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Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Poe Shadow

Pearl, Matthew. The Poe Shadow. I'm not sure why I read the whole thing; it was a struggle to do so. Quentin Hobson Clark is determined to unravel the riddle of Poe's death, and in a manner that makes others question his sanity (& intelligence?), Clark ends up in Paris seeking the help of the man on whom Poe modeled his brilliant detective, C. Auguste Dupin. Long, slow, needlessly and boringly complicated. No characters particularly likable. Pearl's research may be admirable, but the novel is not interesting (hard to imagine given the subject).

Historical fiction. 367 pages. c. 2006.


  1. Too bad - it sounds like all the right ingredients for a good book, particularly the subject matter!

  2. lesley - It is too bad. This was Pearl's second chance (didn't like The Dante Club, either), I don't think I'll give him a third.

  3. I've heard really bad things about this one. I picked up Dante Club when it came out but never bothered to read it.

  4. My book group (Didi's group) actually was quite put off by The Dante Club on the basis of certain historical inaccuracies (it's an issue when your group has two 19th century literature experts in it). And it was rather too graphically descriptive regarding the dead bodies for me to feel comfortable recommending it to my township library group.

    One wonders if the author has found any real audience at all.

  5. Carl - I can't recommend either of these books.

    Jill - at least this one had no graphic detail of horrible deaths. How do these books get to be "best sellers," I wonder?