The Fall of the House of Usher

“The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe (U.S.)


Written in 1839, some readers grappled with the language of this classic Gothic tale and found themselves turning to a dictionary on numerous occasions. They didn’t mind that so much because, since the story is short, it prompted them to read it a few times. After that they started to really enjoy the language saying that it helped set the scene by creating an eerie atmosphere. Readers liked the traditional structure of the story. They found that the descriptions of the house and its surroundings crept up on them and were accentuated when they were introduced to Roderick Usher and his twin sister Madeline. Readers agreed that the build up in tension was really well done, in part thanks to the use of the parallel story that the narrator is reading to Usher. Everyone enjoyed the ending, which they felt was very fitting. Overall, the story averaged a 7.5 out of 10.


In “The Fall of the House of Usher” a visitor realizes that there is a terrible malady within the house. When the narrator arrives at his friend’s house he realizes that Usher is ill. His symptoms include hyperesthesia (hyper sensitivity to light, sound, and smells), and acute anxiety. Usher believes that the house can feel and sense things… Read more

Nicola’s Book Club reading list

Season 15 – “Fantasy and the Fantastic” (Feb – Jun 2012)

“The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka (Czech Republic)
“Living in the Maniototo” by Janet Frame (New Zealand) *
“A Brief Life” by Juan Carlos Onetti (Uruguay)
“The Icarus Girl” by Helen Oyeyemi (Nigeria)
“The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe (U.S.)

* The book club favourite

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