Saturday, February 19, 2011

Edgar Allan Poe's The Pit and the Pendulum (1982, Troll Associates)

Edgar Allan Poe's short story The Pit and the Pendulum seems an unlikely candidate for adaptation as a picture book for children.

After all, it lacks the psychological or supernatural elements of some of Poe's other popular works, and is little more than a first-person account of imprisonment and torture, as told by an anonymous narrator, who is serving punishment for crimes that are never revealed, as decreed by a panel of judges whose identity and authority is never explained.

This 32 page book, with wonderfully grim illustrations by Monroe Eisenberg (and with Poe's text adapted by David E. Cutts), serves as a you-are-there miserable experience for young people. Check it out!


paul said...

a fine example of the dangers of literature

i think 90% of the stuff they made us read in school involved torture, murder, suicide, etc.

and we wonder why teenagers can get a little wacky +/or violent?

Pam Thompson said...

I read this exact book in 3rd grade, in school. Why was this in my elementary school library? I don't know, but I'm convinced that in some small way, it traumatized me for life, lol.