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The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Tales

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  63,344 ratings  ·  468 reviews
The eerie tales of Edgar Allan Poe 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 two 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 Cask of Amontillado", ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 1st 1998 by Signet Classics (first published 1960)
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4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  63,344 ratings  ·  468 reviews

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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 AM MAD?

Most of
Ben Winch
I wrote this review a while ago. What was I thinking? Now I'll have to explain myself. Anyway, here it is...
I go through phases where I think Poe was the greatest writer that ever lived. They usually pass in 2-3 weeks or so, once I've had time to read and re-read his best stuff and be appalled by his worst. For the most part, this collection sticks to the best. There's not much of it. 200 pages would probably do it. Maybe 12 stories, some poems ('The Raven', 'Annabel Lee'). But page for page I d
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
*Read for Class*

So, I guess Poe is pretty cool. He's still not my favorite author (and probably never will be), but I'm learning to appreciate his writing style and uncanny stories.
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
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
Kerri Duff
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
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
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
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
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
Melissa Jackson
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
Jan 04, 2019 marked it as da-sfogliare-e-consultare  ·  review of another edition

Un giorno, se io non andrò sempre fuggendo di gente in gente, mi vedrete seduto a meditare il mio film sul crollo della casa Usher di Poe. Ho già in mente la colonna sonora, “Blackout” dei Muse, la mia preferita, con quegli archi maestosi in minore e quel lamento funebre che è la voce di Bellamy… peccato si siano venduti a Twilight, e questo, forse, rovinerà un po’ la mia ambizione e reputazione. Quando la chitarra partirà all’impazzata con la distorsione in crescendo
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!
Further Reading
A Note on the Text


--Sonnet - To Science
--Al Aaraaf
--To Helen
--The City in the Sea
--The Sleeper
--The Valley of Unrest
--The Raven
--For Annie
--A Valentine
--Annabel Lee
--The Bells


--MS. Found in a Bottle
--The Man that was Used Up
--The Fall of the House of Usher
--William Wilson
--The Man of the Crowd
--The Murders in the Rue Morgue
--A Descent into the Maelström
--The Oval Portrait
Sep 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-good, classics
Old Poe really didnt like encroaching science at the time he was living in (1830/40's). Sonnet To Science is quite revealing; he saw science as slowly destroying age old ideas and myths...

'Why preyest thou thus upon the poets heart,
Vulture, whose wings are dull realities?'

Not only that, but how about:

'Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood,
The Elfin from the green grass, and from me
The Summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?'

Not much more to say. He is right of course.
I feel like saying something along the lines of: "more fiction writers should read Poe." But I suspect that plenty of the shittiest writers around count Poe as a favourite. So what's the deal? In any case, much of this stuff is just perfect. And you know it. If you don't, you haven't read Poe, or have questionable taste.

The finest?
The Fall of the House of Usher
The Pit and the Pendulum
The Tell-Tale Heart
The Black Cat
The Cask of Amontillado
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.
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
Cáitín  Ní Loingeacháin
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
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I acquired this book, The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Writings by Edgar Allan Poe, to satisfy a Reading Challenge and ended up enjoying it for the most part. I readily admit that I didn't read all of the Essays and Reviews that make up the third and final portion of the book. However I think I read enough to consider the book complete from my perspective.
The book is made up of three sections; Part 1 - Collected Poems by Poe, Part 2 - A collection of Poe's Short Stories and as previously
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
Oct 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
oh my goodness just read the pit and the pendulum it is truely frightening. Loved it one of the best psychological tales I have ever read. WOW 5 stars from me for this story alone.
A brilliant introduction to Poe .
There were lots of stories and poems in here that I admit to using my hi lighter pen on and that is not something I do regularly.
The Raven is a personal favorite of mine and The Pit and the Pendulum again Wow but there is much more to be enjoyed from this master of the macabre..
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
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, overdrive
Good creepy collection including: The Fall of the House of Usher; The Pit and the Pendulum; The Black Cat; The Facts in the Case of M Valdemar; The Cask of Amontillado; Ligeia; The Tell-Tale Heart; The Masque of the Red Death; The Premature Burial; and The Raven. Many deal with entombment and/or the failure to remain dead. The narration of the audiobook was a little too dramatic.
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Re-read 'The Pit and the Pendulum' for the 'Catching up on the Classics' August short story.
Poe does not make for happy reading but I love everything about his stories, the rich style, the darkness, the suspense. 5*
May Regan
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
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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
“During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher. I know not how it was--but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit. I say insufferable; for the feeling was unrelieved by any of that half-pleasureable, because poetic, sentiment, with which the mind usually receives even the sternest natural images of the desolate or terrible. I looked upon the scene before me--upon the mere house, and the simple landscape features of the domain--upon the bleak walls--upon the vacant eye-like windows--upon a few rank sedges--and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees--with an utter depression of soul which I can compare to no earthly sensation more properly than to the after-dream of the reveller upon opium--the bitter lapse into everyday life--the hideous dropping off of the veil. There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart--an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime.” 53 likes
“They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. In their grey visions they obtain glimpses of eternity, and thrill, in awaking, to find that they have been upon the verge of the great secret. In snatches, they learn something of the wisdom which i of good, and more of the mere knowledge which is of evil.” 11 likes
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