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Old 07-27-2014, 11:50 PM   #1
Loosheesh
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The Murders in the Rue Morgue

There's an afterword in The Mammoth Book of Locked-Room Mysteries and Impossible Crimes, where the editor (Mike Ashley) talks a little about the history of the subgenre. He mentions The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe, and refers to it as "grotesque and bizarre". I'm now on an 'impossible crimes' kick and I want to try The Murders ... but I wondered what was meant by "grotesque and bizarre". Is it horror? Are there supernatural elements? Are the murders overly graphic? I would appreciate some insights (without getting too spoiler-y ). Thanks!
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Old 07-28-2014, 01:49 AM   #2
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E.A. Poe pretty much started the detective genre and The Murders in the Rue Morgue is a detective tale with what many would agree is an odd twist at the end when the murderer is revealed. Of course though we wouldn't probably think it very graphic now you have to remember that Poe died in 1849 at which time it may have seemed so. I mean back then it was the age of the Penny dreadful and the writing style of real news was a lot different than it is today as well.
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Old 07-28-2014, 06:40 PM   #3
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Thanks. I wanted to know if it bends toward the horror genre or if it has supernatural elements; these things are just not my speed and I like to know beforehand.
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Old 07-28-2014, 06:45 PM   #4
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No real horror or supernatural elements .... but as crich70 pointed out, a very strange twist and some graphic descriptions of the murder scene ...
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Old 07-28-2014, 07:15 PM   #5
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Thanks. I wanted to know if it bends toward the horror genre or if it has supernatural elements; these things are just not my speed and I like to know beforehand.
It's gothic horror so it's sort of Dark Romanticism. More subdued than what you'd expect in modern writing. Certainly not as graphic as what you see on TV these days.

I think of if more as just a really good detective story. I enjoyed the Dupin mysteries enough that I read all 3 short stories. I don't read horror or supernatural writing. I avoid movies in this genre too. Just to provide an example Stephen King is too much for me.
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Old 07-28-2014, 07:28 PM   #6
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No real horror or supernatural elements .... but as crich70 pointed out, a very strange twist and some graphic descriptions of the murder scene ...
Thanks! I like "strange twists"; graphic descriptions of murder scenes, not so much, but I'm sure I'll manage.

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It's gothic horror so it's sort of Dark Romanticism. More subdued than what you'd expect in modern writing. Certainly not as graphic as what you see on TV these days.

I think of if more as just a really good detective story. I enjoyed the Dupin mysteries enough that I read all 3 short stories. I don't read horror or supernatural writing. I avoid movies in this genre too. Just to provide an example Stephen King is too much for me.
Thanks; this is reassuring. I read Stephen King in secondary school but wouldn't touch anything of his now. Well, looks like I'll be giving Poe a go
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Old 07-28-2014, 10:23 PM   #7
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If you decide to read more Poe his entire 5 book collection of tales and poems are up here at MR.

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Old 07-29-2014, 12:36 AM   #8
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I hope you enjoy it, Loosheesh. Happy reading!
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:31 AM   #9
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If you decide to read more Poe his entire 5 book collection of tales and poems are up here at MR.

Epub

Kindle
What a lifesaver! Last night I loaded the collection I picked up from Kobo a few years ago, and the TOC is an absolute horror (i.e. completely useless ). And I never thought to look here for his works

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I hope you enjoy it, Loosheesh. Happy reading!
Thanks! Looking forward to it
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:02 AM   #10
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If you decide to read more Poe his entire 5 book collection of tales and poems are up here at MR.

Epub

Kindle


And thank you, crich, for assembling these and making them available for our Library and our members.


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Old 07-29-2014, 12:54 PM   #11
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It's gothic horror so it's sort of Dark Romanticism.
I disagree. It's not horror in the usual meaning of the term. It's a pure locked-room mystery. The "grotesque and bizarre" probably refers to the nature of the crime, although even that's an exaggeration, in my opinion.

To answer the original question, there are no supernatural elements, and the murders are not overly graphic. It's a good story. I especially like the way the different witnesses interpret what they see according to their nationalities and cultural backgrounds.

Mike
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Old 07-29-2014, 01:56 PM   #12
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Gothic horror is a specific genre of literature in which Poe's works are categorized. It's the grotesque and inexplicable crime and the bizarre solution that classify it as such. However the word horror then does not have the same connotations as today. I have read several classics in this genre and don't consider them to be very horrific from my modern perspectives. Like I said I basically see it as a good detective mystery too so I think we are much in agreement.
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:42 PM   #13
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And thank you, crich, for assembling these and making them available for our Library and our members.


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Thanks. I wasn't trying to toot my own horn and hope no one else thinks so. I just happened to be the one who had the idea to post the contents of the Raven Edition of his works to MR.
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:43 PM   #14
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What a lifesaver! Last night I loaded the collection I picked up from Kobo a few years ago, and the TOC is an absolute horror (i.e. completely useless ). And I never thought to look here for his works



Thanks! Looking forward to it
You're welcome Loosheesh. I hope you enjoy the book.
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