When the body of a suicide victim disappears at West Point Military Academy in 1831, only to be discovered hours later missing its heart, the Academy calls on retired detective Gus Landor to investigate. Landor is something of a legend among his peers, noted for an uncanny, Holmesian ability to read people. When Edgar Allan Poe, a new cadet, comes forth with his own cryptic conclusion - that the man Landor is looking for is a poet - Landor is intrigued and enlists Poe as his assistant. Working together, Landor and Poe narrow down the suspects, all the while dealing with their own personal demons.
©2006 Louis Bayard (P)2014 AudioGO
This was a great listen! Although it might be notable for Edgar Allen Poe's inclusion in the book as a cadet at West Point, the novel really stands on it's own even if he weren't the character who helps the protagonist investigate murders and mayhem on the West Point campus. The narrator voices the characters well, and it was an all-round pleasure to listen to.
Young Edgar Allen Poe. And the mystery. The ending.
It was not like any other book I have read. And I read A LOT.
I didn't like it at first, but it grew on me and by the end, I really had gotten used to his style and thought it was appropriate for the book. I think it was probably a pretty difficult book to narrate.
No. But I did enjoy the end. And it made me want to read up on Poe's early life. Also look at pictures to find out if his forehead really WAS so large.
This book took me two tries. The first time I started to listen, I abandoned it after about an hour. Then I went back to it at a later time and got interested and enjoyed it very much. It was different than I thought it was going to be. But not in a bad way.
Bayard's writing style perfectly captures mid-19th century American diction--reminiscent of the best of Twain and Harte. With just a few seemingly simple changes to cadence, pitch, intonation, Leggett creates vivid and memorable characters.
Unfortunately, I am unable to recall another book now. But this is a masterfully woven tale of intrigue and mystery, with an unexpected twist at the end. Marvelous!
What you never knew about Edgar Allan Poe....
I would recommend they first listen to the "sample". The gentleman narrating appeals to many, but I find his voice difficult to listen to. I found the story to be slow, convoluted, and ponderous for my taste, and was surprisingly annoyed by the repeated reference to "Reader", the Poe (and other) quotes, and the attempts to create other "voices" by the narrator. Others have loved both the performance and the story. I did not finish the first half, and will be returning it. The three stars were given as I felt the narrator was trying, and I didn't think it fair to give one star to a book I had not finished. It and I were NOT a good fit.
If you like historical fiction, you'll likely really appreciate this one. Boyars is a master.
Eventful narrative. Exceptional narration. Does get a bit weighty with 'Poe's' prose round the middle but the ending more than makes up for it. Would recommend to anyone who enjoys their historical fiction touched by a bit of the fantastical. Bayard never fails to create (or in some cases re-create) larger than life characters who linger with you for some time after.
While I don't know much of Poe the actual man, I suspect that Bayard attributed far more positive attributes to him than he warranted. That did not take away from the book. The plot had you suspecting the ending, and yet you didn't know quite how it fit and then came the twist. The setting and the tautness of the tale make this a book that will keep you in the car a little longer to fit in another few pages of audio. The reader's performance was great, a voice I would like to hear more.
Chronic multi-tasker; Audible feeds my addiction to well loved genres, and allows me to explore new, unexplored arenas
EXCELLENT twist at the end... Never saw it coming
Stands on its own
First time - but not the last
It would be very difficult to condense this to a movie - too much detail/backstory would be lost
I love the unexpected-
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