Top positive review
Writer's Advocate, Pioneer in Prose
January 13, 2019
Edgar Allan Poe is one of my favorite authors. I have been reading and re-reading his work since I was a pretty young child. His works age well because as I got older the works became more nuanced and thus more meaningful.
In this read-it-in-an-hour-or-less biography, I learned new things about Poe that are not part of the general narrative. First and foremost, he was not a drug addict; he did drink to excess at times, but drugs were not his weakness. I was also unaware that Poe served in the Army, left, and was admitted to West Point. He made rank in the Army but didn't complete his enlistment, and he engineered his dismissal from of West Point after only eight months. These revelations add to the complexity of his life.
Poe wanted to be a full-time writer. He did not consider writing as a pastime in which to indulge alongside some other career. He worked at being a writer but earned hardly enough to keep body and soul together. During his short 40-year life, he edited several magazines, wrote critical reviews, and pretty much perfected the art of the short story. One of the hindrances to writing as a career was the lack of international copyright law. Because of this, American periodicals took the works of authors outside the US and published them without having to pay for them.
Poe is creator of the modern detective story, predating even Conan Doyle. A good synopsis of “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” is given, along with several other short stories, and, of course, "The Raven."
If you read, or have read, the works of Edgar Allan Poe you will surely find this short, fascinating biography very interesting.