Jillian's Reviews > The Poe Shadow

The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl
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's review
Jan 31, 09

bookshelves: audio-book, gym
Read in January, 2009

I'm interested in Poe and literary history but Pearl's novel was a mediocre way to explore them. I lost patience with the tiresome and dim-witted protagonist, a "young man of idle wealth" who embarks on an obsessive quest for the truth behind Poe's death. I appreciate his passion for literature but he's painfully pathetic (in all senses of the word). At least the characters he encounters during this search have more intelligence and flair, though there isn't much new about them. The best sections were those discussing Poe himself, who incidentally didn't think too highly of the protagonist either. The plot works for the most part, but the pace is often slow (especially in audio book form) perhaps because it takes so long for the protagonist to figure things out and make decisions. The reader was good for this collection of characters, however, and I made it through to the (somewhat annoying) ending.

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