Sunday, May 17, 2009

Poe's Dupin Stories

"The Murders in the Rue Morgue", "The Mystery of Marie Roget", and "The Purloined Letter", from Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe
Read: 4/2/09-4/3/09
LibraryThing tags: Short Stories, Poetry, Classics, Mystery, MBC

These were cool. I hadn't realized that Poe invented the mystery genre. Reading Sherlock Holmes after this, it was extremely obvious that Doyle stole a couple things from Poe.
The "MBC" tag, by the way, refers to the Mystery Book Club I've been going to when I can.

For inventing a genre, these stories aren't bad. But just as stories judged on their own merits, I liked Sherlock Holmes a heck of a lot better. Which is understandable; I mean, Sherlock Holmes. Come on. These ones... they seemed a little more like case summaries taken from a book of logic puzzles than actual stories. Even as far as atmosphere, something Poe is normally the master of.... they were only so-so, I thought. Not the best Poe. Maybe if I hadn't been so distracted by case details conveniently published in the newspaper in systematic fashion. You know, just in case the newspaper's readers want to try their hands at solving the crime. Or police letting them snoop around once they saw their "credentials," which would have been what exactly, on their first case? Meh. The subsequent stories did improve somewhat. I thank him for inventing the genre, and for a bit of entertainment and some good lines.

“‘That is another of your odd notions,’ said the Prefect, who had a fashion of calling every thing ‘odd’ that was beyond his comprehension, and thus lived amid an absolute legion of ‘oddities.’

“‘Be a little more explicit,’ I said.

‘Well, I may venture so far as to say that the paper gives its holder a certain power in a certain quarter where such power is immensely valuable.’ The Prefect was fond of the cant of diplomacy.”

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