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The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Writings

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Book Eight.

My overall impression was that Poe is a rambler. In most of the stories, he spends a lot of (in my opinion, necessary,) time setting the scene before launching into the story.

The stories in which Poe ‘got on with it’ and didn’t waste pages detailing useless descriptions, i found the most enjoyable—unsurprisingly. It was when i read ‘William Wilson’ (the fifth story in the book) that i was suddenly hooked. Suddenly i didn’t feel like i was forcing myself to keep reading. Suddenly the pages were flying by without me noticing. And the thing with ‘William Wilson’ was that i knew very early on what was happening, what the ‘twist’ would be, but it was the need to see how it would all unfold that kept me reading.

With some editing, all of the short stories in this book could have satisfied me enough to love Poe’s work unconditionally. Alas, even when Poe is literally claiming to be succinct, it takes him several pages.

(Longer spoiler-filled review at:

Wendle says:

I read The Tell-Tale Heart years and years ago and liked it. It's one of the stories where Poe just got on with it, and the mood is set from the start. I liked The Black Cat a lot for similar reasons.

4th Apr 2013, 17:59

Wendle says:

It was the slow slow creeping into the room every night that did it for me.

10th Apr 2013, 18:05