Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Purloined Letter” as Want to Read:
The Purloined Letter
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Purloined Letter

(C. Auguste Dupin #3)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  9,296 ratings  ·  360 reviews
This early work by Edgar Allan Poe was originally published in 1845. Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1809, Poe became an orphan at a very early age. After being taken in by a couple in Richmond, he spent a brief spell in the United Kingdom before returning to enrol at the University of Virginia. Poe struggled for many years to make a living as a writer and frequently had ...more
Paperback, 36 pages
Published November 7th 2012 by Read Books (first published 1844)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Purloined Letter, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,296 ratings  ·  360 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Purloined Letter
James
Book Review
3+ of 5 stars to The Purloined Letter, a short story written in 1844, by Edgar Allan Poe. One of the most interesting facts about this story is that it involves Poe's detective Dupin, who also appears in The Murders in the Rue Morgue. Unlike the Rue Morgue, this mystery contains no gore or horror; it's pure mystery without the overall Gothic depths Poe usually goes to in his literary works. At its core, the story is about a letter that's gone missing, possibly stolen, having changed hands a number
...more
Sanjay Gautam
Aug 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Perhaps it is the very simplicity of the thing which puts you at fault."

My first Dupin-tale by Poe; and it was impressive! I enjoyed every bit of it. Very Engrossing. Explanations given by Dupin at the end of the story are epic and quenches all the thirst inside you. I can guess now why Sherlock Holmes despised Dupin. Conan Doyle, I'm sure, was inspired from these Dupin-tales that he created, on almost similar lines, Dr. Watson as the sidekick of Sherlock Holmes, and Lestrade as Mr. G-.
...more
Peter
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here we have the third appearance of master investigator C. Auguste Dupin. This time a royal letter was stolen by a minister. Can Dupin find the whereabouts of the letter? Prefect G is desperate since his men thoroughly searched the premises of the minister with no avail. Following Dupin's brilliant logic and sharp mind everything seems to be so easy to solve the case. Another well plotted and interesting story. In my opinion it was a bit weaker though than both its precursors. But nevertheless ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Starting off October with an Edgar Allen Poe detective mystery! "The Purloined Letter" is one of Poe's more memorable stories, featuring his amateur detective C. Auguste Dupin, who could give Sherlock Holmes a run for his money.

This story is more analytical than adventurous: Dupin and his friend, the narrator of the tale, sit in a dimly lit library, enjoying their pipes and their company, when the prefect of the Parisian police comes in with a tale of woe: Reading between the lines a
...more
Fabian
Apr 30, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Making even the solitary molecules, or paired, frightened to the zenith so that they react in a chaotic demeanor, disrupting, terrible in elegance of expression and the redundancy of repression-- it's far too much for me, the mere proletariat with a reader's proclivity, to possibly endorse in the wholehearted method bestowed upon the gargantuan wave of Poe fanatics. The tale of the excessively (deceptively) obvious and bluff and double bluffs that go along with it (and the poker faces utilized a ...more
Quirkyreader
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading this, I could see how Poe helped inspire A.C. Doyle with his most famous character.
Exina
The Purloined Letter has been always one of my favorites. Without anything bloody or spooky, it is mysterious and entertaining.

Monsieur G—, the prefect of the Paris police arrives to Monsieur Dupin and asks for his help in a case he has made no progress so far. Dupin suggests him to continue to search the letter in question.
"If it is any point requiring reflection," observed Dupin, as he forebore to enkindle the wick, "we shall examine it to better purpose in the dark."
"That is another of your odd notions," said the Prefe
...more
Kristi
When you consider the fact that detective fiction didn't exist when Poe wrote this story, it's pretty amazing. Two characters are smoking together one evening when a police official shows up with an intriguing mystery--a compromising letter has been stolen from a person of importance, and although the police know the thief's identify, they can't seem to find the letter anywhere. The policeman leaves without a solution to his problem, but by the next time he stops by, the mystery has already been ...more
K.D. Absolutely
Apr 08, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2010)
The Purloined Letter is a clean departure from my initial expectation of Edgar Allan Poe's works. I thought that all of his works were macabre and grotesque. This one is similar to the short stories of Sherlock Holmes. I have read the whole SH canon and I thought that there were so many similarities.

Wiki says that there are three of these detective stories starring his private detective C. Auguste Dupin. Just like Holmes, Dupin is more intelligent than the police investigators. However, Dupin's
...more
Mia (Parentheses Enthusiast)
Eh. Not my favourite of Poe's works by far, but I do respect it as a departure from his typical style and subject matter. The real reason I didn't like this is because it's almost entirely dialogue, and for a story that could have been interesting, 95% of it is spent rambling on about algebra and metaphysics.
Bonnie
Oct 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bonnie by: 1001 Books to Read Before You Die
"Perhaps it is the very simplicity of the thing which puts you at fault."

Compared to the works of Arthur Conan Doyle, this was one I knew I couldn't possibly miss. I could see some similarities, but naturally, Sherlock was sorely missed. In his place, Poe's writing was an adequate replacement. The story was not full of any action; however, it was a recollection of the search that was conducted for the 'purloined letter' and the reasoning that sometimes what you're looking for is right under yo
...more
David Sarkies
Dec 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A Case of Blackmail
6 December 2018

There are a number of interesting factors to this story. It is the third of the Dupin stories and this one deals with a letter that has been stolen. Basically, the letter contains some compromising information and the thief is now using it as a form of black mail. Well, Dupin comes along and notices that the police have simply not been able to find the letter, despite searching every inch of the apartment. As it turns out, the thief used a trick known as
...more
Sophia
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is another story that I had to read for uni and I am glad that it wasn't as long as the first story. There was no long prologue this time, which was good as it dived right into the story. However, after the main character Dupin announced that he had solved the case, he went into a bit of a tangent explaining how he solved it. I felt that the examples were unnecessary and veered too much from the main story. Overall, it was not a bad story but like the first, this could have been shorter and ...more
This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For
The best of Poe's Dupin mysteries, The Purloined Letter is both the shortest and the most clever in execution. There's not much that can be said about it without spoiling the story, but it focuses on how we tend to miss the obvious.
Cphe
Tend to steer well clear of these shorter works but this is featured on the Boxall 1000 list. Nicely atmospheric with a surprising little twist at the end.
Matt
Jul 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The purloined letter(*) is synonymous with the original, radical subject of the unconscious.

This morning I kinda got lost on Wikipedia.

I wanted to get information about this book: Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

But my subconscious had obviously other plans and led me to Poe's story ... (**)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tractat...
[This] is the only book-length philosophical work published by the German-Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein in his lifetime.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_...

[Wittgenstein] worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philoso...

Literary theory is a discipline that some literary theorihttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philoso...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_...
[Wittgenstein]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tractat...
[This] ...more
Sidharth Vardhan
"“As a poet and as a mathematician, he would reason well; as a mere mathematician, he could not have reasoned at all.”

Best Allan Poe I have read so far. And I thought he only wrote Gothic stories. I'm telling you this Dupin guy is grand daddy of Sherlock Holmes. You could almost see little Sherlock standing in corner silently taking notes with a admiring smile as Dupin explained to the narrator how he solved the mystery.
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
This is one of Poe's mysteries, and it might seem dated in today's era compared to the forensic technology and mysteries we deal with in the 21st century, this is still a very fun and classic read.
Christopher
Scripta manent sed verba volant.

Perhaps I love this short story because of Lacan. Perhaps it's because of Derrida. My word, it might even be because of Edgar Allen Poe. It most certainly is not because of Marie Bonaparte. Barbara Johnson and Liahna Klenman Babener contributed, that's for sure.

A vaincre sans peril, on triomphe sans gloire.

This statement is unprovable.

True, the indexicality of the "this" in the last sentence invites ambiguity. "Thus it is that
...more
Asha Seth
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, thrillers
In a small room in Paris, the narrator sits quietly with his friend, C. Auguste Dupin. Monsieur G——, the prefect of the Paris police, arrives to consult Dupin on a case that is almost too simple: a letter has been stolen from the royal apartments. The police know who has taken it: the Minister D——, an important government official. The police attempt thorough investigations but come up with nothing. Identifying with the criminal mind, Dupin discovers evidence so obvious that it had gone unnotice ...more
Lemar
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is fun. Our two protagonists, sitting in a dark Parisian apartment, living on a plane of almost pure intellect, are the acknowledged forebears of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. They even have the arrogance and wit as Dupin solves crimes the hapless police Prefect can not,
“That is another of your odd notions”, said the Prefect who had a fashion of calling everything “odd” that was beyond his comprehension, and thus lived amid
an absolute legion of “oddities.”

At another po
...more
Adam Sprague
I think the Dupin stories simply may just not be for me. As other reviewers have stated, this is incredibly wordy when it does not need to be and the characters are fairly boring.

There is no interesting murder like with the ape, just a letter on a shelf.

Only for the hardcore Poe fans here. Yet more dissapointment from the highly praised Poe.
Zey Ka
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the influence of Poe on Paul Auster is really obvious. the usage of the detective genre and the idea of doubles which can be seen in Auster's trilogy have their origin in Poe's works. Dupin and the minister are doubles, thinking in the same way and even at the end, being contrasted to two brothers.
Carly Ellen Kramer
I read this twice, and enjoyed it more the second time. For me, sometimes Poe needs to simmer a bit to be appreciated!
Brenda
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: so-plain, meh
2.5 stars. Not very impressive. The characters were fairly boring.
hesh
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Is this a crime story? Yes it is! Is the allusion to the crime the most important parts of the story that stayed with me? Absolutely not!
Love the discussion on Mathematics that seems to give us a hint, or a passage for a door, into Poe's opinion in regards to Mathematical truths. I also absolutely adored the psychology/neuroscience behind the idea that if you can somehow act a certain way, smile for example, or eat a piece of gum, you might convince your brain that you're in a state of hap
...more
One-Edgy-Anti-Hero
Interesting.

Typically I love Poe, but this for me seemed on the weaker side of his and probably my least favorite out of all his compositions.
Cláudia
“As a poet and as a mathematician, he would reason well; as a mere mathematician, he could not have reasoned at all.”
Eya Beldi
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm just amazed how smart the main character is, the one who figure it out.
Short nice read.
Lör K.
Read as part of the Terrifying Tales collection.

The Purloined Letter is the third book in the C. Auguste Dupin detective series created by Edgar Allen Poe. The first in this series is The Murders in the Rue Morgue which caught my attention a lot and made me really excited to read on and read the third in the series, as so the series is published in this collection.

However, this wasn’t as fun as The Murders in the Rue Morgue. I was expecting something gory, something really clever, and a tiny bit of horror ad/>The
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Reading 1001: The Purloined Letter - Poe 2 8 Sep 20, 2019 07:45PM  
The 1700-1939 Boo...: The Purloined Letter by Edgar Allan Poe 5 21 Nov 26, 2017 08:39PM  
Gothic Literature: The Purloined Letter by Edgar Allen Poe 1 8 May 22, 2013 09:07AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Ormond
  • Rudin a Romance and a King Lear of the Steppes
  • Born in Exile
  • Albigenses
  • Some Experiences of an Irish R.M.
  • Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher
  • Castle Richmond
  • My Kinsman Major Molineux
  • The Monastery
  • The Thinking Machine
  • The Christmas Tree and the Wedding
  • Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, #2)
  • The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter (The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, #9)
  • The Lady or the Tiger?
  • The Mortal Immortal
  • The Unfortunate Traveller: Or, the Life of Jack Wilton
  • The Silent Bullet (Craig Kennedy, Scientific Detective #1)
  • Rashomon
See similar books…
18,586 followers
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 essays and ...more

Other books in the series

C. Auguste Dupin (3 books)
  • The Murders in the Rue Morgue
  • The Mystery of Marie Rogêt
“That is another of your odd notions," said the Prefect, who had a fashion of calling every thing "odd" that was beyond his comprehension, and thus lived amid an absolute legion of "oddities.” 67 likes
“As a poet and as a mathematician, he would reason well; as a mere mathematician, he could not have reasoned at all.” 26 likes
More quotes…