Auguste Dupin Edgar Allan Poe

Default Smiles Imagine you strike up a friendship with a highly eccentric man with an impressively analytical mind. You end up rooming together, spending your days reading and chatting, until crime arises. Your friend is intrigued, and drags you along as he sets about solving the case. Sound familiar? More familiar than you think. This detective is Auguste Dupin, created by Edgar Allan Poe. The earliest detective in our list and the inspiration for many to come.
Surprised Sharky For such an important role, Dupin only has three stories to his name, the least by far of everyone on our list. They’re all a little different. The first one has an excessively brutal murder that made Smiles wince when he read the newspaper report in the story.
Sad Smiles 2 Brrrrr. Not that the mystery wasn’t interesting, but that turned me off somewhat.
Default Sharky The second is more of a thought experiment exploring a fictionalised version of a crime that happened in the real world.
Surprised Smiles Though obviously since the real crime was never solved, the author can’t really impose a solution. So it’s an open ended story.
Default Sharky And the last one is a short mind game over stolen property.
Default Smiles Honestly, which one you like depends on which one grabs your imagination more, but Sharky and I liked the last one the best.
Surprised Sharky Not that it’s flawless. Poe really likes talking, apparently, and that creeps into the shortest story too. Let me explain. The first story, which is supposed to be our first impression to this great detective, spends a fair amount of paragraphs talking about whist, chess, and what exactly analysis is. I get what it’s trying to do, set the scene for the kind of deducing that Dupin makes, but it just goes on and on and I honestly just skipped the last of it. And the third one has a long rant from Dupin against maths, right in the middle of the mystery.
Sassy Smiles Gosh, don’t you hate it when people go on long rants in the middle of things?
Quiet Sharky
Quiet Smiles
Angry Sharky 3 Shut up. Point is, the third story still does a good job setting up what Dupin and his methods are like without having to ramble on. Mostly. I do like the line in the first story about how Dupin acts really weird when he’s analysing things, though. He acts very distant and the tone of his voice changes a lot. It’s kind of eerie and interesting, though not explored very much. Also he likes the darkness. That shows up in each story.
Default Smiles He really likes darkness. A lot. And we’ve grabbed onto that joke and not let it go.


Default Sharky There’s not really a whole lot for us to talk about, besides listening to Dupin talk and reading the newspaper reports. The newspaper reports are clever, it feels like you’re really part of the situation while reading the headlines. And it’s quite interesting following Dupin’s thought process as he mentally strolls through the mystery. But if I have a problem-
Sassy Smiles And of course you have a problem.
Angry Sharky 2 Shut up. If I have a problem, it’s that there’s just so little activity going on. I just wish they got out some more, or we explored the characters'personalities more, or the city more, or something. Again, the back and forth discussion is interesting, because it tackles the case, and most of the interest in detective novels is figuring out what on earth is going on, but a little colour wouldn’t have been amiss.
Surprised Smiles I have to agree with that. For me, the best part of a detective novel is the detective’s personality and how he interacts with people, more than the mystery itself. But I think I know why you’re not enjoying these stories as much as you could, Sharky.
Surprised Sharky 2 Do you? Good, because I can’t really put my finger on it.
Happy Smiles Yeah. You didn’t turn the lights off, and Dupin works best in darkness.
Sassy Sharky Of course.

4 thoughts on “Auguste Dupin Edgar Allan Poe

  1. I agree, the last story is the best in the series. The first one is just, like, What? And the second one is boring. But it’s amazing how these stories influenced mystery writers from then on! Definitely worth reading I think.

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