atcn x bookclub

To get things rolling we decided to start with a classic short story. What better way than with Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart", as a study into paranoia the story illuminates the psychological contradictions of a murderer's profile, maybe he just smoked too much weed and went crazy... but it was written in 1843, so thats probably not the case... it's definitely an oldie, but does it deserve its classic status? The popularity of short stories is ever declining, the genre, of which Poe was master, has been relegated by the epic novel. But what's not to love about a story you can read in 20 minutes? Call me the lazy literature buff...

"The Tell-Tale Heart" - read it in full here

Enjoyable read?

Absolute crap?

let us know...

Give us your thoughts and discuss...



Anonymous said...

Cant believe the bookclub is really happening!


Ginger Kid said...

I thought the short story was slightly dull, however being written in 1843 was it? I think it's amazing how it still is quite relevant today in 2008, and although flat and a bit boring is readable. Felt wierd reading a book on the internet though, sort of pervy. Like Specks with a camera.


Anonymous said...

sooo, here goes.
correct me if the interpretation is wrong.

The irrational fear that the narrator has for the old mans eye, makes him kill him. irrationality is a timeless and still relevant theme. Its the whole insanity vs sanity and good vs evil.

Why do people kill other people at the end of the day? thankfully most of us will never understand the reasons. the story is attempting to explore some of them, right?

Kinda alright story considering it is so old.

dope idea, im liking this. i stopped reading when teachers stopped making me, lol.

SPECKS said...

don't feel too pervy Ginger Kid, it was technically a story and not a book. But i know its confusing, we did call it book club after all.

anon, totally agree with most of what you said, especially about irrational fear and reasons for taking another persons life...

its all a bit deep really. lol

bafic said...

thanks speck this will help me i`ll read it later..right now im writing a short story for my english GCSE!!

Booga said...

Timeless, indeed. I remember reading this in school. We watched a short film along with it. I hated the sound of the beating heart for a year or two after that- really creeped me out. It's a similar feeling I get to watching an episode of Dexter.
It's interesting, the old man merely had a cataract. The main character didn't know that, he simply saw the eye as a mark of evil. Although, being a disembodying psycho isn't something that most people relate to, the madmans shortsightedness should be. Everyday, people draw (often dangerous) conclusions, not bothering to think critically, further analyze. Case in point Bush and all his sheeples he's taken on a crazy, genocidal, 8-year ride.
Also, the heightened sensory perceptions that come along with paranoia are pretty relatable. Whether you've cheated on a test, significant other, boosted something, or snuck a cookie when you were little, I'm sure you've witnessed that feeling.
I'm hype that the bookclub has truly kicked off!

Booga said...

Brief discussion. Where did the 150 bajillion ppl all stoked about this go?

SPECKS said...

hold faith booga... its only monday morning.

its only me said...

loved it! the whole sanity vs insanity thing!

Love that you guys are encouraging people to read!

@ booga
thanks for the recommendations.

yeahisaidit said...

*coughs* ahem:

Poe interestingly juxtaposes the voice of the narrator who is ensuring the reader knows he is sane, with the the reality that he is clearly not. It is in telling the story that Poe reveals the clear mental instability that lies within the character, the heart of the reader and, in truth, wider society as a whole.

Poe was clearly inspired by evil, and in particular motiveless ‘crimes’. His apparent obsession with the mechanisms of the human mind allow us to explore many ideas in a way that many writers could not express, such as the notion that some aspects of human behaviour are without reason- for example the narrator killed the elderly man simply because he couldn’t stand the look of his eye.

Poe’s works are a bit too macabre for a dainty little flower such as myself but this is really good choice Specks-it’s really interesting how relevant these messages and themes are in the current climate.

ATCN is officially high-brow. Not your average blog eh?

Anonymous said...

thoughts...quick and simple.

never read Poe before. I like darker stories. It was good.

i'll be down for more.

freya said...


This is an absolute classic. You've got to love a bit of Poe. As mentioned still very relevant today AND an enjoyable read.

What's next?

Phoebe said...

Sorry for my late contribution to this thread- slightly poor performance considering I suggested this in the first place!

As I mentioned before, not too hot on the genre but there's definitely something to be said for a quick read, particularly one from the king of the short story himself.

I've never really read much else BY Poe, but I've always been pretty intrigued by him in his own right. Strange guy, veeeery fucked up life from the sounds of things:

"Poe suffered from bouts of depression and madness, and he attempted suicide in 1848. In September the following year he disappeared for three days after a drink at a birthday party and on his way to visit his new fiancée in Richmond. He turned up in a delirious condition in Baltimore gutter and died on October 7, 1849."


yeahisaidit said...


the relevance to today continues, that biog could read the same for Amy Winehouse or Pete Doherty. Apart from the death bit, but even that may not be that untrue (sniff, sniff)

Like the sound of that drink though, i could do with a few days off...

er, if there are any kids reading, drugs are stoopid, and er, just say no, etc etc.

NO-BIZZI said...

LOL @ yeah i said it!

yeahisaidit said...


Booga said...

lmao! -yeahisaidit- I'm with you. shit, I'll take a double, straight up!

yeahisaidit said...

ok, so is this going regular then?

quick, someone make a suggestion before I start doing some work.