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The Man of the Crowd

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  997 ratings  ·  58 reviews
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About The Man of the Crowd by Edgar Allan Poe
"The Man of the Crowd" is a story by American writer Edgar Allan Poe about a nameless narrator following a man through a crowded London. Plot Summary: The story is introduced with the epigraph "Ce grand malheu
Audio Cassette, 3 pages
Published August 1st 1994 by Commuter Library
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Average rating 3.43  · 
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Glenn Russell
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Published in 1845, The Man of the Crowd by Edgar Allan Poe is a fascinating tale exploring, among other topics, the various ways we can be present in the world and experience the people and life around us.

For such nineteenth century thinkers as Arthur Schopenhauer aesthetic experience is a way to lift us above our everyday concerns, material desires and emotional sufferings to a realm of intellectual contemplation that is most pleasant and freeing. This is, in fact, the narrator’s mindset for the first hal
Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
Have you ever stopped, for just a moment, and observed the crowd you are part of but not fully a member of? We’re all isolated from each other when in a mass crowd of people; there’s not really any connectedness with other people. By observation this idea is felt more strongly; thus, the narrator of this tale carries with him a depth of separation and loneliness. Well, until he finds an unusual face amongst the crowd of supposed pretenders and hypocrites.

So, he follows the face and, you guessed
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
A first person narrator observes people passing by the window of a coffe house. He does a brilliant classification of characters and is especially fascinated by an old haunted man who aimlessly strolls through the street, always looking for people to be with. What's the reason for this strange behaviour? In this well plotted and intriguing story Poe will reveal his secret. Recommended!
Jason Koivu
Aug 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I read this in 2010, gave it three stars, and I have no idea why, because I can't remember a damn thing about it.

Let's see if Wiki can cast some light on it...

"The Man of the Crowd" is...about a nameless narrator following a man through a crowded London...

After an unnamed illness, the unnamed narrator sits in an unnamed coffee shop...he considers how isolated people think they are, despite "the very denseness of the company around". He takes time to categorize the different ty/>
Sep 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
¿Se puede experimentar la vorágine de una ciudad como Londres a través de los ojos de alguien que simplemente está sentado en un café? ¿Contemplar a los diferentes transeúntes, los empujones cotidianos, la marcha incesante, la sensación de estar en un grupo pero sin perder la individualidad? O mejor aún: ¿qué se sentiría al divisar un rostro demoníaco que se vuelve tan sospechoso que induce al protagonista/ narrador a salir del café e iniciar una persecución?

Poe logra su objetivo. Este cuento e
Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A Man of the Crowd is the first short story in which the concept of the flaneur was used. It first appeared in a poem by Charles Baudelaire and if translated from French is described as a stroller, idler, walker. In this short storw we have two flaneurs. The first one is the narrator who watches through the window of a hotel. He treats the people who pass for his own pleasure. He divides the crowd into people who have their characteristics. He is a voyeur; taking extreme pleasure in reading peop ...more
Alejandro Saint-Barthélemy
To read in tandem with Baudelaire's prose poems and the movie "Following", by Cristopher Nolan.
Mar 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tal vez, junto con "El demonio de la perversidad", este sea unos de los cuentos de mayor profundidad e inspección psicológica que hayan salido de la pluma de Edgar Allan Poe.
Es también una parábola sobre la soledad y sobre la posición del individuo dentro de la sociedad y acerca de cómo interactúa con ella.
Y por supuesto trata acerca de una obsesión, una de las tantas que Poe transformaba en historias atrayentes para el lector.
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the ending. What a classic?
J.M. Brister
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: American lit fans, Edgar Allan Poe fans
Shelves: 2013, 2019
"The Man of the Crowd" is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe. Although it is not among some of his more well-known, it is still quite enjoyable.

An unnamed man in an unnamed cafe in London sits and watches people pass by. As they do, the unnamed man begins to put them all in categories. When he stumbles upon an old man he can't quite classify, he follows him throughout the market, trying to decide what "box" to categorize the man.

The unnamed man is not as fascinating
Nov 17, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I’m slowly working my way through Edgar Allan Poe’s work, something which will take me quite some time, and of those I have read thus far The Man of the Crowd is my least favourite.

I know many people enjoy this one, approach it as having a much deeper meaning that wows them. Whilst I can see that deeper meaning within the story, I wasn’t invested enough to care. I kept expecting something more to happen, something chilling to occur, only to finish this one feeling as though nothing h
Ebster Davis
Aug 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is kind of an unconventional detective story. I really don't feel like it had any resolutions. (I think the point is that sometimes you don't get to see the resolutions.) I still think the concept was a really cool one.

*Spoilers to follow

I feel like the narrator could have been Poirot or Dupin, or perhaps Holmes in a quiet moment, sitting around London people-watching.

There's a lot of detail going into describing all the people in the crowd of people going about their no
Apr 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very mysterious and intriguing story. It is best to read this short story in the evening after the sun has just gone down. You can really pick up on the atmosphere the character is in, as the story has an air to it that seems (in my opinion) to suit this time of day. You can just envision yourself among the "crowd" full of cliques and faceless people, following that distinct man in his day...there is something oddly mysterious about that kind of pursuit.
Jun 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Това кратко произведение много прилича на философско есе, отнасящо се до темата... "човекът от тълпата", както е и озаглавен въпросния разказ. Хареса ми как е поднесен. В началото очакваш да се случи нещо друго, но после постепенно осъзнаваш смисъла на странното държане на странния старец. Вечно търсещ да се скрие сред другите.
May 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
I just like the last two or three lines "The old man," I said at
length, "is the type and the genius of deep crime. He refuses to be alone.
He is the man of the crowd. It will be in vain to follow, for I shall learn
no more of him, nor of his deeds."
Marija Andreeva
I loved it.
It is a short story and it is totally Edgar Allan Poe. I loved it. I was always expecting something to happen and thеn... there was the end. Great message.
Adam Sprague
Aug 17, 2012 rated it liked it
How many people are simply just "men of the crowd"? Too many.
Salam Almahi
This was different from what I expected. The description was "How to follow someone" so I imagined a creepy stalker story that possibly ends up with murder. But no, it was merely a detailed stretched-out description of people, then a person walking.
The only reason I gave it 2 stars is that the last line that explains the idea of this story and meaning behind the title "This old man," I said at length, "is the type and the genius of deep crime. He refuses to be alone. He is the man of the crowd."
this was???? interesting???????? i guess???????????????
David Doyle
Sep 17, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This was a pointless story. Some guy lazing in a coffee shop is people watching and for some reason this older guy catches his eye. He decides to follow the old chap around town for 2 or 3 days. The bizarre thing is the old man ALWAYS stays where there are people, he always puts himself where there is a cluster of folks. The stalker guy finally gets up close & places himself directly in front of the man he's been observing, but the man takes no notice of him and hurries on his way. Based on ...more
Harry Doble
This is a story about a man who observes a crowd and ends up following someone who captures his attention. It is surprisingly poignant, and analyses a cross-section of 19th century social life through London's hustle and bustle.
Mar 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
I loved these short stories.

The somber and mysterious atmosphere is a perfect scenery for the peculiar and twisted characters that wander around in this tales.
Peter Fullilove
Jan 25, 2015 rated it did not like it
What a waste of all of our time.
Jim Robles
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fine example of Poe's capability for "urban sociology," this story raises the possibility of someone who (a true Myers-Briggs extrovert!) is energized by the energy of crowds.

Although Poe was generally poorly regarded by his contemporaries (only Walt Whitman spoke at this memorial service) the French, particularly Baudelaire, regarded him, and this particular work highly.

The protagonist's attempts to determine who the old man was reflects Poe's persistent in interest in ratiocinat
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I see a parallel with The Man of the Crowd, Grabinski's mysterious demons or possessed people (Demon Ruchu/Master of the Zone) and Fritz Leiber's The Girl With the Hungry Eyes. About people that aren't people, about how the Unknown, the Void, incarnates in an Avatar and walks amongst humanity.... Like Azazel would say in Fallen: "Time is on my side, yes it is!".... Oh yes, there are invisible battles against principalities that are not of flesh and bone disguised among us like in the Devils Advo ...more
Shall I Download A Black Hole And Offer It To You
a short missive on the vagaries of human existence... maybe? or an admittance we could all be uniquely different or basically mistaken for anyone else, within reason? a bit more of a philosophical/thought piece than usual from Poe, and one i wasn't all that fond of reading... he is surely a well-read and perceptive writer, but he fares better with the macabre and gothic for me... not much to recommend this if you're into Quintessential Poe...
J L Shioshita
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, short-story
This story was a sort of character study, a study of society, a study of groups, a study of belonging and also of alienation and isolation. It starts with an almost essay like classification of crowds and ends with a strange question mark that's left to the reader to answer - a weird little journey.
Jul 25, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a short story, but requires a lot of thought and reflection. I too, thought it was building to something more revealing. Poe leaves a lot of speculation to the reader. Not his most enjoyable work, but certainly worth reading.
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Psychologically twisting. A fun, quick read! One of Poe’s better and lesser known short stories.
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
Some dude is sitting his day away watching the crowd cruise past. He reflects on the different types of people he notices flowing past. He feels like he's in some special state of mind that lets him know things that others wouldn't notice. In this high state of mind he notices an odd man in the crowd. Odd, in that he's singularly indistinguishable from anyone else, but has a certain aura of evil about him.

Then came a craving desire to keep the man in view-to know more of him.

Our narrator decides
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: terror, cuentos
¡Fascinante este cuento! ¿Alguna vez se han sentido atraídos por alguna persona en la calle y deciden seguirle? En esta historia el autor explora la curiosidad de lo desconocido y los miedos que esto nos causa, el relato te mantiene pegado a la lectura hasta su increible final.

La prosa victoriana de Edgar Allan Poe es exquisita.
Sam Howls
Jan 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
"This old man," I said at length, "is the type and the emits of deep crime. He refuses to be alone. He is the man of the crowd. It will be in vain to follow; for I shall learn no more from him, nor of his deeds.

I loved every bit of this book, it's so perfect. I followed the anonymous old man with the narrator through the Victorian London streets.
Jun 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: short-stories
I did not find this suspenseful. Some academic papers had hinted at the possibility of this story as an allegory or comparison with Poe's life as a writer. I am too young to understand and fully appreciate this. Possibly put to my re-read shelf
Cypress Butane
Aug 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
This reminded me of something my Dad and I were talking about, where we said "what if every crowd that gathered to watch a car accident... if you stopped to notice... was made up of the same people every time..."
Oct 22, 2012 rated it liked it
This was an interesting concept of a man that is probably the devil or some evil spirit. He revels in the badness of the world but just watches it and enjoys it. He is always a part of the crowd ready to be a witness to evils.
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have a deep admiration for Edgar Allan Poe's works — and quite frankly for Edgar Allan Poe himself — thus I'm not sure how to review this story without sounding biased. Even so, I think that I still would've found it equally brilliant had it been the work of another writer. It brings thoughts of how different kinds of monstrosity a person may hide, but eventually become unnoticeable within the crowd. Moreover it has a way of reminding me that stereotyping people into diverse groups who have se ...more
Safia Sabbagh
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Viji  (Bookish endeavors)
Not a bad read. A man follows another man,who is dressed as a beggar, through all the nook and corners of the city only to realize that the followed person already knows he is being followed. He gives up following thinking that that person is a 'man of the crowd' and he will not give up his secrets.
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Algo extraña. Por ahora es la historia de Poe que mas me a gustado.
Jade Aventine
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Edgar Allen Poe was such a talented writer. Loved this viewpoint.
Feb 01, 2017 added it
Ce grand malheur, de ne pouvoir être seul.
Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Ce grand malheur,de ne pouvoir etre seul.
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Quite enjoyable, actually. Cheers.
"... er lasst sich nicht lesen."
Yara Hossam
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Not Poe’s best.
Carlyle Laurent
Apr 27, 2017 rated it did not like it
Nothing happens.
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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 essays and ...more
“There are some secrets which do not permit themselves to be told. Men die nightly in their beds, wringing the hands of ghostly confessors, and looking them piteously in the eyes — die with despair of heart and convulsion of throat, on account of the hideousness of mysteries which will not suffer themselves to be revealed.” 17 likes
“The old man,” I said at length, “is the type and the genius of deep crime. He refuses to be alone. He is the man of the crowd. It will be in vain to follow, for I shall learn no more of him, nor of his deeds.” 1 likes
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