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The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket

3.51  ·  Rating Details ·  4,724 Ratings  ·  448 Reviews
Edgar Allan Poe's only long fiction has provoked intense scholarly discussions about its meaning since its first publication. The novel relates the adventures of Pym after he stows away on a whaling ship, where he endures starvation, encounters with cannibals, a whirlpool, and finally a journey to an Antarctic sea. It draws on the conventions of travel writing and science ...more
Paperback, 294 pages
Published July 15th 2010 by Broadview Press (first published 1838)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Richard
Jan 27, 2011 Richard rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
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
Sr3yas
Jun 13, 2017 Sr3yas rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poe's only novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket is not your average 19th-century adventure tale like those of Jules Verne or Robert Louis Stevenson. Instead, it's a type of tale which acts as a forefather for many tales to come and it's a hell of a weird ride.

The narrative introduces Augustus and our narrator, Arthur Gordon Pym. The first chapter tells a drunken adventure of these two boys. Not sure why that chapter is there, but it's there.

The next couple of chapters tells on
...more
Paul
Nov 20, 2016 Paul rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-novels
1.5 stars
This is Poe’s only novel; published in 1838. I haven’t read any Poe for many years, having read some of his poetry and his short stories in my teens. This is an odd novel. Arthur Gordon Pym and his friend Augustus are teenagers in search of adventure. Augustus’s father is a sea captain. A voyage is in the offing and Augustus contrives to enable Pym to stow away. A series of adventures ensues; each more farfetched than the previous. There is a bloody mutiny, followed by a shipwreck with
...more
Matt

I read this in the German translation by Arno Schmidt in preparation of Schmidt’s Zettel’s Traum, which deals with E.A.Poe.

I already read this book decades ago (in another translation) and liked it quite a bit. This “new” one though was quite another experience–a good one! If you know Arno Schmidt you also know about his rather unusual way of punctuation. In this book he uses it too, especially in the first part. I guess the usage of the equal=sign instead of the hyphen, the & instead of “un
...more
Fernando
Jun 10, 2015 Fernando rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
En este libro, su única novela, Poe intentó volcar absolutamente todos sus conocimientos y recursos literarios pero falló. El libro, tal vez por su extensión, no logra mantener el suspense de sus cuentos, más allá de las vicisitudes a las que está sometido el narrador.
El mismo Poe nunca quedó conforme con el resultado final. Será por eso tal vez que siempre se focalizó en escribir cuentos. De todos modos, el libro suscitó el interés de dos grandes de la literatura: Julio Verne, quien dijo que "
...more
Edward Lorn
Jan 17, 2017 Edward Lorn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Some authors were never meant to be novelists. Some authors are meant to write short stories and some authors are poets.

In The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, Poe's (thankfully) only full-length novel, we witness the struggles of an author looking to branch out into long form and having no fucking clue what he is doing. You can see a beautifully-wretched and bleak novelette or novella in here, but Poe overstays his welcome by about 50 pages.

Even Poe considered this novel "silly". Y
...more
Brian
Sep 15, 2016 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shipwrecks! Cannibalism! Wiley natives!

This is a quintessential ripping yarn, a page turner of the most classic kind - a book that inspired Melville and caused Auden to gush. It's Poe's only novel, and perhaps given his master of the short form it's best that he only gave us one to savor. And that ending! I wish I hadn't read the appendix; the end to the main narrative was so shocking and unexpected, so good.

Yes, yes, there are those long passages about rookeries and longitudinal markings, but
...more
mark monday
an unusually restrained Edgar Allan Poe strips away his more poetic tendencies as well as his luscious prose in this Narrative, his only novel. the result is an "adventure" that is grim, Grim, GRIM... and so ends up feeling much like Poe after all, despite the shift in style.

a feckless youth decides to follow his heart and his sailor friend by stowing away on a whaling ship. sounds like a recipe for an exciting voyage full of adventure, bromance, mind-opening experiences and perhaps a little Com
...more
Azumi
Jan 13, 2017 Azumi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Lo he grabado dentro de las colinas, y mi venganza,
sobre el polvo dentro de la roca"


Historia terrorífica, macabra, agobiante, angustiosa. El protagonista Arthur pasa una calamidad detrás de otra, sin casi un momento de respiro y te llegas a preguntar como es posible que conserve la cordura. La escena que más me ha impactado ha sido la del (view spoiler) Sencillamente espeluznante…

En la parte central del libro hay un cambio de ritm
...more
Alex
Pym is a great delirious fever nightmare of a novel, barely a novel at all, influencing everything from Moby-Dick to Lovecraft. It shares with Treasure Island an archetypal feel: when Poe describes being lost at sea and debating cannibalism, you think, "So this is where my brain got that image from."

It's fairly insane, as books go. There's Poe's usual fascination with being buried alive, and as thrilling a description of vertigo as I've ever read. He seems to have had no particular structure in
...more
Nancy Oakes
Read in April.

for plot, etc. you can go here ; otherwise, as usual, read on.

Since the first time I read this book some years ago, I've done a lot of reading about it and I've discovered that even Poe scholars can't agree on what to make of it. Dana D. Nelson in her The Word in Black and White: Reading "Race" in American Literature, 1638-1867 notes that

"Readings of Pym range widely, from psychoanalytic exploration to social satire, from self-referential commentary on writing (or reading) to a m
...more
Vivian
Apr 05, 2016 Vivian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, dnf
DNF 65%

Pulling the plug on this. I love Poe, or rather, I love his short stories. He just doesn't translate well into full length novels, too much repetition and descriptive exposition to keep interest. This worked out better for me as a sleep aid than a tale.
"The body from which it had been taken, resting as it did upon the rope, had been easily swayed to and from by the exertions of the carnivorous bird , and it was this motion which had at first impressed us with the belief of its being ali
...more
Thomas Strömquist
OK, OK, I picked it, but I shouldn't carry all the guilt! For my and Edward's first buddy read of the year, I really felt for a classic and, due to our unusually late-in-the-month start, we had decided on one not overly long. So those were the constraints - or so I thought. My research into all and every one of my ingenious choices ended with Edward's detailed review of the book. So, he deserves some of the blame for deliberately narrowing the possible choices by reading so many books.

So there.
...more
Anna
Feb 26, 2016 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
βιβλίο που εκδόθηκε το 1838 και γίνονται μέσα... της Παναγιάς τα μάτια!!!! Λαμπρό μυαλό ο Πόε, σε συνδυασμό με τα βιβλία του Lovecraft νομίζω ότι θα αποτελούν έμπνευση για paranormal thrillers εις τους αιώνες των αιώνων!!!!!

Αξεπέραστο, μοναδικό, ευκολοδιάβαστο, θα σας σοκάρει όσο λίγα, πολύ ανώτερο από το νησί των θησαυρών ή τις περιπέτειες του Ιουλίου Βερν, θα το σύγκρινα μόνο με τα Βουνά της Τρέλας. Ειλικρινά απορώ πώς γίνεται να μην έχουμε δει κανένα από τα δυο αριστουργήματα ακόμα στο σινεμ
...more
J.G. 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
Mary-jane
To tell the truth I expected something better from the first novel of my favourite horror stories author.Unfortunately,it failed to creep me,it triggered my disgust instead.However,there was some moments which sended shivers to the spine.
If you truly want to be introduced to Poe's work read his short stories.If you won't be stunned,at least you will be pleasantly surprised!!!
Jim
For the first two-thirds of this, the only novel written by Edgar Allan Poe,, we have an interesting, but not entirely atypical, sea voyage complete with a stowaway (the narrator), a mutiny, a tale of survival on the open sea, and a rescue. It is only when the rescuing vessel goes farther south than any other vessel has gone before that The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket becomes a Poe creation.

Pym describes the notion below a certain Antarctic latitude as becoming warmer rather tha
...more
John
Feb 27, 2011 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
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
Nick
Jun 27, 2015 Nick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rebellious, enigmatic teen Arthur Gordon Pym is a stowaway aboard his friend's father's whaling vessel. His friend, Augustus, hides him in storage, bringing him food and drink until the ship is far enough from port that Pym can show his face and the captain will have no choice but to make him part of the crew. All's going according to plan, when (record scratch) there's a mutiny which results in the death of everyone aboard except Augustus, the hidden Pym, and the mutineers. One of the mutineers ...more
Cherch
Sep 10, 2015 Cherch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Borges decía que esta era la obra cumbre de Poe. Me inclino a pensar que los cuentos reunidos en 'Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque' son superiores, pero carajo, lo que Poe hace con esta historia, que se antoja como una reelaboración a profundidad de su célebre cuento 'MS Found in a Bottle', es absolutamente maravilloso.

Cargada de virtuosismo narrativo, y atmosférica como los más grandes cuentos de Poe, las aventuras (desgracias) marítimas de Arthur Gordon Pym no sólo poseen un dinamismo prec
...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
poingu
Well, this novel is un-star-able.

It's also exactly what you would expect were you to imagine Edgar Allan Poe writing the story of a sea voyage. Things go badly. I recommend that you read this novel, even though I can't exactly recommend the novel. You will have an opinion. You will ask yourself deep questions, like: "where did the dog come from?" and "where did the dog get to?" And you will be amazed at how every sentence sounds remarkably like something Poe would write. Pick any sentence at ra
...more
Miquel Codony
Mar 09, 2012 Miquel Codony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Marie
Dec 20, 2015 Marie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I already knew how the book will end because I had a commentary and an essay on that book and Allan Poe.
The reading was pleasant and surprising and I think it was also very racist, no?
The writing makes a lot of thing confused but that's why Edgar Allan Poe was so good at!
Quirkyreader
Feb 18, 2016 Quirkyreader rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a very descriptive story. I will admit though at times I felt like I was reading Herman Melville stories. The companion stories that were chosen to go along with the main narrative fit rather well.
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
Marts  (Thinker)
Oct 11, 2008 Marts (Thinker) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All who enjoy Poe's writing and love classic adventure
Shelves: classics
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
Franco  Santos
Soy aficionado a las obras de Poe, pero, lamentablemente, tengo que decir que este libro se me hizo insoportable. Demasiado pesado: un tedio total. No obstante, tiene un buen final: es lo que más me gustó. Y también alguna que otra cosa de la mitad.
Lau
Apr 06, 2012 Lau rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Creo que esta es la única novela (o relato largo) de Poe.

Me gustó, es atrapante e intrigante. A veces se extiende demasiado con información cartográfica pero aún así eso no le resta al argumento.
Las aventuras y desventuras de Arthur Gordon Pym son terribles y el final es inquietante.
Nathan
Sep 25, 2016 Nathan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: x2016-september
3.5 stars. Parts of it were a little slow, but there were some very tense scenes too. I thought with this being a nautical tale it wouldn't be gory. I was wrong.
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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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