TITLE: Masque of the Red Death
AUTHOR: Edgar Allan Poe
NARRATOR: Patrick Lawlor
PUBLISHER: Listen & Live Audio, Inc.
PUBLICATION DATE: October 5, 2009 (first published 1842)
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 17 mins
GENRE: Classics, Horror, Short Stories
"Masque of the Red Death", a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe, follows Prince Prospero's attempts to avoid a dangerous plague, known as the Red Death, by hiding in his abbey. He, along with many other wealthy nobles, has a masquerade ball within seven rooms of his abbey, each decorated with a different color. In the midst of their revelry, a mysterious figure enters and makes his way through each of the rooms. When Prospero confronts this stranger, he falls dead.
The story follows many traditions of Gothic fiction and is often analyzed as an allegory about the inevitability of death, though some critics advise against all allegorical reading. Many different interpretations have been presented, as well as attempts to identify the true nature of the disease called the Red Death.
This is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, and I read it during the Season of the Witch hosted by Michelle at Castle Macabre. It was supposed to be for a read-a-long, but I missed the Discussion Post!
This classic is about a rich man named Prospero, and he is hosting a masquerade ball at his palace. It is an unusual time for festivities, given that a terrible plague has been sweeping across the land during the past several months. He shut himself in, hoping to avoid the virus. It is not really clear to me why he decides to host the party, because inviting people into the castle would put him at risk, wouldn’t it? Is he celebrating because he has successfully evaded the disease and is foolish enough to think that he won’t get it? I am not sure, but Poe describes the seven rooms in the palace and how each one is decorated in a particular colour. I am not sure what the significance is, except for the final room which is black which I would assume represents death. A guest arrives at midnight and brings the plague into the castle with him and everyone dies.
I enjoyed this short story, and I think it is one of the stories that becomes even more enjoyable as one digs deeper. I listened to the audiobook, and the narrator did a fine job. Patrick Lawlor is new-to-me, and his pacing was good and I thought that he brought the right vibe to the story. However, I think this is the type of story that is probably best to be slowly savored and mulled over. There is a lot of symbolism in the story that I probably missed, so I do want to go back and read it again to gain a further understanding of the story.
3 stars!! It was good, and I enjoyed it.
This book qualifies as:
#53 for my 2016 You Read How Many Books? Challenge
#53 for my 2016 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
#12 for my 2016 New Narrator Reading Challenge
#47 for my Backlist Books Reading Challenge
#39 for my 2016 Audiobook Challenge
#16 for my What An Animal IX Reading Challenge
#22 for my 2016 I Love Libraries Reading Challenge
#4A for my 2016 The Color Coded Reading Challenge
#4C for my The Reporters Challenge 2016
#5 for my 2016 Horror Reading Challenge
#1 for my Peril of the Short Story for R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril
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