Title: The Fall Of The House Of Usher
Author: Edgar Allan Poe
Genre: Horror, Short Stories, Classics, Gothic, American Literature, Mystery
Publisher: Gutenberg Project
Page Amount: 28 Pages
Blurb From Goodreads: The story begins with the unnamed narrator arriving at the house of his friend, Roderick Usher, having received a letter from him in a distant part of the country complaining of an illness and asking for his help. It is revealed that Roderick’s twin sister, Madeline, is also ill and falls into cataleptic, deathlike trances. The narrator is impressed with Roderick’s paintings, and attempts to cheer him by reading with him and listening to his improvised musical compositions on the guitar. Roderick sings “The Haunted Palace”, then tells the narrator that he believes the house he lives in to be alive, and that this sentience arises from the arrangement of the masonry and vegetation surrounding it. [Blurb Comes From Wikipedia as Goodreads was being unhelpful and had no good blurb to offer]
Why Read: I’ve read The Fall Of the House of Usher before, but never with a book review in mind, nor anything other than a hearty love for Edgar Allan Poe in mind. It was a great vacation read that went by in a heartbeat, and had everything to do with a love of all things creepy and disturbing.
Review: There are books you enjoy because they have great characters, and there are others that have plots that keep the pages turning. This Poe classic struggles to compete on a purely even basis with those traits, as it is only 28 pages. However, I’m glad to say I reread the book with an eye towards finding a better understanding about what made this book so great.
It was the writing style.
Admittedly, there isn’t much character development, but how much can you do in such a short amount of pages? The unnamed narrator perhaps develops a sense of fear while his close friend develops a sense of madness, but really the only character that truly undergoes a change is the sister, Madeline. Though I’m certain anyone reading this blog has read the Fall Of the House of Usher before, I won’t spoil it. Readers of before, we all know the changes that poor Madeline underwent.
The plot was exciting – it’s short and sweet – to the point. I remember smiling the first time I read the book as the narrator hears the strange sounds coming from below, and the monstrosity that awaits the narrator and his friend. And once again, I found myself nervously biting my nails, which we all know is the mark of a great book.
I can only attribute how much I enjoyed this book a second time through to the fantastic and admirable way it was written. Surely Edgar Allan Poe was one of the great writers of his generation – and nowhere is that more evident than this great book.
Rating: 4.6/5 Stars
Review Coming Soon: Through The Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll