A-Z Challenge Day 20: T is for
The Tell-Tale Heart
by Edgar Allen Poe


Some of the first intense reading I enjoyed as a third grader was from the works of this author. My grandparents owned a massive collection of the literary masters and I remember passing by that glass-encased bookshelf many times before gathering the courage to ask for permission to take one of the sacred books from the shelf and crack it open.

Mr. Poe deserves much credit for the introductory love of books I still have today. His writing style is unmatched, as he weaves not only words, but the most dramatic punctuation, into his work. Think about that for a moment: punctuation can change the entire feel of what we read. Edgar does this with his use of space-dash-space; it causes the reader to almost take a deep breath and hold it in for a second, building the suspense for what lies ahead in the next few words. Poe perfected this art form and nobody can quite duplicate his mastery of it.

Take today's post, for example, The Tell-Tale Heart.

Poe uses this strategic use of punctuation five-plus times on the first page alone. And yet, it's not overkill.

This short read of only about 6-8 pages yanks the reader in by their feet from that first paragraph and long after the last few words are read, the story is still sounding in the back recesses of the brain.

The story is basically about a young man who lives in a building (perhaps a boarding house or similar apartment-type dwelling) with an elderly man. This man has never been ill to him, and actually, the younger man quite likes the older gentleman. All except for the fact that this older man has these piercing blue eyes that drive the younger guy absolutely insane - and yet, the man claims that he is not insane at all.

Tension mounts within the younger man's own head as the pair of blue eyes haunt his very being. What does he do to ease the tension? Well, this entire story, as I mentioned, takes place within the span of one evening and in just a few pages. You'll have to read the story yourself to fully appreciate the ending.

Just to let all you Poe enthusiasts in a secret / not so secret, you may download all 5 volumes of Poe's work straight to your kindle or cloud reader for free by clicking THIS little button.

Enjoy your new collection and be sure to let me know which one of Poe's work is your favorite!