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

Read Book* *Different edition

The Black Cat

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  26,797 ratings  ·  1,636 reviews
"The Black Cat" is one of Edgar Allan Poe's most memorable stories. The tale centers around a black cat and the subsequent deterioration of a man. The story is often linked with "The Tell-Tale Heart" because of the profound psychological elements these two works share.
Paperback, BookSurge Classics, 24 pages
Published February 2nd 2004 by BookSurge (first published 1840)
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 Black Cat, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Eduardo Viana Gasque Poe trabalha muito a sanidade (ou falta dela). Eu realmente acredito que esse conto não tem absolutamente nada realmente sobrenatural, tudo é a perspe…morePoe trabalha muito a sanidade (ou falta dela). Eu realmente acredito que esse conto não tem absolutamente nada realmente sobrenatural, tudo é a perspectiva do narrador. Acredito também que não é uma doença, ou a bebida, acho que é quem ele é, uma essência que sempre esteve lá. Note que ele sente uma felicidade que nunca teve quando o gato não voltou e sua esposa estava morta. Talvez fosse infeliz no casamento? Algo reprimido? Só uma ideia...(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  26,797 ratings  ·  1,636 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Black Cat
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Black Cat, Edgar Allan Poe
The Black Cat is a short story by American writer Edgar Allan Poe. It was first published in the August 19, 1843. The narrator tells us that from an early age he has loved animals. He and his wife have many pets, including a large, beautiful black cat (as described by the narrator) named Pluto. This cat is especially fond of the narrator and vice versa. Their mutual friendship lasts for several years, until the narrator becomes an alcoholic. One night, after coming
A morbid story of Edgar Allan Poe, probably one of his most famous ones, the black cat... about a man slowly going hysterical, madder and madder and a cat (or actually two?) playing a key part in increasing his insanity and leading up to morbid actions...
What brings a man to write such stories.... I understood Poe did not have the best of lives himself.
A great writer though, intriguing stories. Four stars, will further edit in the coming days!

Here's a bit of background from Wikipedia:
'"The Blac
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Poe's short stories are so similar to each other.

Sometimes I wonder why I like reading them so much.

He was a genius.
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Here is another classic Poe tale of dissolution and madness. It's very similar to The Tell-Tale Heart, yet different in interesting ways. For one thing, this tale is told from a distant, calm, and indeed sane perspective. Unlike The Tell-Tale Heart, which begins with the narrator breathlessly trying to convince the reader of his sanity, here the narrator calmly states that "I neither expect nor solicit belief" in his tale, but that because he is to die tomorrow (presumably to be executed), he wi ...more
Sean Barrs
This depicts a man who has completely lost himself to his illness. He was once happy. He was once sane. He had a loving wife and a warm home full of pets. But, his illness took over; it sent him into fits of blind rage in which he abused that which he professed to love; he neglected his animals and beat his wife. However, for a time, he left his favourite amongst them in peace. He left his beloved black cat alone. Well, until one day where he was sent over the edge and decided to stab the poor c ...more
GOODREADS POLL QUESTIONS: What did you think of Edgar Allen Poe’s short story, THE BLACK CAT?

OUCH....well I didn’t hate this anti black cat hit piece as much as the unbiased poll respondents did, but I didn’t really like it either. Of course, as a member of the GLASS Association (Get Lousy Drunk and Sing Showtunes), I will say that I found the negative portrayal of excess alcohol consumption to be both misleading and offensive and may have allowed that anger to color my
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I listened to the audiobook and read the original text in English and also the translated text into my mother language (Portuguese). The narrator was so great! And Edgar Allan Poe was a genius!
Rebecca McNutt
I loved this story when I was eight years old. My dad downloaded it for me and I would play it on CD from my bedroom stereo (I don't even remember the last time I used a CD, I prefer real books), but The Black Cat gets better with age and for a short little tale of a cruel, neurotic man and the cat he mistreats, it carries deep themes of guilt, morality, kindness (or lack thereof, who the f*ck cuts a cat's eye out with a pen knife just because they feel like it!?) and vengeance coming to bite th ...more
Ahmed  Ejaz
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories, 2017
I like Edger Allan Poe's stories very much. They are so deep and give very horrifying feelings to me.
I liked this story too. While reading, I was feeling that I had experienced something like this before. But I couldn't know from where. It turned out, The Tell-tale Heart was similar to this one. That's why.
I highly recommend this story to everyone.
Mansuriah Hassan
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, favorites
I have never read Edgar Allan Poe’s writing before. So after reading this short story, I was immediately intrigued. Right after I finished reading this story I was like “Whoa… What did I just read?” This is one of the darkest tales that I have ever read. Horrifying! Gruesome! Edgar Allan Poe is literally the master of horror!

Poe gives a disturbing creepy glimpse into the mind of the narrator. The narrator begins with his kind and human younger self. In subsequent years he descended into madness
Bam cooks the books ;-)
#2016-aty-reading-challenge-week-51: a short story from a well-known author.

My love for Edgar Allan Poe's short stories began in seventh grade. My language arts teacher was a very dramatic looking woman: skeletally thin with long raven black hair which was parted in the middle and tightly pulled back into a chignon, revealing razor-sharp cheekbones. No person alive could install more of a sense of horror and dread in us than she did as she read Poe's stories aloud to our class. And we loved it!
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This short story was an intense read. Not all of Poe's stories works for me, but this one definitely does. It deals with animal cruelty and domestic violence, and some of it was uncomfortable. But I really like it when literature makes me feel something strongly - even if its something bad. It shows both the power and the importance of literature. Cozy, funny reads are great, and sometimes they're exactly what I need. But it is stories that challenge me or make me feel something intensely that r ...more
Bionic Jean
The Black Cat (1842) is a truly horrible story by Edgar Allan Poe. It is horrible in an entirely literal sense, and is one of the darkest stories Poe ever wrote. It is a psychological study of guilt and madness resulting in part from alcoholism. This is an interesting stance taken by the author, since Poe himself was reputedly an alcoholic. Masterly though it is, I dislike this story intensely with its depiction of (view spoiler) ...more
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I think this is my favorite so far. Definitely the darkest and most violent. The main character is very disturbing and appears to be driven to insanity by alcoholism? (I would guess bad tub gin or whatever the more poisonous, cheap stuff was would do the trick.) He turns from a mostly normal, kind man into a violently psychopathic one.

He was so tender of heart, he would get bullied by others, and he loved animals.

There is something in the unselfish and self-sacrificing love of a brute, which go
K. Elizabeth
*Read for class*

What a strange story...
Althea Ann
Nov 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I think I might have to give this one the Most Unpleasant Narrator of All Time award.

It's true, animal abusers tend to be psychopaths.

Here, Poe gives us a disturbing glimpse into the mind of a man who shows no remorse for his deeds and is eager to blame outside factors for his own decisions. The story, published in 1843, still has the ability to shock, even today.
Clumsy Storyteller
What a disturbed, brilliant mind!!

Evelyn (devours and digests words)
I love karma. The Black Cat is Poe at his best macabre, creepy self.

[image error]

Also, don't mess with cats. They're evil.

Mar 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
Having read Poe's classic in junior high school (grade eight English) when we were doing an entire term on diverse British and American mystery and thrillers (from the 19th to the middle of the 20th century), I should probably be rereading this tale thoroughly before posting a review, as I do not remember all that much except that The Black Cat is well crafted, engagingly descriptive, but also and nevertheless so horribly creepy and frightening that it actually gave me some rather major nightmar ...more
Zuky the BookBum
This is one of few Poe works that I have read but I am stunned at his ability to scare his reader.

This story is dark, disturbing and horrific. Told from the perspective of a man made angry and aggressive from an alcohol addiction, this story moves through the motions of his life. From happy young animal loving boy, to wife and animal abuser.

Karma's a bitch, don't fuck with cats!
Feb 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, horror-read, classics
Poe is a literary genius. Maybe I am just a sucker for titles dealing with cats. But, Poe is famous for a reason. As much as I say Stephen King is the master of horror....I have to say, Poe is the original horror master. Such a creative mind, beautiful words and prose.
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This tale is super twisted.
Jun 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, 1paper, 2fiction
I just read this particular short story on a Wiki site:
& found it truly gruesome. I can understand why some might not connect with it. Poe's tale of a descent into madness & violence is somewhat illogical for the normal person, but for the addict or alcoholic... well, he describes it perfectly - unsurprising when you consider his history of abuse. I believe he poured his soul into the telling.

The man's brief description of his prior life told me that he m
Dec 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
7-15-17 Update:
(Lyrics from "Addicted to Love" by Robert Palmer...)

The lights are on but you're not home
Your mind is not your own
Your body sweats, your body shakes
Another [word on the page] is what it takes
You can't eat, you can't sleep
There's no doubt you're in deep
Your throat is tight, you can't breathe
Another [word on the page] is all you need
You like to think that you're immune to the stuff, oh yeah
It's closer to the truth, you know
You're gonna have to face it
You might as well face
Mebarka Fekih
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oh My GOD!What was that

being in a dark room and looking for a black cat that isn't there

“Who has not, a hundred times, found himself committing a vile or a silly action for no other reason than because he knows he should not?”

Poe gives us a disturbing creepy glimpse into the mind of a man who shows no remorse for his cruel deeds ,someone who always blame it on outside factors ;giving false reasoning for his unjustifiable acts .In this short story mr Poe illustrates the capacity of human mind to
Diane S ☔
Oct 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
A short story that is very representative of the darkness of Poe's writing. Drink turns a once loving and compassionate man into a monster. A story of cruelty and revenge with wonderfully descriptive writing and some very startling moments. I have not read Poe in a while but he writes some wonderful stories and it is almost Halloween. The perfect time for creepiness.
Ugh, this is the second time I read this story. I feel the horror just like i did the first time that was when in high school i was learning English. At that time i read an easier writing of the story. I never anticipated the beauty of the writing style, then. This is a well written, horrifying short story everyone should read at least once.
Colleen Houck
I've never read this short story before and I'm so glad I finally go around to it. It's creepy, shocking, and horrific, just what you want Edgar Allan Poe to be. =)
Apr 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy Cat-Paws! What Madness! Undeniably an appalling HORROR of a short story by the great Poe. (great illustrations to set the tone too, but unable to locate my edition on GR)
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this one decades ago... going to re-read this winter
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Brasil: O Gato Preto 5 16 Nov 13, 2019 08:53PM  
FOR HALLOWEEN 1 2 Oct 06, 2017 12:13PM  
For Halloween 3 1 Oct 06, 2017 12:02PM  
For October... 1 1 Oct 06, 2017 10:46AM  
HALLOWEEN ASSIGNMENT 1 2 Oct 06, 2017 12:05AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Bewitched
  • The Monkey's Paw
  • The Mask of Red Death (Edgar Allan Poe Mystery, #3)
  • Lussiferda
  • Dagon
  • The Body Snatcher
  • My Old Man
  • The Magic Shop
  • Nattrodd
  • À la Dure
  • Rip Van Winkle
  • The Time Invariance of Snow
  • Smrt Smail-age Čengića
  • The Call of Cthulhu
  • Prijan Lovro
  • معضلة
  • الحرب - قصة قصيرة
  • Young Goodman Brown
See similar books…
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

Related Articles

"Horror fiction has traditionally dealt in taboo.… It makes monsters of household pets and begs our affection for psychos. It s...
574 likes · 749 comments
“Yet mad I am not...and very surely do I not dream.” 384 likes
“The fury of a demon instantly possessed me. I knew myself no longer. My original soul seemed, at once, to take its flight from my body; and a more than fiendish malevolence, gin-nurtured, thrilled every fibre of my frame.” 226 likes
More quotes…