Sunday, 16 June 2013

Short Story Sunday - Edgar Allan Poe

The Murders in the Rue Morgue - Edgar Allan Poe

I confess. I have not read any of Poe's work before, even though I am quite a fan of crime fiction. However, a few months ago I saw The Raven, a thrilling, but rather disturbing film, and I think for ever more John Cusack will be Edgar Allan Poe, for me.

The Vintage edition of The Murders in the Rue Morgue contains the three Dupin Tales, the title story, The Mystery of Marie Roget and The Purloined Letter. I read the first story, only, as I found Poe's writing very difficult to get into and frequently felt my mind wandering (there is a pile of library books on my bookshelf waiting to be read, so I hope that I haven't entered a reading slump). The four, preliminary pages describing Dupin's love of puzzles and "ratiocination" helped to build a psychological image of the detective but was severely lacking in physical description. .

The mystery itself (a murder carried out in a locked-room scenario) was interesting enough and the revelation of the perpetrator of the crime was certainly original and amusing. Perhaps it was a little too amusing: an orangutan with a razor, how extraordinary!

This week's brief introduction to Edgar Allan Poe has not totally put me off reading more of his work. I appreciate that he was a trailblazer when it came to crafting the detective story and I would like to do him justice by reading more of his stories in the future.

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