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Extended Audio Sample The Masque of the Red Death Audiobook, by Edgar Allan Poe Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.07 out of 54.07 out of 54.07 out of 54.07 out of 54.07 out of 5 4.07 (58 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Edgar Allan Poe Narrator: Patrick Lawlor Publisher: Listen & Live Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2013 ISBN: 9781593165024
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A dangerous plague has struck the land. Prince Prospero, seeking to avoid the “Red Death,” has locked himself away in his abbey. He invites a group of nobles to his haven for protection, ordering them to attend a masked ball. The event takes places within seven rooms of the abbey, each decorated with a different color. Amid the revelry and debauchery, a mysterious figure dressed all in red enters each of the rooms in turn, catching Prospero’s attention. But Prospero’s encounter with the cloaked figure has dire consequences.

This tale of depravity and death is yet another brilliant example of the dark mind of Edgar Allan Poe, master of the macabre.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bryant | 2/18/2014

    " Quite relevant in our time, I feel as if people sometimes say "Let's have a party as the world burns." Moneyed indivduals don't feel this economic meltdown, so let them have their parties. A plague is a bit different but not so far away. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bea | 2/17/2014

    " This is one of the spookiest Poe stories in my opinion. The atmosphere is completely eerie, and his description is so accurate that you can actually hear the clock ringing in the back of your head. It's a really great story! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marts (Thinker) | 2/17/2014

    " Both book and movie were great. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cathy | 2/14/2014

    " I read this in school. It was very disturbing, as is most of Poe's works. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emma | 2/11/2014

    " it was great as all of Poe''s stories are but it gets a little confusing, because it was writtin so long ago there are lots of old phrases which makes it hard to understand, plus there are alot of BIG words that i didnt know so i had to go and loook them up. however it was a really good story,if you would like to read it, it is really really short it shouldnt take yoou more then about 25 to 30 min to read ( morre or less it depends how slow or fast a reader you are) check out this...go to eapoe.org then click on the bolded word "works" then there comes a choice of poems or tales, if you click on poems a long list (15) of poems comes up, if you click on tales all of edgar allan poes short stories will come up (the names) one of which is the ,asque of the red death click on that and you will get the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ichigo | 2/9/2014

    " we read this in class and it was pretty creepy "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kat | 1/31/2014

    " Everyone wears a mask....be afraid. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sabrina Depue | 1/29/2014

    " I do not like Poe's works because they are very dark all of the time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sisi | 1/23/2014

    " The ending was rather abrupt, and I don't know if I the love I have for the Poe gothic style outweights my irritation at his extreme use of flow-on sentences. But it was interesting enough I suppose albeit very short. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Krystina Bennett | 1/21/2014

    " I always enjoy reading Poe's stories simply for his descriptions and word choices. He has a way of making everything eerie and creepy just by the phrases he uses and the imagery he gives the reader. The Masque of the Red Death is no exception. An allegory for the bubonic plague, he describes the Red Death in chilling detail, as well as the deaths of the courtiers and Prince Prospero (who all have it coming) and the infected person that sneaks into the castle. It definitely has influenced the way I write descriptions and the words I use in those details. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rebecca Skane | 1/21/2014

    " My FAVORITE EA Poe story. Favorite short story ever. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Riki | 1/19/2014

    " Compelling in its creepiness, this is a perfect story to read for Halloween. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maria | 1/18/2014

    " I'm sorry but there's nothing like this short story. Unrivaled. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hannah | 1/13/2014

    " Love this story. Love poe. The amazing descriptions, the pacing just wow. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tyrell Warner | 1/12/2014

    " Talk about creepy. Poe was as usual obsessed with death, but in no other work does he fixate almost gleefully on the concept, and use only the most experimental, ambient style to express it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy Darling | 1/11/2014

    " Rereadad the story online since I'm reading Masque of the Red Death soon, and I'm so glad I did. Wow, what an extravagant, fantastical setting! This is one of those stories where you have to read it several times to look past the plot to delve into the symbolism; it's a masterpiece of a short story, and one I know I will be reading again. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Adam Sprague | 1/7/2014

    " Mystery man = death. Not much to this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ichigo | 1/7/2014

    " we read this in class and it was pretty creepy "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amy | 12/10/2013

    " 2.5 stars-Don't think it's his best work or his creepiest but I did love his description of the party and rooms. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Steven | 12/9/2013

    " Pretty heavy-handed ending. If it weren't for overall engaging language this would be rated a one star. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tyrell Warner | 12/9/2013

    " Talk about creepy. Poe was as usual obsessed with death, but in no other work does he fixate almost gleefully on the concept, and use only the most experimental, ambient style to express it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ashley | 12/2/2013

    " I read this in high school so I don't remember much but I know that it's an allegory and the rooms mean dead, or something. I liked it then but I'd have to read it again to give a coherent review now. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 11/28/2013

    " I had to read this story too. I thought it was extremely good and it certainly made me want to start reading more Edgar Allan Poe. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael Lalaian | 11/11/2013

    " A fantastic example of short story writing, Poe manages to stir the imagination more in 6 pages than Lovecraft did in 80 within the pages of At the Mountains of Madness. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristy | 11/4/2013

    " Surprising ending, well-written story. I'm not usually an Edgar Allen Poe fan, but I enjoyed this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Desiree | 11/1/2013

    " I just read through this really quickly and I think that I will have to reread it when I have some time so that I can actually take it in for what it is meant to be rather than just it's face value. I have a feeling that my rating might go up once I give it the attention that it deserves. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elizabeth | 10/30/2013

    " Weird story, but amazing writing! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Zk | 10/21/2013

    " i love the end it's out of this world ... <3 "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anna | 10/17/2013

    " This is dark, creepy and gripping. I like this climate of Edgar Allan Poe's works. Pre - Stephen King. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Saya Analco | 10/11/2013

    " Fear in tis purest issue. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily (Book Jems) | 9/13/2013

    " Read in preparation for Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin. Goodness was this creepy and genuinely frightened me! Definitely a great gothic horror, written by a genius! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Briana Blair | 9/12/2013

    " I've never read any Poe before, but now I understand what all the fuss is about. The wording and imagery of this story are amazing. It's like you can actually feel the story. I will certainly be reading more Poe in the future. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Luis | 8/18/2013

    " Lleno de simbolismos, descripciones sublimes y un final que era de esperar, nadie puede escapar a la muerte. Nadie. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For | 7/24/2013

    " The Masque of the Red Death is a very simple, but tight story about the wealthy trying to sequester themselves during a plague. Classic Poe. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter Villadsen | 7/11/2013

    " This short story is vividly and colorfully described. It is not terribly scary but kind of creepy all the same. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristy | 7/4/2013

    " Surprising ending, well-written story. I'm not usually an Edgar Allen Poe fan, but I enjoyed this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa James | 6/10/2013

    " STELLAR story! One of my favorites! Creepy, spellbinding, eerie...with an ending that was altogether satisfying, this tale of a prince's attempt to cheat the plague ridden city he lives in reads like a dream, or a nightmare...... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fausto | 6/1/2013

    " I just dark and great. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robert Pereno | 4/23/2013

    " As an excitable chap I find sombre books grounding and when depressed comforting. I have just started this sad chilling tale, its not long so I will get back to you with my feelings about it all soon. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Krista | 3/31/2013

    " I read this quite a while ago, and it's still a chilling story for me to read now. One of Poe's best stories. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brian | 3/25/2013

    " the masque of the red death is my favorite poe story, very strange, very morbid. it has to do with a plague and a strange situation, i dont want to tell you if you havent read it, i would say its well worth reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly Smith | 3/2/2013

    " i liked the book very much "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nathaniel | 2/18/2013

    " My favorite of all his short stories. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Merary | 2/17/2013

    " I'm still shivering. WHY I AM STILL SHIVERING??!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nichole | 2/12/2013

    " 100% my favorite story of all time and I'm sure it will remain that way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 12/9/2012

    " Available at LibriVox. These scary stories are becoming better and better... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tasha | 11/22/2012

    " I'm a huge fan of Poe, and this is my favorite story from him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daniel | 3/26/2012

    " Bacaan kompanyon saat lagi baca Masque of the Red Death-nya Nyonyah Bethany Griffin. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kolan | 11/5/2011

    " Read Poe when I was about 16 during my dark goth period (even tho i didn't dress goth inside I was) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer | 8/29/2011

    " This book is so wonderful. The title story is a little fiction treasure, and William Wilson left me wondering as to whether Mr. Stevenson was somewhat influenced by Poe's story, written half a century before his much too famous The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Taylor | 6/19/2011

    " This is a very symbolic story. It scared me the first time I heard it read. Once I dug deeper into all the symbolism it became a better tale. Because of the horror I cannot love this story but nor do I dislike it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marie | 5/18/2011

    " Just read this in school. I loved it! It's so creepy and mysterious. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Juliet | 5/17/2011

    " This is one of my favorite "go-to" books... I LOVE IT!!! I just pick a story... I have yet to read all the stories... It may take me a bit - small doses of dreariness, I suppose. :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie | 5/14/2011

    " This is the ultimate book for Edgar Allan Poe fans! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeremy | 4/28/2011

    " A Must read for every person who loves to read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 4/6/2011

    " enjoyable as always, but don't read them all back to back! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carol | 3/27/2011

    " Had read this is high school and hated it. Then had to tutor an 8th grader on the very same book and loved it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dawn | 3/13/2011

    " I loved Poe's shorter stories, however, his longer ones were a very taxing read - So much unnecessary waffle. "

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About the Author
Author Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1848) transformed the American literary landscape with his innovations in the short story genre and his haunting lyrical poetry, and he is credited with inventing American gothic horror and detective fiction. He was first published in 1827 and then began a career as a magazine writer and editor and a sharp literary critic. In 1845 the publication of his most famous poem, “The Raven,” brought him national fame.

About the Narrator

Patrick Lawlor, an AudioFile Earphones Award winner and Audie Award finalist, is also an accomplished stage actor, director, and combat choreographer. He has worked extensively off Broadway and has been an actor and stuntman in both film and television.