Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Short Review: 'The Dover Reader: Edgar Allan Poe', eds. by M.C. Waldrep & J.B. Kopito

'The Raven' is a short story that pretty much everyone has to read early on in their school years. It's a staple of American Gothic literature, but Edgar Allan Poe has much more to offer than just that story. Dover's new Poe Reader gives the audience an insight into a lot more of Poe's work, both prose and poetry. Thanks to Netgalley and Dover Publications for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Pub. Date: 17/12/2014
Publisher: Dover Publications
The father of the detective novel and an innovator in American Gothic fiction, Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849) made his living as America's first great literary critic. Today he is best remembered for his short stories and poems, haunting works of horror and mystery that remain popular around the world.
This anthology presents Poe's finest works in a rich selection of poetry and prose that features his only complete novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym. Short stories include "The Fall of the House of Usher," "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," "The Pit and the Pendulum," "The Purloined Letter," "The Tell-Tale Heart," and more than a dozen others. In addition to a few selections of Poe's nonfiction writing, the compilation offers "The Conqueror Worm," "Annabel Lee," "The Raven," and many other memorable poems.
Edgar Allan Poe is the kind of author everyone knows about but that most people only pretend to have truly, extensively read. His style is immediately recognizable, his stories beyond tragic and his poetry beautiful, and this Dover Reader will give you all of it. Although much of Poe's work is already in the public domain, this Reader gives you a good oversight of his prose work while providing you with a good selection of poetry and non-fiction work. Few authors have been as labelled as Poe, whose name is practically synonymous with the Macabre. With this kind of selection it's easy to get a good grip of Poe's entire work and really understand his genius more.

Similarly to Dover Publications other anthologies, this one is arranged chronologically. However, it is also split up into three sections: fiction, poetry and nonfiction, each of which is chronologically ordered. What I loved about this order is that's from the index it's really easy to see what Poe was working on when, which stories were written at the same time as certain poems etc. This Reader also contains the only complete novel ever written by Poe, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym. I have read some stunning anthologies of Poe's work which made the most of the Gothic nature of Poe's work through illustrations and lay-out. The Dover Reader is a lot more straight-forward, more of a reference book than an anthology for pleasure reading.

I give this collection...

3 Universes!

Edgar Allan Poe is a fascinating author whose writings have been incredibly influential. The Dover Reader brings Poe's various works together beautifully and gives a good oversight of his career. I'd recommend this both to those who want a casual read of Poe but also those who want to get a more comprehensive view of his beautifully macabre writings.

1 comment:

  1. I have a couple of Pow anthologies and am ashamed to say that I haven't really studied either. But someday. Someday.