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The Tell-Tale Heart

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4.25  ·  Rating details ·  60,490 ratings  ·  2,068 reviews
A murderer is convinced that the loud beating of his victim's heart will give him away to the police. ...more
Hardcover, 54 pages
Published 1998 by Books of Wonder (first published 1843)
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Sara I believe he is insane trying to convince us he is sane.
Many times he mentions that he isn't crazy because of one reason or another.
"TRUE! --nervous -…more
I believe he is insane trying to convince us he is sane.
Many times he mentions that he isn't crazy because of one reason or another.
"TRUE! --nervous --very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses --not destroyed --not dulled them. ... How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily --how calmly I can tell you the whole story."(less)
Gurmehar Reading the story, you will realise that the narrator has unbalanced thoughts. The story does not tell as to why does he want to kill the old man who …moreReading the story, you will realise that the narrator has unbalanced thoughts. The story does not tell as to why does he want to kill the old man who has striking blue 'vulture eyes'. It is the whole planning and strategising stage where he maps his steps for that one night where he would take charge and murder the old man. He did not stalk, as he was already in the same house as his caretaker, therefore, he kept an account of the old man's night routine and sleeping pattern.

The story is definitely creepy and a little disturbing, but it is so well written by Edgar Allan Poe, especially with the use of unconventional language( use of expressions - ha! ha!) which makes it very real and visual. Unlike other stories, it was easy to visualise the thought process, uneasiness and the anxiety the narrator had. (less)

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Muhtasin Oyshik
The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
description
A perfect haunting short story that will allow you to examine madness and wickedness at the depths of the human soul. It's not a horror story. But a kind of psychological tale. Strange the story. Easy to read. Quick to finish. Really loved this first-person storytelling. It's beautiful writing, and a very intense story will make anyone ponder for a long time.
And have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the sense?

Good
...more
NReads
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Typical Poe.

He is so descriptive, yet we don't actually know much about the narrator.

I think he's Poe himself.
...more
Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile
a delightfully morbid, fantastical story. i love that the literary discussion opportunities abound. WAS he mad? was it guilt? was he being haunted? we can only guess.
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Tell-Tale Heart, Edgar Allan Poe

The Tell-Tale Heart by writer Edgar Allan Poe, first published in 1843.

It is relayed by an unnamed narrator who endeavors to convince the reader of his sanity while simultaneously describing a murder he committed.

The victim was an old man with a filmy "vulture-eye", as the narrator calls it. The narrator emphasizes the careful calculation of the murder, and he hides the body by dismembering it in the bathtub, and hiding it under the floorboards. Ultimately,
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Jun 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
The Tell-Tale Heart, Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe is perhaps the ultimate author for fans of Gothic and macabre horror stories. Here is a carefully selected collection of his finest stories, this book includes, 'The Pit and the Pendulum', 'The Tell Tale Heart', 'The Cask of Amontillado' and many more.

It is relayed by an unnamed narrator who endeavors to convince the reader of his sanity while simultaneously describing a murder he committed.

The victim was an old man with a filmy "vulture-eye",
...more
Sandra
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An unnamed narrator who is telling this story plots to kill an elderly man because he hates his horrible and scary "vulture eye"...

Enjoyable, atmospheric, fast and creepy read. Poe was a great storyteller!
...more
Michael
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a quick little stab of the macabre this tale is! It's a classic example of the unreliable narrator, who tries desperately to convince the reader of his sanity even as he stalks, kills, dismembers, and buries an old man for no other reason than that the man's eye "resembled that of a vulture." Of course the harder he tries to convince the reader of his sanity, the more insane you realize he is: "You should have seen how wisely I proceeded--with what caution--what what foresight--with what di ...more
Paula
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Paula by: Sandra
A very dark story about a man's descent into madness. I really enjoyed Poe's unique, somewhat poetic, writing style. Perfect for my Halloween reading. ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
"... it was not the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye."

The nervous narrator decides murder is the only way to rid himself of this horrible eye -- but he didn't plan for the old man's heart.

This is one of Edgar Allen Poe's most famous short stories, from 1843. The unreliable narrator tells about how he was undone by an old man's clouded, "vulture-like" eye and beating heart ... or was he?

description

The unnamed narrator is talking to another person, presumably a psychiatrist or policeman, trying his
...more
Bionic Jean
The Tell-tale Heart, written in 1842, is one of Poe's best known short stories, despite its brevity. It is a study of the psychology of guilt, madness and paranoia, which are themes present in many of Poe's other works. The author uses a favourite claustrophobic device of his - (view spoiler) ...more
Cecily
Edgar Allan Poe’s very short story from 1843 still packs a punch.

A narrator of unknown age, gender, and relationship to an old man, defends their own sanity, as they explain how they planned his murder - a man who they say has never harmed them, and whose death would not profit them. Nor do we know if they’re talking to themself, a psychiatrist, God, the police, or unimagined readers, more than 150 years later. The only reason given for the killing taps into the sort of fears many of us have in
...more
James
Sep 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Who wouldn't find this insanity pure bliss? OK, possible exaggeration, but honestly... the rhythm and the beat of the words just make their own music in your mind and your breath as you read through them. A master... I wish I could have met him. Guessing what the noise is and what's going on around you... makes you want to watch the whole scene looking in from the window.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT.
...more
Beverly
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best short stories ever written, scared the bejesus out of me when I was a teenager and as you know teenagers are scared of nothing, because they know everything. Ha!
Swaroop
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First published in the year 1843!

Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart is a well-written short story. It is about a murder and where in, the muderer, who also happens to be the narrator in the book, tries to convince self and the reader that the act is justified. The gender of the narrator is not clear.

The reason behind the act is the vulture eye of the victim:

"It was open - wide, wide open - and I grew furious as I gazed upon it. I saw it with perfect distinctness -all a dull blue, with a hideo
...more
Jason Koivu
Oct 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
A short story classic!

Poe had excellent timing in the pace for The Tell-Tale Heart, setting it to the quickening beat of a increasingly nervous heart. (Don't you dare comment below about how "the heart" mentioned in the story is the victim's, not the narrator's!)

Countless future writers, especially tv writers needing to tie things up within a half hour, would use this story as a framework for how to wring a confession out of a perpetrator.

Unfortunately, this story might not capture the terrifie
...more
Jeff
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this in English class about two days ago, and at that moment, I realized what true writing talent was.

It’s a beautiful story.
Haunted story.

I’ve never read that much of Edgar Allen Poe’s work, but snaps for him, cause at the end, my whole class went speechless.

This is a story where at the beginning, you really know what the hell is bloody going on , but by the end, everything ties together.
Everything.

A truly captivating story starring a madman.
:)
Mohsin Maqbool
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
description

READING an Edgar Allan Poe story is like you were watching a macabre dance of death in a gothic theatre in the dead of night. Mr. Poe is a master of suspense – chilling suspense. He builds it up slowly – so slowly – that you start feeling scared and getting goosebumps all over your body. You can hear your heartbeat just like the narrator does in “The Tell-Tale Heart”. However, it is not his heartbeat that he is hearing but that of a sleeping old man into whose bedroom he creeps into. A situation
...more
Carol
Oct 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oh this is a really creepy good one!.......(listened to the audio this time)

An unnamed narrator is the nightly intruder that watches the old man sleep. He must put an end to the evil eye that haunts his days and visits his dreams. He must be so quiet as he sneaks into the black as pitch chamber.....night after night.....and then, a shriek! The deed is finally done, but.....the nightmare only begins.

THE TELL-TALE HEART is dark and spooky with a GREAT ending! One of my POE favorites!

The Celtic Rebel (Richard)
Entertaining ~ Great World Building ~ Haunting ~ Original ~ Scary ~ Twisted ~ Unpredictable ~ Wonderful Characters

Poe's masterpiece of suspense and horror -- best way to describe it simply. Poe to me was at the top of his form here. The writing is so descriptive and just builds and builds in suspense as the narrator weaves his tale. It's creepy and fascinating as the narrator tells his story of paranoia and obsession; working to convince someone and the reader that he isn't crazy.

A true gem. I'v
...more
Christine
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Christine by: Tom's fave, personal rec, many 5s
I couldn't recall if I had read this one in high school or not so downloaded it over lunch today. A real quickie, but highly entertaining. That guy was sick!!! ...more
Karlyflower *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)*


p, is for Poe

4 Stars

Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded –with what caution –with what foresight –with what dissimulation I went to work!

I have read A Tell-Tale Heart half a dozen times in my life and at every re-reading I am struck anew with Poe’s genius, he is one of the few writers I have ever come across who can entirely foreshadow a novel (or in this case short story) and yet still evoke e
...more
Matt
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short, classic, timeless piece of bare horror. A look into the abyss of madness when madness gloats right back.

Does it take a maniac to portray a maniac that way? I wonder.

Bren
“And have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the sense?”
― Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart



One of the most unforgettable short stories. Scary as anything too even reading it today. I picked this book to do a report on in my college literature class.

I am sure most have read it but if not..do it now! A great little masterpiece and just writing this is making me want to read it all over again!
Connie G
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love this short story unreliably narrated by a madman. The tension increases--as does the beating of the heart--as the narrator becomes more unstable. Even though I've read it multiple times over the years, I always marvel at how Poe constructed such a great story. ...more
Janete
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
An audiobook in Portuguese. Another great Poe's short story. "Having killed in a fit of passion, an unnamed narrator quickly hides the victim’s body only to be haunted by the victim’s relentless heartbeat."

"Even though this is one of Poe's shortest stories, it is nevertheless a profound and, at times, ambiguous investigation of a man's paranoia."

"A murderer is convinced that the loud beating of his victim's heart will give him away to the police."


...more
Jim C
Aug 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a short story that is considered a classic. It was written almost two hundred years ago and it still holds up today. In this one, we get to see the actual act of a murder and the immediate affect it has on the murderer.

This was so good and I am amazed how intense it was for a short story. The author does a wonderful job with the mood and the descriptions. Even though we never actually learn the name of the main character I was immediately enthralled by him as he describes his intention o
...more
Michael Sorbello
The scariest of Poe's horror stories in my opinion. Poe effectively showcases the classic symptoms and behaviors of paranoia-induced insanity, a symptom that many violent serial killers display. Poe also shows an impressive knowledge and understanding of a deranged criminal's mind in a time when not too much was known about human psychology.

The disturbed protagonist shows psychotic symptoms including fixation, obsessiveness, dehumanization and paranoia, leading him to do something utterly despi
...more
Brian
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
I first read this, like many others, in elementary school. I remember listening to the teacher explain it and how the concept intrigued me. I read it again a couple years ago. I just finished my third read. The more we read, the better it gets! Poe has this power with words I don't yet understand or have researched or tried yet to analyze. He takes all the senses you own from inside your head and makes you live inside the story. He has an amazing story-telling ability that gives excitement and p ...more
Olivia
Read this for my English course for Summer session. Poe definitely has a unique writing style and storytelling style - that's for sure. ...more
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21,325 followers
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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“And have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the sense?” 19 likes
“I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief --oh, no! --it was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. I knew the sound well. Many a night, just at midnight, when all the world slept, it has welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me. I say I knew it well. I knew what the old man felt, and pitied him, although I chuckled at heart.” 15 likes
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