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!


mrpaul 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?

Unknown 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.

Henry R. Kujawa said...

Now this is really cool!

I've been working on a MASSIVE Edgar Allan Poe blog project for almost 2 years now, attempting to compile in one place every Poe comics adaptations (and in some cases, illustrated story adaptation) I could find, in one place. Man, would I love to post this thing there in its entirety!

Right now I have stories from 1944-79, and am currently adding a ton of new ones from the late 1960s. It all starts here...

Henry R. Kujawa said...

Once again, thanks for posting this.

TODAY, I got a copy of it in the mail! The scans on the blog DON'T do the paintings justice. WOW!!!

By the way... there's 3 other books just like this, from the same publisher & author. I'm planning to go after them next.