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The Purloined Letter; The Pit and the Pendulum; The Fall of the House of Usher

It's a shame to wait until the Doctor Zhivago MeetUp on Feb 23, so I'm scheduling a quickie!

Three short stories by Edgar Allan Poe: The Purloined Letter, The Pit and the Pendulum, and The Fall of the House of Usher.

You can find the fulltext free online at and elsewhere. Also widely available in analog format (aka: books).

The name Poe brings to mind images of murderers and madmen, premature burials, and mysterious women who return from the dead. His works have been in print since 1827 and include such literary classics as “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Raven,” and “The Fall of the House of Usher.” This versatile writer’s oeuvre includes short stories, poetry, a novel, a textbook, a book of scientific theory, and hundreds of essays and book reviews. He is widely acknowledged as the inventor of the modern detective story and an innovator in the science fiction genre, but he made his living as America’s first great literary critic and theoretician. Poe’s reputation today rests primarily on his tales of terror as well as on his haunting lyric poetry.

While these are the only three stories officially on the 1001 list, we may also stray into discussing some of Poe's other popular works.

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  • Betsy S.

    I had seen the old classic movie "The Pit and the Pendulum" with Vincent Price. The story is nothing like the movie. The story is much scarier and very haunting. Poe is a really powerful writer.

    February 3, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I love quickies! Er... wait...

    February 3, 2014

  • Randy S

    It was a great idea! I began reading the Usher story. Made me think of 'A Rose for Emily' by W. Faulkner -- my personal fav author. Anyway, I haven't read this story since college and it still holds the magic. Hmm. What is the magic? The language or just a damn good story about dead people? I can't decide:)

    February 1, 2014

  • Michelle L.

    Wish I could come, but I'll be out of town

    January 27, 2014

  • Rick O.

    Bonnie - great idea! - thanks

    January 27, 2014

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