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The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Writings

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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  1,804 ratings  ·  77 reviews
This selection of Poe's critical writings, short fiction and poetry demonstrates an intense interest in aesthetic issues and the astonishing power and imagination with which he probed the darkest corners of the human mind. The Fall of the House of Usher describes the final hours of a family tormented by tragedy and the legacy of the past. In the Tell Tale Heart, a murderer ...more
Kindle Edition, 564 pages
Published March 27th 2003 by Penguin
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ben Winch
I wrote this review a while ago. What was I thinking? Now I'll have to explain myself. Anyway, here it is...
I go through phases where I think Poe was the greatest writer that ever lived. They usually pass in 2-3 weeks or so, once I've had time to read and re-read his best stuff and be appalled by his worst. For the most part, this collection sticks to the best. There's not much of it. 200 pages would probably do it. Maybe 12 stories, some poems ('The Raven', 'Annabel Lee'). But page for page I d
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Adam
I feel like saying something along the lines of: "more fiction writers should read Poe." But I suspect that plenty of the shittiest writers around count Poe as a favourite. So what's the deal? In any case, much of this stuff is just perfect. And you know it. If you don't, you haven't read Poe, or have questionable taste.

The finest?
Ligeia
The Fall of the House of Usher
The Pit and the Pendulum
The Tell-Tale Heart
The Black Cat
The Cask of Amontillado
Ben Siems
"From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were — I have not seen
As others saw — I could not bring
My passions from a common spring ... "
—Edgar Allan Poe, "Alone"

I wonder what percentage of those who cheer for the Baltimore Ravens football team realize that they are supporting the only major North American sports franchise whose name is derived from a a great work of literature. I'm guessing it would be pretty low.

Reading this book, which I did some time ago, gave me a lasting appreciation f
...more
Rachel
Reading this whole book really expanded my conception of Poe. First of all, the introduction was interesting in that it downplayed the things you usually hear about Poe (married his young cousin, was an alcoholic, etc).

As for the guts of the book went, I have to say I suffered through most of the poetry, but the tales were great. Who knew that Poe basically invented the detective story? His are great! And the "Gold Bug" is such a fun story. (I remember reading it as a kid, though I didn't remem
...more
Tracey
oh my goodness just read the pit and the pendulum it is truely frightening. Loved it one of the best psychological tales I have ever read. WOW 5 stars from me for this story alone.
A brilliant introduction to Poe .
There were lots of stories and poems in here that I admit to using my hi lighter pen on and that is not something I do regularly.
The Raven is a personal favorite of mine and The Pit and the Pendulum again Wow but there is much more to be enjoyed from this master of the macabre..
Edward
Chronology
Introduction
Further Reading
A Note on the Text


Poems

--Stanzas
--Sonnet - To Science
--Al Aaraaf
--Romance
--To Helen
--Israfel
--The City in the Sea
--The Sleeper
--Lenore
--The Valley of Unrest
--The Raven
--Ulalume
--For Annie
--A Valentine
--Annabel Lee
--The Bells
--Eldorado

Tales

--MS. Found in a Bottle
--Ligeia
--The Man that was Used Up
--The Fall of the House of Usher
--William Wilson
--The Man of the Crowd
--The Murders in the Rue Morgue
--A Descent into the Maelström
--Eleonora
--The Oval Portrait
--T
...more
Carol
First, let me say that I'm terrified by scary movies or stories -- blame it on my childhood! But secondly, I'm amazed by "The Fall of the House of Usher." Poe's writing is amazing. Coming upon the House, "with an utter depression of soul which I can compare to no earthly sensation more properly than to the everyday life." OR "There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart-- an unredeemed dreariness of thoughts which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime ...more
Brina
Edgar Allan Poe - jeder kennt ihn, viele mögen ihn und ich habe ihn bislang immer gemieden. Nachdem ich mich letzten Monat an "Ligeia" gewagt habe, wollte ich nun auch "Der Untergang des Hauses Usher" eine Chance geben. Es hat sich definitiv gelohnt!

Die Geschichte beginnt recht düster und melancholisch. Edgar Allen Poe hat es geschafft, dass das Buch im Laufe der Zeit diese Stimmung nicht verliert und hat sie sogar noch einmal gesteigert. Durch die sehr detaillierte Beschreibung des Hauses Usher
...more
Nereyda
Sep 22, 2007 Nereyda rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Romance by Edgar Allan Poe.

Romance, who loves to nod and sing,
With drowsy head and folded wing,
Among the green leaves as they shake
Far down within some shadowy lake,
To me a painted paroquet
Hath been- a most familiar bird-
Taught me my alphabet to say-
To lisp my very earliest word
While in the wild wood I did lie,
A child- with a most knowing eye.

Of late, eternal Condor years
So shake the very Heaven on high
With tumult as they thunder by,
I have no time for idle cares
Through gazing on the unquiet sky.
...more
Michael Kelly
Poe's prose reads like his poetry, and that's about the best praise I can give. His writing is lyrical, fantastical, strange and evocative. It's like weird music and this, as much as *what* he writes, accounts for much of his effectiveness.

All of his most famous tales are in here, the highlight for me being 'Murders in the Rue Morgue'. The best of his poetry is here too. The last section of the book consists of a collection of reviews and articles, which I confess I didn't read as it was the fic
...more
Florencia Brino
I don't like these kind of genres, that much. But Poe is a beautiful exception. He's brilliant at creating weird atmospheres, although sometimes it seems those descriptions are too long, with women dying all over the place. However, it's not difficult to get into the stories and feel real emotion.
I really liked William Wilson, I liked Ms. Found in a Bottle, The Oval Portrait, the art of losing a wife by gaining a painting. Ligeia, I don't quite get it yet. That one and others are creepily ok.
De
...more
Kevin
Old Poe really didnt like encroaching science at the time he was living in (1830/40's). Sonnet To Science is quite revealing; he saw science as slowly destroying age old ideas and myths...

'Why preyest thou thus upon the poets heart,
Vulture, whose wings are dull realities?'


Not only that, but how about:

'Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood,
The Elfin from the green grass, and from me
The Summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?'


Not much more to say. He is right of course.
...more
Fatima
i don't like this book because it don't have alot of details.it will be better if they ztick to one story and finish it.i recooened this book to the people who like scary stories.it will be also good if you read it at halloween.after i read this book i couldn't sleep.
Alondra
2 Stars... meh.

The only thing saving this particular edition, was The Pit and the Pendulum and the Black Cat. Nice and creepy, with some crazy thrown on top.

The downside, was the full length novella of Narrative of A Gordan Pym. Utterly boring.

Daniela
This is the perfect way to show the powerfulness of Poe's writings. He was a mad author, and in these stories, you can also know the scary part of the human character.
HonokaAndo
1.level 3
2. June 30: 30min July 1:70min
3.death,scarly,ill, murder,house, strange,dangerous
4.a)A man heared from Usher. Usher is his old friend.Usher wrote a letter to ask him come and see .Usher was very sick...
b) I scared the scene when Usher's sister died and they consigned her body to the grave. But three days later she showed up in front of them suddenly .
5. I regretted reading this book. Because I don't like dreadful stories.There are five stories in this book. I want to go to bed after li
...more
James Ferrett
"...with an utter depression of soul which I can compare to no earthly sensation more properly than to the after-dream of the reveller upon opium--the bitter lapse into everyday life--the hideous dropping off of the veil."

A book of stories this well known shouldn't manage to have twist endings this unsettling. Poe knew how to unnerve in a short time, and these stories are a great example of how short fiction but be just as powerful as novels.

Some of the best and most surprising horror I've ever
...more
Ariana
This gets 3 stars only because of Poe's mastery of writing. I can't comment on the poetry because I'm not educated in that area, and I can't comment on the essays because they didn't interest me in the slightest so I skimmed through them, but the stories themselves weren't particularly enjoyable. There were a few here and there that held me in, but aside from the writing they weren't good enough to merit a high rating from me.

Poe's writing style and voice is impressive and I wish I were able to
...more
D.M.
Well, that was a long, hard slog through a broad range of fiction, but it's finally over. And with it, I'm proud to say, I've completed my stack of classic fiction from the Great Writers Library! Thenk yew, thenk yew.
This book is probably the first time I've read Poe since high school (aside from occasionally running into The Raven). I saved it until last in this stack of books I've been reading, because I expected to really enjoy it. I was disappointed. Poe's painfully purple style and last-thr
...more
Wendle
My overall impression was that Poe is a rambler. In most of the stories, he spends a lot of (in my opinion, necessary,) time setting the scene before launching into the story.

The stories in which Poe ‘got on with it’ and didn’t waste pages detailing useless descriptions, i found the most enjoyable—unsurprisingly. It was when i read ‘William Wilson’ (the fifth story in the book) that i was suddenly hooked. Suddenly i didn’t feel like i was forcing myself to keep reading. Suddenly the pages were f
...more
Amber Harrison
Dec 11, 2014 Amber Harrison rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of the Gothic
Shelves: ok, dark, hard-going
First I shall have to admit that although I read all the poems and the prose, I did not however read all of the essays as I fancied some lighter reading. I will however, go back to them at some point though not in the immediate future. I also felt that reading essays about thing’s I hadn’t read or seen of whatever would not be very useful as I would have no idea what they were talking about (or perhaps I’m just lazy).


The first thing I noticed while reading, was that his style of writing just l
...more
Dan
I only really read this for the tales, the short stories. I wrote a few lines about each tale: ...

Ms. Found in a Bottle : A great story about a man caught in a shipwreck. Fantastic imagery of a man beyond his limits.

Ligea: The narrator tells of his love for a woman called Ligea and his devastation over her death. He gets married again and the new wife also dies but is then re-born as Ligea. Bit of a WTF moment and nobody is really sure what Poe was trying to do with this story. The heartbreak i
...more
Emanuela
I had an old selection of Poe's masterpieces, but this present edition is a wider collection of his works. I have already read almost everything presented in this volume, both during high school, university and even later on in my life.
I adore Poe because he is one of the few writers who is really able to scare the hell out of me in just three or four words.
The Tell-Tale Heart and were the first two stories of Poe's I've read (I was about 12 back then)and the memory of the fright and goosebumps
...more
Nocturnal
Edgar Allan Poe is amazing. Having read "The Pit and the Pendulum" after someone recommended it to me, I decided to buy this book and am thoroughly enjoying it.

His poems don't really come to much, except of course for "The Raven", which is a classic and so well-known you don't need me to tell you about it.

The tales are full of his speciality - suspense - in a way that often leaves you breathless. Their length is perfect for their content - any longer and you'd be going out of your mind. I often
...more
Jana
3.5*

I enjoyed it most of the time. Some tales and poems I liked more than others. I just found some of the essays rather dense and boring, but that might be because I haven't read the works they were about. The general essays were quite interesting though (like those on music or imagination).
Godzilla
A book that has been put together wonderfully well. There is an expansive introduction which gives great insights into Poe's life and the nature of his works.

Then into the poems, the only one of which I already knew was The Raven. Some worked well for me, others were to verbose and unwieldy.

The short stories are the central part, and to me, the kernel of the book. Poe takes you into some dark, leads you along closed room mysteries and into some weird places.

To cap the book off, there are some of
...more
Bica Daian
Metzengerstein 4 stars
Ms. Found in a Bottle 3 stars
Shadow - A Parable 5 stars
Silence - A Fable 3 stars
Ligeia - 5 stars
The Fall of the House of Usher - 5 stars
The Murders in the Rue Mourge - 3.5 stars
A Descent into the Mealstorm - 3 stars
The Oval Portrait - 4 stars
The Masque of the Red Death - 4 stars
The Mystery of Marie Roget - 3 stars
The Pit and the Pendulum - 3 stars
The Gold Bug - 5 stars
The Black Cat - 4 stars
The Premature Burial - 3 stars
The Oblong Box - 3.5 stars
The Thousand-and-Second Tale
...more
Nate
poe is a really excellent writer and more varied than i thought he would be. i really enjoyed the detective fiction and the seafaring stuff in addition to the horror. i have two of these books which mostly overlap but one has two stories the other doesnt. stories i read include:

the balloon haox
ms. found in a bottle
a descent into the maelstrom
the murders in the rue morgue
the purloined letter
the black cat
the fall of the house of usher
the pit and the pendulum
the masque of the red death
the cask of a
...more
#Gigi-chan
Muy interesante! Aunque los policiales me aburrieron un poco, los de terror estuvieron fabulosos, adore el final de "The Maelström"
Irini
Amazing!!
I loved his poetry, but what took me by surprise is how much I enjoyed reading his stort stories.
My favourites are "Ligeia" and "The Man That Was Used Up", powerful stuff. Creepy and majestic :)

Magic
Ghosts
Dead Zones..

Go read some Poe people !!!

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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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