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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Review: The Man Who Was Poe

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
The Man Who Was Poe
by Avi
Mystery
Amazon  /  Goodreads

Plot Summary:

The Old City Lay Dark And Cold...It is night. And Edmund is alone. His mother is gone. His aunt, who went in search of her, is dead. His sister has disappeared. Edmund has no one. Except for a stranger of the night.A dark, mysterious stranger who flees from demons of his own...who follows Edmund with grim determination through the cold and shadow city, promising to help, but often hindering. A stranger who needs Edmund for purposes of his own!


Review:

I read this more for the nostalgia of reading a book like the ones I read in my youth.  They were usually simple, absorbing and suspenseful stories and this book fit that bill completely.  The character development is light, it's mostly about the plot and the mystery.  Edgar Allan Poe is a character in the story - and the story spins him into a character with many flaws as an alcoholic and a man consumed by his art and his imagination.  It sounds true to the idea of Poe, but it also makes the character unlikable in the story.  I'm not sure how I feel about that actually.  Not because I'm outraged on behalf of Poe, but because with a story that pairs him and a young boy with a mystery that needs solving, it would have been nice if they made a good team, instead of consistently suspicious and angry at each other.  It does work on some level in the story though, to create more suspense and tension.

The mystery itself was well done.  It seemed simple, but gradually many red herrings were thrown in which made it difficult to figure out what was really happening.  The story also honors several aspects of Poe's works, especially his Dupin mysteries which was nice to see.  As a mystery this is an engaging story that is crafted very well but I unfortunately didn't feel all that enamored with the characters which probably means this won't be a very memorable read for me.

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