Home / Books / Book Reviews / Book Review: ‘Edgar Allan Poe – An Adult Coloring Book’ by Odessa Begay

Book Review: ‘Edgar Allan Poe – An Adult Coloring Book’ by Odessa Begay

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The coloring craze continues, and what better a time to launch a coloring book featuring the words of Edgar Allan Poe than just before Halloween? Clever, huh? Edgar Allan Poe: An Adult Coloring Book by Odessa Begay is a perfect companion for those rainy, dank, chilly autumn evenings when the leaves rustle and the raven crows its melancholy song. Sorry. Got carried away there. edgar

I love Edgar Allan Poe. I think I’ve read his entire works: poems stories. I think Poe imbued me with an early love of angsty, dark literature that has carried through to my own fiction. I also love coloring books of the adult variety. I have a collection of more than 150 gel markers and even more colored pencils. Coloring helps my mind stop working for a minute focus in the tiny details of color, texture and design.

Begay’s new coloring book from Lark (an imprint of Sterling Publishing) takes its inspiration for Poe’s dark, sometimes macabre, stories and poem of grief, sorrow, loss, anguish. Things never quite seemed to end well in Poe’s stories. Each design quotes from one of Poe’s works: The Gold Bug, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Oblong Box, Eleonora, and Begay uses them to create surrealistic–sometimes lavish, sometimes frightening, sometimes whimsical–line drawings ready to color.

From “The Raven” Begay quotes: “And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor//Shall be lifted–nevermore!” The quotation is accompanied by a two page spread that suggests the unquiet mind of the narrator, pining for his lost Lenore and ever-taunted by the raven’s “nevermore.” The image is suggestive of the classic cinematic technique of the spiral staircase shot from above and used as a metaphor for harrowing psychological terror in suspense dramas and thrillers.

The book itself is beautifully constructed with a sturdy cover and heavy pages that can withstand even the most vivid coloring with pen, pencil or brush. Coloring aficionados will get hours of pleasure from filling in the drawings and in the end will have a beautifully illustrated (or more properly, I suppose, illuminated) book of Poe.

The Edgar Allan Poe adult coloring book is available now and retails for $14.95.

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About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, (blogcritics.org). Her Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel, called "Anne Rice meets Michael Crichton," The Apothecary's Curse The Apothecary's Curse is now out from Pyr, an imprint of Prometheus Books. Her book on the TV series House, M.D., Chasing Zebras is a quintessential guide to the themes, characters and episodes of the hit show. Barnett is an accomplished speaker, an annual favorite at MENSA's HalloWEEM convention, where she has spoken to standing room crowds on subjects as diverse as "The Byronic Hero in Pop Culture," "The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes," "The Hidden History of Science Fiction," and "Our Passion for Disaster (Movies)."