The Oxford Paragraphs
Edgar Allan Poe
Selected Tales

Books As the introduction to this selection of tales acknowledges, Edgar Allan Poe’s female "characters" are absent. Even in those stories which have a woman’s name as the title, they’re simply part of a metaphysical structure and barely given individual personality traits before quickly finding tragic death in a number of ways. His anonymous narrators instead enjoy the company of a string of psychologically damaged men often because they are seeking a kindred spirit. But at his best, Poe is thrilling. The Pit and the Pendulum and The Man of the Crowd are utterly absorbing their ability to place the reader at the centre of oblique, surreal environments and with the three C. Auguste Dupin he inadvertently creates the entire detective fiction genre albeit with slightly more static storytelling structure than Conan Doyle or Christie. If nothing else, I've learnt that you can’t judge a book by its Hammer Horror adaptations.

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