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This is a SoundCraft Audiobooks production - enhanced with music and sound effects - of some of the greatest works of Edgar Allan Poe, long heralded as the dark master of macabre fiction and one of America's most celebrated authors. Here, in this collection, you can enjoy four of his most beloved tales: The Fall of the House of Usher, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Purloined Letter, and The Masque of the Red Death.
Poe's atmospheric, moving and disturbing stories are perfect for a late-night listen that will send a shiver up your spine!
This collection also features a brief biography of the author.
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What listeners say about Edgar Allan Poe Collection - Volume I
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For those who've never read Poe's work, do remember that he was born in 1809 and died in 1849 at the age of 40. His style is very poetic, and not for everyone. My wife and I were raised on these classics, and the movies that were based on them. Kevin Theis may not be Vincent Price or Bela Lugosi, but he does well. It's easy to imagine him as an actor on the stage. We received this book free in exchange for an honest review.
- Ryan Pascall
A slightly uneven selection.
As a child in Junior School (being about 9 years old) I remember seeing The Fall of the House of Usher in amongst other Penguin Classic books and, being a rather advanced reader, decided to give it a go; I was not ready. The writing style was far too grandiose and flamboyant for my childlike mind and I was left more confused than terrified. It was only 2 or 3 years later, after reading Outsider by H P Lovecraft in a collection of short ghost stories that I recalled the House of Usher tale and promptly borrowed it from the local library and fared much better, relishing in the surrealist style and grand revelation at the end. For years following this I devoured all the great classics of the 20s and 30s from Lovecraft, Poe, Derleth and Ashton-Smith and Belknap Long amongst other, becoming lost in their wildly esoteric tales the like of which the current era of authors (then being the 80s) could scarcely touch. Since then, I have listened to thousands of hours of audiobooks and radio plays of these classic chillers and find them to be of wildly different levels of quality and such was the case with this newest collection. This Edgar Allen Poe collection (Vol.1) brings together four of Poe's tales, that being The Fall of the House of Usher, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Purloined Letter and The Masque of the Red Death. Now the point of this review is not so much to cover the stories themselves but I will offer a simple summary of each tale first: The Fall of the House of Usher: This is one of my favourite Poe tales and involves an unnamed man receiving a letter from a childhood friend who beseeches him to visit, as he finds himself in ill health. This leads into a true ghostly tale of a cursed family, a seemingly sentient house and a wonderfully shocking closure to the tale. The Murders in the Rue Morgue: An unusually gory tale for Poe that surrounds the murder of two women in a shockingly barbaric way. The tale follows amateur detective Auguste Dupin in his investigation into whom, or what, the killer may be. The Purloined Letter: Amateur Detective Dupin is back again, this time helping a high ranking Parisian Police Detective locate a letter of great importance which was stolen from the private chambers of the Queen. The Masque of the Red Death: A terrifying tale in which a thousand of the richest friends of a Prince take refuge in his Abbey home to avoid a deadly plague spreading across the land, and yet find that there is no avoiding your fate. As far as the selection goes, it is strange to have 3 powerfully shocking tales wrapped around such a strangely sedate one, but all the stories carry some level of moralistic undertone and it doesn’t feel overly out of place. The collection ends with a short biography of Poe (running maybe 3 minutes long), but I do admit though that I would have liked maybe one of his poems tacked to the end, maybe the wonderful Lenore or the well known, but no less creepy The Raven. Ranking the tales themselves outside of the Audiobook, I think they’d come off: The Fall of the House of Usher: 5/5 The Murders in the Rue Morgue:4/5 The Purloined Letter 3/5 The Masque of the Red Death 5/5 Now with regards to this as an audio, I would say that I find the narrator unsuited to gothic horror. While he spoke clearly and enunciated well, I found his method of narrating overbearing for what is are dark, foreboding tales. I listen to my audios with headphones on to cancel outside interference but found myself having to reduce the volume on several occasions lest I end up with a headache. Again this is not down to a poor reading, I simply feel that he would be better served reading more energetic or exciting pulpy tales than these. All in all I will always recommend Poe’s work as a source of great classic horror, but would suggest looking for ones handled with a little less gusto.