Guide The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (Penguin Classics)

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The second half imagines a sort of "lost horizon" in the midst of Antarctica; instead of ice, there are temperate islands populated by devilishly affectionate natives. It's rip-roaring fun, and it slows down only in between, when Pym travels through the Galapagos Islands on the way to the South Pole. These chapters, paraphrased and plagiarized rather shamelessly from contemporary travel accounts, abound in longitudinal measurements a map will come in handy and summaries of previous real-life explorations of the South Seas. The interlude as a whole is remarkably similar to Poe's unfinished and languid novel, "The Journal of Julius Rodman," published two years later, which also purports to be an account of unexplored territory--in this case, the Rocky Mountains.

The fact that Poe had never been to either location doesn't help his fiction. But don't let these skimmable chapters put you off. Readers who enjoy such classics as "Robinson Crusoe" or "Treasure Island" will find "Arthur Gordon Pym" a thrilling contribution to the adventure genre.

ISBN 13: 9780486440934

It is also one of his more accessible works for young readers, often resembling a yarn of the high seas, without the ponderous metaphysics that bog down some of Poe's shorter pieces of fiction. And fans of science fiction, fantasy, and horror will be interested in the novel's obvious influence on later writers such as Jules Verne who even wrote a largely forgotten sequel, "The Sphinx of the Ice Fields" and, of course, H.

Lovecraft most notably his story "At the Mountains of Madness". The novel is a series of amazing adventures that happen to the young Pym. Pym hides in a casket-like box in a ship, along with a rotten ham and several bottles of liquor and a cask of wine.

The Narrative Of Arthur Gordon Pym Of Nantucket

While trapped under the deck, Pym finds that his dog has also joined him in his misadventure. The book takes you through Pym's experiences of being trapped under deck without food or water. He also experiences a mutiny where a faction of the crew take over the ship and kill many of the other crew members before putting the captain and a few honest sailors into a small boat with now paddles or compass.

Pym, his friend the Captain's son, and a super strong sailor who participated in the mutiny stick together for survival sake, especially around the African blood thirsty cook who beheads other sailors. The sailor who mentors Pym is half black and half white, which Poe calls a 'hybrid'.

They undergo a range of adventures with a death ship full of corpses, and storms so violent that the ship is reduced to ruins. They are reduced to cannibalism and draw straws to determine who will be dinner.


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They find and eat a dead polar bear. They pass many icebergs until the water becomes warm and tropical as they get near Antarctica. They find a tropical island full of black men who become very treacherous to our heroes. They escape the island and get caught in a giant whirlpool that is going into the center of the earth, where they see a gigantic white glowing figure. Then Poe pulls a fast one on us and tells us that the final 3 chapters of Pym's narrative have been lost and unfortunately young Pym has recently died.

ISBN 10: 0140437487

What do we make of this crazy tale? This novel influenced Borges, Melville, and Jules Verne. Published in , this rousing sea adventure follows New England boy, Pym, who stows away on a whaling ship with its captain's son, Augustus. The two boys repeatedly find themselves on the brink of death or discovery and witness many terrifying events, including mutiny, cannibalism, and frantic pursuits.

Poe imbued this deliberately popular tale with such allegorical richness, biblical imagery, and psychological insights that the tale has come to influence writers as various as Melville, James, Verne and Nabokov. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. Readers who enjoy such classics as "Robinson Crusoe" or "Treasure Island" will find "Arthur Gordon Pym" a thrilling contribution to the adventure genre. It is also one of his more accessible works for young readers, often resembling a yarn of the high seas, without the ponderous metaphysics that bog down some of Poe's shorter pieces of fiction.

And fans of science fiction, fantasy, and horror will be interested in the novel's obvious influence on later writers such as Jules Verne who even wrote a largely forgotten sequel, "The Sphinx of the Ice Fields" and, of course, H. Lovecraft most notably his story "At the Mountains of Madness". The novel is a series of amazing adventures that happen to the young Pym.

Scene from E.A. Poe´s "Arthur Gordon Pym"

Pym hides in a casket-like box in a ship, along with a rotten ham and several bottles of liquor and a cask of wine. While trapped under the deck, Pym finds that his dog has also joined him in his misadventure.

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The book takes you through Pym's experiences of being trapped under deck without food or water. He also experiences a mutiny where a faction of the crew take over the ship and kill many of the other crew members before putting the captain and a few honest sailors into a small boat with now paddles or compass. Pym, his friend the Captain's son, and a super strong sailor who participated in the mutiny stick together for survival sake, especially around the African blood thirsty cook who beheads other sailors. The sailor who mentors Pym is half black and half white, which Poe calls a 'hybrid'.

They undergo a range of adventures with a death ship full of corpses, and storms so violent that the ship is reduced to ruins. They are reduced to cannibalism and draw straws to determine who will be dinner.

They find and eat a dead polar bear. They pass many icebergs until the water becomes warm and tropical as they get near Antarctica. They find a tropical island full of black men who become very treacherous to our heroes. They escape the island and get caught in a giant whirlpool that is going into the center of the earth, where they see a gigantic white glowing figure.

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Then Poe pulls a fast one on us and tells us that the final 3 chapters of Pym's narrative have been lost and unfortunately young Pym has recently died. What do we make of this crazy tale? This novel influenced Borges, Melville, and Jules Verne. Yet it is an odd novel, with an abrupt and truncated ending. In some ways it is a series of short stories strung together, each short story meant to give impressions of horror and adventure. Yet, I could not get over a distinct impression that Poe had written himself into a corner with no escape after all what can possibly come after going into the center of the earth on a whirlpool at the south pole and seeing God or a giant angel?


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At times, Poe's descriptions of horror are extremely beautiful and masterly. The ghost ship description is especially well done. At other times he develops a careful plot of intrigue and betrayal.