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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » The Pale Blue Eye: A Novel » User review

Blue eyed girl

  • Oct 26, 2009
Rating:
+5
As 2009 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe, it's fitting that the interests of several novelists have turned to him. Louis Bayard chose to depict Poe in a little known segment of his life, his tenure as a cadet at West Point. The mystery revolves around the death by hanging of one of Poe's classmates. Retired NYC detective Gus Landor is brought in by the Superintendent to solve the crime, and he enlists the aid of silver-tongued Cadet Poe as his inside informer. As the story unfolds, other murders occur, family secrets emerge, secret crypts are discovered, and it is not until the final chapter that it becomes apparent that we have actually been reading a mystery within a mystery, one that Poe must solve himself. Author Bayard is a gifted writer, equally adept at creating plot, character, and atmosphere; in this case, the ambience is as Gothic as one of Poe's own. The Pale Blue Eye is a tour de force, not to be missed by readers who enjoy nothing better than a well crafted, engrossing mystery.
Blue eyed girl

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More The Pale Blue Eye: A Novel reviews
Quick Tip by . December 30, 2010
A richly complex gothic mystery, a psychological thriller, a compelling period historical fiction, THE PALE BLUE EYE is a fictionalized re-creation of a brief segment of the life of West Point Academy cadet, horror and sci-fi author Edgar Allan Poe, as a young man in 1830.
review by . October 19, 2009
In this interesting but somewhat glacially paced fiction (for much of the tale anyway), Louis Bayard does a yeoman's job of recreating the atmosphere and feel of early 19th century America, right down to its characteristic literary voice. Yet the mystery, itself, is peculiar for most of the way through, being not highly mysterious as one can pretty much guess who the suspicions of retired New York constable Augustus Landor will light on well before they light. More, too much of the tale is taken …
Quick Tip by . June 10, 2010
Interesting mystery enhanced by a humanized Edgar Allen Poe character. Poe makes the book.
review by . December 17, 2009
In "Mr Timothy", Louis Bayard penned an exceptional debut novel that imagined the life of one of Dickens' best known characters, Tiny Tim. His second novel, "The Pale Blue Eye" is a worthy successor - a literary masterwork that easily vaults over the high bar of expectations created by the phenomenal success of "Mr Timothy".       "The Pale Blue Eye", at once a richly complex gothic mystery, a psychological thriller and compelling period …
review by . March 18, 2009
The Pale Blue Eye
    When Gus Landor, a retired constable, is called to West Point to investigate a gruesome crime, he has no idea how his life will be affected by those he meets and the strange turn of events that send an unusual crime into the realm of the bizarre. A young cadet is found hanging, begging the question of suicide because Leroy Fry's legs are still touching the ground in spite of the rope around his neck. To make matters worse, the body is stolen before it can be attended, found …
review by . July 20, 2007
Most Poe fans are aware that the poet spent a short time at West Point, before being court-martialed and dismissed. This author's plot takes place during that brief time, and involves Poe in helping a retired New York City detective to solve one murder, which eventually evolves into two. The writing is crisp and the plot moves along quickly. The author has captured as well as possible the unusual nature of Poe, and all of the other main figures are extremely well-drawn. This is an exciting mystery, …
About the reviewer
Linda ()
Ranked #53
After 21 years as a school psychologist, I now work part-time at two local historical museums, giving tours and teaching special programs. This leaves me more time to enjoy my little grandchildren, and … more
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Starred Review.Bayard followsMr. Timothy(2003), which brilliantly imagined the adult life of Dickens's Tiny Tim, with another tour-de-force, an intense and gripping novel set during Edgar Allan Poe's brief time as a West Point cadet. In 1830, retired New York City detective Gus Landor is living a quiet life at his Hudson Valley cottage, tormented by an unspecified personal sorrow, when Superintendent Thayer summons him to West Point to investigate the hanging and subsequent mutilation of a cadet. Poe aids Landor by serving as an inside source into the closed world of the academy, though Poe's personal involvement with a suspect's sister complicates their work. But the pair find themselves helpless to prevent further outrages; the removal of the victims' hearts suggests that a satanic cult might be at work. This beautifully crafted thriller stands head and shoulders above other recent efforts to fictionalize Poe.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.--This text refers to theHardcoveredition.
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Details

ISBN-10: 0060733977
ISBN-13: 978-0060733971
Author: Louis Bayard
Publisher: HarperCollins (May 23, 2006)

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"Murder at West Point"
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