The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket

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"The Raven" and "The Pit and the Pendulum" so dominate our recollection of Poe that we forget his versatility. For example, THE NARRATIVE OF A. GORDON PYM.

Poe's story is based on the actual experiences of J.N. Reynolds, whose book Poe had reviewed. The narrative is about a mutiny aboard the American brig, Grampus, bound for the South Seas. It has everything--butchery, shipwreck, famine, vengeance. More than a century after its publication it continues to earn high critical marks.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140437485
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/01/1999
Series: Penguin Classics Series
Edition description: Revised ed.
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 209,728
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

The late Frederick S. Frank was Professor Emeritus of English at Allegheny College. He published widely on Gothic literature and was the editor of the Broadview Edition of Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto and The Mysterious Mother.

Diane Long Hoeveler is Professor of English at Marquette University.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter I

Excerpted from "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket"
by .
Copyright © 1999 Edgar Allan Poe.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Edgar Allan Poe: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket

Appendix A: Sources for the Novel

  1. From R. Thomas, Remarkable Shipwrecks, A Collection of Interesting Accounts of Naval Disasters (1813)
  2. From John Cleves Symmes, Symzonia: A Voyage of Discovery by Captain Adam Seaborn (1820)
  3. From [James McBride], Symmes’s Theory of the Concentric Spheres (1826)
  4. From Jane Porter, Sir Edward Seaward’s Narrative of His Shipwreck (1831)
  5. From Archibald Duncan, The Mariner’s Chronicle (1804–05)
  6. From Jeremiah N. Reynolds, The Voyage of the Potomac (1834)

Appendix B: Contemporary Reviews

  1. From The New-Yorker (1 August 1838)
  2. From The New-York Mirror (11 August 1838)
  3. From Albion (18 August 1838)
  4. From Knickerbocker Magazine (August 1838)
  5. From Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine (September 1838)
  6. From Family Magazine (1838)
  7. From The Torch (13 October 1838)
  8. From The Spectator (27 October 1838)
  9. From The Monthly Review (October 1838)

Appendix C: Other Writers’ Responses to Pym

  1. From Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851) and Israel Potter:His Fifty Years of Exile (1855)
    1. From “The Mast-Head,” Chapter 35 of Moby-Dick
    2. From “The Whiteness of the Whale,” Chapter 42 of Moby-Dick
    3. From “Chapter 12. Israel Returns to the Squire’s Abode—His Adventures There,” in Israel Potter: His Fifty Years of Exile
  2. From Charles Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du mal (1857)
    1. “La Géante”
    2. “A Voyage to Cythera”
    3. “Travel”
  3. From Jules Verne, Le Sphinx des glaces (1897)
  4. From Henry James, The Golden Bowl (1904)

Select Bibliography

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The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a Poe masterpiece. This is a classic of American literature. Melville even plagiarized parts of it as well as Mocha Dick by Jeremiah Reynolds. This is Edgar Allan Poe at his best. There is psychological terror here as one person is literally frightened to death. And the cannibalism scene is horrific. Near the end, the novel morphs into science fiction as Poe pushes the envelope as few writers have, before or since. You will not be disappointed. This is Poe at his absolute best, pushing the barriers and boundaries of literature. Jules Verne even wrote a sequel called An Antarctic Mystery. This book is highly recommended. This book is way ahead of its time. It is a masterpiece that needs to be read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank you very much Edgar Allan Poe!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldnt get past page 20. Very boring, writing was stilted and hard to understand. Extremely boring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Poe is one of my favorite authors and having read many of his stories, I did not know he had written a full length novel. And in Poe form the imagery is great and the ending is mind-blowing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Poe was a masterful short story writer, and a poet. However, when the writing got longer and more convoluted, he lost focus and was less than capable of maintaining his focus. This is his only novel...and for good reason!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This short novel reads very slowly and is somewhat disjointed. I found Poe spending a lot of time describing the Naval terminology and navigational language than diving into the psyche of the characters. This ends abruptly and is ultimately disappointing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great tale of supernaturel and adventure. Pym is a stowaway who finds a lost world in the pole.
amydross on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although too rough, inconsistent, and episodic to really work as a novel, there are some truly chilling images and fascinating scenarios.
Midnightdreary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is "Moby-Dick" decades before "Moby-Dick." What begins as a jaunty sea adventure tale takes a turn for a somewhat more frightening struggle at sea. Interspersed are descriptions of maritime history, the geography of islands, flora and fauna, and other over-the-top detailed "true" accounts which are not always accurate. As the novel progresses, it gets less and less realistic despite these pseudo-realistic, pseudo-scientific soliloquies. Eventually, the novel descends to a point of senselessness, fantastic beyond reason, symbolically deep beyond comprehension, and confusing beyond serious analysis. And that's the point, folks. Sometimes life doesn't have a happy ending, nor does it end successfully wrapped up with a cute bow tied on top. "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket" is a fun, confusing, hectic, strange book of unrecognized genius.One comment on here notes it wasn't very scary. I'd note that this book was not meant to be in the horror genre.
elviomedeiros on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Interesting book. A narrative on an expedition to the southern seas. Despite being the work of E.A Poe and a potentially good story, the book is childish at times and has got too many loose ends. Hope the continuation by Jules Verne is better.
clong on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Poe never ceases to fascinate. His only novel starts like a realistic narrative of life at sea, then turns into a horrific story of survival, and then morphs into a fantasy about aboriginal island tribes and an imaginary trip to a completely-divorced-from-reality version of the south pole. Quite different from the short stories and poems by which he is known, but still an intriguing read.
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The story alternates between short interesting parts and longer boring parts. I skipped around some and did not even finish it. Still Poe short stories are great.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Got bored reading this. Could not stand it any more to finish
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NOOKfile More than 1 year ago
It's great that this classic Poe novel is offered as a free NOOK Book, but this version lacks the last page of the published novel. A definite jaw-dropping, "What!" without that ending (although to be honest, it's not much better with it ... it's almost as if Poe got tired of writing the story and wanted a way out). Still, cheers, this novel was the inspiration for Felix J. Palma's upcoming "The Map of the Sky," and there's a bonus sample of that new novel at the end of the Poe story.
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