Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Poe: A Life Cut Short by Peter Ackroyd

Poe: A Life Cut Short (2008)

by Peter Ackroyd

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2301350,307 (3.5)11



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 11 mentions

English (11)  Dutch (2)  All (13)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
I found this to be a totally sufficient biography for any casual reader. It begins with Poe's death and then goes back through his orphaning, his tumultuous relationship with his "adopted" father, his tendency to move around frequently, and, as expected, his turn to drink throughout his life. Ackroyd is very good at separating out facts from heresay and exaggeration. He doesn't put Poe on a pedestal either, even broaching the subject of Poe's views on slavery, which I haven't really seen covered before in other brief biographies. All in all, this is a great little volume to have around if you are interested in the life and tragic death of Edgar Allan Poe.

http://webereading.com/2016/10/ripxi-8-poe-life-cut-short.html ( )
  klpm | Oct 10, 2016 |
Perhaps because I already knew a good deal about Poe's life, I found Ackroyd's sympathetic portrait a little too adroit and somewhat unsatisfying. ( )
  nmele | Apr 6, 2013 |
skimmed the beginning found the style too encyclopedic ( )
  lindap69 | Apr 5, 2013 |
It is difficult to separate my thoughts about the man, Edgar Allan Poe, from his biography, by Peter Ackroyd. Poe was certainly a tragic figure. It appears that he, and others close to him, took poetic licence in describing a life. His biographer renders the life through the subterfuge. ( )
1 vote bsiemens | Apr 5, 2013 |
This was an incredibly engrossing read, and quite short too which is a bit of a rarity because Ackroyd usually writes books the size of bricks. Also, it was an interesting read in that it left me confused about whether I felt sorry for Poe or thought he was a bit of a bell-end. Which, yes, he was. Even so, his is a rather miserable story and I'd feel bad for him if he didn't bring so much of it on himself. He could have easily been a character in one of his own works, dark, deranged and doomed. It's a wonder that Tim Burton hasn't made a biopic about him with Johnny Depp as Poe. ( )
1 vote h_d | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
On the evening of 26 September 1849, Edgar Allan Poe stopped in the office of a physician in Richmond, Virginia-John Carter-and obtained a palliative for the fever that had beset him.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 038550800X, Hardcover)

Gothic, mysterious, theatrical, fatally flawed, and dazzling, the life of Edgar Allan Poe, one of America’s greatest and most versatile writers, is the ideal subject for Peter Ackroyd. Poe wrote lyrical poetry and macabre psychological melodramas; invented the first fictional detective; and produced pioneering works of science fiction and fantasy. His innovative style, images, and themes had a tremendous impact on European romanticism, symbolism, and surrealism, and continue to influence writers today.
In this essential addition to his canon of acclaimed biographies, Peter Ackroyd explores Poe’s literary accomplishments and legacy against the background of his erratic, dramatic, and sometimes sordid life. Ackroyd chronicles Poe’s difficult childhood, his bumpy academic and military careers, and his complex relationships with women, including his marriage to his thirteen-year-old cousin. He describes Poe’s much-written-about problems with gambling and alcohol with sympathy and insight, showing their connections to Poe’s childhood and the trials, as well as the triumphs, of his adult life. Ackroyd’s thoughtful, perceptive examinations of some of Poe’s most famous works shed new light on these classics and on the troubled and brilliant genius who created them.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:35 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Explores Poe's literary accomplishments and legacy against the background of his erratic, dramatic, and sometimes sordid life, including his marriage to his thirteen-year-old cousin and his much-written-about problems with gambling and alcohol.

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
35 wanted2 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.5)
2 6
2.5 2
3 9
3.5 8
4 13
4.5 3
5 4

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 114,411,078 books! | Top bar: Always visible