"For the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence. Yet, mad am I not — and very surely do I not dream. But to-morrow I die, and to-day I would unburthen my soul."
I’ve been listening to Ralph Cosham read Richard Adams’s Watership Down and he’s doing such a bang-up job that I started looking for other works read by him. Poe’s Stories of the Macabre seemed a good place to start -- being short and appropriately seasonal.
Stories of the Macabre comprises six of Poe's classic horror stories and two of his poems:
- “The Bells” -- Oh, those bells! They’ll drive you mad, they will.
- “The Cask of Amontillado” -- Man takes revenge upon a friend who has insulted him by bricking said friend up in a wall.
- “The Tell-Tale Heart” -- Man kills his landlord who has a blind eye, because the eye is driving him crazy. Police investigate, madness ensues.
- “The Fall of the House of Usher” -- Out of friendship, Man visits a crumbling house beset by madness and disease. Someone gets buried alive.
- “The Raven” -- Man is visited by a raven while mourning the loss of his beloved Lenore. Man descends into madness.
- “The Black Cat” -- Alcoholic Man sinks into depravity, commits murder, and is haunted by Basement Cat.
- “Berenice” -- Man, affianced to his cousin, becomes inappropriately fixated on her teeth and removes them from her corpse (which, it turns out, is not actually corpse).
- “The Man That Was Used Up” -- Man meets the famous Brevet Brigadier General, who is more than the sum of his parts. Or is he? (Not a horror story, actually, but a satire)
And, on a mostly related note, I give you a scene from Edgar Allan Pooh's "The Tell-Tale Heart:"
Stories of the Macabre written by Edgar Allan Poe & read by Ralph Cosham (Commuters Library, 2002)