The Poe Shadow

  • by Matthew Pearl
  • Narrated by Erik Singer
  • 14 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Baltimore, 1849. The body of Edgar Allan Poe has been buried in an unmarked grave. Everyone seems to accept the conclusion that Poe was a second-rate writer who met a disgraceful end, except for a young Baltimore lawyer named Quentin Clark, an ardent admirer who puts his own career and reputation at risk in a crusade to salvage Poe's.As Quentin explores the puzzling circumstances and unanswered questions of Poe's demise, he realizes that he must find the one person who can help: the real-life model for Poe's brilliant fictional detective character, C. Augustine Dupin, the hero of ingenious tales of crime and detection. Soon Quentin finds himself enmeshed in sinister machinations involving international political agents and the lost secrets of Poe's final hours, and must himself turn master investigator to escape Poe's grisly fate.Drawing on original, groundbreaking research, the best-selling author of The Dante Club has once again crossed literary history with sublime craftsmanship and devious twists to create a beautifully detailed, ingeniously plotted tale of suspense.Includes Matthew Pearl's exclusive audio afterword on the truth behind Poe's death!

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What the Critics Say

"Exciting plot, numerous twists, and convincing period detail." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Two hours too long

I enjoyed The Dante Club. This book has a bit of the same intrigue, but the plot goes off on tangents that leave you not caring at all what happens. The narrator (in the book) of the story is stilted and overly-analytical. The reader is fine. The ending is interesting, and the interview with the author is worth the listen.
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- Cynthia K

I wanted to like it...

I was first introduced to Mathew Pearl through The Dante Club, and absolutely loved it. I've listened to two more of his books since then, The Poe Shadow included, and while I felt the concept had merit, as other reviewers have indicated, the story was way too long. So many of the details could have been omitted without any harm coming to the story, and ultimately, I had a hard time caring about what was taking place. I kept waiting for a wow moment that would pull it all together and make it worth the length, but it never happened. The protagonist spent the entire length of the book fighting to uncover the mystery behind Poe's death, but the reason behind his obsession was never fully validated, in my mind. I won't give up on Pearl, but I won't blindly follow, either.
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- Michael

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-15-2006
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio