Travis's Reviews > The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket and Related Tales

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket and Related T... by Edgar Allan Poe
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Jun 12, 2010

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bookshelves: classics, sf-fantasy

Half dark sea faring adventure, half equally dark fantasy. Sort of 'Captain's Courageous' meets 'Guliver's Travels', if you sucked most of the fun out of those stories.

One of Poe's most unrelentingly racist works. I'm generally able to shrug off stuff that is seen as politically incorrect due to when it was written, but Poe lays it on so thick that after awhile you are just tired of hearing about how evil and untrustworthy blacks are.

Young Arthur Gordon stows away on on a ship, wanting the adventuresome life of a sailor, only to have it go horrible wrong. He nearly dies of dehydration, is almost killed during a mutiny, is then washed ashore somewhere in the Artic and is nearly killed ( again) by some nasty lost tribes of semi-human creatures.

The shipboard stuff is brutal and probably more realistic than I'd like to think, and then when it goes all weird and JUles Verne on acid, you wonder if Poe just jammed two stories together so they'd be book length.

Very odd and wildly uneven read. Full of atmosphere, but some long dull stretches and then some unrelentingly grim ones.

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