Thursday, April 02, 2009

Mini-Challenge Fun: Interview with Robin

For Nymeth's mini-challenge, I paired up with Robin from A Fondness for Reading to read some Edgar Allen Poe. Short stories to be exact. My answers can be found on her blog, and her answers can be found here!

Which ones did you read?

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
If you're reading this post on another site, or another feed, the content has been stolen.


Melissa 1:09 PM  

Good interview: everyone knows Poe wrote horror and thriller stories; I'd never heard of the other two... I'm like Robin, though: I'd be totally and completely freaked out if I could manage to convince myself to read The Tell Tale Heart again!

Nymeth 2:49 PM  

I've only read a fraction of what Poe has written, but I remember that reading a collection of his some years ago I too was surprised by his diversity. Somehow I also imagined all of his stories to be in the same style, but no, not at all.

Carl V. 8:55 PM  

He was an amazing talent and I am extraordinarily fond of his work. I've seen Tell-tale Heart and Cask of Amontillado performed live and they were both pretty creepy. I wish they would do more live performances of his work and other gothic short stories during Halloween. It has been several years since any of the local playhouses have done this and I miss it.

Rebecca 9:49 PM  

Hi there,

There's an award waiting for you here

Bellezza 10:16 PM  

I'll never forget A Tell Tale Heart. Talk about being done in by guilt! That's just how I imagine anyone feels after doing something wrong. If they have half a conscience, anyway.

Ms. Yingling 4:57 AM  

Dear Sweet Becky,
You have such a large readership that maybe you could help me out. I'm having a Library Design Challenge! Librarians can stop by my web site to see what's going on with my library redesign. If you are feeling generous, could you help me plug this? Thanks!

Debi 6:11 AM  

I first read The Tell-Tale Heart back in middle school. One of the few short stories that I read back in school that truly left an impression. And I have to admit that I didn't realize Poe was so diverse either. I'd love to give The Spectacles and The Balloon Hoax a try sometime, though I suspect I'll still be most in love with his creepier reads.

Louise 11:33 AM  

I'm so sorry I haven't been around your blog for a long time. I haven't been blogging much myself, but I just wanted to drop by and say hi, wish you a good weekend and a nice Easter and apologize for being scarce.

I am finishing my Master thesis and this takes up most of my time. Hopefully, by the end of May, I will be able to blog more and participate more around the blogosphere.

I am still reviewing books from time to time on my blog, but I am not really active.

I don't expect you to come running visiting and commenting, I just wanted to let you know that I am very much alive and I miss reading and commenting on your blog very much.

This is a personal message written to all the blogowner, whose delightful blogs I visit on a regular basis, but it has been copy/pasted. So if you find it on other blogger's blogs, that is why.

I look very much forward to be active again - and apologize once again for not being active the past month and not being able to be active for another month or two.


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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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