The Cask of Amontillado
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In this 1846 story by Edgar Allen Poe, we travel back in time to an Italian city in the eighteenth century. Fortunato and Montresor have had a long friendship, but as Poe’s tale begins, Fortunato has wronged his friend and the indignant Montresor is determined to see the other man dead. The only unresolved matter in Montresor’s mind is how to carry out his planned revenge. At last, he comes up with a cunning trap, inviting the unsuspecting Fortunato to visit his house to taste a bottle of rare wine—a variety known as Amontillado. Fortunato never suspects that Montresor means him any harm until it is too late. A ruined friendship, a sinister plot, and a terrifying crime all make for an unforgettable story from one of the greatest masters of horror.
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Soon after his birth in Boston, Massachusetts, Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849) lost both of his parents. The young Poe went to live with a couple from Virginia, where he went to school and eventually to college. Poe only briefly attended university before dropping out to embark on a short-lived stint in the military. While still quite young, Poe published his first book of poems, Tamerlane, and discovered that in writing, he had found direction for his life. Poe began to produce short stories and non-fiction prose for various publications in New York, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. Over the years, his work enjoyed increasing popularity. In the 1830s, Poe wrote many of his most famous works, including some of the very first examples of detective fiction, a genre that he is credited with inventing. His gothic tales of murder and mystery, among them The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, The Tell-Tale Heart, and The Masque of the Red Death, thrilled readers in America and Europe. Poe’s poetry was also well received in his lifetime, and he published what is perhaps his most famous poem, The Raven, in 1845. Almost as if it was a strange tale of his own making, Poe’s untimely death continues to be the subject of much speculation to this day. In the middle of the night in October of 1849, Poe was found wandering the streets of Baltimore in a delirious and weakened state. Wearing clothes that did not belong to him and calling out to an unidentified person named “Reynolds,” Poe died in a Baltimore hospital a few days later. Poe’s legend lives on today, with readers all over the world delighting in his enigmatic and haunting tales and devoted fans regularly paying their respects at his gravesite in Baltimore.Back to top
Opening Lines (Experimental)
THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO.
THE thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged; this was a ...
Reviewed by mzimmerm on Apr 9, 2012
Poe at his finest!
This story is the epitome of Edgar Allan Poe - concise, straight forward and absolutely terrifying.
Reviewed by books on Dec 31, 2008
My first Edgar Allen Poe read and although it did not much endear me to his macabre style, which I have heard much of, I was indeed impressed. Not so wholly impressed by it though, to pursue Poe.
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Ratings for 'The Cask of Amontillado' by Poe, Edgar Allan