Book Review: Quoth the Raven, edited by Lyn Worthen

Book Review: Quoth the Raven edited by Lyn Worthen

When I was around ten years old, I came across the story The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allen Poe.  That was my introduction to his work, and I loved it.  Over the years, I read more of his stories and eventually his poetry and enjoyed it all.  He’s in my top ten list of favorite authors, and more than one of his stories would be in my list of favorite short fiction.  When I was offered the chance to read and review Quoth the Raven, an anthology of retellings of Poe’s stories by contemporary authors, I responded with a resounding yes.

Quoth the Raven by [Fallon, Amber, Azariah-Kribbs, A.A, Worthen, Lyn, Gorman, Amelia, Bollinger, Aryan, Ellis, Brian, Weaver, Donea, Abela, Chris, Ahern, Edward, Rich, Emerian, Tiffany Michelle Brown, Vicki Weisfeld, Gregory J. Wolos, Sidney Williams, R.C. Scandalis, Karen Robiscoe, Tonia Kalouria, John Kiste , Melanie Cossey, Matthew M. Montelione, Kenneth C. Goldman, Steven R. Southard, Kara Race-Moore, Stephanie L. Harper, Susan McCauley, Sonora Taylor, Lauryn Christopher, Sarah Murtagh, Lawrence Berry, Frank Coffman]This anthology features prose and poetry, mostly modern day reworkings of his stories, but some stand out as original ideas written following his style.  “The Cellphone,” by R.C. Scandalis, for example.  That one is a poem patterned after Poe’s The Raven.  While the new poem is a humorous exploration of someone who has become a slave to his smart phone, it follows the rhythm, meter, and rhyming pattern of The Raven.  It was inventive and it often made me laugh.

Other works by Poe were heavily mined for this anthology.  The Cask of Amontillado, which is my favorite of his stories, is given a contemporary voice in four different tales.  My favorite of the retellings of Cask is “The Montresor Method,” by Hugh J. O’Donnell.  It was a clever take on the classic tale of revenge that uses a physical copy of Poe’s story as a plot device.  O’Donnell did a good job of capturing the feel and essence of Edgar Allen’s voice and I enjoyed reading his story.

My favorite poem by Poe is The Bells, and I was pleased to see that one of the selections used that as a basis for a new work.  “The Tones,” by Amber Fallon follows the pattern of The Bells in an exploration of alarms, ringtones, sirens, and other similar sounds heard frequently in today’s world.  I liked it almost as much as the original it’s patterned after.

Several other of Poe’s more famous works are retold, including The Masque of the Red Death, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Black Cat, and The Purloined Letter; some appearing more than once.  Aside from the works I mentioned already, one that stood out for me is “My Annabel” by Emerian Rich.  “My Annabel” is a retelling in prose form of the poem Annabel Lee.  I really liked it.  Like O’Donnell, Rich did a great job of capturing the feel of Poe’s voice and style, and it read like something he might write today, were he still alive and (spoiler) a fan of George Romero’s work.

I enjoyed reading Quoth the Raven.  There were definitely selections that stood out more than others, but for me, there wasn’t a single dud in the book.  I would recommend the anthology to anyone who enjoys dark-themed stories.  Those who love the work of Edgar Allen Poe will enjoy seeing how the authors translate his tales into contemporary society.  However, one doesn’t need to be a fan of Poe to like these stories and poems.  Quoth the Raven is a fine collection that any fan of horror fiction should enjoy.  It’s available on Amazon both in paperback and for the Kindle.  Give it a read; you won’t be disappointed.

Disclaimer:  I was provided an electronic copy of the book so that I could read and review it.  I received no money for the review, and the opinions stated therein are my own.

FRIGHTENING FLIX: Revisiting Poe Video Review

Kristin Battestella aka Kbatz (and a special feline guest) discusses new appreciations in revisiting the short fiction of Edgar Allan Poe including The Fall of the House of Usher and The Tell Tale Heart in addition to comparing and contrasting the Vincent Price and Roger Corman Poe Film Adaptations.

 

 

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Press Release: The Raven retold by Venus De Vilo

unnamedTHE ANGELS MAY HAVE NAMED HER LENORE – BUT LOVE CALLS HER… REVENGE.
The “Lost Lenore” is lost NO MORE! NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED. ADULT CONTENT. BLOOD, BETRAYAL.. AND MAJOR BOOBAGE!
Illustrated and re-worked by The Voice Of Horror and Queen Of The Pumpkin Patch, Venus de Vilo.
Read the legendary Edgar Allan Poe poem complete with stunning and interpretive illustrations (reminiscent of Edward Gorey and Tim Burton) that delve deep into the maelstrom of madness and the macabre of who exactly the characters in the poem may be.
Re-told as a revenge fuelled tragic and shocking love story gone horrifically WRONG. WHO is Lenore?? WHO is the narrator?? And WHO! WHO! Is the Raven??
38 pages. A5 size, fully illustrated and ENTIRELY hand drawn and printed – this is a gothic tribute to die for!
The buy link for the hard copy of the book – also available as a PDF download – https://venusdevilo.bandcamp.com/merch/the-raven-by-edgar-allan-poe-illustrated-re-told-by-venus-de-vilo-physical-copy

Movie Quiz & Prize Contest : The Raven

the_raven_(2012)_wallpaper (1)Answer ONE of these questions (that has not already been answered)
in the comments and be entered to win a Poe Prize Pack from HorrorAddicts.net.

  1. Who plays Edgar Allan Poe in… The Raven?
  2. What city did Poe live in at the end of his life?
  3. What famous poem does Poe give to Emily?
  4. What is the name of the paper Poe writes for?
  5. What stage play do the police barge in on to stop the murderer?

Comment below to be entered into the drawing for a Poe Prize Pack from HorrorAddicts.net.

May Upcoming events

May 3rd-7th / Hauntcon /Monroeville, Pennsylvania / Professional Haunter’s Convention includes haunting seminars, haunted house tours, makeup seminars, costume ball and hearse show. For more information go to: hauntcon.com

May 4th – 6th / Texas Frightmare Weekend / Dallas, Texas/This horror festival includes a film festival, dealers room and appearances by Piper Laurie, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Barbara Crompton, Tom Savini and many more. For more information go to: texasfrightmareweekend.com

Saturday May 12th / Bal Bizarre / Montreal, Canada / This event is brought to you by the Montreal Fetish weekend and celebrates fashion, passion, fantasy and
erotic subliminal desires. Tickets are $15 and includes live music and an
appearance by D.J. Faith. For more information go to: www.facebook.com/events/375091242515431

May 11th-13th / H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and Cthulhu Con / Portland, Oregon /
Some of the activities at the con include a reading by Jenna M. Pitman and
showings of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven along with The Whisperer in the Darkness
and The Haunted Palace. The event also includes panel discussions, vendors and
prizes for the best independent horror films. For more information go to: hplfilmfestival.com

Friday May 18th / Billings Zombie Prom and Walk / Billings, Montana / This undead
celebration includes a zombie walk around downtown Billings followed by a prom.
Make up artists will be on hand to turn people into zombies and there will be a
jello heart and brain eating contest along with a horror basket silent auction.
Special guests will include: Timothy Patrick Quill from Army of Darkness, Alex
Vincent from Child’s Play and Robert Jayne from Tremors. For more information go to: zombiesofmontana.com/events.html