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The Fall of the House of Usher: Classic Gothic Horror PDF, ePub eBook Classic Gothic Horror. The Fall of the House of Usher - By Edgar Allan Poe. "The Fall of the House of Usher" is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe first published in 1839. The story begins with the unnamed narrator arriving at the house of his friend, Roderick Usher, having received a letter from him in a distant part of the country complaining of an illness and asking for h Classic Gothic Horror. The Fall of the House of Usher - By Edgar Allan Poe. "The Fall of the House of Usher" is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe first published in 1839. The story begins with the unnamed narrator arriving at the house of his friend, Roderick Usher, having received a letter from him in a distant part of the country complaining of an illness and asking for his help. Although Poe wrote this short story before the invention of modern psychological science, Roderick's condition can be described according to its terminology. It includes a form of sensory overload known as hyperesthesia (hypersensitivity to light, sounds, smells, and tastes), hypochondria (an excessive preoccupation or worry about having a serious illness), and acute anxiety. It is revealed that Roderick's twin sister, Madeline, is also ill and falls into cataleptic, deathlike trances. The narrator is impressed with Roderick's paintings, and attempts to cheer him by reading with him and listening to his improvised musical compositions on the guitar. Roderick sings "The Haunted Palace," then tells the narrator that he believes the house he lives in to be alive, and that this sentience arises from the arrangement of the masonry and vegetation surrounding it. Roderick later informs the narrator that his sister has died and insists that she be entombed for two weeks in a vault (family tomb) in the house before being permanently buried. The narrator helps Roderick put the body in the tomb, and he notes that Madeline has rosy cheeks, as some do after death. They inter her, but over the next week both Roderick and the narrator find themselves becoming increasingly agitated for no apparent reason. A storm begins. Roderick comes to the narrator's bedroom, which is situated directly above the vault, and throws open his window to the storm. He notices that the tarn surrounding the house seems to glow in the dark, as it glowed in Roderick Usher's paintings, although there is no lightning.

30 review for The Fall of the House of Usher: Classic Gothic Horror

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    "There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart—an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime. What was it—I paused to think—what was it that so unnerved me in the contemplation of the House of Usher?" A gothic house that instantly made me think of the House of Usher. When our narrator has been summoned to the bedside of his sick friend Roderick Usher, he finds a household overcast with gloom. If an environment can perm "There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart—an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime. What was it—I paused to think—what was it that so unnerved me in the contemplation of the House of Usher?" A gothic house that instantly made me think of the House of Usher. When our narrator has been summoned to the bedside of his sick friend Roderick Usher, he finds a household overcast with gloom. If an environment can permeate a soul with melancholy and fear, then the House of Usher is a detriment to all who enter. Our narrator begins to feel the effects almost immediately. "I felt that I breathed an atmosphere of sorrow. An air of stern, deep, and irredeemable gloom hung over and pervaded all." Roderick is suffering from numerous illnesses, all undiagnosable in the 1800s. This story predates the modern psychology that eventually is able to put a name to those illnesses: hyperesthesia, hypochondria, and severe anxiety. This trilogy of maladies can start to erode the ability of the mind to reason. His twin sister Madeline is also sick and is frequently discovered sleepwalking or really something more like death walking. The atmosphere is beginning to wear on our narrator as well. He likes Roderick and enjoys composing songs, writing poetry, and painting pictures with him, but even as they manage to ignore the malaise of their circumstances for a few hours, the melancholy is always lurking to reassert itself on their senses. "An atmosphere which had no affinity with the air of heaven, but which had reeked up from the decayed trees, and the gray wall, and the silent tarn—a pestilent and mystic vapor, dull, sluggish, faintly discernible, and leaden-hued." He begins to feel uneasy all the time and is beginning to believe that Roderick is not afraid of a sickness producing paranormal, but is actually, justifiably afraid of something real, but unknowable. Our imaginations can always conjure up worse horrors than those we can actually see. Illustration by Harry Clarke whose work is often mistakenly attributed to Aubrey Beardsley When Madeline dies, things begin to unravel. Our narrator finds himself helping Roderick to take her down in the family tombs. Madeline appears more alive in death than she did in life. Her cheeks are even rosy. Roderick insists that they screw down the coffin lid. Let’s just say the story ends with a bang. I recently started reading the Robert McCammon book Usher’s Passing and realized that it has been a long time since I’d read the Edgar Allan Poe story that was the inspiration for that novel. I’ve always enjoyed the ripe symbolism that is always a characteristic of a good Poe story. The reader experiences this growing uneasiness as the story unspools. Poe seemingly effortlessly conveys this sense of impending doom. When I was breaking sentences down to see how Poe was doing this, I realized that it wasn’t effortless, but masterful. Another awesome illustration from Harry Clarke I liked Poe even before I discovered that I shared a birthday (January 19th) with him. He was appreciated in his time more by the French than he was by the Americans. I’ve seen it mentioned several times where American travelers to Europe expressed their bafflement at being asked about this American writer who they had never heard of. On some late night, when you are having trouble sleeping, read a story or two of Poe and notice the psychological impact he starts to have on you as your eyes dart around the room at what sounded like a creaking floorboard or your skin crawls at the screech of an owl that may have been the last scream of a woman ensnared. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at: https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Wow, what a fantastic story. You have all the gothic elements crammed in here: a haunted (perhaps even sentient) house, a mysterious illness, madness, death, entombment, a dungeon, a violent storm, a cursed family, hints of possible incest (?), resurrection, bizarre poetry, and a story-within-the-story about a knight slaying a dragon. And binding this all together is Poe's inimitable style and narrative drive. It's horror of the creepy, atmospheric kind (the best kind, IMHO), the kind that gets Wow, what a fantastic story. You have all the gothic elements crammed in here: a haunted (perhaps even sentient) house, a mysterious illness, madness, death, entombment, a dungeon, a violent storm, a cursed family, hints of possible incest (?), resurrection, bizarre poetry, and a story-within-the-story about a knight slaying a dragon. And binding this all together is Poe's inimitable style and narrative drive. It's horror of the creepy, atmospheric kind (the best kind, IMHO), the kind that gets under your skin and makes you feel it in a thousand subtle ways.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher" is one of the original haunted house tales. This story embodies old-fashioned gothic horror. Arthur Rackham illustration The unnamed narrator tells of his visit to the dreary country home of his boyhood friend, Roderick Usher. He notices (and describes at length) how both Roderick and his house are crumbling at the edges. Roderick is a deeply mentally disturbed person; his sister Madeline, who wafts past the two men once without regarding them, s Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher" is one of the original haunted house tales. This story embodies old-fashioned gothic horror. Arthur Rackham illustration The unnamed narrator tells of his visit to the dreary country home of his boyhood friend, Roderick Usher. He notices (and describes at length) how both Roderick and his house are crumbling at the edges. Roderick is a deeply mentally disturbed person; his sister Madeline, who wafts past the two men once without regarding them, seems equally troubled, but in different ways. And there's something unexpressed but troubling about the relationship between brother and sister.* 1919 illustration for this story by Harry Clarke. It doesn't seem to track the story exactly, but it's certainly a weirdly marvelous drawing This story struck me at first as rather too verbose - Poe gets perhaps a bit carried away with his descriptions of decay, both in the narrator's friend, Roderick Usher, and in his sister (who at different times reminded me of a ghost or a vampire), and in their house itself. But things get creepier as the story moves along, and the ending is truly chilling. The physical house of the Ushers, with its large crack in its walls, and its decrepitude and instability, is mirrored in the persons of Roderick Usher and his twin sister. "House of Usher," of course, can mean either the physical house or the family dynasty, a point Poe makes expressly clear. "Usher," too, reverbates with meaning: what kind of a godforsaken place is the narrator - and we as readers - being ushered into? *SparkNotes offers this opinion: "The family has no enduring branches, so all genetic transmission has occurred incestuously within the domain of the house." Ewww! Free online many places, including here.

  4. 4 out of 5

    J.L. Sutton

    Along with the unnamed narrator, we as readers are summoned into the macabre to witness the fall of the House of Usher. Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher is a nearly perfect short story. It creates tension as events unfold and the once familiar takes on the visage of the ghastly and wild. Poe successfully evokes a feeling of dread which is inescapable. And while there is closure in the story, the narrator is unnerved by the sorrow and recognizes that he will carry the terror the r Along with the unnamed narrator, we as readers are summoned into the macabre to witness the fall of the House of Usher. Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher is a nearly perfect short story. It creates tension as events unfold and the once familiar takes on the visage of the ghastly and wild. Poe successfully evokes a feeling of dread which is inescapable. And while there is closure in the story, the narrator is unnerved by the sorrow and recognizes that he will carry the terror the rest of his life. We too are touched by this terror in ways that are impossible to fathom. Great story!

  5. 5 out of 5

    James

    3.5 of 5 stars to The Fall of the House of Usher, a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, written in 1839. I found myself a slight bit bored the first time I read it. It seemed to only be about some guy that went to go visit an old school buddy. When he arrives, some type of curse or disastrous mood hangs over his house and looms until the man is a bit fearful. Then, his best friend is dying of some odd disease. They watch his wife die, but only when the man is about to die himself does he reveal that 3.5 of 5 stars to The Fall of the House of Usher, a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, written in 1839. I found myself a slight bit bored the first time I read it. It seemed to only be about some guy that went to go visit an old school buddy. When he arrives, some type of curse or disastrous mood hangs over his house and looms until the man is a bit fearful. Then, his best friend is dying of some odd disease. They watch his wife die, but only when the man is about to die himself does he reveal that he buried the woman alive. She is still down there breathing. It was powerful imagery of the heart still beating and her breaths. It was unlike in “The Tell-Tale Heart” when the heart wasn’t really beating, a figment of his imagination. This time, it was real. Fast forward a few years later, I read the story again at the end of my college years, as a look on mystery and the Gothic origins. And the story is really vivid. It's not Poe's best, but you really get a sense of his imagery and his talent for describing things in a most unique way. About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tom Lewis

    One of the creepiest, eeriest haunted house stories I’ve ever read. From the first few lines, a disquieting sense a dread begins to build, and it never lets up. The story has the narrator being summoned to a remote decaying mansion where his childhood friend – the last of a great dynasty, is near death. And just wait until something stalks the mansion’s dark halls in the dead of night. Like HP Lovecraft, Poe’s choice of words brilliantly teases the imagination with its dark terrors.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bionic Jean

    The Fall of the House of Usher (published in 1839) may well be one of the stories which started the current interest in the gothic genre, although Ann Radcliffe's "The Mysteries of Udolpho", for instance, had been published much earlier in 1794. Apart from its parody in Jane Austen's "Northanger Abbey", Radcliffe's work has now largely been forgotten along with other great gothic works from the time. Yet The Fall of the House of Usher remains perennially popular and influential. Poe regarded The Fall of the House of Usher (published in 1839) may well be one of the stories which started the current interest in the gothic genre, although Ann Radcliffe's "The Mysteries of Udolpho", for instance, had been published much earlier in 1794. Apart from its parody in Jane Austen's "Northanger Abbey", Radcliffe's work has now largely been forgotten along with other great gothic works from the time. Yet The Fall of the House of Usher remains perennially popular and influential. Poe regarded it as his most successful example of "totality" , in that every detail and event in the story is relevant to the plot. The viewpoint character has been invited to the house of a childhood friend, Roderick Usher, in order to cheer him as he is weak, ill and depressed. (view spoiler)[ Once there, Usher is found to be a hypochondriac, suffering greatly with nervous agitation. He and his sister Madeline, who also has the similar ghastly affliction, are the last of the line. (hide spoiler)] Very early on in this story we are encouraged to empathise with the narrator, as his surroundings become increasingly grotesque, sinister and threatening. The "House of Usher", we are told, describes both the family and the mansion itself, and on learning this snippet of information the ending to this story is neatly telegraphed, albeit on an almost subconscious level. Poe is at the height of his powers of description in this tale. Here is the man's first sight of the house: "about the whole mansion and domain there hung an atmosphere peculiar to themselves and their immediate vicinity which had no affinity with the air of heaven, but which had reeked up from the decayed trees, and the gray wall, and the silent tarn - a pestilent and mystic vapor, dull, sluggish, faintly discernable, and leaden-hued." And here's another atmospheric depiction, of his room this time: "the bewildering influence of the gloomy furniture of the room - of the dark and tattered draperies which, tortured into motion by the breath of a rising tempest, swayed fitfully to and fro upon the walls, and rustled uneasily about the decorations about my bed." Or what about this evocative description of (super)natural phenomena: "the under surfaces of the huge masses of agitated vapor, as well as all terrestrial objects immediately around us, were glowing in the unnatural light of a faintly luminous and distinctly visible gaseous exhalation which hung about and enshrouded the mansion." The whole tale is superbly imbued with a sense of foreboding and impending doom. Conversation is virtually absent; the only occasions being for dramatic effect, for example (view spoiler)[ near the end when Usher bursts forth with an impassioned speech, "Oh pity me, miserable wretch that I am - I dare not - I dare not speak. We have put her living in the tomb!" Indeed this speech goes on so long that the reader is thrilled by a suspicion that Usher is now completely insane and gabbling nonsense. (hide spoiler)] The culmination of this story is a masterpiece of gothic description. Our credulity is stretched as the characters reach a point of hysteria, (view spoiler)[ and the surroundings themselves become increasingly sentient. The inkling about the ending which was dangled intriguingly before the reader at the start is satisfyingly proved correct. Both family and house are by then intertwined in an almost organic sense, and their demise is powerful and surreal. Was it wholly due to a tornado, (hide spoiler)] or was something more supernatural at work?

  8. 4 out of 5

    Aishu Rehman

    It was my first time I read Poe, and I have to say, I can see why he is so hyped. This story is mysterious and breath taking. Told from the perspective of a curious friend. Good read, I will recommend it to anyone who has an interest in horror.

  9. 4 out of 5

    kohey

    This dark,somber and melancholic world makes my head spinning.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Exina

    I know not how it was--but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit. There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart--an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime. What was it--I paused to think--what was it that so unnerved me in the contemplation of the House of Usher? "The Fall of the House of Usher is considered the best example of Poe's "totality", where every eleme I know not how it was--but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit. There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart--an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime. What was it--I paused to think--what was it that so unnerved me in the contemplation of the House of Usher? "The Fall of the House of Usher is considered the best example of Poe's "totality", where every element and detail is related and relevant.” It might be important to know before you read it. I’ve read this story many times, trying to grasp all those relevant elements, but it’s not easy. Not only because it’s complex, but also because it’s mesmerizing. As you read it, you forget about literary instructions. “There were times indeed when I thought his unceasingly agitated mind was laboring with some oppressive secret.” I like it, though it’s totally not my type of story. It’s a real horror. Dark, mysterious, and morbid. But it’s also has lyrical elements, and the writing style is a thrilling delight to read. “Not hear it? --yes, I hear it, and have heard it. Long --long --long --many minutes, many hours, many days, have I heard it --yet I dared not --oh, pity me, miserable wretch that I am!" The setting, the characters, the plot, the atmosphere – creepily perfect! A must read! Originally posted on my blog on June 24, 2014.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca McNutt

    Edgar Allan Poe sure knows his way around a great story! The Fall of the House of Usher is a mad little tale drenched in gothic undertones, a book that offers up a dark portrayal of a dysfunctional family's rapid descent into chaos and neurotic self-indulgence, but it's the narrator, a kind man who becomes involved with this family as they suffer through unnamed mental illnesses and impending death, who becomes the most interesting figure here, especially in that sudden explosion of a powerful e Edgar Allan Poe sure knows his way around a great story! The Fall of the House of Usher is a mad little tale drenched in gothic undertones, a book that offers up a dark portrayal of a dysfunctional family's rapid descent into chaos and neurotic self-indulgence, but it's the narrator, a kind man who becomes involved with this family as they suffer through unnamed mental illnesses and impending death, who becomes the most interesting figure here, especially in that sudden explosion of a powerful ending. Definitely a wonderful albeit terrifying classic, and arguably some of Poe's best material.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Morgannah

    ***This entire review contains spoilers*** Every detail of this story, from the opening description of the dank tarn and the dark rooms of the house to the unearthly storm which accompanies Madeline's return from the tomb, helps to convey the terror that overwhelms and finally destroys the fragile mind of Roderick Usher. Terror, even this extreme which results in madness and death, is meaningless unless it is able to somehow illustrate a principle of human nature. Upon reading the tale we learn ***This entire review contains spoilers*** Every detail of this story, from the opening description of the dank tarn and the dark rooms of the house to the unearthly storm which accompanies Madeline's return from the tomb, helps to convey the terror that overwhelms and finally destroys the fragile mind of Roderick Usher. Terror, even this extreme which results in madness and death, is meaningless unless it is able to somehow illustrate a principle of human nature. Upon reading the tale we learn that Roderick and Madeline are not just brother and sister but twins who share "sympathies of a scarcely intelligible nature" which connect his mental disintegration to her physical decline. As Madeline's mysterious illness approaches physical paralysis, Roderick's mental agitation takes the form of a "morbid acuteness of the senses" that separates his body from the physical world making all normal sensations painful. The most insipid food was alone endurable; he could wear only garments of certain texture; the odors of all flowers were oppressive; his eyes were tortured by even a faint light; and there were but peculiar sounds, and these were from stringed instruments, which did not inspire him with horror. Poe explores the inner workings of the human imagination but, at the same time, cautions the reader about the destructive dangers within. When fantasy suppresses reality and the physical self, as in Roderick's case, what results is madness and mental death. Madeline's return and actual death reunites the twin natures of their single being, claiming Roderick as a "victim to the terrors that he had anticipated." The true focus of this story is the narrator's reaction to and understanding of these strange events. Even to look into the dark imagination where fantasy becomes reality is to evoke madness. That is why Roderick twice refers to the narrator as "Madman" in the final scene. The narrator has made a journey into the underworld of the mind and is nearly destroyed by it; however, he manages to escape and turns to watch as the "House of Usher" crumbles.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Eliza

    *Read for class* In terms of Poe, I pretty much loved this. Definitely my favorite by him! The writing and scenery is absolutely lovely.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ivan

    I plan to dive into works of Poe so expect spam of short stories and poems from me in next few days.

  15. 4 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    “The Fall of the House of Usher” is a classic Poe story, and helps us define just what it means to be “gothic” in nineteenth century literature. Continuous dark, stormy weather, a huge decaying gothic-style house, continuous pervasive gloom, humans infused with all this. Roderick Usher, pale and wild-haired owner of the house. Sick, maybe from the waters seeping from the tarn into the house? The fungi on the building? Is Roderick an opium eater? Living with his also pale and wild-haired wraith tw “The Fall of the House of Usher” is a classic Poe story, and helps us define just what it means to be “gothic” in nineteenth century literature. Continuous dark, stormy weather, a huge decaying gothic-style house, continuous pervasive gloom, humans infused with all this. Roderick Usher, pale and wild-haired owner of the house. Sick, maybe from the waters seeping from the tarn into the house? The fungi on the building? Is Roderick an opium eater? Living with his also pale and wild-haired wraith twin sister Madeline. Mental disorder, nervous agitation, mysterious house. Lead poisoning? (imposing a contemporary theory. . .). House decayed, with a crack in the foundation, tall ceilings, dimly lit. Sonorous, formal language on the verge of the ridiculous: “cadaverousness, “ “pertinacity,” “phantasmagoric.” Language that matches the house, a little stuffy. “An excited and highly distempered ideality.” A romantic vision filled with dread, fear. [“I am interested in language because it wounds or seduces me.” –Barthes] The pleasures of the text, satisfying or at least calling up desire: aching, seductive. Tacking between the laughter of desire and the tears of heartbreak, loss. Death and darkness as delicious pleasures. [Text of bliss: the text that imposes a state of loss, the text that discomforts (perhaps to the point of a certain boredom), unsettles the reader's historical, cultural, psychological assumptions, the consistency of his tastes, values, memories, brings to a crisis his relation with language.—Barthes] Rhapsodic painting and music. Presaged by Romantics Coleridge, Wordsworth, Liszt. An imagination intensified by anxiety. Decay. (Presaged themselves by Romeo, Macbeth, Hamlet?) The mad stoned suicidally romantic artist. Looking ahead to the Beats, to beat daddy Kerouac! Wild rhapsodic self-destruction. “We painted and read together, or I listened, as if in a dream, to the wild improvisations of his speaking guitar.” “A small picture [made by Roderick] presented the interior of an immensely long and rectangular vault or tunnel, with low walls, smooth, white, and without interruption or device.” “He not infrequently accompanied himself with rhymed verbal improvisations.” [Hey! Flash forward to rap! Spoken word?] The narrator and Usher seem to speak little, and alternately Usher lapsed into melancholy, or wild incoherent, rhapsodic talking. “Manic depression. . . ”—Jimi Hendrix “A mere nervous affection, he [Roderick] immediately added, which would undoubtedly soon pass off” (as Lady Macbeth claimed about Macbeth who freaks out at the sight of Banquo’s ghost). The house is, as if it were, his very soul, weighing on him. In contemporary gothic tales, Sylvie and Ruth and Lucie in Housekeeping, and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, the gothic House is the Soul. And the House seen as a tomb. So Madeline dies, put in a vault in the musty room below our narrator. In grief, agitation, driven to madness, Usher succumbs to “gazing upon vacancy for long hours.” They write, they draw, they play music, but they also read books, too, to heal, or to further sink into the gloom: the literature of dread. Life echoes the story the narrator is reading. A knocking. What? Who’s there?! But she’s dead! Buried? Buried Madeline alive?! “Madman! I tell you that she now stands without the door!” [Shudder] (As I teenager I saw a B Vincent Price movie, “Premature Burial,” at a drive-in, and I actually screamed from the Big Reveal: SHE WAS ALIVE! SHE WAS ALIVE! SHE WAS ALIVE!) Wild storm, house cracks at the fissure we early learned about, collapses (no spoiler here, remember that title) into the tarn [a small mountain lake!]. Nature in all its voluptuousness takes the house back into itself. So. I liked it. There’s too little dialogue in the story, which for me is a fault, but it has its moments. A classic gothic horror story!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Luís C.

    The Fall of the House of Usher: the narrator describes a mysterious house. A house where lives his childhood friend Roderick Usher. After several years away, he returned to his friend, only this one seems badly in his skin that has difficulty to find his old friend. He sinks into a kind of hypochondria. He explains that he no longer going well since the death of his sister. But the mystery that encompasses the Usher house in ruins arouses bitter curiosity to our dear narrator who is in the desir The Fall of the House of Usher: the narrator describes a mysterious house. A house where lives his childhood friend Roderick Usher. After several years away, he returned to his friend, only this one seems badly in his skin that has difficulty to find his old friend. He sinks into a kind of hypochondria. He explains that he no longer going well since the death of his sister. But the mystery that encompasses the Usher house in ruins arouses bitter curiosity to our dear narrator who is in the desire to detect this mysterious veil .... The narrator takes us into an imaginary world where he himself believes to dream. The descriptions relating to the house are so surprising even to his understanding, he plays his poetry on every detail sometimes it sounds a bit boring but we understand the shock of the surprise too, on some discovery, wherein became just surprised.

  17. 4 out of 5

    A. Dawes

    4.5* Although this novelette was published in 1839, Poe is not the founder of the gothic horror genre, in fact Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho was published a good deal earlier - and thankfully is enjoying a mini-revival of late. But "The Fall of the House of Usher" could be seen as a successful model for novelette length gothic-horror works. This is relatively slow-paced when compared to modern day Seanan McGuire stories or Ellen Datlow anthologies, but it still had me utterly gripped. 4.5* Although this novelette was published in 1839, Poe is not the founder of the gothic horror genre, in fact Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho was published a good deal earlier - and thankfully is enjoying a mini-revival of late. But "The Fall of the House of Usher" could be seen as a successful model for novelette length gothic-horror works. This is relatively slow-paced when compared to modern day Seanan McGuire stories or Ellen Datlow anthologies, but it still had me utterly gripped. Poe uses gothic elements in detail, and the insight here into both place and character, make for a compellingly chilly atmosphere. Poe is also surprisingly poetic with his wonderfully descriptive imagery. This is not only a forerunner to short gothic horror, it also certainly still holds its place today as a great read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    classic reverie

    When reading Stella Gibbons' Cold Comfort Farm, Flora compared the family dynamics to Poe's The Fall of The House of Usher, so I had to read this short and disturbing gothic read which leaves lots to imagine about the siblings and their state of mind. OTR, The Weird Circle, August 29, 1943. https://www.oldtimeradiodownloads.com... Another radio version from Escape October 22, 1947 https://www.oldtimeradiodownloads.com...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Justin

    I can't think of a better way to kick off the month of October.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tayler Steele

    That. Was. Fantastic. It's been so long since I've read Poe, or anything like Poe, and that was just so refreshing. It was so great to be confronted with a story that presented a challenge in so many ways: the diction, the sub-meanings, the sheer horror of the plot! After such a long YA binge, this was just wonderful and exactly what I needed to get out of my reading slump. I love everything about Poe's writing. The long and winding sentences that make you sit back and think, but also grip you wit That. Was. Fantastic. It's been so long since I've read Poe, or anything like Poe, and that was just so refreshing. It was so great to be confronted with a story that presented a challenge in so many ways: the diction, the sub-meanings, the sheer horror of the plot! After such a long YA binge, this was just wonderful and exactly what I needed to get out of my reading slump. I love everything about Poe's writing. The long and winding sentences that make you sit back and think, but also grip you with just the sheer beauty and intricacies of their crafting, just, ahh. Wonderful. And I'd forgotten just how masterful he was at writings true suspense and horror! The deliberate and detailed creation of the setting and atmosphere just took my breath away. I had goosebumps the entire time. Now that I've been reminded how much I love Poe, I can feel a marathon coming on!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Oh come on, how is this not fun. Read on a dark night, one when the lights are out because there is a furious storm beating on your rooftop and windows, it would make you shudder indeed. It is not my first reading, but it might be my most appreciative one. I reveled in the description, the careful choice of words, the building agitation of our narrator. I picked up on one tidbit I might have missed before. Very early on in the narrator's description of Roderick Usher (who doesn't love that name?) Oh come on, how is this not fun. Read on a dark night, one when the lights are out because there is a furious storm beating on your rooftop and windows, it would make you shudder indeed. It is not my first reading, but it might be my most appreciative one. I reveled in the description, the careful choice of words, the building agitation of our narrator. I picked up on one tidbit I might have missed before. Very early on in the narrator's description of Roderick Usher (who doesn't love that name?), we are told his "family had been noted, time our of mind, for a peculiar sensibility of temperament, displaying itself, through long ages, in many works of exalted art..." As an artist who seriously teetered on the edge of madness himself, I wonder how completely Poe connected art and insanity; how much he feared that the very sensitive and artist personality might succumb to it. Having just finished a historical (biographical) novel of Poe, Mrs. Poe, I had an itch to revisit some of his tales. I was tickled that this one was picked for a group read. Now, off to see what others are saying about it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Antonio

    This is the first of Poe's stories I've read. I came across an astonishing reading, as so many of my friends have early described. Poe's style shows us how every element of a short story is meaningful. I've recently read a meta-linguistic narrative in which the author said "No useless words, all of them, the absolute totality, loaded with signification. Novel readers have time to lose; short-stories readers, don't." While reading this book, I couldn't agree more. I adored the gothic style, just This is the first of Poe's stories I've read. I came across an astonishing reading, as so many of my friends have early described. Poe's style shows us how every element of a short story is meaningful. I've recently read a meta-linguistic narrative in which the author said "No useless words, all of them, the absolute totality, loaded with signification. Novel readers have time to lose; short-stories readers, don't." While reading this book, I couldn't agree more. I adored the gothic style, just as the guilt, disgrace and fear carried by Roderick Usher, one of the main characters of this narrative. His hyperesthesia and hypochondria really potentialized the horror in the story, just as Poe's brilliant style. I'm really looking forward to more of Edgar Allan Poe's work.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Quirkyreader

    This is an intense creeper.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa J.

    Ugh. I just love Poe's stories so much. Good thing he wrote many, so I still have more to go. The narrator goes to Roderick Usher's house because he's summoned due to his friend's illness. There, he starts to notice some strange things, some of which include Usher's sister weird behaviour and subsequent death. Even when this was so short, I found Usher to be an intriguing character. Utterly creepy but really interesting. His condition of hypochondria and axiety made him even more intriguing, and a Ugh. I just love Poe's stories so much. Good thing he wrote many, so I still have more to go. The narrator goes to Roderick Usher's house because he's summoned due to his friend's illness. There, he starts to notice some strange things, some of which include Usher's sister weird behaviour and subsequent death. Even when this was so short, I found Usher to be an intriguing character. Utterly creepy but really interesting. His condition of hypochondria and axiety made him even more intriguing, and also, it was crucial to the plot. And the ending... damn. I loved it, but damn. Poe sure knew how to write horror, and I love that. Why should you read it? · Gothic house: · Horror and suspense: · Keeps you thrilled until the end: · Writing that provokes chills down your spine: · Written by Poe: Overall, it met all my expectations. It's an insane good book. P.S.: I love Poe.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    Read again, June 8, 2017: When I read the last word I exhaled a breath of awe and felt like a child who had ridden his first roller coaster -- "Woe! That was so freaking awesome. Oh my God!" I said this with whispering, quivering excitement. I read this in elementary school but just now, at 39, understood the connection of the story, the slaying of the "dragon," the power of this house to turn fantasy into reality. Poe relies heavily on setting, a Gothic masterpiece in the beginning, which has a Read again, June 8, 2017: When I read the last word I exhaled a breath of awe and felt like a child who had ridden his first roller coaster -- "Woe! That was so freaking awesome. Oh my God!" I said this with whispering, quivering excitement. I read this in elementary school but just now, at 39, understood the connection of the story, the slaying of the "dragon," the power of this house to turn fantasy into reality. Poe relies heavily on setting, a Gothic masterpiece in the beginning, which has a slow start. The last few pages stirred me with the whirlwind, the pace, the awe, the excitement! I begin to understand why a crazy fan of Poe's sneaks into his graveyard on his birthday every year, dressed and hidden in black, and places a flower on his grave in the still, cold night. ------------------------------ 2015: My first time. So awesome. I may become a fan, so impressed, like watching a movie .

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lör K.

    Read as part of the Terrifying Tales collection. Original Rating: 1 / 5 Original review below rewrite Reread Rating and Review: 4 / 5 stars I reread this helping one of my friends out with their English report on this, and pulling things out of the text in order to help analyse the sentences really allowed me to see this story in a whole different light. Poe has written in this a stunning, chilling short story that leaves goosebumps shooting up and down my spine. With poetic sentences, beautifull Read as part of the Terrifying Tales collection. Original Rating: 1 / 5 Original review below rewrite Reread Rating and Review: 4 / 5 stars I reread this helping one of my friends out with their English report on this, and pulling things out of the text in order to help analyse the sentences really allowed me to see this story in a whole different light. Poe has written in this a stunning, chilling short story that leaves goosebumps shooting up and down my spine. With poetic sentences, beautifully set up paragraphs and imagery, the second or third time reading this, I definitely found this to grow on me. It's been a while since I read this again, and I don't remember too much, but I do remember thinking, this is a much better read when analyzing it, and it's much more enjoyable when you understand what's going on. It took some time, but this is definitely one of my favorite Poe stories. A definite recommendation. Original Review: I decided to reread this after giving it one stars and a DNF before. I regret this decision. The story seems jumbled. I couldn't follow it easily due to the massive amounts of description and waffling paragraphs of things not relevant to the story. There is tons of description, and honestly? I felt a little lost, almost like I was trying to swim from island to island, finding the one I could actually get onto. I felt like I was drowning, trying to get through the amount of description in this. Half of it, really didn't seem like it was necessary? I understand Poe was creating a backstory for us to be a part of and to follow, but also, I just feel like he was going overboard and showing off his writing skills. There was too much of the story for what there actually was. When the main part of the story actually happened, I wasn't even surprised. I wasn't scared. I wasn't anything but bored - it had been such a trek to get there, I was just really grateful that this thing happened because it meant that the story was almost over. Don't get me wrong, Poe is one of my favourite authors, but this one heavily missed the mark. The ending is confusing; I had to read the last page three times just to understand what happened. There was no sense of it building up and definitely no sense of suspense. Maybe this was because I had to force myself to read this and wasn't really interested. Maybe if I read it again another time, I'll like this one a lot more but I don't know, personally. Maybe this one just wasn't for me. It was too long for the actual story. I understand that Poe needed to explain what was going on but he put way too much in. It was a real struggle to read this one. I hope the rest of this collection is better.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Freesiab (Bookish Review)

    I love me some Poe. His masterly descriptive powers were at their best here. When he was describing Usher's maladies I felt a twinge of hypochondria and later as night fell in the story my heart raced with the unknown suspense of what terrors would be in store for me. All done in 10 pages. If he isn't the king of spooky, I don't know who is.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Connie G

    Classic horror story with a dark Gothic atmosphere.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Gloria Mundi

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Here's my abridged version: Narrator: Damn, this house is creepy. *checks out reflection of the house in a pond* Yep, still creepy. I'm here to see a school friend, Roderick Usher. He's rich and aristocratic. Here he is. Oh dear, he's a bit weird looking at the best of times but now he looks like shit. He's probably an alcoholic or an opium fiend. Usher: I am sick. I suffer from a morbid acuteness of the senses. I'm gonna DIE. I also believe that the house is sentient. My twin sister Madeline is s Here's my abridged version: Narrator: Damn, this house is creepy. *checks out reflection of the house in a pond* Yep, still creepy. I'm here to see a school friend, Roderick Usher. He's rich and aristocratic. Here he is. Oh dear, he's a bit weird looking at the best of times but now he looks like shit. He's probably an alcoholic or an opium fiend. Usher: I am sick. I suffer from a morbid acuteness of the senses. I'm gonna DIE. I also believe that the house is sentient. My twin sister Madeline is sick too. She's wasting away and has bouts of catalepsy and there are rumours that we are lovers. Here she is gliding past like a ghost. *bursts into tears* Narrator and Usher: *spend several days painting, reading and playing guitar.* Narrator: That dude seriously needs to cheer up. Usher: *sings "Haunted Palace* Yo, my sister is dead. But because I know she has catalepsy which could mean she is alive after all, I am going to put her in a vault for two weeks, instead of burying her straight away. Narrator and Usher: *put Madeline in a vault, making sure to screw the coffin lid down and secure the metal gates* Several days later... Narrator: Usher is not taking this at all well and I am starting to get creeped out. It's a dark and stormy night and I can't sleep, so I'm going to go for a wander. *bumps into Usher* Dude, it's too creepy for you to be wandering around in your mental state. I'm going to read a book to you instead. *reads "Mad Trist"* *weird noises* *screaming* Usher: *mutters like a maniac* She is alive. I've been hearing her for days. Madeline: *appears, bloody and emaciated, and falls on top of Usher with a cry* Madeline and Usher: *die* Narrator: *runs for the hills* House: *collapses* THE END

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sean

    This atmospheric horror story is great example of how an author such as Poe gets straight to the point. He doesn't bore the reader with lots of filler, but rather only describes every detail that is important to the story. This writing style is a great example why Poe can be read over and over again. Each sentence is a diamond that shines brighter and brighter with each subsequent reading.

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