Ten Great Mysteries by Edgar Allan Poe
Publisher/Year: Scholastic Inc., 1989
The Pit and the Pendulum…The Purloined Letter…The Tell-Tale Heart…A Descent into the Maelstrom…and six other choice chillers by the acknowledged master of mystery, fantasy, and horror.
These ten absorbing stories, selected by a famed anthologist of science-fiction and the supernatural, prove that even after a century Poe’s imagination still works its macabre magic.
What I thought
Update – 2018
Since this was a re-read for me, I don’t have too much to add on top of my original review. I will say that this little collection of stories has become one of my favorites, and it does contain a good handful of my favorite Poe stories. While it pains me that it seems like a lot of people are quick to dismiss Poe’s verbose writing, I will say that his writing does get heavy after a while. I do think this collection is the perfect size to get a feel for Poe and appreciate his words without getting bogged down. With the gloomy, chilly, rain-filled fall we’ve been having here, this was just the right time to re-read this one. If you’re looking for a good introduction to Edgar Allan Poe’s prose, this collection would be a good place to start. Plus, look at this creepy vintage cover–I just love it!
Original review – 2010
I can be an atmospheric reader. Certain books should be read in a certain setting. Thoreau should be read on a stump in the middle of the woods. Jane Austen should be read curled up in bed with a cup of tea in the middle of winter. Twain should be read lazing under a tree in the grass in the middle of the summer. And Poe should be read in late fall, somewhere around Halloween.
Well, as I just found out, he makes for excellent campfire reading, as well.
For me, Poe is the ultimate of suspense. As a reader, it is evident just how haunted of a man Edgar Allan Poe really was. This makes his writing quite effective and allows the reader to become pleasantly creeped out. I love his writing and adore immersing myself in his words. An absolutely classic author, I dare say.
What’s unique about this edition is that it goes to show that Poe writes more than just horror–namely suspense and science fiction (and don’t forget poetry and romance, even though they don’t appear here). I also enjoyed this little edition because even though it includes Poe classics like “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Pit and the Pendulum,” it also includes less well-known stories.
Overall, not a must-have for Poe enthusiasts (as this is just a little snippet of his total works), but recommended for those who would like to become better read in Edgar Allan Poe or who would like to see what he is capable of.