The Portable Poe

By Edgar Allan Poe

Rating: 3 stars

This is a collection of work by Edgar Allan Poe, including letters, stories, poems, criticism and opinions. I must confess that I found it hard going. Poe isn’t an easy writer to read. Some of his poems are pretty difficult, and even some of his prose fiction was a slog, without even the denseness of poetry that I find personally difficult. There is a recurring theme of death and loss which grows wearing after a while and when you do encounter something with no mention of it, it’s a breath of fresh air.

Poe was possibly the first writer to write a detective story, with his creation C. Auguste Dupin, all three of whose stories are here, and from whom the descent to Holmes and beyond is clear. In saying that, the Dupin stories themselves aren’t hugely gripping and are more interesting to see the form of the detective story developing than anything else.

I’d never read any Poe before so this was a good selection of his work, but I don’t think I’ll particularly be looking out for any more, to be honest.

Book details

ISBN: 9780140150124
Publisher: Penguin Books
Year of publication: 1945

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