1.03. The Pit and the Pendulum & Other Macabre Tales

The Pit and the Pendulum & Other Macabre Tales

Released August 2010

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‘Edgar Allan Poe is that most classical of American writers – a writer more peculiarly attuned to our new century's heartbeat than he ever was to his own’ – Lou Reed

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-49) was an American poet, writer, editor and literary critic. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe’s full-blooded Gothic style influenced generations of writers, filmmakers and musicians, from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Charles Baudelaire to Roger Corman and Lou Reed.

The five tales collected here range from the famous to the obscure, but each displays Poe's unique sense of the macabre and his love for the baroque. A victim of the Inquisition finds himself in a nightmarish torture chamber, a castle is besieged by plague, a man becomes obsessed by the evil eye of his fellow lodger, a mesmerist suspends a man's life at the point of death and a jester takes his revenge on his cruel employers.

The Pit And The Pendulum
The Masque Of The Red Death
The Tell-Tale Heart
The Facts In The Case Of M. Valdemar

'Sick Unto Death', 'Prospero's Masque' and 'My Last Jest' (three incidental music suites by Howard Carter)


Written By: Edgar Allan Poe
Directed By: Barnaby Edwards


Read by David Soul