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The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym


The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym


 The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym* is a short novel by the master, whose extravagantly macabre tales have inspired such latter-day disciples as H.P. Lovecraft, and Stephen King. Pym follows the bizarre adventures of young Arthur Gordon Pym, a stowaway aboard the whaling ship 'Grampus.'

Part sea story, part adventure story, part horror story, a young man runs away to sea and gets more than he bargained for, including mutiny, shipwreck, and cannibalism. A classic adventure story with supernatural elements, Pym has fascinated and influenced generations of writers including Herman Melville, Jules Verne, Henry Miller, Jack Kerouac, and William S. Burroughs.


“Pym's magic endures. In more popular writing, Arthur Conan Doyle, B Traven, and David Morrell all found a touchstone in Poe's only novel. Baudelaire translated it. Jules Verne wrote a sequel. When Paul Theroux, who reports the story in The Old Patagonian Express (1979), read aloud from it to Jorge Luis Borges, the older writer said: "It is Poe's greatest book.”

—Robert McCrum

EDGAR ALLAN POE (1809-1849) has yet to be surpassed as the greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale. Since their first publication in the 1830s and 1840s, Poe's grotesque and sublime tales of mystery and madness have established themselves as masterworks of fiction.

*Listed by The Guardian #10 on its list of the 100 greatest novels.


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