It’s hard to write a review about this novel because: 1) It was so incredibly forgettable and I didn’t even enjoy reading it 2) Spoilers!
But here I go,
This novel is about two friends who get drunk and decide to sail on a boat, only to deal with consequences of that horrendous idea,. Imagine The Island of Dr.Moreau but take away the science fiction elements and you will know what to expect from this novel. It’s a realistic novel, based on real life accounts of men at sea and it feels almost like the kind of story an adult tells to warn youngsters against the stupidity of sailing a boat without any proper planning. A lot of horrible things happen to these two friends, but none of this felt exciting or adventurous, just a cautionary account of what could happen at sea.
This seems like a common problem I run into with Poe’s work, I find the plot and the beginning of his stories to be quite captivating, but the rest of the story loses steam and I only remember the bad taste the ending left me and forget about any good the beginning may have been.
Edgar Allan Poe is a novelist whose entire fiction works I
intend intended to read. So far I’ve read his only novel and 16 of his short stories and it is abundantly clear that Edgar Allan Poe is not for me. I think I’ll stick to his popular works now.
The reason Poe is someone I want to read a lot of is because he has inspired Herman Melville and H.G. Wells, both of whom write adventurous novels or riveting genre fiction. Given what he inspired in authors, I expect the same from him. Instead, I find his works have hints of something that could be strong, but the final set-up fails altogether.
That being said, I know he was someone who attempted to survive solely based on his writing income, which did not produce much. It is likely that quantity over quality is the issue with Poe’s work.
I still think he is worth reading because it can show the inspiration for several authors who clearly saw the potential in Poe’s ideas but added their own twist to it. I also have read several short stories of his that I truly enjoyed and I believe that if he wasn’t under the financial stress that he was, his books would’ve been much stronger.
I have a hard time stomaching that Poe isn’t what I imagined him to be because I felt he could really deliver the tragic-horror that I’m such a big fan of. Unfortunately that’s not the case.
Recommended Readings if you enjoyed The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket:
This book is part of my No Book Left Behind Project