The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket - Harold Beaver, Jules Verne Poe's only novel, this is a unique mix of seafaring adventures & misadventures (many to the point of horror), travel narrative/diary with the sort of flora/fauna/navigational notations that were popular on exploration trips of the day, fantastical locations/peoples/creatures, allegory, allusions, & a very strange, abrupt ending, all built on Poe's special scaffolding of creeping dread. Though I've read conflicting reviews on this book (& I agree that parts of it are uneven), there is no doubt that it has certainly inspired & influenced many famous literary works (ranging from [b:Moby-Dick; or, The Whale|153747|Moby-Dick; or, The Whale|Herman Melville|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1327940656s/153747.jpg|2409320] to [b:Life of Pi|4214|Life of Pi|Yann Martel|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1320562005s/4214.jpg|1392700]); I think this book should be categorized as a 'lost' American classic, one that needs a bigger audience than it seemingly has. A riveting, hard-to-categorize book.

(Even though I had extremely mixed feelings about Life of Pi, I loved that the tiger was named Richard Parker. How can you not love a tiger with a name like that? Turns out, Yann Martel named the tiger after one of Poe's characters. Also, for the Borges fans here, apparently Borges touted The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym... as "Poe's greatest work".)

In addition to Jules Verne writing a book that continues the story ([b:An Antarctic Mystery|719181|An Antarctic Mystery|Jules Verne|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1347912560s/719181.jpg|2434448]), H.P. Lovecraft also crafted a sequel ([b:At the Mountains of Madness|32767|At the Mountains of Madness|H.P. Lovecraft|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1320561014s/32767.jpg|17342821]). My copy of Poe's book (Penguin Classics) had a very abridged version of Verne's story in the back. (That's what it seemed to be....) So, I think I've got the gist of Verne's continuation of the story, even though I still plan to read the full-length version. And, of course, all this was started by my wanting to read the contemporary satire [b:Pym|8501708|Pym|Mat Johnson|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1320435734s/8501708.jpg|13367639] by Mat Johnson. Not sure about tackling Lovecraft's book (maybe too much horror for me), but I might consider it for October reading.