Edgar Allan Poe’s literary works are popular worldwide and you might have read his gothic fiction stories filled with the themes of mystery and macabre. From children to adults, his amazingly written characters and stories are intriguing and take you on many interesting journeys to the worlds unknown! Having written many classics, Poe witnessed tragedies in his personal life, but his writing was his escape from the world. This blog brings you a complete reading list of best books by Edgar Allan Poe that you must read once in your lifetime!
“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.”
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Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe was an American poet, literary critic and a writer. Born on 19th January 1809, when Poe was a year old, his father left home and his mother succumbed to death. His godfather took him to Scotland and then England and during these years, he had a classical education and later studied at the University of Virginia. Facing heartbreak in the later years with the love of his life getting engaged to someone else, he wrote his first volume of Byronic poems and this is where his interest in writing actually began. He later wrote hauntingly beautiful works like The Raven, The Black Cat, etc. which made him some of the best writers in the genre of horror fiction in the history of English Literature!
“I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.”
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Best Books by Edgar Allan Poe
Inspired by tragedy, horror, satire and cryptography, Edgar Allan Poe’s stories were filled with mystery and dark humour making his readers fall in love with the literary genre of horror. On his 211th birthday anniversary, here are our best picks amongst the classics by Edgar Allan Poe which you must add to your reading list!
The Gold Bug
“I felt somewhat annoyed by your evident suspicions touching my sanity, and so resolved to punish you quietly … by a little bit of sober mystification.”
The Gold Bug tops our list of the best books by Edgar Allan Poe for its striking satirical tone as well as the intriguing twists and turns it holds! The story begins in Sullivan’s Island where William Legrand, losing all his fortune and his servant, stayed. This happens because William was bit by a bug, that was lustrous that his servant, Jupiter called it Gold Bug, for it was made of gold. A month later, Legrand is going insane and along with the narrator and servant, go on an adventure after decoding a secret message.
The Masque of the Red Death
“There are chords in the hearts of the most reckless which cannot be touched without emotion, even by the utterly lost, to whom life and death are equally jests, there are matters of which no jest can be made.”
One of the most-loved stories by Edgar Allan Poe, The Masque of the Red Death truly resonates with the present pandemic world we are living in. It tells the story of Prince Prospero’s ball which happens when a pandemic called Red Death starts spreading, Prince Prospero hides in his abbey. He also invites other wealthy nobles and hosts a ball in different rooms, each decorated with a unique shade. Everything is cheerful, till a mysterious person enters and the guests die one by one. The story is filled with mystery and the truth behind the mysterious person who entered the ball, it definitely needs a spot on our list of best books by Edgar Allan Poe.
The Black Cat
“Who has not, a hundred times, found himself committing a vile or silly action for no other reason than because he knows he should not? Have we not a perpetual inclination, in the teeth of our best judgement, to violate that which is Law, merely because we understand it to be such?”
Another horror story by Edgar Allan Poe, The Black Cat is filled with guilt, anger, murder and remorse. The narrator addicted to drinking gets into fits of anger and tortures the cat to death. The very night his house is up on flames and the narrator and his family escape. After buying a new house, the narrator gets a new cat as he misses his previous cat, but the guilt of killing his cat annoys him and he attacks the new cat. In a turn of events, the narrator accidentally kills someone else. The end of the story is one of the biggest plot twists you will witness in a literary work! The development of the protagonist from animal-loving a merciless and despicable human will leave you completely awestruck. This is why it features in our list of best books by Edgar Allan Poe.
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The Cask of Amontillado
“A million candles have burned themselves out. Still I read on.”
One of the marvellously written stories by Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado takes place in an unnamed Italian city. The narrator is seeking revenge from his friend who he believes he insulted him. The author shows the story from the murderer’s view. The story is filled with lies and deceit, traps laid to take revenge. The narrator invites his friend to test a wine called Amontillado and taste its authenticity. His friend unknowingly and innocently gets lured in the trap. They exchange conversations as the story proceeds. The story was inspired from an old legend of the death of Lieutenant Robert Massie and is counted amongst the best horror books by Edgar Allan Poe.
The Pit and the Pendulum
“And then there stole into my fancy, like a rich musical note, the thought of what sweet rest there must be in the grave.”
The Pit and the Pendulum is a story about a prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition who suffers various torments as a prisoner. The story enhances fear in the reader’s mind as they get to know more about the protagonist. The prisoner is sentenced to jail by the courts and he sets out to explore the jail and its inner workings. It is set in the grotesque times of the Spanish Inquisition and the narration is filled with thrill and suspense which make the readers bite their nails. It definitely deserves a spot in the best books by Edgar Allan Poe.
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Thus, Edgar Allan Poe’s best books will surely introduce you to the genre of mysterious gothic fiction and you will get to dive deeper into the shades of dark and grey of our world! Want to pursue a program in Literature and Fiction Writing? Our Leverage Edu experts are here to help you select the right course and university as per your interests and aspirations! Sign up for a free session right away!