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The Pale Blue Eye (P.S.)

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The Pale Blue Eye (P.S.) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Please note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.

Publisher Comments:

From the critically acclaimed author of Mr. Timothy comes an ingenious tale of murder and revenge, featuring a retired New York City detective and a young cadet named Edgar Allan Poe.

At West Point Academy in 1830, the calm of an October evening is shattered by the discovery of a young cadet's body swinging from a rope just off the parade grounds. An apparent suicide is not unheard of in a harsh regimen like West Point's, but the next morning, an even greater horror comes to light. Someone has stolen into the room where the body lay and removed the heart.

At a loss for answers and desperate to avoid any negative publicity, the Academy calls on the services of a local civilian, Augustus Landor, a former police detective who acquired some renown during his years in New York City before retiring to the Hudson Highlands for his health. Now a widower, and restless in his seclusion, Landor agrees to take on the case. As he questions the dead man's acquaintances, he finds an eager assistant in a moody, intriguing young cadet with a penchant for drink, two volumes of poetry to his name, and a murky past that changes from telling to telling. The cadet's name? Edgar Allan Poe.

Impressed with Poe's astute powers of observation, Landor is convinced that the poet may prove useful — if he can stay sober long enough to put his keen reasoning skills to the task. Working in close contact, the two men — separated by years but alike in intelligence — develop a surprisingly deep rapport as their investigation takes them into a hidden world of secret societies, ritual sacrifices, and more bodies. Soon, however, the macabre murders and Landor's own buried secrets threaten to tear the two men and their newly formed friendship apart.

A rich tapestry of fine prose and intricately detailed characters, The Pale Blue Eye transports readers into a labyrinth of the unknown that will leave them guessing until the very end.

Review:

"These two new novels about Edgar Allan Poe's curious life both come draped with the necessary — nay mandatory — mystery, but their approaches could not be more different. In 'The Pale Blue Eye,' by Louis Bayard, Poe is an impassioned genius with the world ahead of him; in 'The Poe Shadow,' by Matthew Pearl, he is the dishonored dead.

'The Pale Blue Eye' invites us to a dull, dark... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"[A]nother literary tour de force....At novel's end, the reader may want to start again from the beginning." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Review:

"[T]his period mystery moves methodically to the suspects, the motives, and the clues that twist and turn like the Hudson itself. The novel is further charmed by a skillful and lyrical writing style and the intrigue of West Point, now and then." Library Journal

Review:

"Louis Bayard is a writer of remarkable gifts: for language, for imagination, for that mysterious admixture of audacity and craftsmanship that signals a major talent in the making." Joyce Carol Oates

Review:

"Louis Bayard...turns from Charles Dickens to Edgar Allan Poe with debonair wit....[S]ucceed[s] by emulating the suspense structure of Poe's exquisitely lurid short stories and...adding the romanticism of Poe's lyric poetry. (Grade: B+)" Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"A first-rate thriller with language that sparkles on the page." Dustin Thomason, co-author of The Rule of Four

Review:

"Mr. Bayard has a gift for Poe mimicry and, as well, for constructing a labyrinthine plot. The story's climax is a parody of author Poe's nightmarish flourishes." Dallas Morning News

Synopsis:

At West Point Academy in 1830, the calm of an October evening is shattered by the discovery of a young cadet's body swinging from a rope. The next morning, an even greater horror comes to light. Someone has removed the dead man's heart. Augustus Landor—who acquired some renown in his years as a New York City police detective—is called in to discreetly investigate. It's a baffling case Landor must pursue in secret, for the scandal could do irreparable damage to the fledgling institution. But he finds help from an unexpected ally—a moody, young cadet with a penchant for drink, two volumes of poetry to his name, and a murky past that changes from telling to telling. The strange and haunted Southern poet for whom Landor develops a fatherly affection, is named Edgar Allan Poe.

About the Author

Louis Bayard is the author of Mr. Timothy, a New York Times Notable Book, which the Washington Post called "clever...sly and wonderful." A writer and book reviewer, whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and on Nerve.com and Salon.com, among others, Bayard lives in Washington, D.C.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Virginia, January 29, 2012 (view all comments by Virginia)
I read a lot of historical fiction and/or mysteries and I had high hopes for this one but it was the worst book I read in 2011. The word tedious springs to mind. No likable characters and no feel for time or place. Ending was contrived andwent against all that had happened up to that pount.
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redrockbookworm, July 22, 2008 (view all comments by redrockbookworm)
During the hours before his death, Augustus Langor, retired former NYC detective and widower recalls the circumstances surrounding his investigation of the gruesome murder of a cadet at West Point. The year is 1830 and the institution had not yet earned the reputation it enjoys today so the powers that be engage his services in an attempt to avoid any negative publicity. During his investigation he enlists the help of Cadet Edgar Allan Poe to be his eyes and ears on campus, holding clandestine meetings with him to discuss various clues and suspects. The novels characterization of Cadet Poe is that of an overly pensive, tormented and romantic individual who is aching to "connect" with someone. This is probably an accurate depiction of the "Literary Poe" but it makes for a rather boring, "Poe the Murder Investigator".

I found the voice of this book to be rather stilted and annoying, and Landor and Poe imbued with neither compassion nor humanity.
Guess the bottom line is, even a lover of historical fiction such as myself wants more than just characters in a historical setting. I want a story with characters that draw me in and a story that fills my senses. A Pale Blue Eye left me running on empty.
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(11 of 23 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780060733988
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Bayard, Louis
Author:
by Louis Bayard
Publisher:
William Morrow Paperbacks
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - Historical
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Police
Subject:
New york (state)
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Mystery fiction
Subject:
Readers - Beginner
Subject:
Mystery Historical
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series:
P.S.
Publication Date:
20070612
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from K to 3
Language:
English
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 0.33 in 7.92 oz
Age Level:
from 4 to 8

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » Historical

The Pale Blue Eye (P.S.) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.00 In Stock
Product details 448 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780060733988 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[A]nother literary tour de force....At novel's end, the reader may want to start again from the beginning."
"Review" by , "[T]his period mystery moves methodically to the suspects, the motives, and the clues that twist and turn like the Hudson itself. The novel is further charmed by a skillful and lyrical writing style and the intrigue of West Point, now and then."
"Review" by , "Louis Bayard is a writer of remarkable gifts: for language, for imagination, for that mysterious admixture of audacity and craftsmanship that signals a major talent in the making."
"Review" by , "Louis Bayard...turns from Charles Dickens to Edgar Allan Poe with debonair wit....[S]ucceed[s] by emulating the suspense structure of Poe's exquisitely lurid short stories and...adding the romanticism of Poe's lyric poetry. (Grade: B+)"
"Review" by , "A first-rate thriller with language that sparkles on the page."
"Review" by , "Mr. Bayard has a gift for Poe mimicry and, as well, for constructing a labyrinthine plot. The story's climax is a parody of author Poe's nightmarish flourishes."
"Synopsis" by , At West Point Academy in 1830, the calm of an October evening is shattered by the discovery of a young cadet's body swinging from a rope. The next morning, an even greater horror comes to light. Someone has removed the dead man's heart. Augustus Landor—who acquired some renown in his years as a New York City police detective—is called in to discreetly investigate. It's a baffling case Landor must pursue in secret, for the scandal could do irreparable damage to the fledgling institution. But he finds help from an unexpected ally—a moody, young cadet with a penchant for drink, two volumes of poetry to his name, and a murky past that changes from telling to telling. The strange and haunted Southern poet for whom Landor develops a fatherly affection, is named Edgar Allan Poe.
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