Saturday, April 18, 2009

Poe Friday (on Saturday)

For this week's Poe Friday, we read The Murders in the Rue Morgue, by far the longest Poe story we've tackled so far.

This is the first time I've read this story - I understand it is supposed to be a classic, the first great detective story in history. So I was looking forward to reading it for the first time. I was sure I would be completely taken in, engrossed in a great mystery.

To be perfectly honest, I didn't like it much at all. The first few pages are apparently a discussion of the analytical brain. (Kinda boring.) Then, we finally meet Dupin, the famous detective, and find out about his weird, weird life - he lives in total seclusion with the unnamed narrator, only going out at night, and seemingly reading people's minds because of his great analytical skill. When he reads about a gruesome double murder, Dupin decides he can figure out the killer, and gains access to the murder scene.

After poking around a bit, he places an ad for anyone who has recently lost an orangutan. When a sailor comes forward, Dupin announces he has solved the mystery, and promptly informs everyone of what truly happened.

That's it! That's the world's first great detective story! A recluse dectective and a monkey. I am completely disappointed. Not only did I not feel the great, moody atmosphere that Poe is so good at creating, but I was not terribly entertained by the somewhat plodding story. I would love to hear from someone who actually likes this story - maybe I am missing something obvious, but this just did not catch my interest. Where am I going wrong??

Next week we will be reading another shory story, Three Sundays in a Week. Poe Friday is hosted by Kristen at WeBeReading.


Kristen M. said...

I can see how this story would be disappointing. I enjoy it because of the "trail of clues and observation" aspect -- because I'm a big mystery fan it's fascinating to see the first use of this tactic. But I will say that when I read this story this week, I was surprised that I didn't remember how short and "to-the-point" it was ...

Zibilee said...

Sorry this story was so disappointing for you. I think with the inclusion of the monkey I may have been asking myself the same questions as you. Btw, thanks for the e-mail about the Poe book, I am planning on checking out the group once I get a bit more time!