Saturday, November 14, 2009
Poe Fridays (on Saturday)
This week's selection is the short story, The Oblong Box. You can read the full text here.
Our narrator tells the story of a trip he took on a boat from Charleston to New York City. Once aboard, he realizes that an old friend is also making the voyage. The friend has his family with him - a wife and two sisters - as well as a strange, oblong box emitting a foul odor. The narrator notices other unusual things about the friend and his family, and proceeds to draw (honestly) the most ridiculous conclusions imaginable. Eventually, he learns the truth about the box, which we (the readers) figured out quite a while ago.
You know, it's possible I'm getting burned out on Poe. I don't know how this story would have struck me a few months ago, but reading it this week I just found it silly. At no time could I believe that anyone would be so dense as to not be able to figure out what was inside the box. I didn't find the story suspenseful as much as I found it irritating.
It might just be my reading taste right now, but Poe is definitely not hitting the spot. I'm not giving up on him yet, but am certainly finding him challenge right now.
Poe Fridays is hosted by Kristen at WeBeReading.