I read The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado, The Spectacles, and The Balloon Hoax.
What did you think of what you read?
To tell you the truth, even though I'd read it before many years ago, The Tell-Tale Heart spooked me out! It was truly a "psychological thriller!" I'd never even heard of the other three stories, but I found them all very interesting, just not as scary.
Were the stories you read similar to one another?
Yes and No... The Tell-Tale Heart was a story of madness, and guilt. It was fascinating to observe the play of insanity, and also the power of guilt that overwhelmed this murderer. The Cask of Amontillado was another dark one plumbed from the depths of human emotion. It was similar in portraying ruthlessness and murder, but this murderer sought revenge, and it was cold and calculated, not madness.
The other two stories were much lighter. The Spectacles is a humorous love story giving you the ultimate reason never to leave your glasses home. And The Balloon Hoax was an amazing story that was published in The New York Sun in 1844, and was so convincing that people truly believed that a balloon had successfully been flown across the Atlantic in just 3 days from England to the US. It was so incredibly detailed and sounded so scientific and real that I'm sure I would have believed it if I had read it in the newspaper!
Were they what you expected them to be?
The Tell-Tale Heart, and The Cask of Amontillado both fit my image of what a Poe story would be like and were exactly what I expected. However, I was surprised by The Spectacles and The Balloon Hoax -- both were fun to read and it was obvious that they were fun for him to write. You can see that from this quote from the ending of The Balloon Hoax:
"This is unquestionably the most stupendous, the most interesting, and the most important undertaking, ever accomplished or even attempted by man. What magnificent events may ensue, it would be useless now to think of determining."
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
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