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

Pointless, I'm afraid

I enjoyed the Dante Club and hoped this book would be similarly appealing. To a certain extent, the historical aspects of this book are interesting. Pearl has done a good job of imagining a historical period and populates the book with colorful characters. The narrator, as another review pointed out, does a good job of voicing the various accents. But unfortunately, some good parts do not make up a worthwhile whole. As Pearl himself practically concedes in his remarks at the end of this audiobook, there's no real point to the characters' actions or efforts and there is little recognizable narrative cohesion or direction. All the more infuriating, this very pointlessness and lack of cohesion appears to have some lit-crit significance to the author. My suggestion to authors who want to convey similar messages: do it in a journal, not a 13 hour audiobook novel.
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- Jason

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

Book Details

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