Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Poe. King.

The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Tales by Edgar Allan Poe.

Wonderful tales for the witching season. Included are: The Balloon Hoax, Ms. Found in a Bottle, A Descent into the Maelström, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Purloined Letter, The Black Cat, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Masque of the Red Death, The Cask of Amontillado, The Assignation, The Tell-Tale Heart, Diddling, The Man That Was Used Up, and Narrative of A. Gordon Pym.

There is anger, jealousy, and sabotage in almost every story; I very much enjoyed them. If you've never read Poe, the thing to do would be to start with some of the shorter short stories, like The Black Cat or The Tell-Tale Heart and then work up to some of the longer ones. It took me a couple to really get into the writing, to adjust to the prose, the vocabulary, the constant French phrases thrown here and there, etc. There were some architectural terms that I really never grasped, some of the more detailed descriptions of clothing or comparisons to things that were then-current were a little out of my reach, but it was still fun reading. Dark, very dark. Very ghostful.

The Stephen King Companion, edited by George Beahm.

This is filled with a lot of fluff, mainly other peoples' essays on King or interviews with people who have collaborated with King, but it was worth sifting through to get to The Playboy Interview, "Banned Books and Other Concerns," (a lecture King gave), and photos of King's home and writing office. Book list was nice but obviously out of date as this was first released in 1989. I really didn't find out anything I didn't already know from On Writing, so if you want to read a book about Stephen King, just read the one he wrote himself, it has pretty much everything you want to know.