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By Joel D Offenberg on 11-11-11
Hard to Describe...
...but I'll try.
This is a nautical adventure, but the story of A.G. Pym is hardly a fun one. It's also somewhat sci-fi, ending with a fantasical voyage towards the South Pole (echoed later by Jules Verne in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea).
I get the feeling that Poe wanted to make this sound as realistic as possible, so the book starts out fairly straightforwardly---the narrator stows aboard his friend's father's whaling ship, figuring that he'd be a welcome guest once they put out to sea. But, alas, a mutiny occurs, followed by a shipwreck. The surviving characters spend a lot of time starving and dehydrating (this part drags on quite a bit) before they are rescued and head towards the Pole. There, they meet new creatures, new people, new lands.
I should point out that the book is quite guesome...many of characters die, often in an unpleasant manner. And the story ends oddly---almost mid-sentence, with no real resolution.
This book is interesting for historical reasons, more than for its enterainment value (which, in my opinion, is minimal)---Poe was an important author...this is the only novel-length story he published in his lifetime...the sci-fi aspect is one of the earliest examples of that genre. The book has an experimental feel, as if Poe was trying to do something different and new. Apparently, it worked, since Jules Verne (among others) cites it as an inspiration. But I wouldn't call it "fun."
The narrator does a pretty good job with this.
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