Audiobook: Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym

Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym cover

Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym

1 - Chapter 00


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Published in 1838, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket is Poe’s only complete novel and concentrates on several sea adventures gone awry. The novel follows Arthur Gordon Pym, who finds himself in the center of gloomy occurrences on board numerous vessels, as his anticipated sea adventure takes a drastic shift in the wind. Shipwreck, starvation, mutiny, near death experiences and cannibalism are just some of the issues endured in the gripping, and at times gruesome novel.

The adventure begins with the introduction of its narrator, the decorous young man, Arthur Gordon Pym from the island of Nantucket, who commences the marvelous tale by giving a descriptive account of his reputable family background and upbringing. His best friend Augustus Barnard and son of a sea captain, spurs Pym’s dangerous love for life at sea. Their first open water adventure is initiated one evening after an alcohol induced whim witnesses the pair set sail aboard Pym’s sailboat, the Ariel. Unfortunately, their trip is cut short due to a perilous storm, from which the two young men just barely escape, owing their lives to a passing whaling ship. Despite the frightening ordeal, Pym is only further thrilled by the idea of sailing, and it is this enthusiasm that incites his next sea adventure. Consequently, he follows Augustus as a stowaway on board a whaling vessel, the Grampus, which is bound on an expedition to the southern seas and is incidentally captained by Augustus’s father. However, the journey of Pym and Augustus is anything but monotonous, as they face unforeseen events that challenge both their physical and psychological endurance. Although containing some inconsistencies within the storyline, the novel still manages to enthrall with its strange sequence of events, as its characters must surge through countless predicaments including unfavorable weather, horrendous mutiny, and starvation.

An eccentric piece of literature sure to mesmerize with its unique and grisly tale of frightening occurrences at sea, the novel stays true to the macabre style of its renowned author, Edgar Allan Poe. Moreover, the novel is regarded as an influential piece of writing, affecting the works of many future writers, including renowned authors Jules Verne and Herman Melville.

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