, how calmly, I can tell you th ...more
Ricks Eric
Once a reader understands Poe's obsession with trying to evoke the sublime (uncontrolable emotion, such as horror or love) in his writing, a reader of a Tell-tale will see how masterfully Poe evokes these emotions. The art in Poe's writing is how deeply he connects inevitable emotion of the human experience to the meaning of words through the pacing and rhythm of his writing.

This short story is a must read. If once can let go of there attachments to the world around them and be swept into the em
...more
Yasmine Alfouzan
One of my favorite childhood books.
Yes, I had one weird childhood.
Brucie!
VERY creepy! We were forced to read it in English... AHH!!!
Signe
Oct 23, 2011 Signe added it
The narrator of The Tell Tale Heart practically admits that he’s a madman, but he says that he’s wiser than a madman, trying to use this reasoning to prove that he isn’t. He brags so often that he’s not mad that we can’t help but wonder if maybe he’s actually aware of the fact that he’s mad. He denies that he’s mad before the thought even crosses our minds! In fact, his constant denial of being mad only makes us suspect his madness even more. His reasoning behind his belief that he is not mad is ...more
Phyllis
I absolutely love this short story, it does things to me as most of Poe's works seem to, to strike something exciting inside my mind. I think this is one of the better known of Poe's works, something like The Raven or The Pit and the Pendulum. Poe does a very good job of making you invested in the characters and the plot in a very short amount of time, as always, and gets your heart rising at the apex, which quickly falls to a satisfying insanity.
The man from whose perspective the story is told
...more
Sara
I have read this for the 3rd time and finished 10/08/12.

Very good! I like Poe. This collection wasn't the best, though. For example, I wish Hop Frog was in it. I like that short story. I like Marie Roget, too, but I can see the editing of that from this book since we have two detective stories already.

The last story I finished in this book was The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym. Aside from the racism in the story (and Poe is now dead and he wrote in the 1800's, so nothing can now be done about t
...more
Frank
Having not read Poe since high school, I figured that I would read a collection of his works. Boy did some of them bring back memories.
I must say that Poe holds up for me these years later. What I really noticed this go around was the depth of Poe's writing ability to go deep in the mind's inner recesses.
Many say that he is also the father of the English language detective (Murders in the Rue Morgue) story, which I tend to agree with dating before Wilkie Collins' Woman in White and The Moonston
...more
Angela Wallace
Another author whom I had the great pleasure to discover, while at University. Edgar Allan Poe's stories are so dark, but impossible to put down. He cleverly weaves his tales, and leaves his readers in a state of disbelief.
Colleen Houck
I listened to this story on a record in high school as an actor read it in a creepy voice and I screamed when he described the heart beating under the floorboards. I wasn't the only one either. Fantastic story.
Leola
"Fear of being buried alive is the fear of being placed in a grave while still alive as a result of being incorrectly pronounced dead. The abnormal, psychopathological version of this fear is referred to as taphophobia (from Greek τάφος - taphos, "grave, tomb" and φόβος - phobos, "fear"), which is translated as "fear of graves".

Before the advent of modern medicine, the fear was not entirely irrational. Throughout history, there have been numerous cases of people being buried alive by accident. I
...more
Kara Collins
Even though this is one of Poe's shortest stories, it is nevertheless a profound and, at times, ambiguous investigation of a man's paranoia. The story gains its intensity by the manner in which it portrays how the narrator stalks his victim — as though he were a beast of prey; yet, at the same time, elevated by human intelligence to a higher level of human endeavor, Poe's "murderer" is created into a type of grotesque anomaly. In a sense, the narrator is worse than a beast; only a human being co ...more
Selina
I would like to give Edgar Allan Poe due respect for his writings. They are remarkable and quite unlike any others. That being said, once you have read one story, you have basically read them all. Of course, a few stand out - I will always love The Raven. A great, eery read during October - I added some extra fun and brought out my old Allan Parson's Project CD dedicated to Poe, "Tales of Mystery and Imagination." The duo made a perfect Halloween backdrop.
Bree Garcia
The Tell-Tale Heart was always one of those stories that stuck out to me because of the absolute guilt that the narrator felt. Sadly, it always made me think twice before pulling a prank on my brother or doing something else I shouldn't have been doing. I guess I was a dark kid!
Marta Acosta
When I was in high school, I was obsessed with this story. I'm afraid I still quote it with dramatic gestures.
John Yelverton
This book will keep you on the edge of your seat and hook you from the first sentence until the very last.
Pegah Espantman
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
The old man's eye is blue with a "film" or "veil" covering it. This could be a medical condition, like a corneal ulcer, but symbolically it means that the characters have issues with their "inner vision"
Setting
We don't know where the narrator is while he's telling the story of the old man's murder.The "ideal" bedroom is supposed to be a fairly private place where we can rest and recuperate without fear. The narrator completely violates the sanctity of the bedroom in t
...more
Earl Grey Tea
I picked up this book to get some exposure to literature beyond my time period. I do have to say that the range of writings by Poe was quite extensive. By comparison to modern standards, the “horrors” that he wrote about were not so greatly intense to me, though a few lines here or there could be a tad gruesome.

For educational purposes, I have to say that this book quite interesting and I was able to come away felling a bit more cultured. It was nice to discuss some of his stories with some lear
...more
Scott Reighard
There is no denying that Poe is a fascinating, if not disturbed individual. The morbid approach to the macabre gives Poe his place in literary lore, and I neither love nor hate the man's writings.

Poe is considered an American Romantic, and compared to other American Romantics, or British Romantics, I feel as though Poe is somewhat misplaced. Many will disagree, I am sure, but he is just too dark for me. Almost nothing he writes celebrates life; all is in death. Yes, he exhibits some attributes
...more
Ensiform
"The Cask Of Amontillado.” A man takes cold, calculated revenge on a noble whom he perceives has insults him, walling the poor guy up in a catacomb. Very creepy, especially the part where he echoes the noble’s screams. [read three times]

"The Tell-Tale Heart.” A elderly man with a cloudy eye is murdered by (presumably) his caretaker. This reading really brought home how bat-shit insane the murderer is: he takes a full hour to put his head in the door. The themes of guilt and paranoia run deep her
...more
MI-A
I know I like something when I got scared, excited, thrilled or intimidated by it. The tell-tale heart was one of those book that made me questioned my own sanity, which made it the book I love.
I have a pet peeves, or habit, whatever, that my room needs to be as dark and as quiet as humanly possible for me to get to sleep. I hate the ticking sound of the clock. When I was little I would climb up on a ladder in thr middle of the night just to get the clock and yank the batteries out of it so it
...more
James
The madness of the narrator is evident from the moment he claims that he is not mad. "The Tell-Tale Heart" is an economical tale only four pages in length; yet it packs a lot of emotion into its small size. He claims that his own calmness is proof he is not mad when moments later he refers to a court case where calmness was evidence of madness. The clarity of the prose is striking, and just as he claims he is not mad the narrator also claims the old man did nothing to cause him to kill him. He h ...more
Mandabearrr3
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Moataz Muhammad
I'm gonna talk about the story that's so close to me, it's THE TELL TALE HEART. It's a short story about pure insanity.. Some guy who lives with an old man, they live happily and they treat each other good. The old man is so nice to him. But what bothers the guy is the old man's eye. It's blue with a grey film. He feels so exposed and naked in front of this eye. So, out of total insanity of course, he resigns to killing the old man. But the guilt of the act, though so hidden under the thick grey ...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 Complete Stories and Poems The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Tales Essential Tales and Poems The Cask of Amontillado The Raven

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“Now this is the point. You fancy me a mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded...” 357 likes
“True, nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am, but why will say that I am mad?! The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute.” 172 likes
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