Read by Earl Hammond, this macabre collection features three classic horror short stories, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado, and The Black Cat. All three stories have a common thread, in which a murderer confesses his evil deeds to the reader. They stories are from their perspectives, and because each succumbs to such heinous crimes, it is unclear whether they commit their acts because of motives they deem suitable, or they are completely mad. As always, Poe excels in questionable sanity.
Having previously read The Tell-Tale Heart and The Cask of Amontillado, I found Earl Hammond’s reading to be a real treat, with a wide range of tempo and dynamics. Both stories are wonderfully suspenseful, showcasing the cold calculated stealthy execution of eventual dismemberment and live burial. This was my first time, however, to experience The Black Cat, and it does not disappoint. I cringed in disgust, trembled in anticipation, and dropped my jaw in surprise, unconsciously bringing my hand to cover my gaping mouth. There’s nothing like the first time reading a Poe tale.
Recommended for all fans of horror, classics, and pretty much anyone who likes fiction.
“And I resigned myself thenceforward to despair.”