Book Review – The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe by Stacy King (Adaptation)

β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… 4.5 Stars

Genre: Horror / Classics
Manga Demographic: Shoujo
Publication Date: October 17th, 2017
Publisher: Udon Entertainment

The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe is a worthy compilation of the horror master’s most popular tales, adapted to a sleek manga style. Each is the exact dialogue and malcontent spirit of the original, and each features a different artist.

The collection succeeds at recreating that overbearing fog of ghoulish madness and lurking abyss that permeates the originals. I always love a bit of trivia and making-of tidbits, which are included as well. I rate these individually based on the art and amount it captured the essence of Poe’s writing.

  • THE RAVEN – Art by Pikomaro β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

“For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore – nameless here for evermore.”
The iconic poem of a dead love and a harbinger bird gets a more traditional shoujo look, meaning softer, more petal-delicate looks to the characters and settings.

  • THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO – Art by Chagen β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

A man takes revenge on the unfortunate Fortunato with a plan to bury him alive in a catacomb wall. The story is sinister and creeping, with a sleek art style to match.

  • MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH – Art by Uka Nagao β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

The proud, hedonistic and shameless few laugh in the face of the suffering many, to which Death does not take kindly. Most would choose The Raven, but forever I have been a Red Death fangirl. I think that, at least for Poe’s more famous works, it tends to get the least genuine appreciation. The body horror pervading the original is downplayed. However, the art style is good, and it’s conveyed surprisingly well in black and white for being a story drenched in colour metaphors.

  • THE TELL-TALE HEART – Art by Virginia Nitouhei β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Be still, my festering heart. The ambiguous madness of a younger man possessed, for some reason beyond even his own comprehension, to kill an older man. He succeeds, but yet he can never stop hearing the man’s heartbeat. A subtle horror matched by a subtle, delicate art-style.

  • THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER – Art by Linus Liu β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

A ravenous gloom grows inside a mansion, engulfing a brother and sister in illness, despair and insanity while their guest cannot do more than watch them fall apart. The art in this one was my favourite – it has a bit of a Junji Ito aura, especially in the characters’ eyes, and it melds powerfully with the story.

 

[I received a copy of this through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]

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