Book Reviews of The Poe Shadow (Audio CD) (Unabridged)

The Poe Shadow (Audio CD) (Unabridged)
The Poe Shadow - Audio CD - Unabridged
Author: Matthew Pearl, Erik Singer (Narrator)
Audio Books swap for two (2) credits.
ISBN-13: 9780743552660
ISBN-10: 0743552660
Publication Date: 5/23/2006
Edition: Unabridged
Rating:
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.
 8

2.9 stars, based on 8 ratings
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Book Type: Audio CD
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

20 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Poe Shadow (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 902 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
I've heard several people complain about this book, saying that it was too slow, boring, and mostly uneventful. I happen to disagree. I really enjoy historical fiction from this era and I was not disappointed with Pearl's efforts. While I believe that The Dante Club is more likely to appeal to a larger audience, I still found this book well worth reading.

I feel like Matthew Pearl did a very good job in attempting to piece together the clues surrounding the mysterious death of Poe. He did so with a seamless transition of fact and fiction, bringing in quite a colorful cast of investigators (with no less than two C. Auguste Dupins, to be exact) and a plot that, while not exceptionally fast-paced, did move forward. Perhaps 'steady' would be the best choice of words.

Before reading this book I would recommend checking out Poe's original short stories featuring C. Auguste Dupin, the prototype that Doyle eventually molded into Sherlock Holmes. 'Murder in the Rue Morgue' is considered to be the first true detective fiction story. It was followed by 'The Mystery of Marie Roget' and 'The Purloined Letter.' I read them prior to reading The Poe Shadow and found that it helped me to appreciate and enjoy Pearl's work that much more.
reviewed The Poe Shadow (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 564 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
I have been an Edgar Allan Poe fan for years and I was looking forward to reading this book. However, the writing style and the story itself did not really impress me and it was hard to keep interested. The book was written in the vernacular and style of the 19th century and I sometimes couldn't focus on what was being said. I had to reread several passages. The style reminded me some of Conan Doyles Sherlock Holmes stories, but the Holmes stories were much better written and kept your attention. I didnt understand the motivations of the main character and why he was so interested in finding out what happened to Poe before his untimely death. And to me the conclusion was anticlimatic.
reviewed The Poe Shadow (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 902 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I've heard several people complain about this book, saying that it was too slow, boring, and mostly uneventful. I happen to disagree. I really enjoy historical fiction from this era and I was not disappointed with Pearl's efforts. While I believe that The Dante Club is more likely to appeal to a larger audience, I still found this book well worth reading.

I feel like Matthew Pearl did a very good job in attempting to piece together the clues surrounding the mysterious death of Poe. He did so with a seamless transition of fact and fiction, bringing in quite a colorful cast of investigators (with no less than two C. Auguste Dupins, to be exact) and a plot that, while not exceptionally fast-paced, did move forward. Perhaps 'steady' would be the best choice of words.

Before reading this book I would recommend checking out Poe's original short stories featuring C. Auguste Dupin, the prototype that Doyle eventually molded into Sherlock Holmes. 'Murder in the Rue Morgue' is considered to be the first true detective fiction story. It was followed by 'The Mystery of Marie Roget' and 'The Purloined Letter.' I read them prior to reading The Poe Shadow and found that it helped me to appreciate and enjoy Pearl's work that much more.
reviewed The Poe Shadow (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 404 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book had a good attention to detail as I learned a lot about Baltimore and Paris in the late 1840s-1850s. I did find that the plot sometimes dragged a bit as Quentin's personal fate overshadowed the mystery of Poe's death, but it was nicely wrapped up at the end. I also liked Pearl's notes at the end as he explains how he used actual newspaper quotes and letters throughout the narrative.
reviewed The Poe Shadow (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 902 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I've heard several people complain about this book, saying that it was too slow, boring, and mostly uneventful. I happen to disagree. I really enjoy historical fiction from this era and I was not disappointed with Pearl's efforts. While I believe that The Dante Club is more likely to appeal to a larger audience, I still found this book well worth reading.

I feel like Matthew Pearl did a very good job in attempting to piece together the clues surrounding the mysterious death of Poe. He did so with a seamless transition of fact and fiction, bringing in quite a colorful cast of investigators (with no less than two C. Auguste Dupins, to be exact) and a plot that, while not exceptionally fast-paced, did move forward. Perhaps 'steady' would be the best choice of words.

Before reading this book I would recommend checking out Poe's original short stories featuring C. Auguste Dupin, the prototype that Doyle eventually molded into Sherlock Holmes. 'Murder in the Rue Morgue' is considered to be the first true detective fiction story. It was followed by 'The Mystery of Marie Roget' and 'The Purloined Letter.' I read them prior to reading The Poe Shadow and found that it helped me to appreciate and enjoy Pearl's work that much more.
reviewed The Poe Shadow (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on
Helpful Score: 1
As a bit of detective work on the circumstances around Poe's death, the research behind this novel could have fueled an interesting NYT Sunday Magazine piece or perhaps a paper in an academic journal. As a novel, it is deadly, with pacing that is truly glacial and dialogue that fairly clunks off the page (speech in the novel is so obviously targeted at reminder the reader who is related to who, etc., that it sounds like bad radio-play dialogue from the forties). Plotwise, the author was apparently so constrained by the historical parameters he set for himself that nothing interesting was really ever allowed to happen. It's not often that I finish a book and groan (I'm much more likely to give up earlier) but for some reason I stuck this one out and was heartily disappointed.
reviewed The Poe Shadow (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 55 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book held my attention, which says a lot, because I rarely read novels anymore, opting instead for more substantially educational venues. I don't recall why I actually ordered this book from a PBS member, but it may have something to do with liking literature from the era about which this book was written. I found the tone of the author consistent with the subject matter and really quite entraining. I read the whole book over 3-4 days. The plot was original and interesting. The style almost flawless. In short, it was a very good read and I recommend it to anyone who likes reading literature in the style of Poe or Arthur Conan Doyle.
reviewed The Poe Shadow (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 36 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
In this book, Edgar Allan Poe has just died and is buried in an unmarked grave. Everyone thinks that he was a drunk and most people aren't very impressed with his writing. Except for Quentin Clark who is a lawyer and a big fan of the writer. He is convinced that Poe did not die the way everyone thinks he did, he decides that the person to solve the mystery is no less than C. Augustine Dupin, the detective from the story "Murders in the Rue Morgue". Convinced that the detective is not a fictional character. Quentin goes to France to find him, the iudea is to bring him back to Baltimore to solve the mystery of Poe's death. This book has so many twists and turns, you really have to pay attention to what's going on. I don't think this was as well written as "The Dante Club" but if you are a Poe fan, you might find this interesting.
reviewed The Poe Shadow (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 6 more book reviews
Not a historical recounting, but an entertaining premise for a fiction about Poe and the improbable events surrounding his mysterious death.
reviewed The Poe Shadow (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 20 more book reviews
The author weaves portions of Poe's life and literature in to a mystery, educating while entertaining the author.
reviewed The Poe Shadow (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 3 more book reviews
While my overall experience of reading this book was positive, I agree with other reviewers that the pacing was extremely slow, especially in the first half of the book. I found it difficult to feel interested in the fate of the main character for the first half of the book, but got more interested as the plot started to finally develop. Some of the supporting characters seemed irritatingly unrealistic or one-dimensional. Having read many 19th century novels, the antiquated language seemed historically accurate to me, if tiresome at points.

I've lived in Baltimore, and enjoyed the novel's historical background of Baltimore and Poe. It ends with a well-reasoned explanation for Poe's death, and encapsulates practically all known information about that event. The author has melded historical fact with fictional characters in a mostly seamless way, and that's a feat worth praise.

In the end, my verdict was that I wished the author had been able to imbue the story with more dynamism and more endearing characters, as he did in The Dante Club, but even with its flaws, it was worth persevering through the slow spots. (And this one is far less gruesome than The Dante Club.) For anyone who, like me, is a fan of 19th century literature, Baltimore history, Poe, or mystery stories, it should be an interesting read.
reviewed The Poe Shadow (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 1080 more book reviews
I wanted to like this book. I have read and enjoyed Poe's works, and was eager for another literate and literary 'period piece' like Pearl's The Dante Club, filled with the language and customs of the times. So I was very disappointed when the annoying central character of this book began moving through the unsubstantial and glacially slow plot. Quentin's obsession with Poe bordered on the unreal, ended rather dismally, and didn't sustain my interest or enthusiasm.
reviewed The Poe Shadow (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 90 more book reviews
Totally boring book...don't see how it was a best seller.
reviewed The Poe Shadow (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 307 more book reviews
Uses the death of Poe as background for a mystery story set in Baltimore and Paris.
reviewed The Poe Shadow (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 15 more book reviews
Fascinating. Sometimes a little hard to follow. The twists and turns were riveting.
reviewed The Poe Shadow (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on
OK - the last 1/3 was the best part
reviewed The Poe Shadow (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 902 more book reviews
I've heard several people complain about this book, saying that it was too slow, boring, and mostly uneventful. I happen to disagree. I really enjoy historical fiction from this era and I was not disappointed with Pearl's efforts. While I believe that The Dante Club is more likely to appeal to a larger audience, I still found this book well worth reading.

I feel like Matthew Pearl did a very good job in attempting to piece together the clues surrounding the mysterious death of Poe. He did so with a seamless transition of fact and fiction, bringing in quite a colorful cast of investigators (with no less than two C. Auguste Dupins, to be exact) and a plot that, while not exceptionally fast-paced, did move forward. Perhaps 'steady' would be the best choice of words.

Before reading this book I would recommend checking out Poe's original short stories featuring C. Auguste Dupin, the prototype that Doyle eventually molded into Sherlock Holmes. 'Murder in the Rue Morgue' is considered to be the first true detective fiction story. It was followed by 'The Mystery of Marie Roget' and 'The Purloined Letter.' I read them prior to reading The Poe Shadow and found that it helped me to appreciate and enjoy Pearl's work that much more.
reviewed The Poe Shadow (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 16 more book reviews
I normally enjoy Pearl's books, but this one seemed to jump around more than usual. Maybe it was the abridging. It seemed like the tracks were arranged randomly on the discs.

Longish musical interludes played between chapters - not between discs, which is where one would expect them.

The narrator was great with voices and accents; he really made it easy to keep the characters straight, even when the action seemed to be skipping around.
reviewed The Poe Shadow (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 902 more book reviews
I've heard several people complain about this book, saying that it was too slow, boring, and mostly uneventful. I happen to disagree. I really enjoy historical fiction from this era and I was not disappointed with Pearl's efforts. While I believe that The Dante Club is more likely to appeal to a larger audience, I still found this book well worth reading.

I feel like Matthew Pearl did a very good job in attempting to piece together the clues surrounding the mysterious death of Poe. He did so with a seamless transition of fact and fiction, bringing in quite a colorful cast of investigators (with no less than two C. Auguste Dupins, to be exact) and a plot that, while not exceptionally fast-paced, did move forward. Perhaps 'steady' would be the best choice of words.

Before reading this book I would recommend checking out Poe's original short stories featuring C. Auguste Dupin, the prototype that Doyle eventually molded into Sherlock Holmes. 'Murder in the Rue Morgue' is considered to be the first true detective fiction story. It was followed by 'The Mystery of Marie Roget' and 'The Purloined Letter.' I read them prior to reading The Poe Shadow and found that it helped me to appreciate and enjoy Pearl's work that much more.
reviewed The Poe Shadow (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 902 more book reviews
I've heard several people complain about this book, saying that it was too slow, boring, and mostly uneventful. I happen to disagree. I really enjoy historical fiction from this era and I was not disappointed with Pearl's efforts. While I believe that The Dante Club is more likely to appeal to a larger audience, I still found this book well worth reading.

I feel like Matthew Pearl did a very good job in attempting to piece together the clues surrounding the mysterious death of Poe. He did so with a seamless transition of fact and fiction, bringing in quite a colorful cast of investigators (with no less than two C. Auguste Dupins, to be exact) and a plot that, while not exceptionally fast-paced, did move forward. Perhaps 'steady' would be the best choice of words.

Before reading this book I would recommend checking out Poe's original short stories featuring C. Auguste Dupin, the prototype that Doyle eventually molded into Sherlock Holmes. 'Murder in the Rue Morgue' is considered to be the first true detective fiction story. It was followed by 'The Mystery of Marie Roget' and 'The Purloined Letter.' I read them prior to reading The Poe Shadow and found that it helped me to appreciate and enjoy Pearl's work that much more.