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No American writer haunts us like Edgar Allan Poe. His tales of horror resonate even 175 years after his death, very much a good run for any author. He is a storyteller of his times and of ours probing the fever dreams of our lives, vividly bringing them to light (or, rather, into the darkness of our imagination).
And this is where The Maddening is born. It is a story that inhabits the metaphysical space between our dreams and nightmares, so very well familiar in Edgar Allan Poe’s own storytelling. My “Poe,” a serial killer, might very well have found a home in the author’s Gothic imaginings, his tattooed body a surreal reflection of his malevolent existence. PJ Bones is yet another refraction of the renowned author, besieged by alcohol and his personal demons ... And surely, Poe would have understood Clara Knox from his own obsessive yearnings with the women in his life, also beautiful, desirous, and ultimately doomed.
I admit to feeling a particular kinship with the writer. Poe’s cottage is a stone’s throw from my own home in the Bronx, and where he spent his last years.
So, perhaps, his spirit still lingers here, prompting me to dive into the literary underworld that he created. So, The Maddening is this author’s humble bow to the master, whose tales of the macabre continue to tap into our deep-rooted fears while stimulating a few faster heartbeats. My intention as well. I hope it has been enough to shake you from the complacency of a safe reading. I appreciate that you have taken the chance.
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