Rummanah Aasi
Description: In a thrilling adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe s best-known works, acclaimed artist-adapter Gareth Hinds translates Poe's dark genius into graphic-novel format. 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."

Review: After tackling graphic novel adaptations of many classics such as Beowulf, The Odyssey, and various Shakespeare's plays, Gareth Hinds ambitiously takes on the challenge of reimagining the famous poems and stories of Edgar Allan Poe. The short stories in the graphic novel includes "The Masque of Red Death", "The Cask of Amontillado", "The Pit and the Pendulum", and the "The Tell-Tale Heart". Hinds also visualizes three of Poe's poems: Annabel Lee, The Raven, and The Bells.
 Before each story and poem, Hinds provides a legend with symbols that indicate the themes of the work such as death, disease, and scary sounds to set up the reader's anticipations. Hinds excels in creating a a dark canvas infused ominous shadows and striking reds that build up the suspense and madness throughout the graphic novel but especially in “The Cask of Amontillado,” where an unnamed narrator leads his enemy into being buried alive. My favorite short stories in this graphic novel adaptation and Poe's original work are both The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Pit and the Pendulum" where we watch the psychological horror and drama unfold in front of our very own eyes. Hinds conceptualizes the famously grisly details while playing with visually striking splashes of color and sound to further accentuate the terror. 
  It was a big risk to take on Poe's poems in a graphic novel since they stray from the typical format but Hinds uses his drawings as to fill the page with illustrations and set the original text against them which allow Poe's words to take control. Also included are historical notes about Poe and Hind's rationale for his adaptation, which I found to be very useful and valuable if both independent reading or used in a classroom.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There are disturbing images and dark themes mentioned throughout the graphic novel. Recommended for Grades 9 and up.

If you like this book try: The Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe by Edgar Allen Poe, Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
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