Poe: Stories and Poems
It is true that I am nervous. But why will you say that I am mad?
In “The Cask of Amontillado,” a man exacts revenge on a disloyal friend at carnival, luring him into catacombs below the city. In “The Masque of the Red Death,” a prince shielding himself from plague hosts a doomed party inside his abbey stronghold. A prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition, faced with a swinging blade and swarming rats, can’t see his tormentors in “The Pit and the Pendulum,” and in “The Tell-Tale Heart,” a milky eye and a deafening heartbeat reveal the effects of conscience and creeping madness. Alongside these tales are visual interpretations of three poems — “The Raven,” “The Bells,” and Poe’s poignant elegy to lost love, “Annabel Lee.” The seven concise graphic narratives, keyed to thematic icons, amplify and honor the timeless legacy of a master of gothic horror.
Each story begins with the Poe Checklist, an assortment of icons, noting the themes the reader will encounter in the coming story. For the Cask of Amontillado the reader can expect to find themes of confinement, darkness, complete lack of guilty conscience, insanity, murder and premature burial—to name a few of Poe’s favorite motifs.
Hinds’ illustrations manage to capture the gothic style and ambience of Poe’s stories in perfect detail, not shying away from the gruesome and morbid. Fans of Poe will appreciate the dedication to the genre and new readers will surely become new fans of both Poe and Hinds.