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His Hideous Heart: 13 of Edgar Allan Poe's Most Unsettling Tales Reimagined Hardcover – Illustrated, 10 September 2019
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Edgar Allan Poe may be a hundred and fifty years beyond this world, but the themes of his beloved works have much in common with modern young adult fiction. Whether the stories are familiar to readers or discovered for the first time, readers will revel in Edgar Allan Poe’s classic tales, and how they’ve been brought to life in thirteen unique and unforgettable ways.
Contributors include Dahlia Adler (reimagining "Ligeia"), Kendare Blake (“Metzengerstein”), Rin Chupeco (“The Murders in the Rue Morgue”), Lamar Giles (“The Oval Portrait”), Tessa Gratton (“Annabel Lee”), Tiffany D. Jackson (“The Cask of Amontillado”), Stephanie Kuehn (“The Tell-Tale Heart”), Emily Lloyd-Jones (“The Purloined Letter”), Hillary Monahan (“The Masque of the Red Death”), Marieke Nijkamp (“Hop-Frog”), Caleb Roehrig (“The Pit and the Pendulum”), and Fran Wilde (“The Fall of the House of Usher”).
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Kirkus Best Book of the Year
Junior Library Guild Selection
"A superb collection of young adult short stories inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's work...The volume is divided between the new stories and Poe's originals, which makes for a delightful reading experience. Adler's anthology brims over with fierce delight and uncanny invention; the stories here vary in their effect nearly as much as Poe's do...And if you haven't read Poe before, His Hideous Heart works equally well as an introduction, a tribute and a loving critique. Welcome." --The New York Times Book Review
"Heartbreaking, thrilling, gruesome, and gorgeous: these stories will delight longtime Poe fans just as much as readers who haven't read the classics." --Beth Revis, author of Give the Dark My Love "Beautiful, haunting, and wickedly clever, His Hideous Heart digs deep into the essence of Poe's legendary works and ingeniously reanimates them for modern readers." --Cat Winters, author of The Raven's Tale
- Publisher : Flatiron Books; Illustrated edition (10 September 2019)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 480 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1250302773
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250302779
- Reading age : 12 - 18 years
- Dimensions : 14.27 x 3.91 x 21.74 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 224,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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The TL;DR? It has a few worthwhile stories amounting to maybe 30 pages, but the rest range from not-so-great to outright horrible. Not worth the price, in my opinion for only 30 quality pages of reading. Just read the original stories and then follow up on Sparknotes if you need to.
“She Rode a Horse of Fire” by Kendare Blake inspired by “Metzengerstein”- I love Kendare Blake’s writing and was so excited to hear she was going to be in this collection. I read the original story of “Metzengerstein” before I read this tale. It stays very true to the story while putting a fresh spin on it. I love how the story was told by Eliza a servent in the Baron’s manor and not the Baron himself. I loved the ending especially the last paragraph and think Poe would be proud that his story inspired this one. Rating: 5 stars
“It’s Carnival” by Tiffany D. Jackson inspired by “The Cask of Amontillado” – I loved how this story had a girl PoC main character. I love a great revenge story especially girls getting revenge. So I loved this. It stayed true to the original but made it more modern and easier to connect with the main character. Rating: 5 stars
“Night-Tide” by Tessa Gratton inspired by “Annabel Lee”- Annabel Lee is one of my favorite poems so I was really worried to read this retelling. I loved the twist the author put on it and she keeps the tone of the story true to the tragicness of the poem. Rating: 4 stars
“The Glittering Death” by Caleb Roehrig inspired by “The Pit and the Pendulum” – This one I was very curious about how it would be retold. What is going to be the pit, the pendulum, and who is going to be the stand-in for the Inquisition? I always thought this would be one of the harder Poe stories to retell. I loved it. The direction the author had it go was perfect. Who he picked to be the Inquisition was genius. Rating: 4 stars
“A Drop of Stolen Ink” by Emily Lloyd-Jones inspired by “The Purloined Letter”- I loved The Hearts We Sold by this author so much and I loved this science-fiction take on “The Purloined Letter” This is my favorite story in the book. The world, characters, and the writing drew me in. The author took Poe’s story and turned it into so much more. Rating: 5 stars
“Happy Days, Sweetheart” by Stephanie Kuehn inspired by “The Tell-Tale Heart”- The Tell-Tale Heart is one of my top favorite Poe stories. I love that the author added the current issues we face in society into the story. But one change I didn’t agree with. Rating: 3 stars
“The Raven (Remix) by Amanda Lovelace inspired by “The Raven”- The Raven is a beautiful poem. Lovelace has taken the Raven and turned it into Blackout Poetry. For those who don’t know what it is it is blacking out words in a story or poem to make a new one using the words and letters from the original. Personally, I find this an insult to Poe. Also, this seemed like the author was too lazy to retell The Raven. Rating: 2 stars
“Changeling” by Marieke Nijkamp inspired by “Hop-Frog”- I loved how the author retold this story. She stayed true to the story while adding a really imaginative and neat twist. Rating: 5 stars
“The Oval Filter by Lamar Giles inspired by “The Oval Portrait”- I loved how the author bought social media into this story and made it so modern by setting it in a high school. He thought of the perfect way to bring this story into the present without losing the tone or truth of the original story. Rating: 4 stars
“Red” by Hillary Monahan inspired by “The Masque of the Red Death”- I loved which character the author told this story from. I have always loved the original story of beauty and death and the author turned this into one with beauty and death and another message as well. Rating: 5 stars
“Lygia” by Dahlia Adler inspired by “Ligeia”- No one is better at death and madness than Poe. I thought this retelling was perfect. The author captured Poe’s story to perfection. The obsession and the madness of the main character perfectly matched Poe’s main from the original story. This is one of the best stories in this collection of retellings. Rating: 5 stars
“The Fall of the Bank of Usher” by Fran Wilde inspired by “The Fall of the House of Usher” – This story was so unique while keeping all the elements of the original story just mixing them up a bit. I loved all the characters in this story and found the world really interesting. Rating: 5 stars
“The Murders in the Rue Apartelle Boracay” by Rin Chupeco inspired by “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”- I really didn’t care for this story. It had nothing to do with the story itself which I thought was a great retelling but I didn’t connect with the character telling it. I loved the diversity of the story. Rating: 3.5 stars
If you are a fan of Poe’s work or discovering it for the first time I highly recommend this book. You can read the original stories and some amazing retellings by many talented authors.
My favorite stories are She Rode a Horse of Fire, A Drop of Stolen Ink, Lygia, and The Fall of the Bank of Usher.
My least favorites are The Raven(Remix), Happy Days, Sweetheart, and The Murders of Rue Apartelle Boracay.
*Thanks so much to Flatiron Books for the ARC through Netgalley. All opinions are my own*
I also bought my own copy as well.
The great thing about anthologies is you get to taste the writing style for a number of authors, and in this case it has me wanting to read more from most of these authors. Plus the book includes the original works being reimagined, which is fantastic!
I wholeheartedly recommend this anthology to anyone who enjoys dark fantasy and a little bit of macabre. But if you want my thoughts for each of the stories, I got you.
1. "She Rode a Horse of Fire" by Kendare Blake ★★★
Definitely more accessible and interesting to read than the original story, but I found it a bit lacking in a way that the original short story is. Not one of my favorites of Poe's.
2. "It's Carnival!" by Tiffany D. Jackson ★★★★★
"Cask of Amontillado" is one of my favorite Poe stories, and Jackson's reimagining is fantastic.
3. "Night-Tide" by Tessa Gratton ★★★★★
"Annabel Lee is my favorite Poe poem, and Tessa Gratton's short story is beautiful. It breathes life to fill in a potential story to inspire the narrator's poem. Sapphic and young love, tw for homophobia & gossip.
4. "The Glittering Death" by Caleb Roehrig ★★★★★
Gripping and engaging from the first sentence to the last, this story is inspired by "The Pit and he Pendulum", bringing almost a modern, true-crime spin to this tale of sin and murder.
5. "A Drop of Stolen Ink" Emily Lloyd-Jones ★★★★★
What a fantastic imagining; I loved the sci-fi tech twist to the tale, the letter being identity stolen. Great job taking the core or "The Purloined Letter" and making it your own... and a little sapphic.
6. "Happy days, sweetheart" by Stephanie Kuehn ★★★
An interesting twist to "The Tell-Tale Heart". It made me rather uncomfortable with the sexist ending, but appreciate the feminist look
7. "The Raven (Remix)" by amanda lovelace ★★
I normally adore amanda lovelace's poetry, but idk but this blackout poetry of the raven left much to be desired.
8. "Changeling" by Marieke Nijkamp ★★★
this is fkn sad and tough to read, but it at least holds a bit of hope compared to "Hop-Frog."
9. "The Oval Filter" by Lamar Giles ★★★★★
What an interesting modernization of "The Oval Portrait", twisting the tale to be of IG and filters. I also found the end more satisfying than the original tale, which I've always been partial to.
10. ”Red” by Hillary Monahan ★★★★
I love that this retelling of The Masque of the Red Death is told from the perspective of the reveler who breaks into Prospero’s party.
11. "Lygia” by Dahlia Adler ★★★
Beautiful writing and the theme of grief and loss runs throughout, but that ending?! Nah.
12. ”The Fall of the Bank of Usher” by Fran Wilde ★★★★★
A misrepresentation of Skye withstanding, this retelling of The Fall of the House of Usher is fab. I adore the tech, the spooky lichen, the Ai, and the characters.
13. ”The Murders in the Rue Apartelle, Boracay” by Rin Chupeco ★★★★★
This is perfection; I love the narrative tone of gossiping to the narrator's best friend (me, the reader) and this story was just... so well done.
As a biased lover of Poe I immediately was excited for this collection of re-tellings. Here's a secret...growing up I have wanted everything Poe and yet, I had not read his collected works. How can one claim to be a fan of something/someone without being familiar with everything about that thing or person. So it is shameful that I went into this book only having ever read 4/13 stories. Now, I did try to brush up on my Poe with another collection last month. Tales of Mystery and Madness by Edgar Allan Poe and so I can add 2 more stories to the total. I now have read 6/13. But I've also read The Pet and the Pendulum (The Misadventures of Edgar & Allan Poe #3) by Gordon McAlpine by Gordon McAlpine and with this trilogy I had been introduced to 2 more stories. So now the total is 8/13 not bad. I've either read the story outright or a shorter version of each. This of course isn't all of Poe's works. I still have to go about reading all of them eventually. What did I think about these original stories? What did I think about the re-tellings?
Typically when I write a review about a collection of short stories, I tell you a few that I loved and a few that I hated and the reasons why. In this review, I think I'm going to touch on each story individually so that you may get a feel for each and whether you want to borrow or buy this book to read the re-tellings. The star ratings is for both the original and the re-telling.
Metzengerstein/She Rode a Horse of Fire by Kendare Blake. I had not previously read the original story. The name is very difficult to pronounce, for me anyway. Basically what this story is about is two families that hate each other. They are cordial when they need to be (parties and the like), but typically stick to their own. Now our main character is a young man around 18 and his family's fortune is left to him, along with the mansion and responsibilities. Our main character isn't interested in continuing with the family "business" and hides away in a forgotten room in the large estate. There is a paining that intrigues the young man and he dwells on this painting day and night. One day something terrible happens. I enjoyed both stories, however the modern re-telling made it easier to understand. 3/3 stars. I have read Kendare Blake before with her Anna Dressed in Blood and found her writing to be okay.
The Cask of Amontillado/It's Carnival by Tiffany D. Jackson. I really enjoyed the original story. It is easy to follow and the way the story plays out, the reader feels sorry for the person being walled up. Tiffany did an amazing job with the re-telling. Not only did she gender swap the main character, but she made it as vengeful because of the way the man treated her self and her family. In the original the main character hates the man for a small slight....at least that is how I read it. My favorite line from the story is this, "I'm telling you this because it brings me great amusement knowing he's still down there..." such a deliciously creepy ending. 5/5 stars. I've never read Tiffany Jackson before, but with this awesome short story I'm definitely wanting to get into her other books: White Smoke being the first one on my list. A re-telling of a modern day haunted house that is due to be released in Sept 2021.
Annabel Lee/Night-Tide by Tessa Gratton. The original poem I had read back in 7th grade and I found it so sad and chilling. I as a child didn't really understand the poem and as an adult re-reading it just made me again sad for the narrator of the poem. I think Tessa did a great job in her re-telling. Again we see a gender reversal in this story. We follow a lesbian couple on the cusp of their discovery. The main character goes to Kingdom by the Sea a resort every summer with the same set of families. When her lovers family finds out the girls are a lot closer than they have originally thought they put a stop to it. The re-telling still gives off a sad and chilling vibe which I loved. 4/4 stars. I own Tessa Gratton's Blood Journal duology that I still need to read. But her writing speaks to me, so I'm hoping to get to it sooner rather than later.
The Pit and the Pendulum/The Glittering Death by Caleb Roehrig. The original is long winded. The first few pages of the story is hard to follow, but perhaps that is the point because the man has been put in a cell of some sort alone. I did read an adaption of this story like I said above in a children's book. So I got the jist of the story. However the re-telling....the re-telling is so much more scary than the original. Which I absolutely loved. It did keep me on edge. In the original the prisoner never sees his "judge" he never sees who put him in the pit. In the re-telling its a serial killer who passes judgement on people he deems sinful. 3/5 stars I wanted to read his other book 'The Fell of Dark' which is a humorous vampire book. Caleb has a great writing style that gets you hooked.
The Purloined Letter/A Drop of Stolen Ink by Emily Lloyd-Jones. Another long winded original. In the original there is a letter that needs to be found that has information that will help with an investigation. The police have other people searching for this letter. The other agency can't find the letter even though the have searched high and low in everything possible. The one in charge of the investigation is somewhat of a Holmes in that he uses deduction and obviousness to find and locate the letter in plain sight. In the re-telling we get a sci-fi story of a girl who is a hacker extraordinaire. She works for like the FBI and needs to continue to work for them until she can pay off her "debt" which she didn't ask for. Everyone in this world has a tattoo barcode that has everything about the person embedded into their skin using a special kind of ink that can not be duplicated. The theory is with this tattoo no one can have their identity stolen. Until.... our main character has to find a certain someone that did just that. I'm not usually into "heist" books, but this one was good. 3/4 stars. I've heard of this author before. I put her 'The Hearts We Sold' on my most anticipated reads list years ago because it's about demons. The Bone Houses her most recent book is about zombie like creatures. But both have mixed reviews and so I'm uncertain if I want to pick up anymore by her. I think I need to read another short story to convince myself. If you like this story with the sci-fi element... Emily did write a sci-fi series starting with Illusive that follows teens with super powers after they are vaccinated for a MK virus pandemic.
The Tell-Tale Heart/Happy Days, Sweetheart by Stephanie Kuehn. I absolutely love the original and have read it many, many times in my life. I love the author Stephanie Kuehn and own several of her books. In the original, the narrator lives with an old man who has a cataract in one eye. The narrator becomes increasingly agitated by this curious eye and ends up killing the old man. However his madness doesn't stop there and eventually when the cops come knocking he confesses, even though he wouldn't have gotten caught. I loved the re-telling. It's about a high school girl who is half Black and half Mexican and she is trying to win something in school. Every opportunity to be the captain, leader, president, chairman anything at the top so that she can get into a good college. At every turn this "wholesome" White boy wins in everything she tries out for. He doesn't even want the win. It gets hairy at the end. My favorite quote from this story..."No, his hideous heart simply wanted what every man wanted form the brash, pushy, outspoken women in their lives. For me to shut the hell up." 5/4 stars. Like I said I have read Stephanie before and I'm looking forward to reading the other books I own by her Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn When I Am Through with You by Stephanie Kuehn
The Raven/The Raven (Remix) by amanda lovelace. I love the poem The Raven. That is why I have a giant raven tattoo on my right shoulder/chest and back. So to cut it up like she did made me sad. Its like she took out all the heart of the story and left the skeleton. I guess she made her point on what the poem was about. Most of the poem is redacted. I didn't get to see how she writes. Where her mind wanders is uncertain to me. What is the symbolism of keeping her name in lowercase? 5/2 stars. This was my least favorite re-telling. Apparently she writes poetry. I'm not a huge fan of poetry. The old stuff is great, but modern poetry is pretty terrible in my opinion. So I won't be picking up anything else by amanda. Sean Barrs wrote a telling review on her Princess Saves Herself poetry book. I'd read his thoughts.
Hop Frog/Changeling by Marieke Nijkamp. I've been wanting to read this author and I'm happy I was able to in this collection. The original is about a dwarf that is belittled by the kind so much that he finally gets his revenge. In the re-telling it's a girl who has been left to the fae that is our narrator. She is "A crooked child whose back was bent, whose hands were clawed, whose tread was always too slow too stumbling, too insecure." The fae are supposed to take these broken children and raise them in a better place. It takes a long time before her fae comes for her. They seek revenge for the wrong doings that had been done to our narrator. They continue looking for broken children. I really liked this fairy-tale. 3/4 stars. Even If We Break by Marieke Nijkamp is the most recent book that I'm excited to pick up.
The Oval Portrait/The Oval Filter by Lamar Giles. Another original Poe story that I had not picked up previously. This one is about a man that stays at a chateau. In the room he stays in he finds a small oval portrait of a beautiful young woman. He can't take his eyes off the portrait. He finds a book that has the information about all the paintings through the room. When he finds the picture that he seeks he learns that the woman in the painting died right after this picture was painted. It reminded me a bit of 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'. In the re-telling we follow a football player who is just getting back into practice after an injury. He needs to be able to play because the scouts are coming and that is the only way he will be picked up for the pros. A girl that looks like Rihanna that Tariq has admired from a distance keeps popping up on his phone. Instagram pics and such. He can't understand why these pictures keep appearing on his phone, until he figures out her message. Nice ghosty story. 3/3 stars. This author has a nice handful of books out, but none of the books look interesting to me. I'm not interested in YA books with romance. He does have two thrillers that kind of look interesting, but again they are on subjects that don't interest me. I will keep an eye out on more books by him in the future and hopefully I'll find one that matches my buzzwords.
The Masque of the Red Death/Red by Hillary Monahan. Hillary Monahan wrote my favorite Bloody Mary re-telling Mary The Summoning (Bloody Mary, #1) by Hillary Monahan MARY Unleashed (Bloody Mary, #2) by Hillary Monahan and so I was looking forward to reading this latest re-telling. In the original there is a pandemic of death and a very rich man invites a bunch of his friends to stay in his mansion/castle to keep from getting sick. But then death comes for them all anyway. In the re-telling we follow a protagonist on Halloween night. She is on a mission. She is heading to Prospero's house and his seven immaculately decorated rooms. In the original we follow the POV of the guests and Prospero the rich man. In this story we get the POV from death herself. 3/3 stars. I know Hillary can do better. She did a great job of re-telling this story, but it's not as good as her fellow authors were they took the story and made it their own. This one still feels like the same story, albeit in the antagonists POV. I'm looking forward to her latest book that is still in the works. It's called The Strange Matter of Miss Havisham by Hillary Monahan there's still no cover and it was supposed to come out last year, but a re-telling of Great Expectations sounds awesome. At least that's what I'm hoping the book is going to be about.
Ligeia/Lygia by Dahlia Adler. This story I have never heard of before. In the original, there is a man that loves a woman (not sure if the woman knows the man, or if he "loves" her from afar) the woman that the man is in love with dies and he starts pinning over another woman, but can't seem to get the memory of the other woman Ligeia out of his mind. And is never fully content with the new girls attention. In the re-telling, we are still on the same kind of story. This short story is written in 2nd person and what the narrator does to the newest love interest is super creepy. Our lesbian couple is preparing to go to prom, but Roberta the new love interest has been drifting further away even though she was the one that wanted to go. The ending is looney and maybe its because our narrator is mad or just a pill popper. You decide. 4/4 stars. Dahlia is known for her romance YA lit and so I will be skipping those, however, I am interested in the other anthologies that she has been in. That Way Madness Lies by Dahlia Adler which is re-tellings of Shakespeare and At the Stroke of Midnight by Dahlia Adler which is a re-telling of fairy-tales that comes out next year.
The Fall of the House of Usher/The Fall of the Bank of Usher by Fran Wilde. I love the original which is a haunted house story with twins. A brother and sister that are stuck in the house and getting sicker and sicker. The protagonist is a friend of the brother and is called to the mansion to help. In the re-telling which I actually really liked is about twin hackers. Brother and Sister are so good at hacking they have been recruited to an "evil" corporation. They are still teens and what to escape and be on their own. They have been on the run for a few months when the brother Rik decides one more gig before they really go into hiding. He wants the motherlode and he thinks he has found it in the Bank of Usher. Mad his sister is reluctant and wants out already, but she follows her brother. When they finally arrive at the Bank, they find themselves locked in and must fight their way out. It was still creepy with it's A.I. and locked rooms. I enjoyed it. 5/4 stars.
The Murders in the Rue Morgue/The Murders in the Rue Apartelle, Boracay by Rin Chupeco. 5/5 stars. I loved the original and the re-telling which is set in the Philippines. Loved how Rin was able to do the deduction scene. Perfect! Running out of room here. I have read Rin before. Love!