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The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Tales

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  69,473 ratings  ·  460 reviews
The eerie tales of Edgar Allan Poe, from the 1830s and 40s, remain among the most brilliant and influential works in American literature. Some of the celebrated tales contained in this unique volume include the world's first detective stories -- "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" and "The Purloined Letter", and three stories sure to make a reader's hair stand on end -- "The C ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 1st 1998 by Signet Classics (first published 1849)
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Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.

Before reading this book, I had a misconception that Edger Allen Poe was a horror writer.

Oh, how wrong I was!

Yes, Poe might be known for his stories of macabre and gothic horror. But it was his versatility that I found attractive in his writings. Without much further ado, let's see what this collection holds


TRUE! – nervous – very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I
Bionic Jean
This selection of short stories reveals Edgar Allan Poe in all his moods. All the stories have been reviewed, but some have their own separate reviews and star rating. These are indicated with links at the end. This review and star rating is for the remainder of this selection.

The Fall of the House of Usher (published in 1839) is the title story of the collection. It may well be one of the stories which started the current interest in the gothic genre, although Ann Radcliffe's "The Mysteries o
RJ - Slayer of Trolls
This collection includes many of Poe's most well-known and memorable stories, including the following (along with ratings for each and some song lyrics that might be insightful or amusing, or not):

The Balloon Hoax - 1/5 - my friends say I should act my age
MS. Found in a Bottle - 2/5 - just a dream and the wind to carry me, and soon I will be free
A Descent into the Maelstrom - 3/5 - rock you like a hurricane
The Murders in the Rue Morgue - 3/5 - now I am the proudest monkey you've ever seen
The Pu
The Balloon-Hoax - Wow. That was really boring.
Ms. Found in a Bottle - Good suspense, but the ending confused me.
A Descent into the Maelstrom - Not too memorable.
The Murders in the Rue Morgue - A rather silly Holmes-esque mystery tale.
The Purloined Letter - Not bad, but far too wordy.
The Black Cat - Deliciously disturbing.
The Fall of the House of Usher - Not as interesting as his others, but good atmosphere.
The Pit and the Pendulum - A delightful tale of suspense.
The Masque of the Red Death - Me
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've been slowly working my way through this over the past six months, reading a story here and there. Initially I was quite daunted by the idea of Edgar Allan Poe, but as I progressed through the collection I found myself relaxing into it and just enjoying the writing. There were many standout stories in this collection, but I did especially enjoy The Fall of the House of Usher, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Premature Burial, The Black Cat, The Masque of the Red Death, The Tell-tale Heart and T ...more
Aug 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first ever collection i have read of mr. Poe and I enjoyed most of the stories in this collection. The collection was my pick for all hallow's read to read for Halloween this year. I also hosted a readalong of this collection online on facebook andat the all about books book club on goodreads. This month from october 20th through tonight we read and discussed the stories by poe that was in this collection along with the novel A narrative of A. Gordon Pym. It also included my favorit ...more
I don't like these kind of genres, that much. But Poe is a beautiful exception. He is brilliant at creating weird atmospheres, although sometimes it seems those descriptions are too long, with women dying all over the place. However, it is not difficult to get into the stories and feel real emotion.
I really liked William Wilson, I liked "Ms. Found in a Bottle", "The Oval Portrait", the art of losing a wife by gaining a painting. "Ligeia", I don't quite get it yet, but it has a frightening beauty
3.5 stars. I did not read (or listen to) all of the books in this collection so this review is for the books listed below (I will periodically update as I listen to more of the stories):

"The Pit and the Pendulum" (2.5 to 3.0 stars): The best way I can think of to describe Poe's writing is "atmospheric" and he certainly does a good job creating atmosphere in this short story. A good, solid story but not the "classic" I was hoping for.

"The Tell-Tale Heart" (4.0 stars): My favorite Poe story Of th
Jul 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Apokripos by: the "Voice"

Inspired Madness
A Book Review of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Tales

There’s no denying that much of modern horror fiction — as we know it anyway — grew out of the gloomy, chaotic depth of the 19th century when a few demented souls were churning out tales of things that go bump in the night. These were writers who were dubbed freaks during their time and, as if the patina of age hasn’t wore off, are still considered as such today. They broke taboos, infringed establis
Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The opening sequence right away sets-up the mood of the story – “the soundlessness of the autumn day, low-hanging clouds, dreariness of the countryside, waning of the day, the melancholy house itself.” The descriptions are so amazing of the inside of the Usher House which intensifies the impression of gloom and decay given by the outside. Such symbolism too! The way that Roderick’s studio is reached “through many dark and intricate passages” suggest that access to his mind is hidden and convolut ...more
Sep 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-list
Hearing your name given to literary characters is a weird experience. I guess I should be thankful I don't have a more common name, like Sarah or Kate or whatever. Sharing a name with a fictional character doesn't happen to me often - the last one I can remember is The Departed, where the single female character was named Madeline but it didn't really matter because she got called by name a whopping one time - but when it does it's weird.

Especially when you're reading this story by Poe, and the
Jack Heath
4 Stars. My first look at a collection of stories by Edgar Allan Poe. A true revelation. I've come to him later than many and regret I didn't experience his tales earlier. Not all of them mind you; Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" contains an equal amount of racism, if not more, than "The Man That Was Used Up" does in its ridicule of those with disabilities and indigenous Americans, plus racism too. But it's "Mockingbird" with a story for the ages and superb writing which is deserving of a re-read ...more
Oct 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite of all Poe's stories. (Which considering my love for him, was not an easy choice to make.) I have read it several times over, numerous times out-loud and in scary voices to entertain my little brother :). It's incredible how Poe can write in this helter skelter fashion so that you really don't know exactly what's going on-- and then in one final paragraph, or even the final sentence, he brings it all together and has you so thoroughly creeped out and simultaneously blown your ...more
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it

Intriguing storyline, beautiful writing style and a great plot twist! I have nothing else to add- I love Poe’s stories!
John Yelverton
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This story will absolutely freak you out. Of course, you should expect that from the greatest suspense writer of all time.
Deborah Ideiosepius
It is always hard for me to review collections because inevitably there are some I like and some I like less or outright dislike. With this collection it is a bit easier in some ways because Poe has very consistent writing . As I was reading it, basically to reacquaint with Edgar Allan Poe and his classic stories and style then I spent a lot more time paying attention to those qualities than to the stories on their own.

There are some 'Poes' that I really love and have done since reading them in
Apr 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I am not sure what rating to give to this collection of stories. On one hand, it has a bunch of well known stories by Poe such as The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Black Cat, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Pit and the Pendulum, and The Tell-Tale Heart - all of them sit on top for me as the greatest stories by Poe. On the other hand, this book also contained the only full novel by Poe, Narrative of A. Gordon Pym which clocks in at about 178 pages. This would not be bad if it did not contain ...more
Oct 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Stephen Marlowe did a great job in his Introduction to the book. He gives thoughtful insight into both Poe's stories and personal life. - 4 Stars

The Balloon Hoax (1844) - 3.5 Stars
Ms. Found in a Bottle (1833) - 5 Stars
A Descent into the Maelström (1841) - 5 Stars
The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841) - 5 Stars
The Purloined Letter (1843) - 4 Stars
The Black Cat (1843) - 5 Stars
The Fall of the House of Usher (1839) - 5 Stars
The Pit and the Pendulum (1842) - 5 Stars
The Masque of the Red Death
Nov 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gothic-novels
A couple of short-storys in which all care a dark side to the human nature muder, madness and evil are all covered in these stories. I have a feeling of uneasy and dispare that we can be so cold and mean toward each other
Dark Slayer
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Edgar Allan Poe has succeeded in creating an extremely excellent Gothic work, which contains the famous characteristics of this genre, such as terror, suspense, depressing landscape, haunted house and gloom’s metonymy.

A dearth of setting is the first and clear observation that we have in mind. In other words, when this story begins, it states just an unnamed narrator standing in front of a gloomy and frightening house on an autumnal and overcast day. Therefore, neither a location nor a precise
Tom Schulte
I find with this collection, my opinion on Poe is evolving; becoming more refined. First, this may be better named The Narrative of A. Gordon Pym and Other Tales as Poe’s only full-length novel closing out this compendium is the lion's share of the pages. Also, purported as a response to a Poe hoax is completes the bookends with the initial newspaper piece "Balloon-Hoax".

In this realm of writing, I find there is science fiction - tales tethered to scientific facts - and science fantasy - fiction
Larry McCloskey
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
I’m going to get into trouble, so let me just say this up front: Edgar Allan Poe is without a doubt one of the most influential figures in the history of literature, American or otherwise, and his contributions can’t be overstated. He was also, however, overly long-winded, had a difficult time creating relatable characters, and had a tendency to lose sight of the reader as he rambled.

A lot of the stories in this book, you’ve probably read before. “The Pit and the Pendulum” is one of the great Am
Alexandru Istrate
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A very interesting incursion into the macabre. The book is a collection of stories really, the most important one being The Fall of the House of Usher, which is, in my opinion, magnificently written. One thing I like is the fact that the stories go together very well, making the sense of despair and lack of control over one's mind carry over from story to story. It somewhat resembles entering an unknown chamber in a vast house, only to feel a shiver down your back. A strong feeling that somethin ...more
Octavia Cade
Look, I know he's very famous and I know he's written some good stuff but hear me out: this is not the Poe collection that you want. Yes, it contains "The Fall of the House of Usher" which is a five star horror story if ever there was one. Yes, it also contains a selection of his other short stories, which admittedly I do not find as excellent as many do, but which I would still give a solid three stars in general. HOWEVER. Fully one half of this particular edition is not a short story at all. I ...more
This audiobook was great! I really enjoyed the music, which added atmosphere without interfering with the text.

These are a few of Poe's best short stories, and they are classics for a reason. I last read these ages ago when I was a teenager, and these remain as impressive as they were back then. Poe didn't just write stories, he identified a feeling, usually dread, and went to town with it, creating a wonderfully creepy atmosphere and interesting characters who you can sometimes despise or feel
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-story-sffh
Great collection of stories by Edgar Allan Poe.
1. The Fall of the House of Usher
2. The Pit and the Pendulum
3. The Black Cat
4. The Facts in the Case of M Valdemar
5. The Cask of Amontillado
6. Ligeia
7. The Tell-Tale Heart
8. The Masque of the Red Death
9. The Premature Burial
10. The Raven
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it

according to 19th century times ( and writing style with technique ) & after few short but literally bad stories, Poe´s next stories are fine, readable and perhaps "paradigmatic" for Lovecraft and proceeding authors of horror ( with a chip of fun in it )
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
A well written book. Enjoyed reading it.
Andy Kenney
Feb 27, 2020 rated it liked it
after reading this im pretty sure there is a corpse (or many) in the walls of one of EAP’s old houses. worrying
Oct 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting collection compiled by Signet Classics, including many of Poe's more famous (and gothic) short works such as "The Tell-Tale Heart", "The Masque of the Red Death" and "The Black Cat", as well as the detective stories that some argue inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous Baker Street sleuth, "The Murders at Rue Morgue" and "The Purloined Letter".

I had never read "The Casque of Amontillado" (even as, I confess, I knew its plot because of the internet meme) or "The Pit and
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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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