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Classic Tales of Horror

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Not for those of a nervous disposition, this chilling collection contains some of Edgar Allan Poe's best known stories, including The Fall of the House of Usher and The Masque of the Red Death. Themes of guilt, fear and revenge abound as the master of gothic horror transports readers into mysterious worlds, carries them on dangerous sea voyages, and investigates gruesome mu Not for those of a nervous disposition, this chilling collection contains some of Edgar Allan Poe's best known stories, including The Fall of the House of Usher and The Masque of the Red Death. Themes of guilt, fear and revenge abound as the master of gothic horror transports readers into mysterious worlds, carries them on dangerous sea voyages, and investigates gruesome murders in tales such as The Black Cat, The Pit and the Pendulum and The Cask of Amontillado. Exploring the hidden depths of the human mind, these are tales full of thrills and intrigue.


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Not for those of a nervous disposition, this chilling collection contains some of Edgar Allan Poe's best known stories, including The Fall of the House of Usher and The Masque of the Red Death. Themes of guilt, fear and revenge abound as the master of gothic horror transports readers into mysterious worlds, carries them on dangerous sea voyages, and investigates gruesome mu Not for those of a nervous disposition, this chilling collection contains some of Edgar Allan Poe's best known stories, including The Fall of the House of Usher and The Masque of the Red Death. Themes of guilt, fear and revenge abound as the master of gothic horror transports readers into mysterious worlds, carries them on dangerous sea voyages, and investigates gruesome murders in tales such as The Black Cat, The Pit and the Pendulum and The Cask of Amontillado. Exploring the hidden depths of the human mind, these are tales full of thrills and intrigue.

30 review for Classic Tales of Horror

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Daviau

    I read a couple Poe stories in high school and college as I'm sure most everyone has but this is the first time I really delve into his work. I'm sad to say that I am a bit disappointed. I know this collection is just a fraction of his complete works and I'm sure there are many gems that weren't in this particular collection. I only really enjoyed three stories from this one which normally would merit less than three stars. But the three stories that I did enjoy, I REALLY enjoyed. Actually, I di I read a couple Poe stories in high school and college as I'm sure most everyone has but this is the first time I really delve into his work. I'm sad to say that I am a bit disappointed. I know this collection is just a fraction of his complete works and I'm sure there are many gems that weren't in this particular collection. I only really enjoyed three stories from this one which normally would merit less than three stars. But the three stories that I did enjoy, I REALLY enjoyed. Actually, I didn't just enjoy them, I LOVED them. Those three stars were The Oval Portrait, The Fall of the House of Usher and The Tell-Tale Heart. I was so engrossed by each of them, all for very different reasons.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    A great collection of Edgar Allen Poe short stories. It totally got me in the spooky mood for October. Poe can be hard to get through sometimes, but I still enjoyed reading it. Poe was a pioneer of horror and psychological thriller, and it shows in his works. Last time I read Poe was in grammar school/high school, so I forgot how good he is at horror. My top 5 stories in this book are: 1. A Tell Tale Heart (obviously) 2. The Pit and the Pendulum 3. Berenice 4. The Black Cat 5. The Assignation (The V A great collection of Edgar Allen Poe short stories. It totally got me in the spooky mood for October. Poe can be hard to get through sometimes, but I still enjoyed reading it. Poe was a pioneer of horror and psychological thriller, and it shows in his works. Last time I read Poe was in grammar school/high school, so I forgot how good he is at horror. My top 5 stories in this book are: 1. A Tell Tale Heart (obviously) 2. The Pit and the Pendulum 3. Berenice 4. The Black Cat 5. The Assignation (The Visionary)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cori Reed

    To be honest, I expected to like this a lot more than I did. By the end I just wanted the stories to stop. There are 21 stories in this collection and I enjoyed maybe half. Poe is very flowery. I think, in the future, if I look for more of his work I won't devour almost two dozen stories in three days. Poe might be a one story here and there kind of guy for me.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Aseel

    3.5 The longer tales were entertaining but I found the shorter ones a bit confusing and too odd to comprehend

  5. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    a horror story with a happy ending? shouldn't exist my friend

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jo Barton

    his collection of twenty six tales of horror range from the macabre to the terrifying and all carry the characteristic trademark of Edgar Allan Poe doing what he does best, that is to entertain and disturb in equal measure. It took me a little while to read this edition as the font is quite small and needs some concentration, however, what always comes across is the skillful level of writing, and whilst some of the stories didn't appeal, others most certainly did and left me with a feeling of dis his collection of twenty six tales of horror range from the macabre to the terrifying and all carry the characteristic trademark of Edgar Allan Poe doing what he does best, that is to entertain and disturb in equal measure. It took me a little while to read this edition as the font is quite small and needs some concentration, however, what always comes across is the skillful level of writing, and whilst some of the stories didn't appeal, others most certainly did and left me with a feeling of disquiet for quite a while afterwards. Of course, the first story I turned to was that of The Black Cat, a clever little story which left me with a real feeling of unease and caused me to look at Jaffa with more than a hint of suspicion. There's also the classic short story, The Fall of the House of Usher, which was first published in 1839 and remains just as pertinent today as it did back then. The Murders in the Rue Morgue, published in 1841, is thought to be the first modern detective story. Poe's detective C. August Dupin is probably the blueprint from which other authors took their inspiration in the portrayal of what we now consider to be the classic detective. My feeling is that this is one of those anthologies which you can easily dip into and out of at whim, and once you get used to Poe's style of writing and his way of accentuating the oddness and the morbidness of the human spirit, then the appeal of these classic horror stories is strong as ever.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    It's been a long time since I've read any Poe stories, and I'm sure I've never enjoyed them more. They're dense and erudite, but not too archaic, and the abyssal depths of despair and madness, explored here with vigor, are as compelling now as ever. Not all of the stories are masterpieces, but I'd list Ligeia, Masque of the Red Death, and The Pit and the Pendulum as favorites. The Imp of the Perverse deserves special mention for its amazing title, and for artfully describing Freud's "Death Drive It's been a long time since I've read any Poe stories, and I'm sure I've never enjoyed them more. They're dense and erudite, but not too archaic, and the abyssal depths of despair and madness, explored here with vigor, are as compelling now as ever. Not all of the stories are masterpieces, but I'd list Ligeia, Masque of the Red Death, and The Pit and the Pendulum as favorites. The Imp of the Perverse deserves special mention for its amazing title, and for artfully describing Freud's "Death Drive" in 1845.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Evan Harte

    One of the most boring, depressing, and laborious chores I've ever forced myself to complete. Poe's use of excessive amounts of language spanning multiple paragraphs and sometimes multiple pages when the same can be said in a few sentences makes me sick to my brain. Maybe I "just don't get it". Or maybe I do and just don't care.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Madison Thorburn

    I find Gothic horror hard to be weirded out by due to its superfluous language

  10. 4 out of 5

    BranPap

    It only took me 379 days to read this damn book, but I did it. The qualifier here is that I actually just stopped reading it for several months at a time, multiple times. This isn't because it's bad (I actually really enjoyed it), it's just dense and there were often other things I wanted to read instead. Also, the prose itself is so entrancing that it made me sleepy every time I read it. That being said, I love EAP. I don't think I'd ever read anything of his that wasn't The Tell-Tale Heart or Th It only took me 379 days to read this damn book, but I did it. The qualifier here is that I actually just stopped reading it for several months at a time, multiple times. This isn't because it's bad (I actually really enjoyed it), it's just dense and there were often other things I wanted to read instead. Also, the prose itself is so entrancing that it made me sleepy every time I read it. That being said, I love EAP. I don't think I'd ever read anything of his that wasn't The Tell-Tale Heart or The Raven before this, but most of the collected stories herein were really enjoyable. The only exceptions that immediately come to mind are A Descent into the Maelstrom and A Tale of the Ragged Mountains, both of which were kind of just boring. The rest of the collection is pretty brilliant. Favourite horror stories include: - The Masque of the Red Death - The Pit and the Pendulum And my favourite satirical story is definitely The Devil in the Belfry which I think I have retold about 80 times to my friends, because it is so surreal that it's HILARIOUS. Never has a short story made me cry from laughter so much! This is a nifty little collection that's definitely worth picking up if you're looking for a diverse introduction to the works of EAP!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    Long, tough read. Some of the more classic tales (The Tell-Tale Heart, The Black Cat, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Hop Frog) were magnificent but the majority of the others were hard to follow and understand in Poe's old-timey dialect. I'm definitely up to give this a re-read in the future. Advice for anyone picking this up for the first time: It's a read best saved for when you can give it your full attention and focus (ie. not on the rush hour bus to work).

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jay

    I like Poe's writing but his longer stories usually take at least half the story before they feel like they have become actual horror stories.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Taylor Carson

    Some of his stories are better than others, but this is a great collection of Edgar Allen Poe. My favorite is “The Tell-Tale Heart”.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Krystal

    This collection is a total mixed bag. Some of these stories are A-Grade horror (eg. The Black Cat, The Masque of the Red Death), some are ridiculously terrible (The Imp of the Perverse), others just leave you scratching your head wondering what just happened, or what the point was (The Man of the Crowd, Some Words with a Mummy) and one had me in stitches from its absurdity (Never Bet the Devil Your Head). The first few and the last few didn't really rate with me (there's only so many tales of 'b This collection is a total mixed bag. Some of these stories are A-Grade horror (eg. The Black Cat, The Masque of the Red Death), some are ridiculously terrible (The Imp of the Perverse), others just leave you scratching your head wondering what just happened, or what the point was (The Man of the Crowd, Some Words with a Mummy) and one had me in stitches from its absurdity (Never Bet the Devil Your Head). The first few and the last few didn't really rate with me (there's only so many tales of 'beloved's I can take), but there were some seriously great reads in amongst this volume. Favourites: The Black Cat, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Masque of the Red Death. I also have to give Never Bet the Devil Your Head a special mention because it was totally, unexpectedly, messed up. Honestly, I didn't stop laughing about it for a good half hour or so. Least Favourites: The Imp of the Perverse, Some Words with a Mummy, Ligeia A lot of the tales you really have to be patient with because Poe spends so much time setting the scene that it can be a little tedious. The power of his stories lies in the atmosphere his words create, and he goes to great lengths to communicate ideas. He also kills people. A lot. There are so many psychopaths in this book. The horror is how human he makes them seem. Again, he uses his words to craft characters that we understand, that we feel sympathy for despite the horrible actions they relate. It's masterful storytelling. The Murders in the Rue Morgue and The Purloined Letter were very reminiscent of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes; however, though entertaining reads, they were both inferior to Conan Doyle's work. It did help to lighten the tone of the book, though, so both presented a refreshing change of pace. Poe deals a lot in symbolism and hidden meaning, so taken at face value some of these stories can be pretty dull and/or bizarre. For deep thinkers, there'll be a lot of different themes to mull over, like guilt, regret, fear, ambiguity and more. Highly recommend if you're up for something a little bit different, and the stories are short enough that you can read a few here and there without getting too caught up in the bizarre. Just be prepared for lengthy descriptions and confounding ideas. (view spoiler)[Also, can anyone tell me WHAT WAS IN THE PIT??? Just make something up, even. I just need closure! (hide spoiler)]

  15. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    I finally got around to reading Poe. I felt somehow obligated because he's one of the most famous classic authors of America. Now that I'm no longer a student, I find myself reading fewer classics...maybe due to a deficiency in motivation or attention span? I have two complaints about this edition. The first I can blame on the publisher. Poe has a tendency to throw in Latin, French, and Greek words (especially using passages as epigraphs), and no translation is provided. This is infuriating becau I finally got around to reading Poe. I felt somehow obligated because he's one of the most famous classic authors of America. Now that I'm no longer a student, I find myself reading fewer classics...maybe due to a deficiency in motivation or attention span? I have two complaints about this edition. The first I can blame on the publisher. Poe has a tendency to throw in Latin, French, and Greek words (especially using passages as epigraphs), and no translation is provided. This is infuriating because a contemporary audience probably isn't well-versed in these languages and the onus shouldn't be on the reader to figure out what the text is saying. My second complaint is that I'm really not interested in Poe's writing. I can respect the fact that he is one of the progenitors of the horror genre, but, other than that, there is nothing admirable in his work. It is long-winded and repetitive. The stories may have a kernel of a good idea or a worthy theme, but they are a chore to read. The writing is usually bogged down with pointless description. Poe is weak at writing characters and worse at writing dialogue (there are times that the dialogue is so bad that I laughed). The plots advance at a snail's pace. I suppose this is supposed to be "suspenseful" but it is simply boring. There isn't much variety in the stories in this collection...there are so, so many instances of people being buried alive or returning from the dead. I am not sure whether I am glad that I read this book. I guess it adds a little bit to my literary "street cred," but honestly the stories are so forgettable that I may as well have not read them in the first place.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Tales of Horror Metzengerstein ★★★ MS Found in a Bottle ★★ Berenice ★★★★ Morella ★★★ Ligeia ★★ The Devil in the Belfry ★★★★ The Fall of the House of Usher ★★★ William Wilson ★★★ The Man of the Crowd ★★★ The Murders in the Rue Morgue ★★★★ A Descent into the Maelström ★★★ Never Bet the Devil Your Head ★★★ Eleonora ★★★ The Masque of the Red Death ★★★★ The Tell-Tale Heart ★★★★ The Black Cat ★★★★ The Pit and the Pendulum ★★★ A Tale of the Ragged Mountains ★★★ The Premature Burial ★★★★ The Oblong Box ★★★ The Purloined Let Tales of Horror Metzengerstein ★★★ MS Found in a Bottle ★★ Berenice ★★★★ Morella ★★★ Ligeia ★★ The Devil in the Belfry ★★★★ The Fall of the House of Usher ★★★ William Wilson ★★★ The Man of the Crowd ★★★ The Murders in the Rue Morgue ★★★★ A Descent into the Maelström ★★★ Never Bet the Devil Your Head ★★★ Eleonora ★★★ The Masque of the Red Death ★★★★ The Tell-Tale Heart ★★★★ The Black Cat ★★★★ The Pit and the Pendulum ★★★ A Tale of the Ragged Mountains ★★★ The Premature Burial ★★★★ The Oblong Box ★★★ The Purloined Letter ★★ Some Words with a Mummy ★★★★ The Oval Portrait ★★★ The Imp of the Perverse ★★★ The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar ★★★ The Sphinx ★★★

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cress

    Oh god. I did it. I read the whole damn thing and have learned that Poe probably isn't for me. He rambles. He rambles about the most inane things and it drives me crazy. I still have love for him, the Raven is one of my favorite pieces of literature; but good god, your tangents drive me insane! Still. I salute you, good sir. Well done. Well done.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bailey

    Poe likes to talk about mental/physical illness, drinking, mean dudes and tragic dead wives. Wonder why... Liked The Cask of Amontillado, The Red Death, The Black Cat(animal abuse warning) and The Tell Tale Heart. The Raven wasn't in this book though....

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alexa

    I feel like the first ~ half of the short stories were all pretty boring and sleep-inducing, which made me not want to pick this up as much, but then the last ~ half or so was absolutely amazing? That was a really strange choice of the publisher to arrange 'em like that. Oh well. 3.5-ish.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Marah Merai

    I can definitely see why Poe is regarded as a masterful and influential author for Gothic fiction as a genre. He also really had a thing for themes of self-destruction, alcoholism, and beloveds succumbing to mysterious disease. (Wonder why...!) I wanted to like this more than I did. The publisher of this edition definitely did Poe dirty by not providing any translations for the Latin, Greek, and Italian words he likes to sprinkle in and by arranging the stories pretty much from worst to best. Ther I can definitely see why Poe is regarded as a masterful and influential author for Gothic fiction as a genre. He also really had a thing for themes of self-destruction, alcoholism, and beloveds succumbing to mysterious disease. (Wonder why...!) I wanted to like this more than I did. The publisher of this edition definitely did Poe dirty by not providing any translations for the Latin, Greek, and Italian words he likes to sprinkle in and by arranging the stories pretty much from worst to best. There are great stories in this collection, but also some terribly boring and confusing ones. I loved the concept of The Imp of the Perverse as a metaphor for "the urge to do exactly the wrong thing in a given situation for the sole reason that it is possible for wrong to be done.", but the short story itself is one of the least readable in the whole collection. Out of 20 stories, I enjoyed: 1- The Black Cat 2- The Masque of the Red Death 3- The Tell-Tale Heart 4- The Cask of Amontillado 5- Hop-Frog 6- The Premature Burial 7- The Oblong Box

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amy Braun

    It's been a long time since I read anything by Poe and couldn't pass up the deal on this book, especially in time for Halloween. Having read through this collection, I know it's good and part of the reason I bought it was to experience an author who's so influential and acclaimed. That said, I don't think all of these are his best. Certainly, there's famous stories like "THE BLACK CAT" and my personal favourite, "THE TELLTALE HEART," but some of the other stories just seemed to drag on for long It's been a long time since I read anything by Poe and couldn't pass up the deal on this book, especially in time for Halloween. Having read through this collection, I know it's good and part of the reason I bought it was to experience an author who's so influential and acclaimed. That said, I don't think all of these are his best. Certainly, there's famous stories like "THE BLACK CAT" and my personal favourite, "THE TELLTALE HEART," but some of the other stories just seemed to drag on for long periods of time. Times have changed since Poe wrote these books and while there was a genuine creep factor for many of the books, it took a while to get to the intense horror. That said, for people who love the genre, this is a great, short little collection to pick up, enjoy during the fall, and keep on your shelf.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Scottnshana

    It was good to re-connect with some old favorites--e.g., "The Cask of Amontillado" and "The Masque of the Red Death". There are some other lesser-knowns here that may not connect well with the modern audience, but Poe's use of language and imagery is as usual the prototype for later narratives in the genre. There is here his common theme of anguish and mental illness, as well as illness in general. He was a weird dude, but he was truly talented, and I enjoyed sitting back and reflecting on every It was good to re-connect with some old favorites--e.g., "The Cask of Amontillado" and "The Masque of the Red Death". There are some other lesser-knowns here that may not connect well with the modern audience, but Poe's use of language and imagery is as usual the prototype for later narratives in the genre. There is here his common theme of anguish and mental illness, as well as illness in general. He was a weird dude, but he was truly talented, and I enjoyed sitting back and reflecting on every one of these stories. Like Lovecraft, it's good to go revisit what I call 'the foundationals' to evaluate where it all started and where it has progressed. Recommend.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Frost

    In my personal opinion, I am not 100% sure if I enjoyed all of these Poe tales within this particular book. I have read Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde and other authors of the same time - I found them very vivid and interesting. However, with Poe's tales, I did not have the same enthusiasm that I would have otherwise enjoyed.

  24. 5 out of 5

    bambi

    I’m so sad I didn’t end up enjoying this. Not only was the writing hard for me to understand, I found most of the stories confusing and lacking in actual “horror”. Sure, the ones I understood were creepy but easily forgettable. With that said, I am willing to read more by Edgar Allan Poe and hope to pick this one up again soon. DNF at roughly 40%

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ishita

    While some of Poe’s stories have lost their potency as our fears evolved over time, others remain timeless and creepy as ever. His characters are vivid, often sarcastic, and are highly enjoyable to watch as they wreak havoc and revenge. A solid October read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Renee

    A really good collection, one that I'd recommend to anyone who likes classics. If you're not up for dense reads, though, I'd pass if I were you. It's deceptively long, but I know a lot of people who like that kind of thing, myself included.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Gimblett

    I really enjoyed "The Tell tale Heart", "The Black Cat" and "The Pit and the Pendulum" -really creepy! Some of the language may be difficult to follow so keep the dictionary handy.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Katelyn

    Some of these I really enjoyed , others I found wordy and awkward. Favorites are The Masque of the Red Death, The Oblong Box, The Black Cat and The Tell-Tale Heart.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Gabriella Hoff

    3.5 Stars My favorite story was The Black Cat. Some stories were a bit confusing. A lot of wtf did I just read moments.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Pidhayny

    I may not have liked all the stories collected here, but all of my favourite Poe stories, as well as some of his most famous, are represented here.

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