The Poe Shadow
Baltimore, 1849. The body of Edgar Allan Poe has been buried in an unmarked grave. The public, the press, and even Poe’s own family and friends accept the conclusion that Poe was a second-rate writer who met a disgraceful end as a drunkard. Everyone, in fact, seems to believe this except a young ...more
To begin with, Quentin Clark is the ...more
Alas, The Poe Shadow was a disappointment through and through. This novel just didn't cut it, no matter which way I tried to slice it. It failed to have any of the creepiness or ...more
Many readers are commenting that The Poe Shadow is not as good as The Dante Club. Sure, a serial killer on the loose in Boston is compelling stuff. Graphic murder and mayhem trumps an intellectual mystery in Baltimore. While reading The Poe Shadow, I tried to avoid comparing the two works, as each deserves recognition on its own terms.
Popular sentiment is that Quentin Clark, the protagonist, is quite a knob. ...more
He is obsessive to the point of loosing everything he is/has, his career, fortune, home, finance, friends...the only thing that keeps him from absolutely loosing everything is due to friends coming to his aid at the ...more
The more I think of it, the more I dislike. I read his book about Dante, and didn't hate, but wow I disliked this one.
First off, I know a lot about Poe. Helps that I was a docent (fancy word for tour guide) at the Richmond Poe Museum. So, yeah, I got your Poe right here.
The whole plot didn't make sense. Oh my god, I hated the main character who was pretty much a 19th century stalker. Poe should have gotten a restraining order on this guy. So when Poe dies, ...more
"The Poe Shadow" is set in antebellum America. The protagonist, a young attorney, risks life and limb to unravel the mystery of Edgar Allan Poe's death, and enlists the aid of a French detective, supposedly the prototype for Poe literary ...more
This is the 2nd book involving Edgar Allan Poe I've read in the past year. The other being "The Beautiful Cigar Girl" a work of non fiction & this being historical fiction. It takes place in mid 19th century Baltimore at the time of Poe's death which the press has leaped upon as an object lesson of the evils of drink. A young lawyer & admirer of Poe becomes incensed at this slander & sets out to make the record straight, but his ...more
What is the problem? Motivation. As in - what is the character's motivation for doing what he does? Seemingly there is none. I would describe it as such; Quentin is a man who only wants a blue M&M, however he lives in a world where there ARE NO blue M&M's. So he just runs around and screams erratically at strangers to make them believe there's a ...more
I finished the book! I can't believe I finished it! This is a major deal for me, because I've had this book on my shelf for around 8 years now, and I've always put it off. I don't really know why, because I'm a fan of Edgar Allan Poe. Maybe it was the mystery element, something I don't really tend to read in fiction. Anyway, I finally knuckled down and finished this book, so finally I am in the position to write a complete review.
The Poe Shadow follows the endeavors of Quentin Clark, a ...more
The man's name was Edgar Allan Poe.
The true events leading to the mysterious death of Edgar Allan Poe remain a mystery to this day. No one knows what he was doing in Baltimore, as he was supposed to be in New York at the ...more
On the first count: the protagonist, Quentin Clark, is childish and insipid. He's an irritating hero, but what's worse is that he isn't a hero who moves the plot ...more
Okay. So, I did. And I didn't like it any ...more
I got about halfway through this book, and eventually decided to throw it in. Where Dante Club moved with all the pace and movement of a well plotted film, the Poe Shadow was boring from the start. I do agree. The main characters not likable in ...more
Matthew Pearl's best-selling The Dante Club (2003) successfully meshed history, literature, and mystery. Though he tries to duplicate this formula and honor a great American writer, The Poe Shadow fails to garner similar interest. First, Pearl's attempt to echo 19th-century prose is fusty and verbose. Second, Clark, though he has his eccentricities, is rather "poor company" (Wall Street Journal). Third, while the subplots offer intrigue, they rarely advance the plot and never attain the macabre...more
Alas, though I enjoyed the setup, the second act in Paris irreparably undermines the rest of the story. Aside from glacial pacing, it sets up a flawed conceit – that the protagonist would care who discovers the truth behind Poe's final days, and wouldn't be grateful both the ...more
I just can’t get into this one. It’s a mystery about Poe’s death with a “detective” who wants to be like the detectives in Poe’s stories, & this author is doing a bad impersonation of Poe’s style. It just all feels so overblown & overdone, & I just don’t have time for that. His other work is higher rated, so maybe I’ll give it a shot at some point.
I should preface this by admitting I haven't read much Poe. I have a couple of collections; I've just ... never gotten around to it. But I'm familiar with his most famous poems, I knew who C. Auguste Dupin was, and I knew a little about Poe's life and reputation - ...more
It was nothing to do with the writing, it's well crafted and researched, the author certainly has a district voice, and the story plot had me hooked straight from the cover. Unformataly, it just didn't grab me enough much past the first hundred pages with were hard going. Though I wish it had, I wanted to love it.
It may just be me. I seem to have a personal issue with male writers of ...more
My one issue with The Poe Shadow was with the ending. It seemed like Pearl needed to fulfill a length requirement before finishing. Right when it seemed like things were sufficiently wrapped ...more
Edgar Allen Poe showed up unexpected and in a confused state to the Washington College Hospital in Baltimore. He died there on October 3, 1849. Before his death he called out for a person named Reynolds and a letter was sent to a Dr. ...more
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|2015 Reading Chal...: The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl||2||13||Mar 11, 2015 06:17PM|
|Proper funeral for Edgar Allan Poe||1||25||Oct 11, 2009 02:26AM|
Matthew Pearl's novels have been international and New York Times bestsellers translated into more than 30 languages. His ...more