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Selected Tales

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  5,946 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
?In his stories of mystery and imagination Poe created a world-record for the English language: perhaps for all languages.?
--George Bernard Shaw
Read throughout the world, admired by writers as different as Dostoevsky and H.G. Wells, translated by Baudelaire, Edgar Allan Poe has become a legendary figure, representing the artist as obsessed outcast and romantic failure. Hi
Paperback, 436 pages
Published July 30th 2009 by Library of America (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
Aug 30, 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
May 14, 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
Aug 01, 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
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 (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
Tarik Lahyany
Jun 06, 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!
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
Jul 31, 2012 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
Jan 23, 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
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
Dec 09, 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.
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
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
Aug 10, 2016 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 anythi
"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
Feb 21, 2015 Bri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aastha Malhotra
Jan 04, 2016 Aastha Malhotra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were some stories I enjoyed considerably more than the others, some were far too detailed and with not much of a story, which was a bummer. It's still one of my favourite books and a very refreshing read! Poe has always been one of my favourite poets but has won me over for his prose as well. My favourites were The Black Cat, The Oval Portrait and Ligeia. I know I'm definitely going to come back to this book very often.
Very overrated writer, even considering the time aspect. The Inspector Dupin tales are about the only ones worth reading, and are actually better than Sherlock Holmes tales (because Arthur Conan Doyle didn't do his research most of the time). Some stories like the one about some ghost ship (?) don't even make sense.
Jan 25, 2016 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
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
Mar 04, 2015 Clari marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 09, 2016 Eiko rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great collection of short stories. Some are suspenseful, others thrilling and creepy, and some are just plain funny. Greatly enjoyed this, it made me understand why Poe is so popular.
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 legger
Jun 21, 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
Sep 14, 2015 Mie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-study-books
I have only read two - The Tell-Tale Heart and Ligeia - but I am excited to read the rest. I especially enjoyed The Tell-Tale Heart
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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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