His Hideous Heart

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I’ve been a fan of Edgar Allan Poe’s work for a long time. His best known piece, “The Raven,” has a wonderful rhythm and creepy feel to it. Maybe you’ve read its famous opening lines: “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore…”

I bought a collection of his stories and poems, but when I got home and opened it, I recall being disappointed that “The Raven” wasn’t included. Yet when I opened it another time, I found the poem in the table of contents after all. Either my memory played a trick on me, or the book did. Maybe it absorbed some of the strangeness and mystery of the tales inside. I like that idea.

Another of my favorites is the story “The Tell-Tale Heart,” about a man who commits murder and slowly loses his mind over it, imagining he can hear the victim’s heart thumping under the floorboards.

Is it any wonder I found myself drawn to “His Hideous Heart,” a collection of stories inspired by Poe’s work? Each is told by a different author, and the original stories and poems are included.

I enjoyed the variety of interpretations, often creatively reshaping the original pieces that inspired them. The authors kept true to the heart of the original tales: themes of lost loves, unexplainable occurrences, clever ruses and all things unsettling.

It’s the perfect time of year to read something creepy. Why not give these stories a try?

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