The Poe Shadow

The Poe Shadow

A Novel

Book - 2006
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"Baltimore, 1849. The body of Edgar Allan Poe has been buried in an unmarked grave. The public, the press, and even Poe’s own family and friends accept the conclusion that Poe was a second-rate writer who met a disgraceful end as a drunkard. Everyone, in fact, seems to believe this except a young Baltimore lawyer named Quentin Clark, an ardent admirer who puts his own career and reputation at risk in a passionate crusade to salvage Poe’s. As Quentin explores the puzzling circumstances of Poe’s demise, he discovers that the writer’s last days are riddled with unanswered questions the police are possibly willfully ignoring. Just when Poe’s death seems destined to remain a mystery, and forever sealing his ignominy, inspiration strikes Quentin–in the form of Poe’s own stories. The young attorney realizes that he must find the one person who can solve the strange case of Poe’s death: the real-life model for Poe’s brilliant fictional detective character, C. Auguste Dupin, the hero of ingenious tales of crime and detection. In short order, Quentin finds himself enmeshed in sinister machinations involving political agents, a female assassin, the corrupt Baltimore slave trade, and the lost secrets of Poe’s final hours. With his own future hanging in the balance, Quentin Clark must turn master investigator himself to unchain his now imperiled fate from that of Poe’s. Following his phenomenal debut novel, The Dante Club, Matthew Pearl has once again crossed pitch-perfect literary history with innovative mystery to create a beautifully detailed, ingeniously plotted tale of suspense. Pearl’s groundbreaking research–featuring documented material never published before–opens a new window on the truth behind Poe’s demise, literary history’s most persistent enigma. The resulting novel is a publishing event that, through sublime craftsmanship, subtle wit, and devious twists, does honor to Poe himself "--Inside jacket.
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2006
Edition: 1st ed
Branch Call Number: FICTION PEA
Characteristics: 370 p. ; 24 cm


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CMLibrary_gjd_0 Jan 07, 2016

This story, is based on the real life mystery of how Edgar Allan Poe died. The author has crafted a historic who-done-it which he researched thoroughly to provide the best scenario for what really happened to Poe. Fast paced and enjoyable.

Apr 20, 2015

The Poe Shadow --- by --- Matthew Pearl.
I have a certain unexplainable antipathy towards books written in the first person singular. On the very first page of text alone, the word “I” appears nineteen times: to my mind that strikes me as self-important and stogy and presumes that I might be interested in knowing about you. It puts me in memory of old moldy books and decomposing paper freighted with ideas and stories of of places and battles obscure: the Boer War or the Battle of Gallipoli: stories no one could care about today.

Sep 27, 2014

I liked it

Aug 26, 2014

Well written book that combines historical facts about Edgar Allan Poe with an intriguing mystery.

Author's entire series is worth reading.

Jul 21, 2013

I tried hard to enjoy this book but in the end I abandoned it about a third of the way through. For me, the characters were just too unbelievable.

Dec 15, 2010

This author has obviously done extensive research. Smart writing, but not over one's head. Concentration needed.

Oct 07, 2010

I enjoyed the story and being left with deciding what may have happened to Poe.


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Dec 15, 2010

Quentin Clark is an attorney in 1851 Baltimore, obsessed with Edgar Poe and his death. He goes to Paris to find the man upon whom Auguste Dupin, detective in Rue Morgue murders, is based. He finds Auguste Duponte, but there is also Baron (faux title) Dupin, who is apparently a con man. Clark and Duponte come back to Baltimore and the Baron is already there and has apparently planted enough gossip so that Poe' circumstances are now being discussed. Before Clark went to Paris, no one wanted to investigate. Other characters, Neilson Poe, cousin, and his wife, who is half-sister to Poe's deceased wife. Also Hattie, Quentin's fiance, her aunt, and Peter, Quentin's law partner.

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