challenges · Chaotic Thoughts

My January Reading Challenge: Edgar-ly Reading Poe

So let me begin from the beginning when I was much younger.

A self confessed bibliophile/ a book lover/ a reading addict, I could read all day and night. Even today books in a store, in a library, on racks, in someone’s hand, e-books included, still makes my blood rush and a feverish gleam appears in my eye. Needless to say I have unread copies at home, in my Kindle and in my phone waiting for their turn.

As I said, all this should be good except lately my eyes have begun to glaze and my mind wander and all this is happening while I’m holding a book. Next thing I know, the page is marked, the book set aside or carried around everywhere till it is forgotten and buried in a pile. I have at least three books of different genres that are lovingly bookmarked and gathering dust.

It’s true- this bookworm has turned into a book collector, hoarding, lording over her treasures like a dragon sprawled over its pile of gold, whispering, “My precious” and doing precious little to read them.

I can see time not just changing but shattering.

Enter the reading challenge set up by Reading Addicts on FB; it caught my eye and fired my imagination. Hopefully it ensures that I lumber on all year through. So here it goes:-

Celebrate the birthday month of a writer by reading his/ her work.

Simple, right?

After much research and procrastination, I zeroed on the master of macabre and horror, Edgar Allan Poe. Plus it helped that his writings were easily available online.

I remember being inspired to read his poem ‘The Raven’ after it received a starring role in the cat and mouse drama series, ‘The Following’, a face-off between a charismatic cult leader and a relentless FBI agent, Kevin Bacon. Season One was smashing!

Well, seems like the right time to dig out Poe’s stories and see what the hullabaloo was all about.

As a master of short stories, his The tell-tale heart and The cask of Amontillado were short and crisp with plenty of dialogues and without wasting time, went straight for the jugular. No heartbreaking motive for the protagonists to do what they did and yet I enjoyed it a great deal.

The murders in the Rue Morgue was particularly very descriptive with the trauma the victims underwent (people with weak stomach, you are warned) and I discovered an early avatar of Sherlock Holmes as in the detective who solves the murders. Incidentally I thought the culprit seemed pretty far fetched (an orangutan no less) but he checked the boxes.

The Gold-Bug was a lesson in cracking codes, treasure map included and finally The fall of the house of the Ushers and The Raven were high on atmosphere and drama.

Talking of atmosphere and drama, nothing like the song ‘Come Undone’ by Duran Duran playing while you jump into the world created by Edgar Allen Poe. I thought even the lyrics were in perfect sync, a homage to his work.

Poe wrote many stories and that too more than a hundred years ago. He held my attention, I am reading and writing about it. Now that’s a testament to his writing skills. Maybe there is hope for the reader in me.

Happy birthday Edgar!

Manic Monday 3 way prompt- Shattered

11 thoughts on “My January Reading Challenge: Edgar-ly Reading Poe

    1. I checked it out immediately and it was fantastic. Commented on your post there but I have to say the imagery you conjured up were no less than the master himself. Great going !


  1. First of all congratulations on completing the first challenge of 2019. Well begun is half done…as it’s said.
    An interesting post, blending Poe’s work with Duran Duran number! Who would have thought of that, only a connesieur of music and books!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Manjari. Your comments always raise my spirits and get my grey cells buzzing. You have been too kind with your words. As for being a connoisseur, I believe it takes one to know one , right Manjari ?
    “We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dream.”


  3. Hi, Sheetal. I like your idea of reading books by one author for a month. Like you, I’m a dedicated bibliophile who reads several books at a time. When I don’t finish the book, I often can attribute it to a fizzling plot that disappoints me. Other times, I am reading as a writer, searching for a technique or a fresh narrative voice. I go back to the books in time and give them another try–in some cases. My frustration is switching from hard copies to the Kindle–out of necessity while we’re traveling. I just don’t like the search function in the Kindle. It’s cumbersome and time-consuming. Nothing like holding a real book in your hands! There is no substitute.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Patti! Feeling wonderful going through your extensive comments and believe me, your words – plot fizzling, giving the abandoned another chance and kindle not exactly kindling the thrill that one feels holding a paper book, struck a chord with me. I’m hoping the reading challenge will challenge me to pick up diverse authors and dive into their worlds; my mind is already buzzing with February selection. Maybe you could try it too and I have to say this, it was awesome connecting over books.


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