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The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket
The only novella by this literary giant: A thrilling sea adventure that turns increasingly bizarre
Entranced by the sea and eager for adventure, sixteen-year-old Arthur Gordon Pym stows away on the Grampus, a whaling ship captained by the father of his best friend, Augustus Barnard. But a mutiny upsets the boys' plans, and when Arthur comes up from the hold, he is forced to fight for his life. Arthur, Augustus, and two other sailors overthrow the mutineers and take control of the ship, only to face impossible physical hardships, as the ship drifts further south and they are buffeted by terrible storms.
Just as the Grampus sinks into the sea off the coast of Brazil, surrounded by sharks, Arthur is picked up by the British brig, the Jane Guy, which is heading towards the South Pole to investigate rumors of a temperate climate south of the sixtieth latitude. They encounter a hostile tribe on the strange island of Tsalal, where the color white doesn't exist, and traveling further south, find themselves entering a huge cloud of mist, from which an enormous shrouded white figure begins to emerge, as the novel ends. Poe's only longer work has disturbed and fascinated readers since its first appearance in 1838-- he drew on real explorers' journals to create this ultimate combination of a nineteenth-century tale of the sea and the perfect evocation of psychological terror and ominous phenomena that he was so justly famous for.
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August 13, 2013
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