The Purloined Letter

(3 customer reviews)
Category: Author: Narrator: Length:


This is a SoundCraft Audiobooks production –  enhanced with music and sound effects – of the third of Edgar Allan Poe’s early detective stories featuring his classic character C. Auguste Dupin. It is a celebrated tale of intrigue, blackmail, and mystery as only the master could tell it and a forerunner to the creation of the character of Sherlock Holmes.

When a member of the royal house has a sensitive document stolen, the police department turns in desperation to C. Auguste Dupin, amateur sleuth and renowned logician. Can the document be recovered before the blackmailer wins the day? Can Dupin solve the crime that has baffled all of the Parisian police force?

Find out in this classic tale of mystery and intrigue!

3 reviews for The Purloined Letter

  1. Alexis Mills

    Good audio book

  2. AngelAppleseed

    Overall, this audiobook is a solid presentation of a classic story. Sound quality, pacing, and narration were very professional.

    For narration specifically, I generally appreciate more characterization and differentiation for each character than what I heard here. That is what truly makes a narrator stand out for me. Obviously, this is very subjective!

    Theis is obviously a talented professional, and ultimately it’s easy to tell which of the three male characters is talking at a given time. I found Dupin to be a bit inconsistent from beginning to end.
    There were also humorous nuances that in my personal opinion could have been indulged more thoroughly. This would have increased my enjoyment. For example, the Narrator is obviously in league with Dupin, but I’d have loved him to be shown to be in league with the reader as well.

    As for the story: Do not read this in bed. I love Poe. I find him an interesting character, especially in light of the recent discoveries that much of his personal story may come from tainted sources.

    That said, this book could have been a 20-minute audiobook and still have had room for humor and tension and clever resolution.

    I realized that in 1844 there was a lot less internet (haha) and that reading was, even more, an escape, luxury, and recreational pleasure than it is today. So Poe, a poor man, obviously was obviously greatly aware that words are free…and made lavish use of them.

    Incidentally, I looked up “purloined.” Oxford suggests that it refers to theft by misappropriation. Merriam-Webster suggests that to purloin is to “appropriate wrongfully and often by a breach of trust.” I’m so glad I took the time to cement the definition for myself; it is the absolute perfect word for the title and story. As are most of the many, many words Poe uses, I grudgingly admit. I will beg your patience with my ADHD here.

    But dear god in heaven. the level of detail that the Prefect went into with regards to the particulars of his search for the purloined letter…I thought my eyes were going to roll back into my head. And yet the level of detail was decidedly necessary, especially for that moment when Dupin says flippantly: “Do it again!”

    If you can keep your head in the game, so to speak, Poe’s suggestions that mathematicians believe absolutely in pagan fables, and that a young boy successfully predicts and win at games of marbles (where the Prefect would not) are the reasons that the Prefect failed to find the letter are absolutely delightful.

    Dupin tells us that the Prefect failed to locate the letter because he searched with the basic assumption that poets are fools. Luckily for the mysterious royal involved (presumably some member of Louis-Philippe’s family – thank you, Google), Dupin excels at using both hemispheres of his brain and saves the day.

    During Dupin’s final monologue, I found myself wondering how a stage actor would keep an audience interested in the long, cerebral reveal. I imagine he would need to be animated, moving about the stage, punctuating his points and revelations with gestures and expressions, supported by exclamations from his faithful Narrator. It’s long-winded, but this final speech is lovely and very worthwhile. Overall, I very much recommend the book, especially to those who are more patient than I.

    For my part, a classic was an unexpected choice, and a novel (ha) way to spend an hour.

    Thanks to Theis and Fort Raphael Publishing.

  3. Rosemary HUGHES

    I have submitted this review after listening to the audiobook of this title.

    I was touched how this tale was similar in the “voice” as Sherlock Holmes. It may be those with the art of deduction may all sound the same, when they explain what is obvious to them, but not to us lowly peasants.
    Anyway, it was an interesting story, with a touch of light hearted banter thrown in.

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