cover image Select Stories of Edgar Allan Poe

Select Stories of Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe, read by Chris Lutkin. Dreamscape Media, , unabridged, 7 CDs, 7.5 hrs., $39.99 ISBN 978-1-63379-034-6

This collection of Poe’s short stories mainly includes the author’s most-familiar works, chief among them “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” written in 1841 and considered to be the first modern detective story. It and “The Purloined Letter” (also included) feature Paris sleuth C. August Dupin, a deductive genius who influenced Sherlock Holmes and all the literary puzzle solvers that followed. Reader Lutkin’s rendition of these tales is effective and satisfying, as is his reading of “The Gold Bug,” a treasure hunt in the Deep South. But included among the other short works are “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Tell-Tale Heart,” two tales told by madmen. These are famously nightmarish and highly charged accounts that offer a performer the chance to go full-out histrionic. Instead, Lutkin takes a step back from the material, as though he’s uninterested in the stories filled with such extreme emotion. (Sept.)