Customer Reviews for

The Poe Shadow

Average Rating 3
( 69 )
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5 Star

(17)

4 Star

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(13)

2 Star

(12)

1 Star

(12)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

EXCELLENT! historical fiction written in style of the time perio

EXCELLENT! historical fiction written in style of the time period-love those Victorians! very interesting explanations using known details.

posted by catsnart on March 17, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Good only for illumination into Poe's demise

I generally agree with the other reviewers here -- Matthew Pearl seems to be far more of a self-congratulatory academic than a good fiction writer, and you can tell that he has had only Ivy League law school training, for a good (i.e., practical) practicing attorney wou...
I generally agree with the other reviewers here -- Matthew Pearl seems to be far more of a self-congratulatory academic than a good fiction writer, and you can tell that he has had only Ivy League law school training, for a good (i.e., practical) practicing attorney would not use such byzantine and overwrought language and plot construction to get his point across. (I guess this is what happens when academics accept you into their circle; you are in a no-lose situation, as I can't for the life of me understand how this man can teach a class in copyright law at Harvard Law School without even passing the bar.) Nevertheless, there was much fascinating information presented in this novel even for more-than-casual students of Edgar Allan Poe and the circumstances surrounding his death, which in the end made the whole reading experience ultimately fruitful. This is by far not a novel I would recommend for everyone, for many different reasons, but for those looking for a precis of the evidence to date surrounding the death of Edgar Allan Poe, you could read much worse.

posted by PatrickZJD on January 25, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2013

    I did not like this book. It seemed slow and a little all over t

    I did not like this book. It seemed slow and a little all over the place. This is the 3rd book in my life that I never finished. The worst thing about that is that I bout it on type for a road trip. I took it out and put in an old favorite. 

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  • Posted March 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The only thing you'll miss is a good nap

    The plot moved like molasses in January in Alaska. The characters are unbelievable, unlikable, and pretentious. The narrator had lost all credibility about half way through. Half of my book club didn't finish the book. Only one of us liked it. The ending is trite and unbelievable.

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  • Posted June 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Painfully dull

    After forcing myself, for almost two weeks, to push through this book, I gave up. There is no plot to speak of, the main character is dull, the the writing is labored. This was a huge disappointment after The Dante Club.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2008

    Very Disappointing

    The title interested me 'as a Poe fan' but I couldn't bring myself to finish this book in its entirety. The overwriting and scene switching made me nauseous. It gets nowhere fast and then it just drags on and on.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2007

    hard work

    Reading this book is too much like work. I really had to force myself to continue to read it. I enjoy books about different eras, I learned next to nothing about Baltimore in 1850 from this book. The plot is virtually non-existant. I had to reread many passages to understand what the author was trying to convey. What a waste of time and money.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2007

    Deadly Boring

    I read this book for my book club and I've rarely been so bored. I am an avid reader and seldom put a book down unfinished, but I came very close to doing so with this one. There wasn't much of a plot and what there was advanced at a snail's pace. The author should not have quit his day job. I work for lawyers and have read depositions that were more interesting. I read some of the literary reviews and equating Pearl's writing style to Poe's is an insult to Poe. Maybe this would have been more enjoyable as a short story 'a very short story!'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2006

    NOT summer reading

    Tedious, overwrought, dry. A plot stretched too thin and too long. Only the middle hundred pages worth reading . . . maybe. Hard to believe this was written by the same author of The Dante Club.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2006

    Poeless Poe narrative

    An endless narrative with little of the flavor of Poe's stories and poetry. What is the point of all those extraneous characters-=the Bonaparte/ Baltimore connection? the Whig party corruption? the Clemm and Poe relations? Poe would have had a single effect in mind: terror, sorrow, desolation. None of that here--this plot flatlined..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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