I came out of this thick door-stopper, toe-crushing tome a fan of Poe. What would Vincent Price have done without him? What would Stephen King have done without him? "The Black Cat, " "The Cask of Amontillado," The Fall of the House of Usher," "Ligeia" "The Masque of the Red Death", "The Pit and the Pendulum," "The Premature Burial" and "The Tell-Tale Heart. Spooky, creepy, and so so memorable. For that matter, not just the horror field but the mystery story owes a great debt to him. "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" and "The Purloined Letter" with Poe's great detective, C. August Dupin, predates Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes by more than four decades. (It's a debt Conan Doyle himself recognized: "Each [of Poe's detective stories] is a root from which a whole literature has developed.... Where was the detective story until Poe breathed the breath of life into it?") His only novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket is notable for being set in Antarctica and was an inspiration for a story by Jules Verne. There's also great, influential poetry in here as well: "Annabel Lee," "To Helen," "Lenore," "The Raven." One of the first great American writers and one of the earliest masters of the short story--and very, very readable and entertaining today.