Friday, May 30, 2014

Steampunk Poe: Mini-Review

Steampunk Poe is a sumptuous collection of stories and poems by Edgar Allan Poe effectively illustrated by Zdenko Basic and Manuel Numberac with images influenced by steampunk. This edition showcases a variety of Poe stories--from the well-known "Murders in the Rue Morgue" to the more rarely anthologized "The Spectacles" and "The Balloon Hoax" and ornaments each one with steampunk-inspired artwork featuring elaborate clockwork aviation, cyborg-like evil eyes (a la "The Tell-Tale Heart"), truly phantasmagorical spectres of the Red Death and Roderick Usher's sister, and so much more.

Poe may have written long before steampunk became a major force in fiction, but never has a classic author's work been so perfectly fitted for a steampunk makeover. The illustrations provide a haunting new twist to the grandmaster of mystery and the bizarre. My favorites include the illustrations for "The Masque of the Red Death" and "The Fall of the House of Usher." It was also refreshing to read new-to-me stories: "The Spectacles" and "The Balloon Hoax." My only complaint--and the reason for four stars and not five--is that there are too few illustrations. Having gone to the trouble to provide us with an entirely new slant on Poe's work, I would have hoped for more examples of that view.  ★★★

1 comment:

fredamans said...

I need this in my life. Love shorts and love Poe! Great review!