Saturday, 7 July 2018

Book #50

The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe


In The Murders in the Rue Morgue, all of Paris is in shock following the ghastly murder of two women—but with all witnesses claiming to have heard the suspect speak a different language, the police are stumped. When Dupin finds a suspicious hair at the crime scene, and places an advert in the newspaper asking if anyone has lost an "Ourang-Outang," things take an unexpected turn.

Having already dabbled in the arts of Poe’s more macabre and supernatural works, I was excited to meet Auguste Dupin. I jumped in full of adrenaline, utterly unprepared for the apathy which was waiting for me.

My edition contained The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Mystery of Marie Roget, and The Purloined Letter. I finished the first, almost managed to finish the second, and completely abandoned the third.

As a detective who inspired the creation of Sherlock Holmes, Dupin is the dullest sleuth I have ever come across. Totally beige, completely clinical, and a man who uses twenty words when one will do, he effortlessly turns interesting and complex crimes into affairs the reader wishes they’d never got themselves into in the first place. I didn’t care about the culprit; I only cared about reaching the final page, which, in the end, I couldn’t even bring myself to do.

The cases are explained and solved mainly using Dupin’s long and bothersome monologues. There are no sudden clues, no red herrings, no character developments, nothing whatsoever which makes a good detective novel engaging. I understand Poe was one of the trailblazers in this genre, but it seems the idea has been picked up and improved since.

I don’t know if I’ve spoiled myself by finishing The Moonstone and moving immediately on to another detective story, but Poe’s mysteries pale in comparison to those of Collins and Doyle.

And, finally - a fucking monkey? Come on, man.

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