R11. The Black Cat by Robert Poe [classic]

Here is a very timely A.V. Club article discussing some of the points that came up last week. I just read it last night, but I really wish I'd seen it when it was first posted.

I'm going to be taking a short break from reviewing the romnovs. This isn't because I feel that I'm doing anything wrong, just because a) they mostly aren't much fun to read, and b) I'm trying to figure out how to continue the project in a way that makes me comfortable with the fact that some author might see what I've said about his or her book(s). The "R" in the romnov numbering is going to stand for "Random" for a little while. However, because I don't have any reviews of other books prepared, and haven't read anything recently enough to do a good review of it, I'm going to post some "classic" reviews that I originally wrote for my old angelfire website. None of these was written more recently than 2006. Some of them are less than generous, however since they've already been on the internet, I feel less weird posting them than I would posting a new romnov review (at the moment, anyway). And they're all pretty horrible. Better than nothing, though, right? -M.R.

The Black CatContext: None available, really. To this day I'll read anything that catches my eye, but I couldn't tell you why this one did, except that I truly do like E.A. Poe.

Year Published: 1998
Pages: 278

I am not going to say that this book was all bad. But I am going to say that Robert Poe isn't the greatest writer in the entire world. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

When you write, you don't want the reader to be aware that they are reading. You want them to be completely and totally unaware of that fact. So, Mr. Poe manages this most of the time, but then every once in a while, he'll slip some strangeness into the narrative or dialogue that brings you back to reality with an unpleasant jolt.

As far as the plot was considered, it was actually pretty good. It was kind of structured around the original Edgar Allan Poe story by the same name as the novel, which I liked, because good ole Edgar Allan is one of my favourites. However, there were a few not-so-cool loose ends, and some awkwardness in the characters. For example, the Reverend What's-his-name was fanatical, for no reason. The novel could've been much better than it was.

Another problem was that Poe was a complete idiot about his subject matter. Well, maybe not quite that bad. Maybe it was just the topic that was stupid. I'm referring to the discussion of heavy metal fans, that kind of thing. Poe made it so that the average teenager who listened to heavy metal was a complete creep. Listening to a certain band entailed that the teenagers were immediately misguided. I don't know. It was just absurd.

There were a lot of good elements to this novel, but towards the end, I'm not sure if it was out of boredom and the necessity to finish or suspense that kept me reading.

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