First published in the Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper in June 1843, "The Gold Bug" won its author, Edgar Allan Poe, a sum of 100 dollars and was during his lifetime the author’s most popular work. Performed in a stentorian and agile voice by Walter Covell, "The Gold Bug" features a treasure-seeker who is rendered possibly insane by the bite of a golden bug, his black servant (spoken in a dialect that may offend sensitive ears), the swampy locale of an island in South Carolina, buried treasure, and one of the most famous cryptograms in all of literature. A perennial delight, "The Gold Bug" was also the inspiration for that other tale of buried treasure, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.
© and (P)1984 Jimcin Recordings
I came to this novella in a circuitous way. I liked
Apocalypse Now and saw that it was based on Heart of Darkness. I have listened to Heart of Darkness and read it over the years, this is one of the best audible editions. I discover something new in Heart of Darkness every time. Outstanding!
Yes, but mostly as a reminder of how formal Poe's writing style is.
No, it has the nostalgic atmosphere of certain old movies.
His impersonation of a black man was as borderline racist as the old story seems to demand; I was close to laughing many times though not necessarily for the right reasons.
No, it is an inconsequential little story mostly concerned with one character's desire to show how clever he is at the decryption of cyphers, though it is interesting in that regard.
One lengthy passage is concerned with the details of an encoded message. It would have been a detail glanced at on paper but the narrator reads out every character. It is astonishing how long this takes. At least two minutes of reading out gibberish.
Report Inappropriate Content