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The Fall of the House of Usher

Edgar Allan Poe

Book Overview: 

The Narator is summoned to the remote mansion of his boyhood friend, Roderick Usher. The Narrator reunites with his old companion, who is suffering from a strange mental illness and whose sister Madeline is near death due to a mysterious disease. The Narrator provides company to Usher while he paints and plays guitar, spending all his days inside, avoiding the sunlight and obsessing over the sentience of the non-living. When Madeline dies, Usher decides to bury her temporarily in one of his house's large vaults. A few days later, however, she emerges from her provisional tomb, killing her brother while the Narrator flees for his life. The House of Usher splits apart and collapses, wiping away the last remnants of the ancient family.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .t?—served mainly to accelerate the increase itself. Such, I have long known, is the paradoxical law of all sentiments having terror as a basis. And it might have been for this reason only, that, when I again uplifted my eyes to the house itself, from its image in the pool, there grew in my mind a strange fancy—a fancy so ridiculous, indeed, that I but mention it to show the vivid force of the sensations which oppressed me. I had so worked upon my imagination as really to believe that about the whole mansion and domain there hung an atmosphere peculiar to themselves and their immediate vicinity—an atmosphere which had no affinity with the air of heaven, but which had reeked up from the decayed trees, and the gray wall, and the silent tarn—a pestilent and mystic vapor, dull, sluggish, faintly discernible, and leaden-hued.

Shaking off from my spirit what must have been a dream, I scanned more narrowly the real aspect of the building. Its p. . . Read More

Community Reviews

3.5 stars. I did not read (or listen to) all of the books in this collection so this review is for the books listed below (I will periodically update as I listen to more of the stories):

"The Pit and the Pendulum" (2.5 to 3.0 stars): The best way I can think of to describe Poe's writing is "atmosp...more

The Balloon-Hoax - Wow. That was really boring.
Ms. Found in a Bottle - Good suspense, but the ending confused me.
A Descent into the Maelstrom - Not too memorable.
The Murders in the Rue Morgue - A rather silly Holmes-esque mystery tale.
The Purloined Letter - Not bad, but far too wordy.
The Black Ca...more

This selection of short stories reveals Edgar Allan Poe in all his moods. All the stories have been reviewed, but some have their own separate reviews and star rating. These are indicated with links at the end. This review and star rating is for the remainder of this selection.

The Fall of the Ho...more

This was my first ever collection i have read of mr. Poe and I enjoyed most of the stories in this collection. The collection was my pick for all hallow's read to read for Halloween this year. I also hosted a readalong of this collection online on facebook andat the all about books book club on...more

I don't like these kind of genres, that much. But Poe is a beautiful exception. He is brilliant at creating weird atmospheres, although sometimes it seems those descriptions are too long, with women dying all over the place. However, it is not difficult to get into the stories and feel real emoti...more

Inspired Madness
A Book Review of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Tales

There’s no denying that much of modern horror fiction — as we know it anyway — grew out of the gloomy, chaotic depth of the 19th century when a few demented souls were churning out tales of things tha...more

*Read for Class*

So, I guess Poe is pretty cool. He's still not my favorite author (and probably never will be), but I'm learning to appreciate his writing style and uncanny stories.

I've been slowly working my way through this over the past six months, reading a story here and there. Initially I was quite daunted by the idea of Edgar Allan Poe, but as I progressed through the collection I found myself relaxing into it and just enjoying the writing. There were many standout s...more

I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Before reading this book, I had a misconception that Edger Allen Poe was a horror writer.

Oh, how wrong I was!

Yes, Poe might be known for his stories of macabre and gothic horror. But it was his versatility that I found attractive in hi...more

I wrote this review a while ago. What was I thinking? Now I'll have to explain myself. Anyway, here it is...
I go through phases where I think Poe was the greatest writer that ever lived. They usually pass in 2-3 weeks or so, once I've had time to read and re-read his best stuff and be appalled by...more

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