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Poe for Your Problems  By  cover art

Poe for Your Problems

By: Catherine Baab-Muguira
Narrated by: Jennifer Jill Araya
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Publisher's Summary

When life’s got you down and things aren’t going your way, who better to turn to than Edgar Allan Poe? Discover how to say "nevermore" to your problems in this darkly comedic and refreshing self-help guide.

Of all the writers anywhere, Poe might be the least likely person you'd ever turn to for advice. His life was a complete dumpster fire: He married his cousin; got fired from one job after another; constantly feuded with friends and rivals; and he was always broke. But that’s also precisely the point. Though Poe failed again and again, he also persevered.

Drawing deeply on his works and life, Catherine Baab-Muguira takes the familiar image of Poe in a new and surprising direction in this darkly inspiring self-help book. Despite what you might think, Edgar Allan Poe is the perfect person to teach you to say "Nevermore, problems!" and show you how to use all the terrible situations, tough breaks, bad luck, and even your darkest emotions in novel and creative ways to make a name for yourself and carve out your own unique, notorious place in the world.

An inspirational tale for black sheep everywhere, Poe for Your Problems will teach you how to overcome life’s biggest challenges to succeed at work, love, and art - despite the odds and no matter your flaws.

©2021 Catherine Baab-Muguira (P)2021 Running Press Adult

Critic Reviews

“Books about people’s successes are common. Books where you can learn from someone’s painful demons and failures are rarer - but far more meaningful. Cat's writing on Poe is insightful, funny and important.” (Ryan Holiday, author of The Obstacle Is the Way)

“Fresh, page-turning, deeply informed and often funny, Catherine Baab-Muguira’s Poe for Your Problems brings us a sorely overdue Poe-meets-modernity perspective that won’t simply make its readers happier but smarter and even saner, too.” (Alan Pell Crawford, author of How Not to Get Rich: The Financial Misadventures of Mark Twain)

“I loved this! A book Poe himself might’ve written: fun, dangerous, a little dark, semi-autobiographical, ambitious but not pompous, and funny and outrageous!” (Steve Hely, producer of The Office, 30 Rock, and Veep, author of How I Became a Famous Novelist)

What listeners say about Poe for Your Problems

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Poe: A dumpster fire brighter than the sun

What more can be said of such an inspirational writer as Edgar Allen Poe? Baab-Muguira has found a way. The writer details delving into Poe at a low point in her life. So many of us love his writings, but she found a way to love his life. And what a life! I had not known, beyond hearing of the circumstances of his death, how bad his life really was. He not only ruined his own life, but brought down everyone around him! His wife he harangued into marriage, then helped into an early grave by never earning enough for more than a chilly room and scant morsels of food. His friends he borrowed from, never paid back, and those he did not actively alienate had to suffer through his drinking binges. Those who came out to hear a lecture from him instead got to hear epic poems and cosmic musings that left them biting their nails in frustration.
With tongue in cheek the author delineates the program drawn from Poe's life. Especially for those who also search him out at low points in their lives, there is genuine inspiration, in that, despite everything wrong with his life (and everything was wrong with his life), he never gave up. Indeed, we would likely not remember him nearly so well, were it not for the mistakes he made, particularly in picking possibly the world's worst friend to write his obituary. The truth is: Poe succeeded by ruining himself and others, and you can, too.

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Fantastic read — a little history and a lot of good advice!

I truly enjoyed this book. Smart, insightful, and funny — well researched and honest. The author has inspired me to reread those works of Poe I read years ago and to reach further into Poe’s works that I have not yet read, all with a new understanding of his life. And now I have one more tool to use when faced with my own life problems — the question, “what would Poe do?”

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What was the purpose

The more I listened, the more I got annoyed. What was the point of the book?! Was it to criticize Poe? Was it to make the listener feel better because they weren’t Poe? If so, it could have been shortened to an hour! Let’s beat a dead horse again and again. Sheesh! The more I listened, the more I disliked the author and the narrator.

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  • Conquering Lion
  • 12-22-21

A whole book based on puns around the word Poe

Aargh. I don't feel good about rubbishing someone's work, but there again I feel deeply annoyed that I spent money on this, so here goes. I mean, if you put yourself out there and make the claim you have something worth saying, you should be able to take the flack, right?

Books that employ a jaunty, irreverent and humorous tone to deal with their subject matter are not really my cup of tea. When the humour falls flat, the whole exercise quickly becomes embarrassing. Listening to this book feels like being stuck in a room with a comedian who is bombing.

I don't even know what the message of the book is. It kind of offers the promise that doing your own thing, being your own flawed self, is the best way to happiness. But then it is saying you should embrace your uniqueness in pursuit of the standard aims of a six pack, immense wealth, fame etc etc.

I must admit, I wasn't able to complete the book and maybe it gets better. It certainly couldn't get any worse, but the reason I gave up quite early (beside the unfunny attempts at being funny and personable) was a growing fear the whole book stakes its claim to being worth publishing and listening to on the basis of a repeated pun about a 'Poe-gramme' for being happy.

The self-help genre is rammed full of dross. But even measured against that low bar this maybe the most awful of the lot.