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The Poe Shadow
The Poe Shadow
Author: Matthew Pearl
Baltimore, 1849. — The body of Edgar Allan Poe as been buried in an unmarked grave. The public, the press, and even Poe's family and friends accept the conclusion that Poe was a second-rate writer who met a disgraceful end as a drunkard. — Everyone, in fact, seems to believe this except a young Baltimore lawyer named Quentin Clark, an ardent admir...  more »
ISBN-13: 9781400061037
ISBN-10: 1400061032
Publication Date: 5/23/2006
Pages: 400
Rating:
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 35

3 stars, based on 35 ratings
Publisher: Random House
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Poe Shadow 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 on + 656 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
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 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 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 on + 404 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
Read All 19 Book Reviews of "The Poe Shadow"

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