On Monday, the Reading Across the Pond book group read a selection of short stories from Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher. Most of the group had read Poe ages ago, and we compared our first impressions of the stories with present-day reading. There were mixed reactions: one group member couldn’t find anything to like about Poe’s collection, but many of us still love the palpable atmosphere the stories create. There was a lengthy discussion of Poe’s own melodramatic, grim life, which helped to justify his written tone. In addition to the NML’s copies of the stories, we in the 2AD also hold a copy of Poetry and Tales, which gathers all of Poe’s poetry, tales, short stories, and general essays in chronological order!
Up next: A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley!