Book Title - The Complete Tales & Poems of Edgar Allan Poe
Author - Edgar Allan Poe
Poe who? - Well a lot of things written about Mr Poe are said to be incorrect and are a product of a wrongly written biography that was published by one of his enemies in an attempt to defame his name but what we do know is that even without the made-up bio he was a pretty intense man with an interesting life to say the least. He was born in Boston on January 19 1809 and went on to become one of America's best writers. He is most known for the darkness in his work and his haunting tales. He is also said to be partly responsible for inventing the modern day detective story and helping the the science fiction genre become what it is today.
What is the book about - The Complete tales is a collection of short stories, essays and poems, 53 of them in total. There is also commentary and some more info about his work at the end of the book. This collection contains all the Poe you will ever need in your life. This version of the book I got is honestly stunning, I can't even put into words how beautifully made it is. It comes in a hard box that is embossed and decorated and then you slip the book out the box and the cover is made of a thin quilted material that is also embossed with a matching pattern. The paper that the text is printed on is so thin, soft and delicate, the whole book is just so luxe and special. I think this has truly got to be one of the most beautiful books I have ever owned, definitely something you will want in your collection too if you like a pretty book.
My view on the book - I have wanted to read some Poe for years, I have only read teeny snippets before but his work is something that I have heard so much about ever since I was little. I think (please lovely American readers correct me if I'm wrong ) that Poe must be one of the writers that most Americans study in high school, like how we all study Shakespeare here, I feel like Poe is the American equivalent as I also see his name and books mentioned in so many American high school/college set TV shows and books. I was a little anxious to really get into his stories though as I am not a fan of the horror genre or sci-fi and I really really don't like anything scary (I know what your thinking, why Poe then?) but I thought as he was one of the original pioneers of those genres then it would be interesting and quite exciting to read his work rather than be scared by it.
I just started at the beginning of the book and made my way from there through it even though you can dip in and out of any story and poem in any order. I have to be honest some of the stories are a little too dark for my liking but the majority even though still dark are just so interesting and really intense. I find the way he writes is just so poetic (lucky given he was a poet right? haha) and he really just makes the words glide along the page. I have enjoyed so many stories that I really was anticipating not being able to get through yet I have liked them. I mean don't get me wrong its definitely not a laugh a minute read and I like just picking it up now and again and reading a short story and poem at a time rather than in one sitting but it really is writing that makes you think. I am just so beyond happy to finally have this book and I know that I will treasure it and re-read it for such a long time.
Wait, where is the Gilmore Girls link? - Gilmore Girls actually dedicated a whole episode to Edgar in Season 3. Episode 17 is called 'A Tale of Poe's and Fire'. There is a Poe Society convention that comes to town to put on a reading of some of Poe's most famous works. Whilst in town the society stay at The Independence Inn which just so happens to catch fire in the same episode cue lots of drama and lots of references to Poe. It's actually one of my favourite episodes, so much happens in it which affects other story lines too and I knew I had to have Poe in my Book Club as GG had dedicated such an amazing episode to him, it seemed crazy not to include him in my list too.
I'm sure I've heard of this Poe dude on other shows and stuff too? - Yep, he is one of the most quoted names in modern pop culture and if you listen out you have probably heard either his name or his work referenced in a ton of your favourite shows and books and even if they don't mention him by name so many people use his work as influence on their own. There is too many places where he has been spoken about to list here but THIS list is a good place to start if you want to see where he has been mentioned.
There is a Britney connection...Say what? - So a Gilmore Girls and Britney spears connection there is no way this guy wasn't going to be included in my book club right? So the first time I ever knowingly heard about Poe was from Britney's 'Dream Within a Dream' tour. I unfortunately never got to see this tour live but I honestly must have watched the taped recording of it like 50 times. Apart from the tour of hers that I got to see live (The Onyx) this is my favourite, it was just so beautifully produced and the whole dream sequence stuff inspired by Poe's poem was just beautiful. I then went on to find out why the tour was called that and that honestly is where my fascination with learning about Poe started...so thanks Brit.
Favourite Quote - "Is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream?"
Some Book Club questions to discuss-
Favourite story or Poem from Poe?
How did you first find Poe's work?
Most favourite and least favourite thing about his writing?
Favourite mention of Poe from pop culture?
So that's Book Two from my book club done. I hope you like this fun little review and as always I would love to hear your thoughts on the book. Please feel free to use the book club questions and answer them in your own posts, in the comment section or on twitter and instagram. I can't wait to talk about Poe with you all and see what you think about his work too. As always use the hashtag #GilmoreGirlsBookClub on twitter and instagram and I will be able to see your messages and reply to them!
The Complete Tales & Poems of Edger Allan Poe* Available from Amazon and QuartoKnows.com
You can also buy this book from Wordery and you get free delivery too
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