The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym
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The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  1,563 ratings  ·  178 reviews
When Edgar Allan Poe’s only novella was first published in 1838, the reviews were slow in coming and dismissive when they arrived. The book’s failure left Poe in such dire financial straits that he even accepted a job at one of the magazines that had panned it. But The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket has since become one of his most influential works: Baudelair...more
Paperback, 294 pages
Published May 30th 2010 by Broadview Press (first published 1837)
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Richard
Dear The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym,

I love you. I hate you. You confuse me because you evoke within me such conflicting emotions. The truth? I really got into a relationship with you because I thought that you would be a straight-up maritime adventure novel a la "Master and Commander." I heard you inspired Herman Melville when he was writing Moby Dick. That's what I was looking for. What I got was... well, what are you, Arthur?

Here's the thing, Gordy: you were always good as an adventure n...more
Aramys
Le tengo que dar las cinco estrellas a Poe, pese a la jugada del final. El libro es una pasada, todas las partes, salvo la central con el capitán Guy, son sublimes, con una acción trepidante y una sensación de peligro siempre flotando en el ambiente, que hacen que no puedas dejar de leer. De verdad que he disfrutado como un niño bajo una sabana y una linterna leyendo este libro, imprescindible.
Keely
There is something in the reader in me that constantly drives to seek out the unusual and inexplicable. Authors who try to achieve this effect deliberately are always a bore, for the same reason that a man who wears a tophat as an affectation is always infinitely dull compared to the man who wears one unselfconsciously. Iconoclasm may owe its birth to the need for difference, but any iconoclast who fails to find a deeper inspiration is a rudderless rebel.

Difference is not, in itself, interesting...more
John
Surprisingly, this is Poe's most compulsively readable work, and I would have given it five stars, except for the lack of an ending, moments of sheer unbelievability, and the occasional ultra-boring chapter describing various animals or islands. As far as the ending goes, apparently Jules Verne wrote a sequel, so I will be able to have closure on the story eventually. This may not be one of Poe's most artistic works, but I found it to be his most suspenseful story, ironically despite its being a...more
Marts  (Thinker)
Jan 06, 2010 Marts (Thinker) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: All who enjoy Poe's writing and love classic adventure
Being a fan of Poe's tales, I decided to experience his only novel "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket" written in 1838.
In classic Poe style of course it was quite interesting and enjoyable, on many an occasion I felt I was actually with Pym experiencing the adventures. The tale is about the young Arthur Gordon Pym who stows away aboard a whaling ship called Grampus. Pym experiences a series of adventures including shipwreck, mutiny, and cannibalism. He is eventually rescued by the...more
Miquel Codony
La mayor parte del libro es absolutamente brutal y perfecta, imposible mejorarla. El tramo final, a pesar de ser apasionante, tiene algunos problemas de ritmo (malditos infodumps) que se notan aún más después de la maravilla (el horror, según se mire) que lo precede, y por eso le escatimo una estrella. He leído quejas del final. A mi me gusta lo enigmático que resulta... por más que maldiga a Poe por no seguir explicando las aventuras de Arthur...

Este libro es una joya.
Shannon
I read The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym for the first time when I was nine years old, after receiving a volume of the Complete Edgar Allen Poe as a gift. While I devoured the short stories and the poetry multiple times, this, Poe's only novel, was read by me once, and I'm not even able to remember if I finished it. I picked this up to read in preparation to read Mat Johnson's satire, Pym (excellent, 5 stars btw.) Man, did I ever hate this. It was so excruciating to read, whether by design (to...more
Kori Klinzing
I cannot believe that Jules Verne was inspired by this nonsense. I am very rarely tempted to put a book down before finishing this, but several times throughout the novel I just didn't know how I would go on. There were painful page-long descriptions on boats and sailing, which, as the main character wasn't really a professional sailor and seemed completely inept in the first bit of the story, seemed completely implausible, and only served to distract from the only good part of the novel: the ad...more
Ben Loory
a man is involved in a terrible boating accident and as a result conceives of a great desire to go to sea. this one of the strangest books i've ever read-- a nightmare in the form of an adventure novel, where life and death are consistently confused, everyone appears to be sleep-walking, and the author seems bored out of his feverish mind. it's got some great imagery and a fantastic ending... plenty of mystery... but no drama or tension. an aura of great meaning all the way through, though... yo...more
Jay Daze
Mr. Poe is definitely messing with us on this one. It just gets odder and odder: cannibalism (don't pick the short splinter), racism (an evil black cook and the treacherous natives), and gotta have some being buried alive (twice if you include being trapped below decks). Some of the aping of explorers journals gets tired and a couple of the chapters are just non-fiction essay (which may be trickily mucked up by Poe, but I don't have the heart to check them). He may be using the forms of adventur...more
Sarah
Not too bad. Just a bit confusing. The ending is very strange and blurry. I'm not too sure what Poe was trying to accomplish with this novel because it felt very unfinished. The adventure scenes were pretty exhilarating though. About 60% of it was fun to read.
Maria
O primeiro livro de Edgar Allan Poe que eu leio!
E para primeiro aqui está um que já ficou nos meus favoritos. Este livro é extremamente interessante, com um final surpreendente e nada, nada, esperado...completamente "surreal".

Este livro conta as aventuras de Gordon Pym, um jovem rapaz. O livro é contado por Pym, posteriormente à aventura que viveu no mar. Ou seja, a aventura começou no ano de 1827 e o relato é feito em 1838.

Neste relato, Pym conta como começou as suas aventuras. Fala da amiza...more
Stacia
Poe's only novel, this is a unique mix of seafaring adventures & misadventures (many to the point of horror), travel narrative/diary with the sort of flora/fauna/navigational notations that were popular on exploration trips of the day, fantastical locations/peoples/creatures, allegory, allusions, & a very strange, abrupt ending, all built on Poe's special scaffolding of creeping dread. Though I've read conflicting reviews on this book (& I agree that parts of it are uneven), there is...more
Patrick McCoy
I was inspired to read Edgar Allan Poe's lone novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym by Paul Theroux's description of it in The Old Patagonia Express. He called it the most frightening book he had ever read and later when he met Jorge Luis Borges in Argentina, Borges called it Poe's greatest work. I'm not sure I would go as far as either of those writers, but it was an entertaining read. It was chock full of disaster: mutiny, castaways, cannibalism, and murderous blood-thirsty natives. I reall...more
Ben
An adventure story. A work filled with all kinds of symbolism and allegory. An inspiration for writers like Melville (so many elements in this work are similar to Melville's Moby Dick -- the closeness of the sailors sharing the same bed, the whaling voyage, etc. -- and even "Benito Cereno" with its racist elements -- the villainous black cook and the barbarous dark-skinned natives) and Jules Verne. Several stories in one (the second, dealing with the perilous [mis]adventures on the whaling ship,...more
Oscar
Edgar Allan Poe fue uno de mis padres literarios. Junto a Arthur Conan Doyle y H.P. Lovecraft, hizo que empezase a amar la letra impresa. Este libro de Poe no me ha gustado nada. Tal vez sea por la malísima traducción. Tengo una edición tan mala que no aparece ni el nombre del traductor. No exagero, hay frases que parecen trabalenguas. Lo he terminado por orgullo y como homenaje al 200 aniversario del nacimiento de este genio indiscutible.

La trama es sencilla, un joven, Arthur, que junto a su am...more
Leah
As I was reading this book, I first thought I would give it two stars, then three, and finally four. It does not have the perfection of Poe's short stories, but it was a compelling read with moments of absolute brilliance. I was surprised by the humor in the book--leave it to Poe to make cannibalism funny and ironic. It is a gruesome book in parts, but it is also beautiful. The writing in the last chapter earned its 4th star. There is so much to say about this book,and it can be read on so many...more
Rex Snyder
Poe writes well & always has some interesting things in his stories. This one is too complex and not very direct. The ending is unusual and quite unique, but leaves one wondering if he had any original direction for it in the first place. In fact, the ending and the complexity leave me wondering if the whole story is just a rambling adventure with no end in sight. It is easy to see the influence this story had on H. P. Lovecraft's, At The Mountains of Madness. While this story is easy to rea...more
John
I loved this book for the first 1/4 or so, then I wearied of Poe's/Pym's encyclopedic detailing of ships and seas. Part of me wants to blame myself and my TV-induced short attention span. Part of me wants to blame Poe for writing three pages to describe something that could have been handled in a sentence or two.

I wanted Pym dead. Spoilers, I was very happy that the story remained unfinished due to the death of Pym. Nice touch, Poe. There are some interesting elements to the way in which Poe pre...more
Mariya
Интересна приключенска книга. Не мислех, че ще ми хареса, тъй като става въпрос за морски авантюри, но бях приятно изненадана.
Първата половина на книгата беше особено разтърсваща. Описват се случки, доста невъзможни (както е заявено и в самото начало), но така разказани, че просто си го представяш и не задаваш въпроси.
Втората половина не ми хареса толкова, тъй като имаше тегави описания на флора, фауна и разни експедиции. Самото развитие на случките също не ми беше много ясно (по-точно местополо...more
Judith
Flawed in several ways. Poe was wise to stick with poetry and short stories as his only novel is truly not up to his usual standards.
Leonard Pierce
Poe's longest sustained narrative, and it's a very very weird one -- a strange blend of Melville and Lovecraft.
Benja
One of my favorite works by Edgar A. as well as one of my favorite books ever. Never did I read anything near as haunting as this tale. A bizarre send-up of 19th century "exotic travel literature" that gets progressively weird and ominous with every page until it becomes downright apocalyptic by the end. And what an ending it is!

It seems people get torn between loving it or hating it. Myself? There's nothing inherently wrong with a "non-ending", if you can pull it right. Which I think Poe does w...more
Andrea
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
MB Taylor
On the bus ride home today I finished reading Edgar Allan Poe’s The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1838). I chose to read this primarily because two authors I enjoy, Jules Verne and H.P. Lovecraft, wrote sequels. It’s not a bad book. It starts pretty slow, but the story becomes quite interesting. However from my contemporary view point, the style of the writing goes to great lengths to hide this. (According the Wikipedia article of the work it is “One of Poe's least accessible work...more
Mark
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Luxor
Me ha parecido un libro extraño e inclasificable, pasa de la aventura al terror, del relato marinero a la divulgación científica. Alternando capítulos realmente terroríficos con otros realmente aburridos. Hay momentos escalofriantes como el del barco cargado de cadáveres o el capítulo en el que los protagonistas aceptan el canibalismo como modo de supervivencia, pero en cambio, en otros momentos, los interminables datos sobre las coordenadas del barco, la climatología y diversas cuestiones poco...more
Jason
A peculiar book, much of it feels derivative (although, admittedly, a somewhat unfair charge because some of it is derivative of more familiar books that were written later and themselves may have derived from this), much of it fails to hang together and the ending is completely abrupt. It features many of the standard nautical devices, a stowaway, a mutiny, a storm at sea, cannibalism, a shipwreck, a previously unknown island--all that plus a mysterious large white humanoid creature that is int...more
Annemarie Solon
In a nutshell: It's fine. Some classic creepy Poe moments, some fun ideas about the South Pole. A numbing litany of disasters fills most of the rest.

I came to this book in a round about way. It started with a review of another book, Mat Johnson's "Pym." "Pym" sounded intriguing on its own merits, but especially because it was related to this obscure work by Edgar Allan Poe. So I considered "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket" preparation for reading Johnson's book. I have also since...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 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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