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Between 1841 and 1844, Edgar Allan Poe invented the genre of detective fiction with three mesmerizing stories about a young and eccentric French private detective named C. Auguste Dupin. Introducing to literature the concept of applying reason to solving crime, these tales brought Poe fame and fortune, although perhaps much less of the second. Years later, Dorothy Sayers wo Between 1841 and 1844, Edgar Allan Poe invented the genre of detective fiction with three mesmerizing stories about a young and eccentric French private detective named C. Auguste Dupin. Introducing to literature the concept of applying reason to solving crime, these tales brought Poe fame and fortune, although perhaps much less of the second. Years later, Dorothy Sayers would describe “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” as “almost a complete manual of detective theory and practice.” Indeed, Poe’s short Dupin mysteries inspired the creation of countless literary sleuths, among them Sherlock Holmes. Today, the unique Dupin stories still stand out as utterly engrossing page-turners. Librarian's note: this entry relates to the collection of three short stories, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt,” and “The Purloined Letter.” Entries for the individual stories can be found elsewhere on Goodreads.


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Between 1841 and 1844, Edgar Allan Poe invented the genre of detective fiction with three mesmerizing stories about a young and eccentric French private detective named C. Auguste Dupin. Introducing to literature the concept of applying reason to solving crime, these tales brought Poe fame and fortune, although perhaps much less of the second. Years later, Dorothy Sayers wo Between 1841 and 1844, Edgar Allan Poe invented the genre of detective fiction with three mesmerizing stories about a young and eccentric French private detective named C. Auguste Dupin. Introducing to literature the concept of applying reason to solving crime, these tales brought Poe fame and fortune, although perhaps much less of the second. Years later, Dorothy Sayers would describe “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” as “almost a complete manual of detective theory and practice.” Indeed, Poe’s short Dupin mysteries inspired the creation of countless literary sleuths, among them Sherlock Holmes. Today, the unique Dupin stories still stand out as utterly engrossing page-turners. Librarian's note: this entry relates to the collection of three short stories, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt,” and “The Purloined Letter.” Entries for the individual stories can be found elsewhere on Goodreads.

30 review for The Murders in the Rue Morgue: The Dupin Tales

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sean Barrs

    Sherlock Holmes you’re a selfish bastard. Do you know why? You ruined this story for me. Damn you Sherlock! No I’m just kidding. I think you’re great really Sherlock. It’s only because of your greatness that this story was weak. But, I did want to enjoy it. I suppose it’s not your fault really, your creator did take Poe’s idea and make it much better. You just came along for the ride. Okay, so let’s get serious. A lot of writers owe a lot to Edgar Allan Poe. This work helped to define the detect Sherlock Holmes you’re a selfish bastard. Do you know why? You ruined this story for me. Damn you Sherlock! No I’m just kidding. I think you’re great really Sherlock. It’s only because of your greatness that this story was weak. But, I did want to enjoy it. I suppose it’s not your fault really, your creator did take Poe’s idea and make it much better. You just came along for the ride. Okay, so let’s get serious. A lot of writers owe a lot to Edgar Allan Poe. This work helped to define the detective story, this may be so, but other writers certainly made it better. For me, Poe is at his finest when he is entrenched in the world of darkness, horror and the maddening wired. He is a great gothic writer, but I don’t think he is great with detective stories. Well, at least not with this one. These stories may get better, but as for the first in the series, this was rather average. What! Poe average? Yes average. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes makes this look shockingly weak. It begins with a series of murders. The first being a decapitated old woman, I actually laughed out loud when I read this; it just seemed so comical: “After a thorough investigation of every portion of the house without further discovery, the party made its way into a small yard in the rear of the building, where lay the corpse of the old lady, with her throat so entirely cut that, upon an attempt to raise her, the head fell off.” See what I mean? Or is it just me? The detectives have no idea how to approach the case; they are, in essence, rather clueless. They use the same tried and tested method, which means they are reluctant to adapt to new circumstances. This case requires creativity; it requires a little flair and outside thinking. It requires a new, if slightly abstract approach. This is where Dupin comes in. He is the character that inspired Holmes, but for all Homles’ rational deduction, Dupin’s observations felt tentative and obscure. I really think Holmes could teach him a thing or two about detective work. He is creative, and he uses acute perception like Holmes, though his findings just aren’t as clever. I’m being a little unfair here. Sherlock may be a better character, but Dupin does have determination in a very high degree. He does have a powerful drive to see the job done: Dupin seemed singularly interested in the progress of this affair- at least so I judged form his manner, for he made no comments. It was only after the announcement that Le Bon had been imprisoned, that he asked me my opinion regarding the murders. And that’s exactly what he does; he, in his stoic manner, with the help of the narrator, solves the crime. The end is quite clever, I’ll give it that, but what it really lacks is personality. Dupin is dull, so very dull. He is colourless. Beyond his touchy detective skills there is very little character. Again, I can’t help but compare him to the enigmatic Sherlock. Now that’s a character. Sherlock appears reckless, and sometimes even self-destructive, but the man always knows the outcome before the case has begun. All danger has already been weighed. Doesn’t he just sound more interesting than Dupin? This did pretty much create an entire genre. That’s an astonishing achievement. But, I still found the story to be a little mundane. For me, it didn’t have any intensity. I had to make myself finish it. Sherlock would chew up Dupin and spit him back out again before he had a chance to even get to the crime scene. As much as it pains me to rate a Poe story two stars, there is nothing else to be done.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Exina

    “An inquiry will afford us amusement…” The Murders in the Rue Morgue is considered the first detective fiction story. Poe's early detective fiction tales featuring C. Auguste Dupin laid the groundwork for future detectives in literature. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle said, "Each [of Poe's detective stories] is a root from which a whole literature has developed... Where was the detective story until Poe breathed the breath of life into it?" The character of Dupin became the prototype for many “An inquiry will afford us amusement…” The Murders in the Rue Morgue is considered the first detective fiction story. Poe's early detective fiction tales featuring C. Auguste Dupin laid the groundwork for future detectives in literature. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle said, "Each [of Poe's detective stories] is a root from which a whole literature has developed... Where was the detective story until Poe breathed the breath of life into it?" The character of Dupin became the prototype for many future fictional detectives, including Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot. (source: Wikipedia) I read this story first in high school later in college. I remember I didn’t like it first, but later I learned to appreciate it. An unknown narrator tells how he met and befriended Monsieur C. Auguste Dupin in Paris, and how Dupin solved an extraordinary crime. "Truth is not always in a well. In fact, as regards the more important knowledge, I do believe that she is invariably superficial. The depth lies in the valleys where we seek her, and not upon the mountain-tops where she is found." The story is creepy enough, the writing style is engaging (What else? It’s Poe…), and the solution is the triumph of the analytic mind.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sean

    There are very few people with any knowledge of literature who have not heard of the character Sherlock Holmes. Beloved by readers for over a century, Conan Doyle crafted a pompous and overly confident detective that always seems to be on the trail of even the cleverest criminals. But this review is not about Sherlock Holmes. It is about the man who is responsible for influencing the creator of this character. His name is Auguste Dupin, a Frenchman. This detective created by Edgar Allan Poe appe There are very few people with any knowledge of literature who have not heard of the character Sherlock Holmes. Beloved by readers for over a century, Conan Doyle crafted a pompous and overly confident detective that always seems to be on the trail of even the cleverest criminals. But this review is not about Sherlock Holmes. It is about the man who is responsible for influencing the creator of this character. His name is Auguste Dupin, a Frenchman. This detective created by Edgar Allan Poe appears in only three short stories but these stories really pack a punch and offer a very satisfying introduction to the detective fiction genre. Poe’s writing here is complex. Although these stories appear short they should be read slowly and require a little more concentration as usual because these stories (Murders in the Rue Morgue, Mystery of Marie Roget, and the Purloined Letter) feature very little action and are more of a discussion of the science of deductive reasoning. Although this is not for everybody, I believe Poe really shows off his literary genius here and can take credit for creating the entire mystery genre.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Duane

    This is more of a mystery than a tale of horror, and even though C. Auguste Dupin is intriguing, he doesn't quite have the flair and style of Sherlock Holmes. Still very good though. I am reading through a collection of his short tales. This is more of a mystery than a tale of horror, and even though C. Auguste Dupin is intriguing, he doesn't quite have the flair and style of Sherlock Holmes. Still very good though. I am reading through a collection of his short tales.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Simona B

    Poe's Auguste Dupin is known as the first proper fictional detective in literary history, and, may I say, only his being the first can justify his lengthy, pedantic, self-satisfied harangues. The middle story, The Mystery of Marie Rogêt, is the weakest, narratively speaking, of the three, though no doubt it makes for a wonderful essay either on state-of-the-art methods of detection, on language processing, or on contemporary journalism. While I've certainly read more entertaining detective stori Poe's Auguste Dupin is known as the first proper fictional detective in literary history, and, may I say, only his being the first can justify his lengthy, pedantic, self-satisfied harangues. The middle story, The Mystery of Marie Rogêt, is the weakest, narratively speaking, of the three, though no doubt it makes for a wonderful essay either on state-of-the-art methods of detection, on language processing, or on contemporary journalism. While I've certainly read more entertaining detective stories, Dupin's are a one-of-a-kind piece of work; he may not be one of my favourites, but if that of the favourites wasn't a somewhat exclusive category, then they wouldn't be called favourites at all.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Oakes

    Oh dear. With this book I have once again become that fish swimming against the tide of opinions of practically everyone else who's read these three stories contained in this book, the sum total of Poe's Dupin stories. While I get their importance in the history of detective/crime fiction, quite frankly, this book bored me silly. I love Poe's gothic/supernatural-ish works to be sure; his somewhat cryptic Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym was weird but kept me flipping pages, but I just can't stand Oh dear. With this book I have once again become that fish swimming against the tide of opinions of practically everyone else who's read these three stories contained in this book, the sum total of Poe's Dupin stories. While I get their importance in the history of detective/crime fiction, quite frankly, this book bored me silly. I love Poe's gothic/supernatural-ish works to be sure; his somewhat cryptic Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym was weird but kept me flipping pages, but I just can't stand Auguste Dupin nor do I care for Poe's writing here. First in this collection is the blockbuster "Murders in the Rue Morgue," followed by "The Mystery of Marie Rogêt," and last comes "The Purloined Letter." All of these stories reflect Dupin's method of "ratinocination, a cerebral method of combining intellect, logic, imagination and the transference of self into the mind of the criminal," (7), and I sort of get it in the first and last stories, but what killed me was reading "The Mystery of Marie Rogêt." Evidently, Poe's logic behind writing it was that he wanted to tackle the real-life case of the murder of Mary Cecilia Rogers; as he notes, "The extraordinary details which I am now called upon to make public, will be found to form, as regards sequence of time, the primary branch of a series of scarcely intelligible coincidences, whose secondary or concluding branch will be recognized by all readers in the late murder of Mary Cecilia Rogers, at New York." (54) In all three of these tales, it's Dupin's thought process that solves the crimes -- other than a brief visit to the crime scene in "Murders of the Rue Morgue" and a short visit to the home of the known thief in "The Purloined Letter," Dupin turns out to be the epitome of the armchair detective, letting his mind do all of the work. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's the way these tales are written that made me wish I'd saved the book for a night of trying to battle insomnia. Don't get me wrong -- I'm very used to reading nineteenth-century prose, and if I could survive Bulwer-Lytton's writing in Eugene Aram, well, Poe should have been a cakewalk. However, "Marie Rogêt" just about did me in and in "The Purloined Letter," I counted a five-page rundown of "the particulars" of a search made by the Prefect of the Parisian police. Five pages just noting every potential hiding place for the missing letter -- that's just uncalled for, really. But, as I said, readers seem to love this book, so it's probably me. I'd say give it a try simply because of its place in crime/mystery/detective fiction history -- now I can say been there, done that, and bought the T-shirt. Not one of my favorites at all this year.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jonfaith

    'That is another of your odd notions,' said the Prefect, who had a fashion of calling everything 'odd' that was beyond his comprehension, and thus lived amid an absolute legion of 'oddities.' As noted this was life preserver book, bought for loose change and kept in my truck for just such an occasion. Poe's Dupin stories are cerebral but not charming. There is little here of atmosphere nor much banter. Upon reflection, there isn't much humanity at all on display. These are exercises, examples of 'That is another of your odd notions,' said the Prefect, who had a fashion of calling everything 'odd' that was beyond his comprehension, and thus lived amid an absolute legion of 'oddities.' As noted this was life preserver book, bought for loose change and kept in my truck for just such an occasion. Poe's Dupin stories are cerebral but not charming. There is little here of atmosphere nor much banter. Upon reflection, there isn't much humanity at all on display. These are exercises, examples of a methodology. It is easy to see how compelling Dupin's improbable genius was to readers. The allure continues to our own jaded days. Note to self: all days have been jaded.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    I decided to read Poe's Dupin stories after reading this exchange between Watson and Sherlock Holmes in A Study in Scarlet: "It is simple enough as you explain it," I said, smiling. "You remind me of Edgar Allen Poe's Dupin. I had no idea that such individuals did exist outside of stories." Sherlock Holmes rose and lit his pipe. "No doubt you think that you are complimenting me in comparing me to Dupin," he observed. "Now, in my opinion, Dupin was a very inferior fellow. That trick of his of break I decided to read Poe's Dupin stories after reading this exchange between Watson and Sherlock Holmes in A Study in Scarlet: "It is simple enough as you explain it," I said, smiling. "You remind me of Edgar Allen Poe's Dupin. I had no idea that such individuals did exist outside of stories." Sherlock Holmes rose and lit his pipe. "No doubt you think that you are complimenting me in comparing me to Dupin," he observed. "Now, in my opinion, Dupin was a very inferior fellow. That trick of his of breaking in on his friends' thoughts with an apropos remark after a quarter of an hour's silence is really very showy and superficial. He had some analytical genius, no doubt; but he was by no means such a phenomenon as Poe appeared to imagine."I cannot look at this compilation as one cohesive work, as each of the three stories -- 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue', 'The Mystery of Marie Roget', and 'The Purloined Letter' -- are written in different styles with different themes, linked only by the presence of Dupin and the unnamed narrator. As such, I will comment on and rate each story individually. 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue' was easily the most entertaining of the three. While imperfect, it is the prototypical detective story on which all others are based, and still managed to be an engaging read over a century and a half after it was written. The biggest flaw is that the solution to the murders is a) rather absurd and b) incapable of being surmised by the reader before it is revealed at the conclusion. My rating: Four stars. 'The Mystery of Marie Roget' lacked all the positive qualities of its predecessor, but maintained its biggest flaw -- the overlong sections of Dupin's exposition. The result was a short story that was dry as a criminal justice textbook and lacked any overall characters or plot. My rating: Two stars. 'The Purloined Letter' was the best of the Dupin tales by any critical measure. The story balances plot, storytelling, exposition, and pace better than the previous two. The story is shorter, tighter, and gives the most insight into the mind and heart of Dupin, beyond his long-winded critical analysis. My rating: Four stars.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    Consider this a heads-up: there's going to be some classic detective literature lingering around my reading list for the next few months. And you can't write a potted history of it without starting vaguely in the vicinity of C. Auguste Dupin. (Actually, you probably can't start it without the Arabian Nights - don't worry, I didn't. But then I skipped forward to Poe.) When I sat down to read Rue Morgue, I was all set to tick something off my list: a book I should have read years ago, but had never Consider this a heads-up: there's going to be some classic detective literature lingering around my reading list for the next few months. And you can't write a potted history of it without starting vaguely in the vicinity of C. Auguste Dupin. (Actually, you probably can't start it without the Arabian Nights - don't worry, I didn't. But then I skipped forward to Poe.) When I sat down to read Rue Morgue, I was all set to tick something off my list: a book I should have read years ago, but had never managed to. Unfortunately, I couldn't, because it turns out that I have read it before after all. I've no memory of doing so, but I definitely knew what happened. Purloined Letter the same, and not just because Arthur Conan Doyle nicked half the idea and did it (I think) better in at least two stories (A Scandal in Bohemia, and what's that one where they break into the guy's house?). The only really new-to-me one was Marie-Roget and it's definitely the weakest of the three. They were perfectly fine stories, but as with any real genre-setters they suffer because a century of writers took the same ideas and tried to do them better. And, for the large part, they succeeded. So on I skipped, to Wilkie Collins who let's be honest can do no wrong in my eyes. Also happening in the next few months: Christie and Sayers, Highsmith, Chandler, McBain, Sjowall and Wahloo, Mosley, and - if I can possibly wangle it - Dirk Gently. It's a funny old genre and I love it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jack Heath

    3 Stars. The three C. Auguste Dupin tales: "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," "The Mystery of Marie Roget," and "The Purloined Letter," in one place! I review each separately, but in the collection, editor Matthew Pearl has penned a 12 page introduction. He notes that "Stories of investigation predate the Dupin tales," and adds excerpts from a few examples: Voltaire with "Zadig" from 1747, Vidocq's "Memoirs" from 1828, and Leggett's "The Rifle" of 1829. It is clear on reading these Poe stories tha 3 Stars. The three C. Auguste Dupin tales: "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," "The Mystery of Marie Roget," and "The Purloined Letter," in one place! I review each separately, but in the collection, editor Matthew Pearl has penned a 12 page introduction. He notes that "Stories of investigation predate the Dupin tales," and adds excerpts from a few examples: Voltaire with "Zadig" from 1747, Vidocq's "Memoirs" from 1828, and Leggett's "The Rifle" of 1829. It is clear on reading these Poe stories that the character of Dupin is much more an extension of the author than we experience with other more recent mystery writers. His ratiocination concept, which Dupin extols in "Marie Roget," relates to the detective using an intellectual analysis of the crime, rather than legwork. It's pure Poe and shows up in some of his horror stories. This original approach preceded Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot by decades. Much of today's mystery writing was born with Poe, from the friend as narrator to the private investigator winning the day. My main complaint? Poe often gets carried away demonstrating his intellect, and the stories suffer. Some more than others. (December 2020)

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nina

    The Victorians are currently reading these Poe mysteries to see how they influenced the detective genre, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes in particular. I thought it would be interesting to read along and find out how the genre began and to see how much inspiration Doyle got from Poe. I am no Sherlock scholar at all, having only read The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes as of yet. But boy, Doyle succeeded where Poe failed! Both detectives - Poe's Dupin and Doyle's Sherlock - are arrogan The Victorians are currently reading these Poe mysteries to see how they influenced the detective genre, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes in particular. I thought it would be interesting to read along and find out how the genre began and to see how much inspiration Doyle got from Poe. I am no Sherlock scholar at all, having only read The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes as of yet. But boy, Doyle succeeded where Poe failed! Both detectives - Poe's Dupin and Doyle's Sherlock - are arrogant and sometimes condescending in their great wisdom, but where Sherlock has an eccentricity and original quirky charm that makes him likable despite his arrogance, Dupin is just an annoying twat. "Listen to me talk for ages and ages and ages about how extremely intelligent I am you little ignorant fool. I am the master of observation and inference and you don't hold a candle to me. Bla bla bla algebra and analysis bla bla bla the silly French police bla bla bla oh, I am so clever bla bla bla" is basically what I hear coming out of his mouth all the time. It takes Dupin six pages to explain something Sherlock would explain in three sentences because he has to aggrandize himself along the way, making sure that the reader is fed up with him by the end of his tiresome monologues. But maybe it is just that the characters were not very well developed in Poe's mysteries (both the narrator and Dupin are practically non entities). There is not that lovely interplay here that exists between Sherlock and Watson. Most of the stories consist of newspaper readings and Dupin's monologues. Dupin and the narrator are rarely at the scene of the crime or out investigating. It seems as if Dupin has the solutions to the mysteries the minute he is told there is a mystery. At least with Sherlock we get to follow him around, watch him investigate, deduct and infer, which means that we as readers get to guess who the perpetrators can be. Dupin cheats us of that by knowing everything immediately. Also: The first mystery has a disappointingly easy solution, the second one has no solution and the third one was way too implausible for me. Disappointed? Me? Yes

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    In my opinion, October is the perfect time to read some Poe, and since The Murders in the Rue Morgue is a story I've been wanting to read for quite some time, I've chosen this grey and cold Saturday afternoon to do so. The Murders in the Rue Morgue, first published in 1841, is generally considered to be the first modern detective story. C. Auguste Dupin, a close friend of the narrator, solves a mysterious and most brutal murder case that took place in the Rue Morgue in Paris. Dupin does indeed ha In my opinion, October is the perfect time to read some Poe, and since The Murders in the Rue Morgue is a story I've been wanting to read for quite some time, I've chosen this grey and cold Saturday afternoon to do so. The Murders in the Rue Morgue, first published in 1841, is generally considered to be the first modern detective story. C. Auguste Dupin, a close friend of the narrator, solves a mysterious and most brutal murder case that took place in the Rue Morgue in Paris. Dupin does indeed have a very analytical mind and solves the mystery solely by using his wits. Although the story is, in my opinion, neither the best story by Poe nor the best detective story, I still recommend reading it - I'm not sure Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot would be the same, or even exist, without Dupin.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Noran Miss Pumkin

    I picked this reader for he is Bronson Pinchot-Balkie from that fun Tv series. I adore Poe and have been wanting to review the detective stories for some time now. Well, Pinchot is rapid and monotone--I could not tolerate 5 minutes of him-speeding through Poe's words. So the star is only for the speaker/reader, and not for Poe! My first favorite author of my youth. I picked this reader for he is Bronson Pinchot-Balkie from that fun Tv series. I adore Poe and have been wanting to review the detective stories for some time now. Well, Pinchot is rapid and monotone--I could not tolerate 5 minutes of him-speeding through Poe's words. So the star is only for the speaker/reader, and not for Poe! My first favorite author of my youth.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Dunne

    Unusual murder mystery with an orangutan as a simian of interest.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Fran

    The mysteries themselves were well written, the endings unexpected. However I didn't care for this as an audio book. Accustomed to a cup (Sherlock and Watson, Poriot and Hastings) I didn't care for the narrator being referred to as "friend", there was no relationship, which made the connections to each story shallower. The mysteries themselves were well written, the endings unexpected. However I didn't care for this as an audio book. Accustomed to a cup (Sherlock and Watson, Poriot and Hastings) I didn't care for the narrator being referred to as "friend", there was no relationship, which made the connections to each story shallower.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amarante

    Excited as I was to have read Poe had actually "invented the genre of detective fiction" I started reading the Dupin Tales. These praises however are being sung too loudly. Poe may have made the genre more elaborate and popular, but the short stories in this collection's appendix (written by Voltaire, Vidocq and Leggett long before Poe as detective novels) are at least as nice as Poe's -with much fewer words and some of which even more satisfying than Poe's short stories. The first short story I Excited as I was to have read Poe had actually "invented the genre of detective fiction" I started reading the Dupin Tales. These praises however are being sung too loudly. Poe may have made the genre more elaborate and popular, but the short stories in this collection's appendix (written by Voltaire, Vidocq and Leggett long before Poe as detective novels) are at least as nice as Poe's -with much fewer words and some of which even more satisfying than Poe's short stories. The first short story I found to be quite far-fetched. The second left me inmensely unsatisfied as the murderer and his motive were still completely unknown after 'solving' the case. The third, and the most pacifistic story of all, was to my surprise my favourite. All stories however were build on extremely shallow characters, Dupin might have even compared them with a mathematical formula: x times 4 minus 9 equals y. No substance whatsoever. Aside from the fact that Poe may or may not have invented this genre, the short stories are quite all right. Just don't be fooled by the high praise: this is not the detective fiction we are used to. I'd much rather keep reading Poe's gothic novels.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Amy Sturgis

    This particular edition of Edgar Allan Poe's pioneering stories featuring the first fictional detective, C. Auguste Dupin, includes an introduction by Matthew Pearl (author of, among other things, the novel The Poe Shadow - which I recommend - which pits Dupin against the unsolved mystery of Poe's death), and an appendix with some excellent selections that put the Dupin stories into context: "The Earliest Detectives: Zadig, Vidocq, and Jimmy Buckhorn." The three Dupin stories are, of course, the This particular edition of Edgar Allan Poe's pioneering stories featuring the first fictional detective, C. Auguste Dupin, includes an introduction by Matthew Pearl (author of, among other things, the novel The Poe Shadow - which I recommend - which pits Dupin against the unsolved mystery of Poe's death), and an appendix with some excellent selections that put the Dupin stories into context: "The Earliest Detectives: Zadig, Vidocq, and Jimmy Buckhorn." The three Dupin stories are, of course, the main feature: "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," "The Mystery of Marie Rogêt," and "The Purloined Letter." It is a joy to read these and observe how Poe works out the marriage of reason and imagination to form Dupin's scientific "ratiocination," and the many ways in which Dupin's method paves the way for the art of detection/science of deduction performed by Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rao Javed

    An outstanding work by Poe...I can proudly say that Poe is a best crime fiction writer that I have ever read. And this detective installment was the proof of it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

    My obsession with Bill Nighy continues... Would recommend listening to him narrate these three short detective stories.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Batgrl (Book Data Kept Elsewhere)

    NOTE: (9/21/2013) I was using BookLikes to backup my GR stuff, and then went in and edited this review once it had imported into their system. What I didn't know was that my edits in their blog/review area would be reflected here, and thus I lost all the links and other html in this review. (Definitely not a good feature, Booklikes!) So disabling Goodreads Synchronization for now (That's found under Settings>Import.) I'll replicate them eventually, but now I'll have to remember where they all we NOTE: (9/21/2013) I was using BookLikes to backup my GR stuff, and then went in and edited this review once it had imported into their system. What I didn't know was that my edits in their blog/review area would be reflected here, and thus I lost all the links and other html in this review. (Definitely not a good feature, Booklikes!) So disabling Goodreads Synchronization for now (That's found under Settings>Import.) I'll replicate them eventually, but now I'll have to remember where they all were. Aside from the obvious ones. (If you want to peek at the Booklikes page to see if edits here change anything there, the review page is here.) While I don't have this particular edition (though I'd love to pick it up sometime just to read the introduction), I am reading through the three detective stories for my ongoing Early Detectives List, and for that I wanted to read these three stories back to back and see how well they held up as a series. (GR series page of Dupin tales) Also though I've read all of them (I think, I may not have the Letter) it's definitely time for a refresher-read because the plots are somewhat fuzzy in my memory.   (I'm using this book of collected stories. In case you really wanted to know. Seems unlikely, but hey, you might be curious.)   Post-read summing up: When you read The Rue Morgue you definitely get the sense that this is an interesting detective, who you'd like to hear more about. That is, if you can get through the opening treatise on games and how checkers ("draughts") and chess differ. There's a lot of sections in these stories where our Unnamed Narrator - there's no nice way to put it - blathers on about something, mainly to do with philosophy, calculus, or science. This is at its worst in Marie Rogêt, where the reader (and it can't be just me) looks ahead to see how many more paragraphs a detailed diatribe goes on for before we get to something that will move the plot along. Marie Rogêt is very much in need of an editor (you really feel Poe is getting paid by the word and needs money), and frankly an ending. Actually the endings on all of the stories leave questions unanswered and end anti-climatically.   The other thing that's difficult in these stories is when Poe goes all Police Procedural Science on us - and then we get long, convoluted discussions of how drowned bodies react, and difficult to understand lectures on probability and calculus. (I've taken calc and stats classes and I'm not at all sure where Poe's coming from - except that he's referring to probability, and I get that bit. I've had more practical classes and not any math history/theory/philosophy, which may be why I'm not seeing what Poe's attempting - or Poe may just be blathering on - I can't tell.)   Still, as early detectives go, Dupin showed promise - and you can understand why he inspired other authors, who indeed used the types of characters Poe had set up (gentleman logician, police who try to solve things but not clever in same way, sidekick who tells us the story, etc.). It's just a shame Poe didn't write more Dupin stories, because I would have enjoyed seeing where he might take the character next.   Also I really think the three stories need to be read together - each refers to the existence of the other stories and it seems obvious a reader would want to know what came before and after. It now seems odd that most collections of Poe's work mix all of his prose writing in together rather than separating some of them out into series - which is actually what led to me putting together the list of Media Hoax stories. I blame Poe for making me want to make up a list, since he wrote so many (and I am going to read those in order...eventually.).   Rue Morgue - 4 stars, mostly for unique crime/solution setup Marie Rogêt - 2 stars, primary interest in this is for the history of the actual crime story that Poe based the story on, otherwise it's very unsatisfying. Especially when the actual murder story (more here) holds so much promise of There is A Good Story Here. A ridiculous amount of text is wasted on Dupin's answering the theories of a newspaper editor after he has already indicated newspapers exist to publish sensation not truth. I mean, he goes ON AND ON, answering each and every point. And this is just blather from a newspaper, and we spend little if any time dealing with police reports, witnesses, actual observations Dupin has made at the scene, etc. It felt both tedious and like padding for length. Purloined Letter - 3 stars. This is the one I'd not read before. Nice plot and characters, but then ending comes too soon and will make you feel as though you'd missed something. Still it's a relief after Marie Rogêt. One things that strikes me about Dupin and our narrator - today we can't really relate with the character of "the gentleman who doesn't work because he survives on his inherited wealth." In stories like these such men often are considered poverty-stricken - but they aren't really because they manage to eat and have a place to live, and they seem to spend most of their time reading, buying books, and in similar bookish pursuits. They never, ever get a job - if they do anything vaguely like work it's primarily for amusement, not money. (Though Dupin is quick to pocket his money from the police, you'll notice.) In today's world this species of man doesn't exist - only the very, very rich have no idea what it's like to do something for a living, and for everyone else that's life as usual. Also we don't really have a class of the extremely wealthy that are known for only their scholarly work, who spend their lives only on reading and learning. The Gentleman Academic has vanished with the dodo. I'm not putting "sadly" in that because I'm not entirely sure it's a sad thing, since in theory education is more widespread amongst the classes - sort of. (Yeah, that's a whole other essay just in that.)   If you too are suddenly interested in the Dupin tales, here's where to go for immediate gratification. Links are to GR page (noted if you can download the story at that link), wikipedia and Gutenberg. Publication info from wikipedia's Poe bibliography.   The Murders in the Rue Morgue - GR Page (has download but only in French), wiki, Gutenberg (The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, Volume 1)- published April 1841 in Graham's Magazine   The Mystery of Marie Rogêt - GR Page, wiki, Gutenberg (also The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, Volume 1)- published as a serial November 1842, December 1842, February 1843 in Snowden's Ladies' Companion The Purloined Letter - GR Page (download ePub, Mobipocket/Kindle, PDF, in English), wiki, Gutenberg (The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, Volume 2)- published 1844–1845 in The Gift: A Christmas and New Year's Present   AND NOW, A QUOTE AND A DELIGHTFUL TANGENT! (In all caps because yes, I was that excited about it!)   So I was reading The Murders in the Rue Morgue, and I bumped into this section:   "Dupin," said I, gravely, "this is beyond my comprehension. I do not hesitate to say that I am amazed, and can scarcely credit my senses. How was it possible you should know I was thinking of ——-?" Here I paused, to ascertain beyond a doubt whether he really knew of whom I thought.   —"of Chantilly," said he, "why do you pause? You were remarking to yourself that his diminutive figure unfitted him for tragedy."   This was precisely what had formed the subject of my reflections. Chantilly was a quondam cobbler of the Rue St. Denis, who, becoming stage-mad, had attempted the ræle of Xerxes, in Cræbillon's tragedy so called, and been notoriously Pasquinaded for his pains.   (No idea why the æ is in there in the Gutenberg, it's not in my paper version.)   So as usual I looked up Crébillon - whose full name is Claude Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon - and read his wikipedia page, where I found:   "Publication of Le Sopha, conte moral, an erotic political satire, in 1742 forced him into exile from Paris for several months."   So of course I had to find out what that was all about, and on Le Sopha's wikipedia page I find this:   The Sofa: A Moral Tale (French: Le Sopha, conte moral) is a 1742 libertine novel by Claude Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon.   The story concerns a young courtier, Amanzéï, whose soul in a previous life was condemned by Brahma to inhabit a series of sofas, and not to be reincarnated in a human body until two virgin lovers had consummated their passion on him. The novel is structured as a frame story in an oriental setting, evocative of the Arabian Nights, in which Amanzéï recounts the adventures of seven couples, which he witnessed in his sofa form, to the bored sultan Shah Baham (grandson of Shehryār and Scheherazade). The longest episode, that of Zulica, takes up nine chapters; the final episode concerns the teenage Zéïnis et Phéléas, whose innocent pleasure provides the means of freeing Amanzéï.   I wanted to read it after I read the bit about "man turned into sofa as penance" because that sounds just too surreal - the rest is even more so. If you click on the Sopha wikipedia page link (where you can read a bit more about the work) at the bottom you'll find a PDF of it in English, 197 pages. Yes, I downloaded it and must read it.   Oh and - back to the Poe quote above - for those interested in what "Pasquinaded" means - read more at Pasquino, and learn about poetry and how a statue can speak.   So one of the things I'd forgotten about Poe is that he loves to toss names and quotes like this around his stories. So at this point rather than describe my looking up each one (you can just know that I had fun doing this) I'll list them with links to more info and let you discover for yourself.   In Rue Morgue: Georges Cuvier - a naturalist; Dupin has the narrator read a key portion of Cuvier's book for background information.   "de nier ce qui est, et d'expliquer ce qui n'est pas" - Rousseau, Nouvelle HeloiseQuote is something like "to deny what is, and to explain what is not." (Not my translation, because my French isn't that epic.) Julie or The New Heloise is quoted a LOT in other literature of the time as it was an insanely popular novel. I've always meant to read it. (And hey, I did add it to my GR list ages ago.)   In Marie Rogêt: Quote from the beginning of the tale is by Novalis, pen name of Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg who had an interesting, if short, life. (And not your stereotypical starving-in-a-garret poet's life either - more of a poet-businessman-scholar.)   Mary Cecilia Rogers - referenced in my edition of Poe (in footnote, which are also in Gutenberg) as inspiration for this story   Landor quote - still trying to track down which Landor is involved here, Walter Savage or Robert Eyres - it doesn't help that they're brothers.   In The Purloined Letter: "Do you remember the story they tell of Abernathy?" - nope, I can't find that story (I'll assume it's in Poe's head? Maybe?)   "a sort of Procrustean bed" - Procrustes: in Greek mythology he's the fellow who made people fit in his bed by stretching them or chopping off legs. (That's the short version.)   "spurious profundity which has been attributed to Rochefoucault, to La Bougive, to Machiavelli, and to Campanella." - I've added wiki links, you can sort of see what he's comparing, kinda. I can find nothing on La Bougive yet.   "'Il y a à parièr,'" replied Dupin, quoting from Chamfort, "'que toute idée publique, toute convention reçue est une sottise, car elle a convenue au plus grand nombre.' - Nicholas Chamfort [Note to self, look up some of his books or books about him.]   "Bryant, in his very learned 'Mythology,'" - Jacob Bryant, one of his books (2 vol) at Gutenberg   "talk about the facilis descensus Averni" - from the Aeneid - "it is easy to slip into moral ruin."   "as Catalani said of singing, it is far more easy to get up than to come down" - Alfredo Catalani   "found in Crebillon's 'Atrée" - Atrée et Thyeste is a tragedy in 5 acts, and the only info I find is in French, so here's that wiki. And all right, Poe, this is your second mention of him, I will be reading some Crebillon! Eventually. That sofa thing first.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rickswan

    I had to read the Murders in the Rue Morgue (at the time of writing this it's not due yet for another day, so good for me) for my CRM447w Senior Seminar in Criminology class. Not all of the Dupin tales, just the MITRM. After downloading a PDF from the professor, my GF printed it out @ school w/ 2 pages per-printed page. Yesterday & the day before I finished reading it (@ approximately 5 AM) and while looking up every few words due to an abundance of archaic language, I found out on Wikipedia it' I had to read the Murders in the Rue Morgue (at the time of writing this it's not due yet for another day, so good for me) for my CRM447w Senior Seminar in Criminology class. Not all of the Dupin tales, just the MITRM. After downloading a PDF from the professor, my GF printed it out @ school w/ 2 pages per-printed page. Yesterday & the day before I finished reading it (@ approximately 5 AM) and while looking up every few words due to an abundance of archaic language, I found out on Wikipedia it's considered the first detective story. Interesting! I never knew Edgar was this genre's creator. Anyway, about the story itself, Dupin is basically Sherlock Holmes & the narrator is Watson. What stuck me was the twist at the end, totally making the whole thing worthwhile, and seemed like a Poe-ish kind of thing, if that means anything. I'll probably go ahead and read the rest of the Dupin tales now, as I thoroughly enjoyed this one, and they'll make good pre-reading to the Sherlock Holmes collection I have, which so far has been collecting dust. Note to myself that this is also the first time I've ever taken notes as I read a book, mostly word definitions in the margins, but still. It makes me feel cool, in a scholarly book-reading insomniac kind of way. Like, some kind of lonely old person kind of cool. Hmm... Maybe it doesn't make me feel so cool. I should really get to bed.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    In terms of actual enjoyability, I'd rate this 3/5 or so. Perhaps it's my love of Poe in general or simply the fact that these stories had so much influence on the literary world (Doyle admits to having been inspired by these stories to write Sherlock Holmes, for example), but I felt an extra star was needed. Though, on the subject of Doyle, that was my main problem--he simply did it better. Holmes is often seeped with details that Holmes goes on and on about (which is often very enjoyable), but In terms of actual enjoyability, I'd rate this 3/5 or so. Perhaps it's my love of Poe in general or simply the fact that these stories had so much influence on the literary world (Doyle admits to having been inspired by these stories to write Sherlock Holmes, for example), but I felt an extra star was needed. Though, on the subject of Doyle, that was my main problem--he simply did it better. Holmes is often seeped with details that Holmes goes on and on about (which is often very enjoyable), but this was ten times more of that. Poe created it, sure, but Doyle perfected it. These stories just got bogged down in them sometimes, and it hurt the storytelling.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    First published in 1841, your first impression of this story might be that it’s dry, a little overwritten and for the love of god who could have guessed that ending. BUT the significance of Murders in the Rue Morgue cannot be understated because, people, this is where detective mysteries started! Poe’s foray into what we think of as ‘whodunnits’ pre dates the likes of Holmes and Poirot and introduced tropes in the genre that are still at play today. For example, the bumbling police, the eccentri First published in 1841, your first impression of this story might be that it’s dry, a little overwritten and for the love of god who could have guessed that ending. BUT the significance of Murders in the Rue Morgue cannot be understated because, people, this is where detective mysteries started! Poe’s foray into what we think of as ‘whodunnits’ pre dates the likes of Holmes and Poirot and introduced tropes in the genre that are still at play today. For example, the bumbling police, the eccentric genius, solving crimes because he can, not because anyone asked him to Etc. It’s a worthy read just to breath in the inception of such an enduring genre. A great start for my Poe-tober 🤣

  24. 4 out of 5

    William Hosbein

    This short mystery story by Edgar Allan Poe set the stage for future mystery novels, television shows, and movies. The Murders in the Rue Morgue included all aspects of your modern day mystery, there's a gruesome murder scene, brilliant detective, mystery,and plot twist. My favorite aspect of the book was the plot twist at the end and how the main character pieced the puzzle together. However, the beginning of the story was rather confusing and the large words did not help the cause. Overall, I wo This short mystery story by Edgar Allan Poe set the stage for future mystery novels, television shows, and movies. The Murders in the Rue Morgue included all aspects of your modern day mystery, there's a gruesome murder scene, brilliant detective, mystery,and plot twist. My favorite aspect of the book was the plot twist at the end and how the main character pieced the puzzle together. However, the beginning of the story was rather confusing and the large words did not help the cause. Overall, I would recommend this story who is looking for a quick, exciting, and challenging mystery.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Other authors of detective fiction owe so much to Poe. I can see, in these stories, certain elements that inspired other literary detectives, even the great Sherlock Holmes. Poe must have had it particularly rough, too, because he was writing for a genre that didn’t yet exist—a genre that these very stories helped define. These are great examples of detective fiction: logical, surprising, and meticulously well-crafted. There isn’t much here in terms of witty banter or character development, but Other authors of detective fiction owe so much to Poe. I can see, in these stories, certain elements that inspired other literary detectives, even the great Sherlock Holmes. Poe must have had it particularly rough, too, because he was writing for a genre that didn’t yet exist—a genre that these very stories helped define. These are great examples of detective fiction: logical, surprising, and meticulously well-crafted. There isn’t much here in terms of witty banter or character development, but there is still something powerful about reading the very beginning of a beloved genre.

  26. 4 out of 5

    dianne

    The edition i read (found at a library book sale) was in English and Chinese published on that light, silky paper i've only found in/from the PRC. Delightful, evocative woodcuts. A rough reflection on orangutans, though. Oops - guess that's a spoiler. The edition i read (found at a library book sale) was in English and Chinese published on that light, silky paper i've only found in/from the PRC. Delightful, evocative woodcuts. A rough reflection on orangutans, though. Oops - guess that's a spoiler.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cameron Trost

    This was one of the first works of detective fiction written in English and, in my view, it still holds its place as one of the very best.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bailey Marissa

    It's like Sherlock Holmes without all the characterization, just the cases. It's like Sherlock Holmes without all the characterization, just the cases.

  29. 5 out of 5

    David

    Gotta love a book with the sentence: "You must have had occasion to observe how absolutely indispensable, of late years, to the thorough blackguard, has become the pocket-handerchief." Gotta love a book with the sentence: "You must have had occasion to observe how absolutely indispensable, of late years, to the thorough blackguard, has become the pocket-handerchief."

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mignon DeLarre

    I read this on the most excellent suggestion of a very friend. I enjoyed it immensely. Three words to summarize the stories Primate Petticoat Purloined (eheheehehe Loin)

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