Wednesday 4 October 2023

Poe, Edgar Allan "The Murders in the Rue Morgue"

Poe, Edgar Allan "The Murders in the Rue Morgue and other stories" - 1841

Our international online book club read in August 2023.

Dark, gruesome, abysmal, that's what I read somewhere about the writings of Edgar Allan Poe. Yeah, I couldn't agree more. I know people who love this sort of writing but I don't. I was afraid I wouldn't like it but tried my best to discover something that might tempt me to read more by this author. Alas, that was not to be. This time, it was a good thing that the book wasn't that thick. Or maybe that added to my disenjoyment.

My biggest problem with stories like these, there is nothing to learn from them. Absolutely nothing. And that is my main reason for reading.

Our book club had chosen to read a collection of short stores. The trouble with this is always that there are different ones in different languages. These were the stories the Finnish members had:
The Tell-Tale Heart (1843)
The Imp of the Perverse (1845)
The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841)
The Mystery of Marie Rogêt (1843)
The Purloined Letter (1844)
'Thou Art the Man' (1844)

And these were the ones in the English edition:
The Oval Portrait
The Fall of the House of Usher
The Masque of the Red Death
The Pit and the Pendulum
The Cask of Amontillado
The Gold-Bug
The Murders in the Rue Morgue
The Mystery of Marie Rogêt
The Purloined Letter

The group had some other opinions. There was a really good discussion about Poe's works and life. Some had read some of the gruesome and terrible works but most of us had read a selection of a few different kinds, some of which are really clever and intelligent, and you clearly can see how he was starting a genre to influence literature for hundreds of years to follow.

From the back cover:

"Between 1841 and 1844, Edgar Allan Poe invented the genre of detective fiction with three mesmerizing stories about a young and eccentric French private detective named C. Auguste Dupin.

Introducing to literature the concept of applying reason to solving crime, these tales brought Poe fame and fortune, although much less of the second during his lifetime. Decades later, Dorothy Sayers would describe '
The Murders in the Rue Morgue' as 'almost a complete manual of detective theory and practice.' Indeed, Poe’s short Dupin mysteries inspired the creation of countless literary sleuths, among them Sherlock Holmes. Today, the unique Dupin stories still stand out as utterly engrossing page-turners."


  1. I grew up reading Poe's stories in school and at home, so that's probably why I like them.

    1. I'm not a fan of crime stories, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and Poe definitely belongs to that genre. I was not happy about the last choices in the book club, many seem to go into that direction, so I have not read the next one. This was a classic, so I gave it a try. Not my thing.

  2. I love Poe's stories. I liked The Murders in the Rue Morgue, one of those really mysterious stories. I did read The Fall of the House of Usher and understood "less than nothing", that a colleague of mine used to say. Might have to read it again. I thought I saw that there is a new film or tv-series of the short story.