Probably not even from the grave. It would be fitting for E. Allen Poe’s wife to be a zombie. Desperately craving peaceful rest, but her mind cackles evil-ly and tells her “Never more.” Like an insomniac, but, you know, rotting.
So, yes, I recently read Mrs. Poe, and no, I didn’t like it. Here’s the cover, so you know what to avoid.
Mrs. Poe is not an evil book. It’s not a particularly well written book, but it’s also not particularly poorly written. Instead, it is even worse: It is BORING.
The writer took some interesting concepts – Edgar Allen Poe, appearance vs. reality, imagination vs. reality (done so, so, so, so, so much better in Northanger Abbey. Like – SO much better. Read that instead. #unbiased), writing – and mushed them together in a very, to me, unappealing way. Maybe I’m in the minority, but I doubt it.
So what, exactly, did the Twilight-vampire-named authoress do wrong?
I probably don’t remember everything I disliked about this book. I tend to block out bland, unpleasant memories. But here are a few of them:
- The narrator is particularly unlikable. Of course, this isn’t always a dealbreaker. Lolita is an amazing book, and if you’re sympathizing with Humbert Humbert, you’re reading it wrong. But I think that the author wanted us to like the narrator (some poet, I forget her name, and honestly, am too lazy to look it up). She is supposedly drop-dead gorgeous (which is fine, I usually prefer to think about handsome people, but will pull this up as a fault if the character annoys me), vain and proud about her poetry (which, frankly, doesn’t strike me as very good), angry that her husband left her for other women (with more money; of course he left you, honey #chaching), lusting after another woman’s husband (hypocrite; also, ew), not spending enough time with her children (which probably wasn’t that uncommon amongst the gentle classes during the time period specified, but still pi$$ed me off), and cannot make up her freakin’ mind. What are you, a thirteen year old? Stop being so indecisive; make up your mind, and stick to it. Making up your mind, only to change it the second some guy in tight pants walks by is not going to make me like you.
- The unlikable narrator is always going on and on about how sexy Mr. Poe is. Um…ew. Have you seen pictures of E. Allen Poe? Who is attracted to that? Like, seriously.
Now, for a moment, I thought it was possible the authoress was going to redeem herself. I thought maybe the narrator was supposed to be unstable, rather than unintelligent, as well as too naive to see what was going on in front of her. I probably shouldn’t explain how I thought this might happen, but I think I’m going to anyway:
MY THOUGHTS that would have completely changed the way this book is read, and also appealed about a million times more to my gothic sensibilities:
E. Allen Poe is a sadistic asshole who can’t even really write. His famous stories, “The Raven” poem, etc., are actually written by his dying wife. Now that his consumptive wife is dying, he’s on the prowl to seduce another “good” writer, whose works he plans to sell as his own. Possibly, in addition, killing this writer after he reaps the literary goods she has sown. (If you have read the book, don’t you agree, this ending would have made the book so much more fun?)
ANYWAY, continuing my list:
- The protagonist (ew) is frightened of this woman whose husband she is trying to steal. Um, hello? Has anyone seen Fatal Attraction? I think we all agree the protagonist and her “sexy” (#vomit) lover deserve a little torture. Particularly when…
- Mrs. Poe is dying. DYING. Of consumption. And all her husband and this boring poetess can do is make googly eyes at each other while she withers away? Um, no. Not cool, guys.
Well, I’ve reminded myself of why I don’t like this book. Maybe you will, maybe I’m missing something wonderful about this book. But if so, I genuinely didn’t see it, and so I can’t recommend this book to anyone. Oh, also, I received it as an ARC; thank goodness I didn’t pay for it. *shudder*