October 18, 2017

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Poe: Stories and Poems adapted by Gareth Hinds | SLJ Review

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redstarPOE, Edgar Allan. Poe: Stories and Poems. adapt. by Gareth Hinds. illus. by Gareth Hinds. 120p. Candlewick. Aug. 2017. Tr $22. ISBN 9780763681128.

Gr 9 Up –Hinds adds to his impressive library of graphic novel adaptations with this collection of stories and poems. In “The Masque of the Red Death,” a prince holds a massive party inside a fortified castle while his subjects die of plague outside his walls—that is, until a mysterious stranger appears at the door. In “The Cask of Amontillado,” a young man plots revenge against a man who insulted him. In “The Pit and the Pendulum,” a frightened man must escape the clutches of the Spanish Inquisition before it’s too late, and in “The Tell-Tale Heart,” a man is driven to murder by his benefactor’s haunting “vulture” eye. Hinds also brings his own interpretation to three poems: “Annabel Lee,” a love ode to Poe’s dead wife; “The Bells,” a poem about the eerie sounds of bells; and, of course, “The Raven,” arguably Poe’s best-known work. Hinds’s vivid, haunting mixed-media illustrations pair perfectly with Poe’s unfailingly bleak and terrible tales. Red and black tones are thrown about with controlled force, fully realizing the gothic influences of Poe’s writing. Particularly sinister is the artwork that accompanies “The Masque of the Red Death;” the specter that wordlessly passes among the partygoers is terrifying. The adapter’s note at the end discusses the selections that were chosen and includes a brief biography of Poe. VERDICT A spellbinding adaptation of one of America’s most legendary authors. This volume can easily be worked into literature courses and is a fantastic way to introduce Poe to new readers.–Tyler Hixson, Brooklyn Public Library

This review was published in the School Library Journal July 2017 issue.

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