Tuesday, 17 January 2012
Edgar Allan POE, The Black Cat and Other Stories, Penguin Readers, 1200 Headwords
By Camilo Cañaveral Alzate, 3ESO AThis book is a collection of four stories: The Black Cat, The Oval Portrait, Berenice and The Mask of the Red Death. The four narrations are by Edgar Allan Poe. I am going to review The Oval Portrait. This fictional horror tale begins with a man and his servant, Pedro, heading to an old abandoned house in the middle of a dark forest. It’s night time and the man is wounded and ill. They both spend the day in this house where they find a room with lots of paintings. On a table, there is a book explaining the story of every single picture. The man is horrified by the history of one beautiful portrait of a woman, who is staring directly at him, as if she was alive… The painter of the portrait was the young woman’s husband. They were madly in love with each other. Unfortunately, his wife was not the most important thing for him in the world, it was his paintings. He had an incredible passion for his creations and sometimes he loved them more than his wife. (“They were married. But, sadly, he already had a wife: his work. His painting was more important to him than anything in the world”). She began to hate his drawings because they were separating her from him. One day he asked her if he could paint an oval portrait of her smiling with a flower...
This is a great book, I really enjoyed it. It is very catchy, interesting and enigmatic. Although the stories are shorter and less descriptive than the real ones that Poe wrote himself, they are a perfect introduction to his work. They do not have difficult language, they are written in Standard English so they are easy to read and are not very long. You could read this book in two hours or less. It has 39 pages including some questions to better understand the narrations. On a scale from zero to ten I would give this book an eight. I would definitely recommend it to everyone who is interested in scary psychological stories or simply enjoys reading.