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3.82  ·  Rating details ·  2,964 ratings  ·  221 reviews
Berenice is a horror short story by Edgar Allan Poe. The tale is centered on the death of a young girl, named Berenice, and the mysterious visions of her cousin, Egaeus.
Paperback, 24 pages
Published March 1st 2009 by BookSurge (first published March 1835)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  2,964 ratings  ·  221 reviews

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Glenn Russell
Jun 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Since there are a few dozen reviews already posted here, in the spirit of freshness I will compare Poe’s tale with a few other tales, each of these other tales picking up on a Berenice theme.

In The Gaze by Jean Richepin, the narrator peers through the window of a cell at a madman, arms spread, head uplifted, transfixed by a point on a wall near the ceiling. The doctor-alienist relates to the narrator how this inmate is obsessed with the gaze of eyes from an artist’s portrait. “For there
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
What a scary read. Egaeus, the narrator, talks about his relationship to his cousin Berenice. He lives the life of a scholar, prefers the night and is quite sickly. Berenice is the counterpart until she fall ill an decays day by day. There are plans of marriage. Egaeus is obsessed by her teeth. When the day of her interment is over a shadowy shrouded figure is reported. What about the teeth? A very morbid story, full of decay, visions of grey and unsound living in the dark. Frightening and ...more
Nov 13, 2019 rated it liked it
3,5 stars. The narrator of this short story is obsessed with his cousin's teeth, Berenice, who he is in love with. A very disturbing and creepy story. An audiobook in Portuguese.
Tristram Shandy
She Keeps Her Hair on But …

Berenice, which was published in 1835 in the Southern Literary Messenger, whose refined readers, by the way, were quite disgusted with its unusual brutality, has always been my favourite story by Edgar Allan Poe because it is cleverly written, having a twist within the twist of the tale even, and it shows Poe’s ability to create a dark and looming atmosphere.

(view spoiler)
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thrilling, quite brutal and filled with resonant imagery!

Warning: This short story is not for the faint-hearted.

"evil is a consequence of good, so, in fact, out of joy is sorrow born."

Berenice is a short horror story by the American writer Allan Poe, published in 1835.

The events are narrated by Egaeus, a man who suffers from monomania. The protagonist grows up in a mansion with his cousin Berenice, that he perceives as extremely pulchritudinous.
As Berenice's health begins to deteriorate due
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, classics
A magnificent display of symbolism!
Misery is manifold. The wretchedness of earth is multiform. Overreaching the wide horizon as the rainbow, its hues are as various as the hues of that arch, --as distinct too, yet as intimately blended. Overreaching the wide horizon as the rainbow! How is it that from beauty I have derived a type of unloveliness? --from the covenant of peace a simile of sorrow? But as, in ethics, evil is a consequence of good, so, in fact, out of joy is sorrow born. Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish
Althea Ann
Nov 20, 2014 rated it liked it
I've read nearly all of Poe at some point or another, but I didn't have a memory of reading this one before.
For such a short piece, I felt like it took a while to draw me in. However, it certainly ends with some drama... ("Pow, right in the kisser...?")
Here we have a young couple - the young man: dark, brooding, and perhaps unhealthily obsessive... the young woman: lovely, without fault, yet languishing of illness.
Of course, tragedy will strike - and horrors beyond tragedy.

Just coincidentally,
May 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-1

The realities of the world affected me as visions, and as visions only, while the wild ideas of the land of dreams became, in turn, not the material of my every-day existence, but in very deed that existence utterly and solely in itself.

Berenice follows the story of Egaeus, a strange individual who is prone to isolation and suffers from an obsessive disorder.

To muse for long unwearied hours, with my attention riveted to some frivolous device on the margin, or in the typography of a book; to
Jun 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: classics, mystery
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Tayler Steele
Dec 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
I feel like I'm going against the grain on this one.

There were plenty of great things about this story. For one, I think it most perfectly embodied and represented the Gothic traditions and Gothic style. Everything about this story screamed Gothic, and, of course, the result was an atmosphere rich in emotion and suspense. It just made it totally unavoidable to be really creeped out.

However, I'll admit, I struggled with figuring out what the hell was going on. I think that could have been
Jan 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: terror, clasicos
"The wild ideas, the dreams inside my head were my real world. They were my whole life."

Esperaba más de esta historia.
Es buena pero no mi favorita de Poe.
Oct 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Horror short stories
Recommended to Jason by: Poe collection
"It is more than probable that I am not understood — but I fear that it is indeed in no manner possible to convey to the mind of the merely general reader, an adequate idea..."

Yeah, what he said right near the beginning of this tale. 2.5 stars rounded up to three. Not looking good for Mr. Poe's horror short stories so far, or at least the obscure ones. He's pretty weighty, and I had to use the internet to look up what the hell was going on again, but maybe I'm not being fair. I was playing the
Graham Worthington
Mar 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Despite all who have attempted the genre since, Poe remains the supreme master of the horrific short story. From this collection I select "Berenice" to comment on, not only because it is a classic example of Poe, but also because it deals with a subject so typically his, that of obsession.
There is little point in trying not to "spoil" a Poe story by avoiding telling the final outcome, for in this story, as in much of his work, the fascination lies not in a teasing or elaborate plot leading to a
K. Anna Kraft
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have arranged my thoughts on this short story into a haiku:

"A dark, twisted urge.
Haunting, grinning in your mind--
Blotting out all else."
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"Berenice! -I call upon her name - Berenice! - and from the gray ruins of memory a thousand tumultuous recollections are startled at the sound!"

The first important thing in this book which I noticed was the Latin quotation with which the book starts: "Dicebant mihi sodales, si sepulchrum amicae visitarem, curas meas aliquantulum forelevatas." I have to admit that my translation, without looking at the footnote was awfully wrong. I guess my Latin has worsened a lot. Although, after looking at the
Kathryn Jacoby
I can recognize the elements of horror here, neatly laid out like surgical instruments on a table, but they never came together to move from the cerebral to the visceral. As much as it tried, this story just didn’t set my teeth chattering.

Egaeus marries his cousin Berenice and becomes oddly fixated on a particular body part of hers. Though not so odd for this odd bird—his whole meager life consists of one monomaniacal fixation after another, where he literally stares morbidly at some frivolous
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
2 Stars
I had to read this book in one of my classes because we are doing a Gothic unit. My words for this short story is that it did not grab my attention and it was super boring. It was really hard for me to read this short story. I was not impressed at all. It was definitely creepy and and very weird in so many ways. I really don't like reading anything Gothic because it is just depressing for me. I would never read this short story again. I would not recommend this short story to anyone just
Aishu Rehman
It was a bit difficult to understand at first with the Latin quotation and the multiple references to ancient authors but the story in itself is just horrible and I loved it! The narrative tries to give shape to things, to make things visible and yet fails to do so. The visible is constantly haunted by its own impossibility. On the one hand the narrator lays emphasis on sight, on the senses. On the other hand the object he explores remains obscure. This is an incredible short story in which the ...more
Suki St Charles
31 Classic Horror Stories Every Fan Should Read in October: A Literary Advent Calender for Halloween: Day 13:
Ana Silva Rosa
Jan 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
disturbing... so much madness in one piece. I love this.
Dana-Adriana B.
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks-ro
Walter Schutjens
Sep 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, reviewed, fiction
Once again Edgar Allen Poe leads the reader deep into the mind of a man that is mentally deranged, letting the story play out from his perspective, and leaving the reader horrified at its effect.
May 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Poe's language is not the easiest to get to grips with, especially if you're not fluent in French and Latin, so, given its short length, it is ideally suited to being read at the computer with easy access to a translator at hand.

The version I read is the edited one at This version was self-censored by Poe to remove one particular scene in which the narrator sits with his cousin's body.

The story is definitely disturbing. With the events told through the
Hoda Marmar
Apr 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have read this over 5 years ago, and I never forgot it because it terrified me to read the last page. When he opens that box, MY OH MY! Alright, no spoilers, but this was one sick psychotic short story that made me think maybe Poe is a serial killer. It also made 'The Raven' seem ordinary next to this one.
This should be a Halloween read :)
Viji  (Bookish endeavors)
Oct 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I re-read the story after reading the end. And I bet many others might have done the same. The story till the end is something and when it reaches the end it's completely another. I was shocked. I'm going to get the creeps every time somebody compliments on my eyes or teeth hereafter.
A truly great story.
Morgan bookaddicts.ahoy
I have to admit that this was interesting and slightly disturbing.
Autumn Turner-Groth
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Unlike most Americans I was completely unfamiliar with Poe until I read Berenice. After this encounter, I crave to read more of his beautiful linguistic detective stories. The use of extravagant vocabulary and symbolism makes this story incredibly fun to read. I found myself deciphering the symbols and contemplating its meaning days after reading it. Some of the symbols that really stood out to me were the library, books, asphodel, teeth, and paintings. I took away a lot more than I expected ...more
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it

Edgar Allen Poe’s “Berenice,” is a masterwork of the Gothic genre. Confined to the library chamber of his “gloomy, grey, hereditary halls,” the protagonist, Egaeus, is afflicted with “monomania,” a tendency of intense obsession. He becomes fascinated with the demise and deterioration of his once vivacious cousin, Berenice. Berenice’s teeth become the subject of Egaues’ ultimate interest. Poe artfully imbeds dark illusion into this classic gothic tale. Is it a twist upon, or perhaps a satire of
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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
“But as, in ethics, evil is a consequence of good, so, in fact, out of joy is sorrow born. Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish of today, or the agonies which are have their origin in the ecstasies which might have been. 89 likes
“To muse for long unwearied hours with my attention riveted to some frivolous device upon the margin, or in the typography of a book — to become absorbed for the better part of a summer's day in a quaint shadow falling aslant upon the tapestry, or upon the floor — to lose myself for an entire night in watching the steady flame of a lamp, or the embers of a fire — to dream away whole days over the perfume of a flower — to repeat monotonously some common word, until the sound, by dint of frequent repetition, ceased to convey any idea whatever to the mind — to lose all sense of motion or physical existence in a state of absolute bodily quiescence long and obstinately persevered in — Such were a few of the most common and least pernicious vagaries induced by a condition of the mental faculties, not, indeed, altogether unparalleled, but certainly bidding defiance to any thing like analysis or explanation.” 43 likes
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