Fans of Poe and detective stories alike will enjoy this fantastic performance of the Dupin stories read by Kerry Shale. Shale takes these very early tales in the detective genre and brings life to the details. Despite Poe's verbosity, his characters are engaging as they rely on newspaper accounts to solve crimes. Shale is at his finest when reading C. Auguste Dupin's parts, giving the investigator's English the perfect French accent. In particular, Shale shines in "The Purloined Letter," jumping wholeheartedly into the role of each character. His characters' laughs and his own enthusiasm are infectious. Naxos ties up a great package of dramatic performances with a wonderful selection of classical music between chapters.
Auguste Dupin, investigator extraordinaire, was the remarkable creation of Edgar Allan Poe. Written in the 1840s, Poe presented the acutely observant, shrewd but idiosyncratic character who, with his chronicler, provided the inspiration for the more famous Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.The Dupin Stories include the following:
Public Domain (P)2005 Naxos AudioBooks
It's well established that Edgar Allan Poe wrote the first detective stories (the awards for detective stories are named after him), though these are probably lesser known works compared to Poe's "spookier" works such as the Pit and the Pendulum or The Raven. Most people probably know one of the great characters these books inspired though - Sherlock Holmes - and it's clear exactly how much of the form Doyle copied for his Holmes stories (these are narrated by the detective's best friend, with whom he shares an apartment; the detective chooses to solve these crimes as a personal diversion, for the mental fun of it, but is occasionally consulted by the police).
The stories are interesting and full of intriguing analysis - the first is an apparent locked-room mystery, the second is based on an actual (and still unsolved) murder in New York, and the third is a delightful tale of how Dupin solved the problem of a stolen letter and prevented blackmail, while at the same time exacting some revenge for a previous wrong. Much of the analysis is based on mathematical principles, and follows what Doyle would later explain much more directly: ".....when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth" While Doyle had Sherlock Holmes state it succinctly, it was first said by C. August Dupin, as written by Poe, in these original detective stories.
The book is bit sinister and dark and French, but this is the essential read for the followers of the English who-dunnits.
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