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  • Lynette Mejia

Review: In the Shadow of Edgar Allan Poe

I love the aesthetic feel of this book; I think the art is just fantastic. And I love the premise too--the idea that Poe was pursued by actual demons who tortured him in exchange for his artistic genius? I'm there. The emphasis on the more controversial, and, frankly, unknowable aspects of his life? Not so much. While the authorial intent seemed to be to make them tragic, they mostly just seemed salacious, even prurient. I could probably have gone along with a hint about what might have happened between Poe and his aunt, and the bearing of that relationship on that of Poe and his wife, but to make it the singular focus of Poe's battle with his demons seems not only contrived, but stretching for the sake of sensationalism. Having said that, however, the premise is a strong one, interesting, and it really is a dark and lovely book. Just keep in mind that if you liked Poe as a person going in (I didn't, though I love his work), you probably won't coming out.

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