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Selected Tales

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  6,053 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
This critical edition selects 24 of Poe's tales and places the most popular ones alongside less well-known travel narratives, metaphysical essays and political satires.
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1956)
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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
Jul 29, 2010 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Tasniem Sami
Feb 07, 2016 Tasniem Sami rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
أجواء غريبة وشخصيات غريبة وطريقة سرد أغرب ، بس اللي أنا فعلاً حاسة اني عايزة اتكلم فيه هو طريقة السرد؛ في جملة كدة علي لسان شخصية من الشخصيات بتقول لشخصية تانية " أعذرني علي الثرثرة غير المقصودة ، ولكني احتاج الكلام حتي تعرف ما يجول في نفسي " تبدو الجملة عادية للوهلة الاولي ، لكن طريقة سرد بو بتغير معني الجملة او أثرها بمعني أصح- مقارنة بالسياق ؛ الشخصيات فعلاً محتاجة الكلام ... ثرثرة كثيرة وقد تنتهي للاشئ .. في الحقيقة مش لاقية حاجة تُشبه هذه الطريقة من الكلام غير مشهد من فيلم لبيلا تار .. أحد ...more
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
Janez Hočevar
Edgar Allan Poe is the undisputable master of horror/terror/gothic genre. He goes to unsurpassable lenghts of describing the human psyche, of what a man is capable to do to another person. In addition, he knows how to create a gloomy atmosphere that suits his tales!! The only thing I disliked was his verbosity, his pseudo-sophistry and his language, which was sometimes really trying and exasperating. I thorougly enjoyed this volume, with the exception of the last two tales, namely "The Domain of ...more
Isabel (kittiwake)
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
Jul 21, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
As expected, this was a great collection of stories. My personal favorite has to be 'The Pit and the Pendulum', which is by far the scariest story of the bunch. Other ones I loved: 'The Man of the Crowd', 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue' (despite the rather silly denouement), 'The Masque of the Red Death', 'The Tell-Tale Heart', 'The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether' and 'Hop-Frog'. The only story I genuinely didn't like because I had no idea what it was doing there, was 'The Domain of ...more
I knew I would enjoy this, but even so I was surprised at how readable the stories were. I preferred the tales with a supernatural twist to the ones with more logical conclusions - 'William Wilson', 'The Fall of the House of Usher' and 'The Masque of the Red Death' (despite its brevity) were among my favourites, but I lost interest in 'The Murder of Marie Rôget' halfway through and was disappointed when 'The Gold-Bug' had a rational outcome rather than ending with a paranormal flourish. Great to ...more
Jan 01, 2013 Lilith711 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 7th-grade
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
Sep 05, 2011 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
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.
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!

Karen Book-Vixen
Feb 01, 2017 Karen Book-Vixen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gothic-novels
Edger Allan Poe photo: Edgar Allan Poe EdgarAllanPoe_Iwasneverreallyinsane_zps9b738e83.gif

I found these stories very dark and sometimes very depression, some of the stories highlight are fear of death and also shows a beauty within it, but like everything that pass we have decay that follows.
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
This took me a long while to finish it, but despite that I have really enjoyed it.

This wasn't my first time reading Poe, but it was the first time I read so many tales penned by him in the same book. Although this is my second time reading him in English, before I had only read shortened versions for students, so I'm glad I could experience the whole extent not only of his work, but also of his style.

Of course, I have liked some stories more than others:
-The Assignation had an air of mystery an
Dec 10, 2016 Mel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to enjoy these stories - be chilled by them - but I just didn't. I even found myself questioning why the Spanish Inquisition (The Pit & the Pendulum) would want someone to die out of the public gaze, rather than at an Auto da Fe.

Apologies to all Poe fans...
Jun 25, 2011 Irma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Tarik Lahyany
May 23, 2016 Tarik Lahyany rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
not interesting at all! style is dense, always mysterious to that flow over events by narrating, narration in turn isn't tractable. Too classic, dumb characters, doesn't feel the easiness of mysterious tales, but too overworking to be accessed. The life of characters isn't spotted at the exact timing of dialogues. Didn't enjoy it!
Salomé McSmith
My top 5 from this collection would be:
1. William Wilson
2. The Tell-Tale Heart
3. The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether
4. The Man of the Crowd
The Black Cat
"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
Sep 28, 2014 AJ rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys Alfred Hitchcock
Recommended to AJ by: No one
ISBN: 0-7862-4282-5 (hc)

As the title suggests, this is an accumulation of different Pie stories. I didn't read them all, but I'll review those I read.

"The Tell-Tale Heart," pp226-235 (read: 12/8/12)
Review to come

"The Cask of Amontillado," pp363-374 (read: 12/9/12)
Review to come

"The Murders in Rue Morgue," pp108-169 (read: 2/20/13)
Book Summary—A gruesome double murder’s committed in Paris, and the police are stumped. It sounds as if it’s committed by two men: one a Frenchman, the other anyth
Mar 30, 2014 Ronald rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: iron-maiden
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
Poe is one of those authors you sort of have to read, especially if you like horror, sci-fi and/or detective stories. This collection contains his most well-known work, including familiar tales such as Tell-Tale Heart and Fall of the House of Usher. All of the stories collected here are worth a read, though personally in some places I found it dragging just a little and struggled to focus, though that was also partly due to the very small text and reading first thing in the morning on the train. ...more
Oct 18, 2014 Patricia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, classic
I found this CD set at the library and thought it might be a good choice for October. I didn't really like the narrator, though, and I think it impaired my enjoyment of Poe's stories, as well. Even The Raven, which is a fantastic poem, did not come across as such when performed by this narrator. While Murders in the Rue Morgue and The Purloined Letter are great examples of early detective fiction, read aloud, Dupin's detailed descriptions of the ingenuity he uses to solve the crimes are extremel ...more
Jul 09, 2014 Celia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
For me Edgar Allan Poe is a writer who is interesting more for his effect on other writers rather than a pleasure to read in his own right. His language is old fashioned and hard too understand; I say this and I like many Victorian writers.

In this collection, I enjoyed five of his stories. "The Purloined Letter: and "Murders in the Rue Morgue" are interesting because they are the first modern detective stories and it is very apparent that these stories influenced Sir Conon Doyle the author of th
May 23, 2010 Hannah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
❂ Jennifer
Dec 28, 2015 ❂ Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, mystery
I bought this book with the sole intent of reading only the mystery stories, as I was interested in experiences Conan Doyle's inspiration for Holmes for myself. I enjoyed them all, and it's obvious that Homes is indeed based on Dupin, although Dupin does love the sound of his own voice and I still prefer Homes.

Review of Murders in the Rue Morgue:

Review of The Gold Bug:

Review of Mystery of Marie Rogêt: http://jenn.
Feb 03, 2013 Luigi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 legg
Jeff Hobbs
Read so far:

MS. Found in a Bottle--1
The Man That Was Used up--
The Fall of the House of Usher--3
William Wilson--3
The Man of the Crowd--
The Murders in the Rue Morgue--3
The Masque of the Red Death--3
The Pit and the Pendulum--2
The Mystery of Marie Roget--3
The Tell Tale Heart--3
The Gold Bug--4
The Black Cat--4
The Cask of Amontillado--4
A Tale of the Ragged Mountains--
The Purloined Letter--4
The System of Doctor Tarr & Professor Fether--
The Imp of the Perverse--
Oct 31, 2013 Oscar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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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“In pace requiescat!” 7 likes
“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!” 7 likes
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