Text: Anoymous, [Review of The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym], Knickerbocker (New York, NY), vol. XII, no. 2, August 1838, p. 167


[page 167:]

THE NARRATIVE OF ARTHUR GORDON PYM, of Nantucket. In one volume, 12mo. New-York: HARPER AND BROTHERS.

THIS work ‘comprises the details of a mutiny and atrocious butchery on board the American ship Grampus, on her way to the South Seas, in the month of June, 1827, with an account of the recapture of the vessel by the survivors; their shipwreck and subsequent horrible sufferings from famine; their deliverance by means of the British schooner, Jane Guy; the brief cruise of this latter vessel in the Antarctic Ocean; her capture, and the massacre of her crew among a group of islands in the eighty-fourth parallel of southern latitude; together with the incredible adventures and discoveries still farther south, to which that distressing calamity gave rise.’ There are a great many tough stories in this book, told in a loose and slip-shod style, seldom chequered by any of the more common graces of composition, beyond a Robinson Crusoe-ish sort of simplicity of narration. The work is one of much interest, with all its defects, not the least of which is, that it is too liberally stuffed with ‘horrid circumstance of blood and battle.’ We would not be so uncourteous as to insinuate a doubt of Mr. Pym's veracity, now that he lies ‘under the sod;’ but we should very much question that gentleman's word, who should affirm, after having thoroughly perused the volume before us, that he believed the various adventures and hair-breadth 'scapes therein recorded. Such a capacious maw would swallow, as indubitably veritable, a story we have recently read or heard, of a serpent killed in the East Indies, in whose body was found, neatly dressed in black, the chaplain of an adjacent military station, who had been missed for a week.




Ian Walker, in Edgar Allan Poe: The Critical Heritage (1986, p. 92), attributes this review to Lewis Gaylord Clark.



[S:0 - KNY, 1838] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Poe Bookshelf - Review of Narrative of A. G. Pym (Anonymous)