The Poe Shadow
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The Poe Shadow

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3.09 of 5 stars 3.09  ·  rating details  ·  5,301 ratings  ·  747 reviews
2006 Random House HB, 1st edition, 1st printing. Matthew Pearl (The Dante Club) novel. An Edgar A. Poe admirer searches for the answer to Poe's strange death. Literary history mixed with innovative mystery.
Hardcover, 367 pages
Published May 23rd 2006 by Random House (first published January 1st 2006)
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Brooke
Matthew Pearl's The Poe Shadow is the first book I've read in a while that I did not like at all. The premise is interesting; a contemporary of Edgar Allen Poe attempts to discover what happened in the final days before the poet's death. Pearl had written the moderately entertaining The Dante Club prior to this, and I had expected to see the improvement that often comes with an author's sophomore effort. Instead, Pearl only manages to serve up a snooze-fest.

To begin with, Quentin Clark is the mo...more
Gina
Jun 09, 2008 Gina rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Poe obsessives
While this was an interesting subject & the mystery surrounding Poe's death was written well, I HATED the lead character. He was whiney, obsessive and at times down right stupid. He's one of those guys with book smarts, but is dumb as a box of rocks when it comes to real life.

He is obsessive to the point of loosing everything he is/has, his career, fortune, home, finance, friends...the only thing that keeps him from absolutely loosing everything is due to friends coming to his aid at the en...more
Catherine Bracy
Sep 06, 2007 Catherine Bracy added it
Recommends it for: no one
I enjoyed Dante Club (I like historical fiction) and so was looking forward to reading The Poe Shadow--I even bought it in hardcover, which is rare for me. Well, it was terrible. Quite possibly the worst book I've ever read. It was totally unclear to me what was going on--was he crazy or was all this stuff really happening to him? I was hoping it would be brilliantly explained at the end so I kept trudging along even though it was beyond tedious. There was no payoff in the end. It was so bad tha...more
Rose
Although I appreciate novels as good literature and occasionally forces of social change ("Uncle Tom's Cabin" is a good example, as it strengthened the abolitionist movement), I don't normally read them, as I find truth to be more fascinating than fiction.

"The Poe Shadow" is set in antebellum America. The protagonist, a young attorney, risks life and limb to unravel the mystery of Edgar Allan Poe's death, and enlists the aid of a French detective, supposedly the prototype for Poe literary sleut...more
Jen
Nov 13, 2013 Jen rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: fiction
I think I actively disliked this book.

The more I think of it, the more I dislike. I read his book about Dante, and didn't hate, but wow I disliked this one.

First off, I know a lot about Poe. Helps that I was a docent (fancy word for tour guide) at the Richmond Poe Museum. So, yeah, I got your Poe right here.

The whole plot didn't make sense. Oh my god, I hated the main character who was pretty much a 19th century stalker. Poe should have gotten a restraining order on this guy. So when Poe dies, t...more
Leo C.
El autor estructura la novela en cinco partes o libros como él los llama según va avanzando la investigación. Se desarrolla en dos escenarios distintos; Baltimore(la mayor parte) y París.
Comienza en Baltimore, el 8 de Octubre de 1849, fecha del entierro de Poe. El protagonista, un joven abogado llamado Quentin Clark lo presencia por casualidad. Sin saber de quién se trata, de repente, le invade una inexplicable tristeza al ver la pobre sepultura que está recibiendo. Cuando se entera por los peri...more
James
It seems that I am outnumbered here in the reviews. I really enjoyed this book a lot.

Many readers are commenting that The Poe Shadow is not as good as The Dante Club. Sure, a serial killer on the loose in Boston is compelling stuff. Graphic murder and mayhem trumps an intellectual mystery in Baltimore. While reading The Poe Shadow, I tried to avoid comparing the two works, as each deserves recognition on its own terms.

Popular sentiment is that Quentin Clark, the protagonist, is quite a knob. H...more
Ed Mestre
My rating should actually be taken as 3.5 stars.

This is the 2nd book involving Edgar Allan Poe I've read in the past year. The other being "The Beautiful Cigar Girl" a work of non fiction & this being historical fiction. It takes place in mid 19th century Baltimore at the time of Poe's death which the press has leaped upon as an object lesson of the evils of drink. A young lawyer & admirer of Poe becomes incensed at this slander & sets out to make the record straight, but his obsess...more
Tama Wise
I have to agree with a lot of the reviews here. I read and absolutely loved the Dante Club, so when I heard there was a new book from the same author, I snatched it up. The premise was tantalizing, what really happened to Edgar Alan Poe in his final days?

I got about halfway through this book, and eventually decided to throw it in. Where Dante Club moved with all the pace and movement of a well plotted film, the Poe Shadow was boring from the start. I do agree. The main characters not likable in...more
Katherine
The real redeeming this about this book is that at the end (in the historical notes) you find out that the main character's conclusions about Poe might really be true. That made the book a million times more interesting... and yet I still think it only gets two stars. The main character is a bit too irritating, and not in any sort of loveable or identifiable way. You get sick of him, which makes it hard to keep reading the otherwise interesting story about Poe's death. If you're interest in Poe,...more
Jenny
I am being a little generous with four stars, but three seemed stingy. I very much liked the premise of this book, and Pearl has a nice knack for literary mystery and period details. Perhaps I was hoping for more about Poe himself, or perhaps I hold all literary mysteries up to "Possession" (which is hardly fair). I would recommend this and look forward to "The Last Dickens".
Natasha GJ Nanny Nakia
Reseñado en mi blog Nanny Books

Todo lo que lleva el nombre de Poe (uno de mis autores favoritos) inmediatamente me llama la atención. En este caso, La sombra de Poe de Matthew Pearl, libro que me regalaron totalmente de sorpresa (pasé varias veces frente a él diciendo "mirá que lindo", para que el mensaje cayera en el inconsciente y saliera en el momento oportuno), me ha gustado mucho y no fue para nada lo que esperaba (positivamente).
La muerte de Poe obsesionará a Quentin, nuestro protagonista,...more
Sam
This is a superb historical thriller based on the real events and characters surrounding Edgar Poe's death in Baltimore in 1849. Pearl recreates 19th century Baltimore and Paris in the literary style of the time and draws the reader into a very Poe-esque tale of mystery and intrigue. Although the characters do come across reserved and controlled without much emotion it must be remembered that in the mid 19th century that is how people were, everything was very formal with etiquette still very mu...more
Fanda Kutubuku
Akhirnyaaa... aku selesai melahap buku 'sexy' setebal hampir 800 ini...
Genre detektif memang kesukaanku. Kalau ditambah dengan unsur sejarah, lebih menantang lagi. Apalagi sejarah itu tentang seorang yg punya nama nesar di dunia kesusasteraan dunia: Edgar Allan Poe.

Hampir semua unsur di buku ini adalah fakta sejarah. Penulisnya, Matthew Pearl hanya merangkai berbagai fakta, data, opini dari berbagai sumber untuk membentuk sebuah penalaran yang masuk akal. Yang bukan fakta adalah tokoh2 sentraln...more
Kristen Carannante
This is the second book I have read by this author. The first was The Dante Club, an excellent murder mystery where, using clues from passages of Dante's Inferno, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes and James Russell Lowell solve a series of murders in the Boston area. In real life, Longfellow translated The Divine Comedy into English, and Pearl used Longfellow's expertise to great effect in the novel, so much so that I ended up reading The Inferno.

The Poe Shadow attempts to answer...more
Cait Spivey
This book was a huge disappointment. The plot--a young 19th century attorney investigates the mysterious death of Edgar Allan Poe--seemed promising, but was not nearly as interesting as I'd hoped. I attribute this to two failings: failure to create likeable characters, and failure to adhere to the adage "brevity is the soul of wit."

On the first count: the protagonist, Quentin Clark, is childish and insipid. He's an irritating hero, but what's worse is that he isn't a hero who moves the plot for...more
Michiyo 'jia' Fujiwara
Aku belum pernah satu kalipun membaca karya-karya Edgar Allan Poe..dan ketika aku mendapatkan buku ini, dengan harga yang amat istimewa pastinya..disebuah pameran buku beberapa bulan yang lalu..kisah yang dilatar belakangi mystery-thriller dan sedikit (banyak) unsur selidik menyelidiki.. waah seneng dong!! Ini kan termasuk salah satu genre favoritku..buku hampir setebal 800-an halaman..yang terbagi didalamnya menjadi; Buku I (8 Oktober 1849), Buku II (Paris), Buku III (Baltimore 1851)..Buku IV...more
Tracey, librarian on strike
I loved The Dante Club (reviewed in July). It was intelligent, and pure geeky fun, and I had a lovely time picking my way among the corpses in 19th century Boston. So I jumped at the chance to take The Poe Shadow on paperbackswap.com.

I should preface this by admitting I haven't read much Poe. I have a couple of collections; I've just ... never gotten around to it. But I'm familiar with his most famous poems, I knew who C. Auguste Dupin was, and I knew a little about Poe's life and reputation - a...more
Linda
I liked this book. I listened to the audio version of the book and perhaps the good narrator, who was very good with the voices and added drama where it was needed, had a lot to do with my enjoyment. Maybe, maybe not. It was a little slow at times and there were a couple of bad points in the recording, where it just went haywire.

I read a number of reviews here and I agree with them that the protagonist, Quentin Clark, was a bit hard to like. He was annoying, whiny, and excitable and I thought he...more
Lou
Despite all the bad reviews that this book had, I decided to read it and give it a chance. I was really really excited to read something about life -in this case, death- of Poe.
I started reading with many expectations and at first I thought it was interesting, but then ... The main character, even though history says that is not about him at all, never stops talking about himself, his life, his feelings, how good it is, etc.. and that's pretty tired and makes you hate the character, and I ask......more
Christia
“Wouldn’t you wish to protect something you knew to be great that everyone else sought to desecrate? Wouldn’t you wish to be a part of changing something, even if it meant changing yourself?"

Quentin Clark is a disillusioned attorney living in Baltimore. Although successful in his profession and on the verge of marrying his lifelong sweetheart, after accidentally stumbling upon the very strange and hurried funeral for his literary idol, Edgar Allan Poe, he is willing to sacrifice everything and e...more
Bookmarks Magazine

Matthew Pearl's best-selling The Dante Club (2003) successfully meshed history, literature, and mystery. Though he tries to duplicate this formula and honor a great American writer, The Poe Shadow fails to garner similar interest. First, Pearl's attempt to echo 19th-century prose is fusty and verbose. Second, Clark, though he has his eccentricities, is rather "poor company" (Wall Street Journal). Third, while the subplots offer intrigue, they rarely advance the plot and never attain the macabre

...more
indri
ahh... buku misteri yang penuh teka teki..
tempo awal yang lambat
si penyelidik, pengacara quentin clark yang berpapasan dengan pengangkut jenazah poe
kematian yang tidak sewajarnya
penyelidikan di tengah cintanya pada hattie blum
mencari ahli analis ke paris
menemukan satu auguste duponte
ditemukan oleh baron dupin

tempo yang mulai cepat
duponte dan dupin saling bersaing mendapatkan fakta
adu kuat penyelidikan misteri
, siapa yang lebih pintar? atau lebih cerdik? akan lebih termahsyur?
saling curi informas...more
Tassie
I had to struggle to finish this. It's a poor attempt at a Dan Brown-esque book, with twists and turns that have zero place in the story. I love Poe, and I love a good mystery. This, however, is the second book I've read by Pearl, and it will be the last.
Emma
I agree with several other reviewers that the last part of the book is just a bore. I am not a mystery novel reader, so maybe it is common to constantly recap the previous events, but I found this irritating. I struggled to finish the book. The book does detail real and new facts about the death of Edgar Allen Poe and even uses quotes from newspaper articles from the time. Those who are huge Poe fans may find this fascinating. At the end of the book, however, there a historical notes section tha...more
Teresa
I honestly don't think I can finish this book. Which is disappointing because I really like "The Dante Club" so I had high hopes for this one.

What is the problem? Motivation. As in - what is the character's motivation for doing what he does? Seemingly there is none. I would describe it as such; Quentin is a man who only wants a blue M&M, however he lives in a world where there ARE NO blue M&M's. So he just runs around and screams erratically at strangers to make them believe there's a b...more
Slmcmahon
The Poe Shadow, by Matthew Pearl, explores the mystery of the last days of Edgar Allan Poe, poet and writer of some renown. At the time of his death, Poe was well known for his reviews and literary criticisms printed in various magazines. His poetry and fiction writing was much misunderstood by contemporary readers. He struggled to find and establish a means to support his writing and lift him out of the near and dire poverty he had lived with for many years.

His last venture was the founding of...more
Lois
I should have just read more by Poe himself, and skipped this one. I've read other disappointing books that used Poe as a centerpiece to the story, and this one falls right in with them for me. Its set right after Poe's mysterious death, and the main character, a fan, practically devotes his life to finding out the details of Poe's death and trying to restore his reputation as a writer. That was as far as I got, because it was just too unrealistic. He is living and breathing with nothing else in...more
Jim Vaden
Not as interesting as The Dante Club, but still a fair read. Pearl's "hero" definitely grows into the role; at first he is pictured as an erratic almost buffoon-like character, but he evolves into a commanding presence whose principles are tested through personal loss and professional trials (literally!). I enjoy historical fiction, but this lacked a compelling mystery to be solved, though Pearl does offer interesting insight into Poe's last few days.
Carolina
Se recomienda leer antes "Los crimenes de la calle Morgue" porque este libro tiene spoilers de la trama y tambien,dudo que entiendan quien es Dupin sin haberlo leído.

El libro comenzó muy bien,me identificaba bastante con la obsesión que siente Quentin por su autor favorito y la indignación por que al parecer a nadie más le interesa su muerte. Cada vez que hablaba sobre Poe y sus amigos y familiares se le quedaban mirando con cara de "¿De que diablos hablas?" me divertía bastante, porque en cier...more
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Proper funeral for Edgar Allan Poe 1 24 Oct 11, 2009 02:26AM  
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  • The Minutes of the Lazarus Club
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  • The Glass of Time (The Meaning of Night, #2)
  • The Intelligencer
  • Ghostwalk
  • Ex-Libris
  • Stone's Fall
  • The Dark Water: The Strange Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes
  • Poe: A Life Cut Short
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Matthew Pearl is the author of the novels The Dante Club, The Poe Shadow and his newest work, The Last Dickens. His books have been New York Times bestsellers and international bestsellers translated into more than 30 languages. His nonfiction writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, and Slate.com. He has been heard on shows including NPR's "All Things...more
More about Matthew Pearl...
The Dante Club The Last Dickens The Technologists The Professor's Assassin Instytut  młodych naukowców

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