Horror Story Review: "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe

@msiduri (5841)
United States
September 16, 2016 8:41am CST
Although the condemned man doesn’t expect to be believed, he wants to unburden his soul. He’s to hang the next day. He knows he’s excitable and wants to make a record, in as plain language as possible, of what happened. He married young. Like his wife, he enjoyed the presence of pets. They had birds, gold fish, a fine dog, a monkey and… a cat. The cat was a remarkably large and beautiful animal, completely black in coloring. He named him Pluto. Pluto took a special liking to the narrator. He followed him around, climbed in his lap and purred. But the narrator took to drink, demon gin. He abused his wife and all the animals, but especially Pluto. Long ago and far away, a fourth grade teacher read this to us as a class around Halloween. Reading it now, with its mentions of alcoholism and animal torture and killing, I’m surprised he did. His greatest hesitation seemed to be over saying the word “hell” aloud. Granted, I wasn’t scarred for life. But this is a brutal story. It’s mitigated to some degree by knowing from the beginning the narrator will be punished for his misdeeds. He’s not asking for mercy, not even forgiveness. He’s asking maybe something closer to understanding. He’s an unspoken poster child for avoiding drinking. So, rather than kicking Edgar Allan Poe, I’ll cuddle my black cat, Gremlin. This story is available from Project Gutenberg in the collection The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2 by Edgar Allan Poe and as an audio book from Librivox: _____ Title: “The Black Cat” Author: Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) First published: United States Saturday Post August 19, 1843 Source: ISFDB
https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/2148
5 people like this
4 responses
@JohnRoberts (39006)
• Los Angeles, California
26 Sep 16
This is a Poe classic.
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5841)
• United States
26 Sep 16
Yes. Scared the bejesus out of me as a kid.
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (35270)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
16 Sep 16
Yeah, there's no way this gets read these days.
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5841)
• United States
16 Sep 16
And yet, somehow I seemed to have survived without my psyche marred. I loved animals then and I loved them now.
1 person likes this
@marguicha (80429)
• Chile
16 Sep 16
I read many books from the Project Gutenberg.and Edgar Allan Poe is a master storyteller.
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5841)
• United States
16 Sep 16
Oh, that he was. This story is sad, though. I can't imagine a teacher reading to a bunch of ten-year-olds now. Probably get complaints from the parents. Yes, I love Project Gutenberg, too.
1 person likes this
@Amel94 (1750)
• Serbia
16 Sep 16
I did not read that yet, sounds interesting and scary.
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5841)
• United States
16 Sep 16
It is. And it's brutal.