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The Tell-Tale Heart

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  2,598 ratings  ·  303 reviews
Librarian's note: this entry is for the story, "The Tell-Tale Heart." Collections of short stories and other writings by the author can be found elsewhere.

Just one line from the short story says it all: "Presently I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was a groan of mortal terror .. the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul."

Stories about murder, myster
Paperback, Little Black Classics, #31, 48 pages
Published February 26th 2015 by Penguin Classics (first published January 1843)
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Creepy and fascinating...wonderfully evil and beautifully written... Edgar Allen Poe, the master of dark stories. First published in 1843, that's a long long time ago....
Three stories in this Penguin classics booklet, the famous Tell-Tale Heart (brilliantly weird and insane), The Fall of the House of Usher (what's going on exactly.... very poeticly written, intriguing, dark and mysterious atmosphere) and The Cask of Amontillado (wonderfully evil story). Loved it, beautiful language and Poe real
Sean Barrs
This is quite possibly my favourite short story of all time as it makes me laugh so much. The narrator tries so hard to convince you of his sanity, but in doing so reveals more about his insanity than his dark deed does itself. It's kind of ironic really. I mean he mistakes the pounding of his own heart with that of the old man’s and uses it as a prompt to murder him because, after-all, the neighbours might hear the beating of his heart though the walls. And lo and behold his evil eye that is so ...more
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
The narrator, a mad man, calmly tells the readers how he killed his boss (the old man) because he was enraged by his boss’ eye since it looks like a “vulture’s eye” that he felt always watched him. Eventually the guilt of commiting a murder drives him insane and he reveals his crime.

Classic horror! Perfect blend of language and great storytelling. Short, compelling and a spooky read. Fascinating to hear the murderer's perspective and watch him slowly lose his sanity through his narration. Intere
"A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong"
- Edgar Allan Poe, "The Cask of Amontillado"


Vol 31 of my Penguin Little Black Classics Box Set. This volume contains the following short-stories:

1. The Tell-Tale Heart - ★★★★★
2. The Fall of the House of Usher - ★★★★
3. The Cask of Amontillado - ★★★★★

The book is titled with the first story, but more than half this volume is ac
TS Chan
Nov 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
This collection of three of Edgar Allan Poe's famous short stories is a great introduction to the author's works. My favourite of the three is definitely The Tell-Tale Heart as it was such a cleverly written piece of dark humour. While I did not enjoy The Fall of the House of Usher as much, I was positively entranced by Poe's insanely atmospheric writing. His descriptions of the House of Usher literally gave me chills down my spine. The Cask of Amontillado is another well-known story, which I ac ...more
Sarah Churchill
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Well... shit.

Loved it. Short and sweet but not lacking in suspense and downright creepiness. I'll hold my hands up and admit that this English Lit lover first heard of this story through The Simpsons. Sacrilege I know, but I guess it never made it on to the syllabus at my school. So I sort of knew how it would turn out, but still there's so much to consider here, I can see why it's a popular choice for study.
Aishu Rehman
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
I've never been a fan of Edgar Allen Poe but I always avoided reading this story because of how "scary" it supposedly was. Ha! A story about a man who murders another man and then has the hubris to think he got away with it until his own guilty conscience makes him turn himself in. ...more
K. Elizabeth
*Read for class*

This was a fun story to start getting me into the near autumn season! Unfortunately, I've never been much of a Poe fan. Still creepy, though!
Stella❤️ 孔凡星
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A creeper that never fails to deliver.
Alice Lippart
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Short and spooky and great fun to revisit.
Andrijana Đ.
May 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
3 stars

In this short story, mainly through a committed crime and motivation behind it, Poe depicts a specific mental health issue.

Interesting read.
May 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
No point going into a long review, it's Poe he's excellent, so go read some. Go on quick, don't waste time on my paltry words go and read the great master of the macabre ...more
Jan 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Since Trump soon becomes the official president of the USA, let’s prepare ourselves by reading some horror stories!

Well, real life wasn’t the sole reason for me picking up this LBC, but do I really need a reason to read Poe? Some good gothic horror is sometimes just the thing to spice up your YA/Fantasy/Sci-fi reading streak, and Poe’s collection of short spooky stories are perfect for that.

If you’re unfamiliar with the tales of Edgar Allan Poe, this Little Black Book is a perfect introduction
Eon ♒Windrunner♒
Dec 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Tell-Tale Heart is a great little story with a dark, macabre vibe infusing it, and somehow reminds me of something I have read, although, I suppose it must be the other way around (I just didn't know it yet) as this is much older. I'm looking forward to reading more of Edgar Allan Poe. ...more
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read Tell-tale Heart, in part, as contrast to Cask of Amontillado and to get me thinking more deeply about each. Both murders are premeditated, although in Tell-tale Heart the narrator has more difficulty justifying his decision. He liked the old man and attributed his decision to the old man's eye alone. In Cask of Amontillado, Montressor attributed his cold-blooded murder – chaining Fortunato to a wall, then bricking him in – to 1000 injuries and one insult. He felt justified to kill Fortuna ...more
Ayesha (The Fifth Marauder)
This is the Edgar Allen Poe I searched for when I picked up The Murders in the Rue Morgue.
I was looking for the author of The Raven, who wrote so beautifully that his prose seemed like verse, and his every sentence was enrapturing and brimming with details.

The Tell Tale Heart is an amazing short stort, perfectly encapsulating the twisted mind of Poe and his gorgeous writing style. I'll be reading more of his works now, but I doubt anything can cap this!
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: folks looking for a how to on NOT to handle a murder
Recommended to jade by: the old man beneath my floorboards
“now this is the point. you fancy me mad. madmen know nothing.”

(do i make a jon snow joke here? no? i digress.)

a seemingly off-kilter narrator talks our reader through a chilling, creepy chain of events that only serves to underline just how far gone the narrator is. we know next to nothing about them, only that they're making a passionate argument that they're not truly insane -- because how could they?

if they can give a reason why they murdered someone, if they can explain how well
Jack Heath
4 Stars. Such a short piece. But 6 pages of terror and intrigue. Without revealing the ending, I can say that faint overtones of the "The Black Cat" rise to the surface. This story came out in "The Pioneer" in early 1843 and "Cat" followed a half year later in the "Saturday Evening Post." Read them in that order and tell me I made a mistake! They are both in "The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Tales" from 1960. Poe's narrator, not named, professes off the top that he is not mad. He's talki ...more
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a re-read and still as brilliant. Oh, Poe...
Jul 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
Poe you may have potentially rescued me from my book slump
My three star rating is not actually for "The Tell-Tale Heart," which is perfect for what it is -- a tightly composed narration of a mad act -- but, rather, for the collection I just read, No. 31 in Penguin's Little Black Classics series. The (short) book starts with "The Tell-Tale Heart," but also includes "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "The Cask of Amontillado." The "Cask," like "Tell-Tale Heart," is a story I read first in high school, and then a time or two since, and I know it made qu ...more
Settare (on hiatus)
I am not yet wise enough or somber enough to appreciate Edgar Allan Poe the way he is supposed to be appreciated. Maybe sometime in the future.
The Artisan Geek
Seeing that this book has been on my shelves for a couple of years now, it's high time for me to give it a go.

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Sep 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
The book version I read included The Tell-Tale Heart, followed by The Fall of the Houser of Usher and The Cask of Amontillado. I thoroughly enjoyed these three short-stories, with their weirdness and dark atmosphere, my personal favourite being the one that gives its title to this short book. Edgar Allan Poe is obviously a brilliant writer and, having finally read a sample of his work, I’m not surprised that he is so well known for his short-stories.
Goblin Reaper
Nov 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“Presently I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was a groan of mortal terror… the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of our soul…”

This was my first time reading Poe's work ever and the short story made me instantly find out why so many people love his work. 3TH was a short, but brilliant piece of writing. It was astonishing how much a four-page story can entertain with various emotions– well they do say even a single word has the power to change the order of things, do they not? In
Sonja ✧・゚。★・゚☾
I felt that I must scream or die! and now—again! —hark! louder! louder! louder! louder!
I greatly enjoyed The Tell-Tale Heart! It's a very mysterious and intriguing story, and I enjoyed Edgar Allan Poe's writing style.

The other two short stories in this Little Black Classic (The Fall of the House of Usher and The Cask of Amontillado) were a bit disappointing. The Fall of the House of Usher was a bit slow but overall it was quite alright. However, The Cask of Amontillado was just unreadable, I
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Uh-oh. Lately I haven't been getting along too well with a lot of beloved classics and I fear that this applies to Poe's short stories as well. In this edition (Penguin Little Black Classics) three stories are collected: The Tell-Tale Heart, The Fall of the House of Usher and The Cask of Amontillado. None really woed me.

Edgar Allan Poe is widely regarded as a central figure of Romanticism in the United States and American literature as a whole, and he was one of the country's earliest practitio
Nov 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads
More like 3.5 average rating for this one.

“ I know not how it was—but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit.”

This cute little black penguin edition of Edgar Allan Poe’s tales is made up of THREE grim and ghastly short stories, of fear, madness and dark psychological horror and revenge packed with all the gothic literature elements.. I enjoyed reading the first two a lot and here’s my review + ratings:

🖤 The Tell-Tale Heart 4/5
this one is very at
This Little Black Classic, comprising The Tell-Tale Heart, The Fall of The House of Usher and The Cask of Amontillado, is more than worth the 80p it took to own it. Having previously read and enjoyed The Raven, I knew I’d probably enjoy this but was pleasantly surprised at just how insanely good it actually was.

The pictures that I’ve seen of Poe all make him look like an interesting, if very spooky, dude. This impression would be borne out by this book’s contents - all three tales are imbued wit
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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

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