Cover Image: A Mystery of Mysteries

A Mystery of Mysteries

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I absolutely loved this book. I’ve read many books about Poe and his death and this one basically takes all of them, coordinates the multiple versions of events and relays them to the reader in a very logical and coherent fashion. The reader doesn’t feel as if they are being told what the ‘truth’ is (as we’ll never really know) but presents the options with discussions of the strength of each and allows the reader to form their own opinion of what happened. I want to read more by this author.

Was this review helpful?

I learned more about EAP than I had known before. Neatly written and nice flow of information that is not overwhelming.

Was this review helpful?

Another biography of Edgar A. Poe as told through the various theories of his strange death. The book claims to offer new insight into Poe's death, but that horse has been beaten to death. The author also offers his own thoughts on Poe's life.

Was this review helpful?

"A Mystery of Mysteries: The Death and Life of Edgar Allan Poe" gives a unique look at the author many of us have come to know through his works. Dawidziak did a masterful job of exploring the life of this poet. I happen to be a huge fan of Author Biographies and this one is top-notch.

Was this review helpful?

I loved this book! Simply because it gave Poe a chance to tell his story. Poor guy it’s apparent how he was his own worst enemy. And the drinking! Good lord! He was destined to die young poor and ill. If anyone knew him well enough 1. They should be ashamed of themselves for not helping and supporting him, or did they not do that sort of thing for friends back in the day? And 2. Tippling never fixes anything and I cannot imagine what works we would have now had he not that genetic malady. I think that’s the more unfortunate fact because just about everything he wrote is now unquestionably a masterpiece.
This book did a great job of staying unbiased. Yet we still witness the self-destruction beginning to ending.

Was this review helpful?

A Mystery of Mysteries is a brilliant biography of Edgar Allan Poe that examines the renowned author’s life through the prism of his mysterious death and its many possible causes.

Thank you to St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read and review a gifted copy of this book. This in no way affects my review, all opinions are my own.

I was very intrigued by this book. I, like many others, love Poe's writing and have always wondered about the man behind our world's best horror stories. This book gives a unique spin to a biography in that it flips back and forth between information on Poe's life and informed speculations on his death. I definitely learned a lot from this book and appreciate the new light it cast on Poe as a person, and how the caricaturized exaggeration of him as this gothic and sullen man doesn't do justice to who he really was during his lifetime.

I will say this book is a bit repetitive in its ruminations on Poe's death and that it could've been significantly shorter. I also don't think the chapters flowed too well as there was a lot of hopping around timelines that didn't make sense to me. So while I can appreciate all of the research that went into this book, I think it could've benefitted from more finetuning in its content.

Was this review helpful?

As stated in the title, this book takes a look at both the life of Edgar Allan Poe and the mysteriousness surrounding his sudden death. The chapters alternate between examining his life and how our modern image of him is mainly wrong and the days leading up to his death and some of the possible causes.

While very well researched, I don't think this book really added anything new to the discussion about Poe that hasn't already been written in the over 150 years since his death. A lot of the writing was super dry as well, and I found some parts hard to get through. Overall, a good book if you know absolutely nothing about Poe.

Was this review helpful?

I had a lot of fun with this book. Edgar Allan Poe was one of those authors that I really enjoyed reading growing up and I never minded when we had to do assignments based on his work in English classes. Being able to learn more about such an interesting and complicated man was great. It was really up my alley and explained things very well. I recommend this for anyone who has a passing knowledge of Poe and wants to know more.

Was this review helpful?

I had problems with this book, i just could not read it. I ended up listening to it instead. I think the main issue for me me was that it was repetitive. There were different parts but each part talked about things from the previous parts. I also had a really hard time keeping timelines straight because of this.
*I received this book as an Advanced Reader's Copy (ARC) through NetGalley. I received this copy free in exchange for my honest review.*

Was this review helpful?

I really love Edgar Allan Poe so I found the book to be really interesting, but I did know a lot of the information already so it became a bit boring and slow at times. It was obviously well researched and you can tell the author put a lot of work into it. Would recommend for anyone who likes historical nonfiction.

Was this review helpful?

I'm a Poe fiend so this is the kind of book that's designed for me, lol. I enjoyed the history, the mystery, the weirdness. It was a nonfiction that I could easily get into, which is usually hard for me.

Was this review helpful?

I loved this book about Poe. Reading it, I actually realized that much of what I thought I knew about EAP was not always correct. Dawidziak is an excellent writer and this is a compelling read for fans of Poe, literary bios, or just good books.

Was this review helpful?

Title: A Mystery of Mysteries: The Death and Life of Edgar Allan Poe
Author: Mark Dawidziak
Release Date: February 14th, 2023
Page Count: 283
Format: Netgalley/Audiobook
Start Date: March 27th, 2023
Finish Date: March 29th, 2023

Rating: 4 Stars

Review:

The title says it all. This book is all about the many possibilities of how Edgar Allen Poe died. It also talks about his life and his struggles. I wasn't aware that he was an alcoholic in this book. I actually learned a lot about him because of this book. Well, the book and the research that the book inspired me to do. I did enjoy it. I would also like to have my mother read this book as well. I think she'd really enjoy it. I think a few people who are in my life would enjoy it. It did leave me with many questions though. I think that was the point of the book though.

Was this review helpful?

I’ve been a fan of Edgar Allan Poe since I was young and I still own a complete collection of his works. The Tell-Tale Heart still haunts me. I was so excited to have an opportunity to read this biography of his life weaved with discussion and hypotheses of his mysterious death. This book is really fascinating and well-written and researched. Highly recommend to all Poe fans. Thank you so much to SMP, the author, and NetGalley for the ARC!

Was this review helpful?

DNF - Sadly I found this book extremely boring. It seems well researched and I’m sure if you’re a die-hard fan of Poe, you might love it. I am intrigued by Poe’s death but not enough to keep reading this book. Maybe I’ll just check out Reddit instead.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book for review. This did not affect my review.

So I have been reading this for several months and finally finished it. I am very interested in Poe and have read many books about him and watched many documentaries about him. This book is very heavily researched to the point of boredom at time. I already knew many of the facts presented, but did learn some new pieces of information. I don't see myself recommending this to anyone. I am wondering if this as a TV show would be better.

Was this review helpful?

I read quite a bit of nonfiction , including my fair share of biographies and what I have noticed over the years is that the majority of them are about artists and writers. Their lives and their art fascinates me. One of my earliest literary influences was Edgar Allan Poe and I’m convinced he is responsible for my interest in all things macabre. An intriguing individual who died under mysterious circumstances that continue to be examined and debated, this biography looks at Poe’s life and the various possibilities of the cause of his untimely demise.

I enjoyed this book. Dawidziak delivers a well researched biography that provides interesting insight into Poe’s life. He also does a good job of connecting how the way
he lived may have led to his death. What this book doesn’t do is provide a clear and definitive answer. Several possible scenarios are examined and their plausibility weighed. Ultimately, the author leaves it up to the reader to draw their own conclusions to this great mystery of mysteries. If you are a Poe fan I recommend this interesting examination of his life and death. Thank you to @netgalley for an arc of this book.

Was this review helpful?

I’m a sucker for everything Edgar Allan Poe and when I saw this I had to read it. There where many points that where brought up that was new I formation for me while other where just confusing, there was a back and forth in his life that it was a bit hard to keep track off. It was an interesting read that’s for sure. I just had a bit of a hard time putting everything together.

Was this review helpful?

In the book, A Mystery of Mysteries: The Death and Life of Edgar Allan Poe, author Mark Dawidziak examines the renowned author’s life through the prism of his mysterious death at age 40 and its many possible causes. There have been so many speculations on how Poe died but what is the truth? Will we ever find out? Dawidziak really digs deep into Poe's life and I learned so much that I didn't know about Poe and his life.

If you're a fan of Edgar Allan Poe, this is a definite must-read!

Was this review helpful?

What happened to Edgar Allan Poe in his last days is one of those literary mysteries that will continue to haunt and perplex anyone who comes upon it, and this book provides some of the explanations that have been offered but doesn't arrive at any conclusion that will give the question any more clarity. It's a well researched biography of Poe, although it is a bit bogged down in details in some parts and takes some persevering.

Was this review helpful?