Christopher Aruffo is back with more readings of his (possibly exhaustive) survey of the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Volumes 11 – 13 are available separately or in a combined set. This set includes some of the mid-list fiction from Poe’s body of work, including the notorious “Bernice”, and the granddaddy of all, “The Telltale Heart”.
I’ve said it before (in a review of Volumes 9 and 10 from this Poe series) and I’ll say it again: Aruffo has a stradivarius voice, and he knows how to play it. His lush tones are perfect for Poe and better-than-perfect for “The Telltale Heart”, where he inhabits the crazy-yet-calculating mental world of the narrator. The well-placed giggles never let you forget his lunacy. At the end, his recitation slips into a throbbing rhythm as the heart of the story pounds out its accusatory beats. It’s a performance not to be missed.
Other titles in this collection are:
“Man of the Crowd”: Poe impulsively spends an entire day stalking a strange old man.
“Hop” – Frog: an under-appreciated story of an outcast wreaking terrible revenge.
Metzengerstein: Magic and horror combine in the body of a horse of unexplainable origin.
“Bernice”: another horror story with a Poe-esque protagonist (rich) of Poe-esque habits (solitary) and a Poe-esque grip on reality (none) who obsesses over a woman’s fine set of teeth. Really. This story is so out of proportion, Thomas Disch made it Exhibit A in his indictment of science fiction’s adolescent tendencies (although it is not science fiction).
“The Sphinx”: A possibly-true, slight account of a strange optical illusion.
And, in addition: “The Assignation”, “Shadow”, “Silence”, and “Morella”.
This microcosm gives a fascinating glimpse into Poe’s mental world. Everything about him that is brilliant, obsessive, and unhinged is sampled here.
Posted by Fredoosphere