Text: Anonymous, “[Review of Narrative of A. G. Pym],” New York Review (New York, NY), vol. III, no. 6, October 1838, p. 489.


[page 489:]

22. The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, of Nantucket. Comprising the details of a mutiny and atrocious butchery on board the American Brig Grampus, on her way to the South Seas, in the month of June, 1827: with an account of the re-capture 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. New York : Harper & Brothers. 1838. 12mo. pp. 198.

NOTWITHSTANDING this circumstantial and veracious looking length of title, the work is all a fiction. It is written with considerable talent, and an attempt is made, by simplicity of style, minuteness of nautical descriptions, and circumstantiality of narration, to throw over it that air of reality which constitutes the charm of Robinson Crusoe, and Sir Edward Seaward's Narrative. This work has, however, none of the agreeable interest of the two just named. It is not destitute of interest for the imagination, but the interest is painful; there are too many atrocities, too many strange horrors, and finally, there is no conclusion to it; it breaks off suddenly in a mysterious way, which is not only destitute of all vraisemblance, but is purely perplexing and vexatious. We cannot, therefore, but consider the author unfortunate in his plan.







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