Not really an e-book review, since I’ve read or heard the various stories since my childhood, but I’ve been reading selections from Edgar Allan Poe on my Nook for the past week or so.
What I really enjoy about Poe, is the variety of writing I can read from him. He wrote short stories, poetry, black comedies. He wrote mysteries, horror and love poems. He wrote about real life mysteries. But he is mainly remembered for his stories and poems of the macabre and a lone visitor to his grave years after his death.
This past week I’ve been reading stories I’ve remembered from my youth. For those who don’t know the story, my older brother would read me Poe for bed time stories. He was 12 years older than me and had been reading Poe for school. For some reason he thought that these stories were fine his 4/5 year old kid brother. While there were a couple that kept me hiding under blankets for many nights (Tell Tale Heart, Pit and the Pendulum), I remember most of the stories and poems with great affection. I have to thank my brother for enlightening me at such a young and impressionable age. I’m sure this help/hindered? in my becoming who I am today. 😉
This past week, I’ve revisited the above mentioned stories and many others. 45 years and many readings later, these stories still hold my attention.
This is another look into the writing styles of the past. Think back to these stories being printed in various magazines. Then they are read in a time without electric lights. Candles, oil lamps and some gas lamps, plus the fire in the hearth, were the lighting of the time. All of these lamps were darker than our current electric lights. They make moving and shifting shadows on the walls. Poe’s stories of Horror and the Macabre read in those settings still can give a chill to the bones. With story telling/reading, the imagination of the listener/reader are key to the sense of the story. Poe’s stories readily help feed a fertile imagination.
Looking for a bit of that evening thrill, read ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ by the light of a hurricane lamp. Or read “The Cask of Amontillado” in a damp cool cellar under candle light. Or how about “The Raven” in dim light during a wind/rain storm. Let your imaginations go, pick up some Poe and enjoy a shiver or two. Of course, you may need to read them alone…