The Fall of the House of Usher

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The Fall of the House of Usher is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe and first published in 1839. In it, the narrator has been requested to meet his boyhood friend, Roderick Usher. Usher has inherited his family's estate, and lives there with his sister. Both have fallen ill with a sort strange depression and malaise, and Usher believes seeing his old friend will cheer him up, but things become far worse.

Status

I do not own this book, but I have read it and listened to an audio book recording.

Review

Good

  • I found it interesting how many of the symptoms of Roderick Usher, though considered rare and unusual at the time, are now well documented by psychologists. Hyperesthesia, anxiety, and depression come readily to mind.
  • The story is a pioneer of the haunted house and buried alive tropes.
  • The ending is a bit over-the-top and unexpected.

Bad

  • In general, I found the story to be a bit dull and slow-moving.
  • Roderick Usher is a sissy. I keep wanting the narrator to say to him, "suck it up buttercup."
  • Despite being a short story, the word "countenance" is used eight times.

Ugly

  • Nothing.

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