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In the Shadow of the Master: Classic Tales by Edgar Allan Poe (2009)

by Edgar Allan Poe, Michael Connelly (Editor)

Other authors: Lawrence Block (Contributor), Jan Burke (Contributor), Harry Clarke (Illustrator), Michael Connelly (Contributor), Thomas H. Cook (Contributor)14 more, Jeffery Deaver (Contributor), Nelson DeMille (Contributor), Tess Gerritsen (Cover artist), Sue Grafton (Contributor), Edward D. Hoch (Contributor), Laurie R. King (Contributor), Stephen King (Contributor), Laura Lippman (Contributor), Sara Paretsky (Contributor), T. Jefferson Parker (Contributor), P. J. Parrish (Contributor), S. J. Rozan (Contributor), Lisa Scottoline (Contributor), Joseph Wambaugh (Contributor)

Series: Mystery Writers of America Anthology (2009)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1543157,413 (3.89)1
"A wonderful treat for the Poe connoisseur, or a perfect introduction to his works." --Charlotte Observer   In the Shadow of the Master is an exceptional collection of classic stories from the lord of literary darkness himself--the inimitable Edgar Allan Poe--accompanied by enthralling essays from twenty of his bestselling acolytes and admirers. With appreciations by Michael Connelly, Stephen King, Lisa Scottoline, Tess Gerritsen, Laura Lippman, Nelson DeMille, Lawrence Block, and thirteen others, In the Shadow of the Master is a must-have for thriller and mystery fans of all ages.… (more)
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So I was thinking I enjoyed this book a lot. I think it's clearly established that Edgar Allan Poe is a master of story-telling suspense, and I always like returning to my favorites. And the book itself is superb, it has a nice retro look to it and features the Harry Clarke illustrations, which seriously bump up the already high creepy factor of the stories significantly.

But the shtick of this particular edition of Poe stories is what didn't really work for me. It's put out the Mystery Writers of America, which seems fitting because their annual award is called the Edgar, for obvious reasons. A number of successful members of this group were asked to contribute pieces on Edgar Allan Poe. And with some few exceptions (Nelson DeMille, Laura Lippmann), these short writings add very little. Overwhelmingly, they're insubstantial. And this is so consistent that I strongly suspect the editor and whoever else was working on this project made the requests in such a way that lead people to believe it was okay to toss off a few paragraphs and call it a day. I feel as though they must have been asked "hey, could you write something? Just a little something? Don't feel you have to spend much time on it, anything you jot down would be just fine. You know, in your spare time." My general feeling after reading most of them, even from authors I very much like, was "wow, talk about phoning it in." I think fewer essays of more substance would have been a better way to go.

Grade: A for Poe, clearly. C for almost everyone else. The authors' essays felt much too obligatory.
Recommended: There are more complete works of Poe, but this is an especially nice-looking volume with good hand feel to it.

2009/46 ( )
1 vote delphica | Jul 22, 2009 |
A collection of Poe’s best, with little asides written by some modern writers. Poe shines so brightly (or maybe darkly) in these tales that these little musings seem like a distraction at times. I would have preferred fewer of these, and more actual stories. ( )
1 vote CapusCorvax | Jun 22, 2009 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Poe, Edgar AllanAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Connelly, MichaelEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Block, LawrenceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burke, JanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clarke, HarryIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Connelly, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cook, Thomas H.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Deaver, JefferyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
DeMille, NelsonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gerritsen, TessCover artistsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Grafton, SueContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hoch, Edward D.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
King, Laurie R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
King, StephenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lippman, LauraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Paretsky, SaraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Parker, T. JeffersonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Parrish, P. J.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rozan, S. J.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Scottoline, LisaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wambaugh, JosephContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), while a mainstay of literature today and the recognized creator of the modern genres of horror and mystery fiction, spent much of his life chasing the public and literary acclaim he craved.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"A wonderful treat for the Poe connoisseur, or a perfect introduction to his works." --Charlotte Observer   In the Shadow of the Master is an exceptional collection of classic stories from the lord of literary darkness himself--the inimitable Edgar Allan Poe--accompanied by enthralling essays from twenty of his bestselling acolytes and admirers. With appreciations by Michael Connelly, Stephen King, Lisa Scottoline, Tess Gerritsen, Laura Lippman, Nelson DeMille, Lawrence Block, and thirteen others, In the Shadow of the Master is a must-have for thriller and mystery fans of all ages.

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Book description
Contains:
  • A Descent into the Maelstrom / Edgar Allan Poe
  • On Edgar Allan Poe / T. Jefferson Parker
  • The Cask of Amontillado / Edgar Allan Poe
  • Under The Covers with Fortunato and Montresor / Jan Burke
  • The Curse of Amontillado / Lawrence Block
  • The Black Cat / Edgar Allan Poe
  • Pluto's Heritage / P.J. Parrish
  • William Wilson / Edgar Allan Poe
  • Identity Crisis / Lisa Scottoline
  • Manuscript Found in a Bottle / Edgar Allan Poe
  • In A Strange City: Baltimore and the Poe Toaster / Laura Lippman
  • The Fall of the House of Usher / Edgar Allan Poe
  • Once Upon a Midnight Dreary / Michael Connelly
  • The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar / Edgar Allan Poe
  • The Thief / Laurie R. King
  • Ligeia / Edgar Allan Poe
  • Poe and Me at the Movies / Tess Gerritsen
  • The Tell-Tale Heart / Edgar Allan Poe
  • The Genius of "The Tell-Tale Heart" / Stephen King
  • The First Time / Steve Hamilton
  • The Pit and the Pendulum / Edgar Allan Poe
  • The Pit, the Pendulum, and Perfection / Edward D. Hoch
  • The Pit and the Pendulum at the Palace / Peter Robinson
  • The Masque of the Red Death / Edgar Allan Poe
  • Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, and Me / S.J. Rozan
  • The Murders in the Rue Morgue / Edgar Allan Poe
  • The Quick and the Undead / Nelson Demille
  • The Gold-Bug / Edgar Allan Poe
  • Imagining Edgar Allan Poe / Sara Paretsky
  • The Raven / Edgar Allan Poe
  • Rantin' and Ravin' / Joseph Wambaugh
  • A Little Thought on Poe / Thomas H. Cook
  • The Bells / Edgar Allan Poe
  • Poe in G Minor / Jeffrey Deaver
  • Excerpt from The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket / Edgar Allan Poe
  • How I Became an Edgar Allan Poe Convert / Sue Grafton
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