Author: Edgar Allan Poe

Early Review – Tales of the Macabre by Edgar Allan Poe, Illustrated by Benjamin Lacombe

October 26, 2012 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2012 1 Comment

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Tales of the Macabre by Edgar Allan Poe, Illustrated by Benjamin LacombeTales of the Macabre by Benjamin Lacombe (Illustrator), Edgar Allan Poe
Published by Archaia Entertainment on November 27th 2012
Pages: 224
Genres: Poetry
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Fall of the House of Usher, The Raven

five-stars

 

A luxurious edition of some of Edgar Allan Poe’s best works, lavishly illustrated with macabre style by Benjamin Lacombe. From The Black Cat and the Tell Tale Heart to The Fall of the House of Usher, along with Charles Baudelaire’s essay on Poe’s life and works.

 

 

The cover of this collection caught my eye on Netgalley and I actually wanted to check it out before I even knew that Poe was involved. Once I knew that though, I was sold. This was a fantastic collection of macabre stories from the illustrious Edgar Allan Poe. Stories included are: Berenice, The Black Cat, The Island of the Fay, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Oval Portrait, Morella, and Ligeia. This was a real treat for me as I hadn’t read any of these except for The Fall of the House of Usher. There was also an essay written by Charles Baudelaire on Poe’s life and works. In addition to these short stories there are fantastic illustrations from Benjamin Lacombe that (if possible) managed to make the stories even creepier. This is one collection that I would love to own. I loved the illustrations and love Poe, it’s a fantastic combination.

The fact that Benjamin is a fan of Tim Burton is definitely evident in his personal works. You can even find a depiction of Edward Scissorhands he’s done which I love. I highly recommend checking out his website, it’s is well worth the visit to check out his other works. Amazing, to say the least.

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Book Review – The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

December 30, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – The Raven by Edgar Allan PoeThe Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
Illustrator: Ryan Price
Published by Kids Can Press on August 1st 2006 (first published 1844)
Pages: 48
Genres: Classics
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Fall of the House of Usher, Tales of the Macabre

five-stars

Visions in Poetry is an exciting and unique series of classic poems illustrated by outstanding contemporary artists in stunning hardcover editions. The fifth book in the series, Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven," delves into the hidden horrors of the human psyche. Originally published in 1845, the poem is narrated by a melancholy scholar brooding over Lenore, a woman he loved who is now lost to him. One bleak December at midnight, a raven with fiery eyes visits the scholar and perches above his chamber door. Struggling to understand the meaning of the word his winged visitant repeats -- "Nevermore!" -- the narrator descends by stages into madness. Illustrator Ryan Price's exquisitely grim illustrations suggest a background story shaped by the narrator's guilt, embodied in the terrifying figure of the raven. Price's drypoint technique, with its rich blacks and feathery lines, perfectly captures the nightmarish atmosphere of this unforgettable poem.

‘Once upon a midnight dreary,
while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume
of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping,
suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping,
rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some visiter,” I muttered,
“tapping at my chamber door —
Only this, and nothing more.’

I had started reading the Raven before but was never able to quite get through it. When I came across this illustrated version at my library I decided to give it another shot. The illustrated version made it so much better. The illustrations by Ryan Price are dark and gritty… much like the story of the Raven. I’ve read several illustrated books this year that have added a certain something to the already great story (A Monster Calls comes immediately to mind) and the Raven is no exception.

You can find a few more illustrations by Ryan Price from the book here but I would also recommend checking out the rest of his work here as well, although I must say I think his work in the Raven is my favorite.

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Short Story Review – The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe

November 11, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011, Short Stories 0 Comments

Short Story Review – The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan PoeThe Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe
Published by Public Domain on September 1839
Pages: 28
Genres: Classics, Poetry
Format: eBook
Source: Freebie
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Raven, Tales of the Macabre

three-stars

Roderick Usher is ill, but not due to any normal causes. When the narrator of the story arrives at the House of Usher, he finds that all is not well in the old ancestral home. The house itself appears to be almost alive, and the illness of Madeline, Roderick's sister, is not all it seems.

The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe is a classic short story first in 1839, and was memorably adapted for film by Roger Corman in 1960.

This unique edition includes an original essay on the ‘Curious Quirks in the Early Life of Edgar Allan Poe’ by J. S. Williams.

The Fall of the House of Usher is in the opinion of many scholars Poe's most famous work of prose.This unsettling macabre work is viewed as a masterpiece of American Gothic literature. Indeed, as in many of his tales, Poe borrows much from the Gothic tradition. Still, as G. R. Thomson writes in his Introduction to Great Short Works of Edgar Allan Poe: "the tale has long been hailed as a masterpiece of Gothic horror; it is also a masterpiece of dramatic irony and structural symbolism."

The Fall of the House of Usher has also been criticized for being too formulaic. Poe was criticized for following his own patterns established in works like Morella and Ligeia using stock characters in stock scenes and situations. Repetitive themes like an unidentifiable disease, madness, and resurrection are also criticized. However, there is speculation that Poe used a real-life incident as the basis for his story: the entombment of two lovers at Usher House in Boston, whose bodies were discovered when the house was demolished in 1800.

Scholars speculate that Poe, who was an influence on Herman Melville, inspired the character of Ahab in Melville's novel Moby-Dick. John McAleer maintained that the idea for "objectifying Ahab's flawed character" came from the "evocative force" of Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher. In both Ahab and the house of Usher, the appearance of fundamental soundness is visibly flawed — by Ahab's livid scar, and by the fissure in the masonry of Usher.

And the award for the longest run-on sentence that still manages to somewhat make sense goes to… yes, you, Edgar. You, my friend, know how to use those punctuation’s to their fullest potential and then some. You even manage to use dashes like it’s nobody’s business.

And now for the winning sentence…
*deep breathe*

“It was possible, I reflected, that a mere different arrangement of the particulars of the scene, of the details of the picture, would be sufficient to modify, or perhaps to annihilate its capacity for sorrowful impression; and, acting upon this idea, I reined my horse to the precipitous brink of blank and lurid tarn that lay in unruffled luster by the dwelling, and gazed down — but with a shudder even more thrilling than before — upon the remodeled and inverted images of the gray sedge, and the ghastly tree-stems, and the vacant and eye-like windows.”

*gasp*

Holy criminy.

Overall an odd story that requires much interpretation because at face value it doesn’t make a damn bit of sense. Yet… I’m oddly intrigued at his writing style and will definitely be seeking out more of his work in the future.

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