The Facts in the Case of E. A. Poe

The Facts in the Case of E. A. Poe

3.29 (21 ratings by Goodreads)
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'The book is a bravura performance, exhibiting the virtuosity that has lit up all Sinclair's work.' - C.P. Snow, Financial Times

'This is a rich and satisfying hybrid work - part fiction and part biography. Its hold on the reader stems, at least in part, from its use of one of the most successful of literary formulae: the quest. It was this structure which gave A.J.A. Symons's The Quest for Corvo such hypnotic appeal.... Mr Sinclair's insights, credited to Pons, are those of a distinguished novelist. He intuitively perceives the relationship between Poe's life and work, anatomising it in witty and sometimes brilliant prose.' - Paul Ableman, Spectator

'Clever, macabre, spellbinding, The Facts in the Case of E. A. Poe is Andrew Sinclair's brilliant combination of biography and fiction, taken to the limits of the united genre.... [T]he result is a strangely disturbing and powerfully revealing piece of literature, one Poe himself - if sober - might have genuinely approved.' - Houston Post

'[E]xtremely clever and enjoyable, and one that Poe might himself have appreciated. Mr. Sinclair's dovetailing of Poe's life and Pons's reflections is so smoothly done, and his narrative touch so delicate, that those who know nothing of Poe's sad story are likely to be held as firmly as those familiar with it.... The ghost of Poe can have inspired few more entertaining or ingenious books.' - Julian Symons, New York Times

'Sinclair is one of our most intelligent novelists, and The Facts in the Case of E. A. Poe is a book full of wit, thought and perception - an ingeniousness of composition which the author of "The Raven" might have himself approved.' - The Scotsman

'The book (bionovel? autofictography? madnessscript?) turns out to be a thoroughly absorbing read. The use of an eccentric fictional biographer like Pons gives the "real" biographer, Sinclair, the freedom to indulge in amusingly wild flights of speculative fancy which he would no doubt have suppressed in a more conventional work.' - The Listener

Ernest Albert Pons is a Holocaust survivor with an unusual coping mechanism: he lives in the delusion that he is, in fact, Edgar Allan Poe. His psychiatrist Dupin (chosen because he shares a name with Poe's fictional detective) has a radical idea for treatment: Pons must see for himself that he is not Poe by retracing the poet's steps and writing an analysis of his life. As Pons pursues Poe from his childhood and university years in Virginia to his adult life in New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, we gradually learn the secrets of both men's pasts. But when Pons begins to suspect Dupin may be engineering an elaborate scheme to kill him, is it just another part of his delusion, or is Dupin plotting a macabre twist worthy of Poe?

A wholly unique book that manages to blend seamlessly a page-turning mystery with an important work of Poe criticism and biography, The Facts in the Case of E. A. Poe (1979) was widely acclaimed on its initial publication and returns to print in this new edition, which includes a new introduction by Andrew Sinclair.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 190 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 12mm | 204g
  • English
  • Illustrations
  • 1939140722
  • 9781939140722
  • 2,211,665

Rating details

21 ratings
3.29 out of 5 stars
5 14% (3)
4 14% (3)
3 57% (12)
2 14% (3)
1 0% (0)
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