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Poe: A Life Cut Short by Peter Ackroyd
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Poe: A Life Cut Short (2008)

by Peter Ackroyd

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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. ( )
  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. ( )
  h_d | Mar 31, 2013 |
3 1/2 stars ( )
  tacorder | Mar 30, 2013 |
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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.
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:56:11 -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

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