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Praised by Caleb Carr for his "brilliantly detailed and above all riveting" true-crime writing, Harold Schechter brings his expertise to a marvelous work of fiction. Superbly rendering the 1830s Baltimore of Edgar Allan Poe, Schechter taps into the dark genius of that legendary author -- and follows a labyrinthine path into the heart of a most heinous crime.

Nevermore

A literary critic known for his scathing pen, Edgar Allan Poe is a young struggling writer, plagued by dreadful ruminations and horrific visions. Suddenly he is plunged into an adventure beyond his wildest fantasies -- a quest for a killer through Baltimore's highest and lowest streets and byways. A string of ghastly murders is linked by one chilling clue -- a cryptic word scrawled in blood. It is a terrifying lure that ensnares Poe in a deadly investigation. And along the way, his own macabre literary imagination is sparked as he unveils dark realities stranger than any fiction...
Published: Pocket Books on Jun 29, 2010
ISBN: 9781451617917
List price: $15.99
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Here is an historical novel about Edgar Allan Poe which is also a Poe pastiche. The main plot is about Poe teaming up with Davy Crockett (!) in Baltimore to solve a series of gruesome murders. The theme is the contrasts between the robust, vulgar natural man and the sensitive, romantic intellectual. The author, who also writes non-fiction 'true crime' books, is clever enough not to make one of the partners superior to the other; they form a coniunctio oppositorum.Schechter uses the common method of writing an historical novel about an author: he proposes that the authors fictions from that time were based on actual events. You can identify the stories used here by hints dropped pretty broadly in the book.Schechter attempts to imitate Poe's style: the book is narrated by Poe. He does not capture Poe's brilliance (who could?) but he does get the showy, patchy erudition and florid grandiloquence of the autodidact. He also shows Poe's self-image as a Southern Gentleman with a prickly sense of honor and as a brilliant, struggling, ambitious young author.The resolution of the mystery is ingenious in that it does not draw on Poe's stories but it is compatible with known facts of Poe's biography.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book was awful. Not to be confused by the novel of the same name by william hjortsberg. THAT one was good.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.

Reviews

Here is an historical novel about Edgar Allan Poe which is also a Poe pastiche. The main plot is about Poe teaming up with Davy Crockett (!) in Baltimore to solve a series of gruesome murders. The theme is the contrasts between the robust, vulgar natural man and the sensitive, romantic intellectual. The author, who also writes non-fiction 'true crime' books, is clever enough not to make one of the partners superior to the other; they form a coniunctio oppositorum.Schechter uses the common method of writing an historical novel about an author: he proposes that the authors fictions from that time were based on actual events. You can identify the stories used here by hints dropped pretty broadly in the book.Schechter attempts to imitate Poe's style: the book is narrated by Poe. He does not capture Poe's brilliance (who could?) but he does get the showy, patchy erudition and florid grandiloquence of the autodidact. He also shows Poe's self-image as a Southern Gentleman with a prickly sense of honor and as a brilliant, struggling, ambitious young author.The resolution of the mystery is ingenious in that it does not draw on Poe's stories but it is compatible with known facts of Poe's biography.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book was awful. Not to be confused by the novel of the same name by william hjortsberg. THAT one was good.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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