The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe is a staple of the early gothic and horror genres. This short story is great at exploring a twisted character’s sanity without weighing the attitude down. The twisted character in question is the unnamed narrator of the story, recounting how and why he killed a man, as well as the resulting mental turmoil he experiences.

Bearing this heavy sounding topic, Poe uses distinct character voice, narrator bias, and pacing to not only keep the reader engrossed in the story but also enjoying the near playful retelling. This short story reads so well the audience can practically hear each pause and emphasis, masterfully blending narrative and action. The natural flow to the plot builds suspense as the unique perspective that the narrator provides becomes obviously flawed in some way. This does not detract from the story- the point is not for the ending to be unpredictable entirely but rather for it to be a satisfying conclusion, which again relates to the well-crafted narrator’s ability to lead the reader with a corrupted conscience.

Overall, someone with an appreciation for dark, morally ambiguous themes or simply abnormal writing styles would enjoy this piece.