TITLE : Manga Classics : The stories of Edgar Allan Poe
AUTHOR : Edgar Allan Poe
AUTHOR & STORY ADAPTATION : Stacy King
ART : Virginia Nitouhei – “The Tell-Tale Heart”,
Chagen – “The Cask of Amontillado”,
Uka Nagao – “The Masque… Read Death”,
Pikomaro – “The Raven”,
Linus Liu – “Fall of the House of Usher”,
Man Yiu – “Fall of the House of Usher”
GENRE : Manga/Graphic Novel/Sequential Art, Classics, Historical Fiction , Horror, Gothic
FBRC RATING : 4.5 Stars
The Tales of Edgar Allan Poe is a brilliant collection of some of his best-known stories: The Tell Tale Heart (a murder’s haunting guilt), The Cask of Amontillado (a story of brilliant revenge), and The Fall of the House of Usher (an ancient house full of very dark secretes). Also included in this collection are The Mask of the Red Death (horrors of the Plague), and the most famous of all his poems: The Raven (a lover’s decline into madness). Best read in a dimly-lit room with the curtains drawn, Poe’s brilliant works come to life in darkly thrilling ways in this Manga Classic adaptation.
FBRC REVIEW :
Classics are one of the genres that I am not heavily drawn to. I have read a few here and there. Mostly the adapted versions it. Majority of the time they tend to intimidate me and hence the reluctance to get into the genre. Edgar Allan Poe’s short story collection was available at the sale I went to recently. I really wanted to pick it up as I knew I had already received the review copy of it. I ended up picking it and eventually not buying it because I already had a lot of books I needed to get and the budget was tight. So here I am getting into the manga version of yet another classic without a clue as to what I am getting myself into. I was a bit worried that I might not like it but was curious to see how I feel about the this book.
Suffice to say, I enjoyed this book a lot. The setting, the gothic atmosphere all lend a hand in delivering the haunting despair and eeriness the stories exuded. The stories were simply creepy, filled with chaos and madness with disturbing events coming together to form the perfect horror story. The imagery and the way the book is structure combined together definitely is an unforgettable experience. I loved the stories and how well the scenes were depicted to portray the mental state of these characters. It was simply marvelous. The morbidness and the macabre themes in the story lend itself to stand out as one of the best horror-inducing stories. The book is, in my opinion, a gem in Gothic literature. The stories are well put together and the scenes definitely highlight all the important events with startling clarity that leaves the readers with the eerie feeling.
I have a few favorites in this collection. I loved The Raven and the slow descent into despair and madness of a lover is so well represented. I liked how the bird with all its symbolism adds depth to the story. The decline of the man’s mind and his pain and suffering for having lost his loved one is very evident. We see his passion and undying love and devotion he has for her and yet he seems so incapable of letting go of her memories and haunted by them. The slow and steady decline of his mind and the rage towards the bird are so well portrayed.
The tell-tale heart is the story of a murderer who with his haunting guilt descents into madness. His paranoia and terror he feels toward the older man drives him to the brink of insanity. The methodical, calculated way the man plans everything and how he disposes of the body is disturbing, creepy and horrifying. His state of mind and how he is trying to assure himself of his sanity is quite remarkable in the portrayal of the character and its human nature. This is also a favorite story in this. The artwork is amazing and it’s very well done to portray the madness and the chaos of the narrator’s mind and thoughts.
The cask of Amontillado tells the story of a well-executed revenge plan. The settings for this story is also very dark and eerie. The tunnels, catacombs and the bones are all very well put together to magnify the horror of the story. The revenge and how far a person goes to ensure the plan is executed is masterfully done through the artwork.
The masque of the Red death shows us the horrors of the Plague and how death comes calling no matter where you are or who you are. The setting of the sequestered palace from the common people, the extravagant parties, the different rooms with unique styling all bring together the story well.
The Fall of the House Of Usher also has the dark, eerie, haunting atmospheric setting complementing the gothic feel. The destruction of a once prosperous house and family and how the dangerous secrets and the darkness pulls it down. The supernatural feel and the events that bring out the chaos and the characters who make your hair stand on end are all brilliantly done with the artwork.
The artwork truly is amazing and complements the story so well that the imagery and the eerie will stay with you for a long time. The state of the human mind, despair, tragedy, and fear are all very well portrayed. I enjoyed the manga version and I need to read the original soon. I highly recommend these manga editions to all of you out there who are fans of classics. Definitely check them out. I have given the book 4.5 stars and probably will bump it to 5 stars after reading the original.
Have you read Edgar Allan Poe’s stories or poems? What are your thoughts on these stories and I would love to know what other dark, eerie classics I need to read? Let me know in the comment section down below and don’t forget to leave some horror or Gothic literature I need to try.