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Download The Tell-Tale Start: The Misadventures of Edgar & Allan Poe, Book One Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Tell-Tale Start: The Misadventures of Edgar & Allan Poe, Book One Audiobook, by Gordon McAlpine Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (116 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Gordon McAlpine Narrator: Arte Johnson Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Misadventures of Edgar & Allan Poe Release Date: January 2013 ISBN: 9780385368070
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Meet Edgar and Allan Poe—twelve-year-old identical twins, the great-great-great-great-grandnephews of Edgar Allan Poe. They look and act so much alike that they’re almost one mischievous, prank-playing boy in two bodies. When their beloved black cat, Roderick Usher, is kidnapped and transported to the Midwest, Edgar and Allan convince their guardians that it’s time for a road trip. Along the way, mayhem and mystery ensue, as well as deeper questions: What is the boys’ telepathic connection? Is Edgar Allan Poe himself reaching out to them from the great beyond? And why has a mad scientist been spying on the Poe family for years?

With a mix of humor, mystery, and a little quantum physics, this series opener is a perfect choice for smart, funny tweens who love the Time Warp Trio series, Roald Dahl, and Lemony Snicket.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Middle-grade fans…will enjoy this.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “The light horror, snarky laughs, and…prank-loving protagonists should particularly appeal to fans.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The book is funny, outrageously punny, and intricately plotted in a way that will captivate young readers.”

    Children’s Literature

  • Winner of the 2013 Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 2/16/2014

    " This was a promising series opener for the Poe twins, Edgar and Allan. The boys are descendants of Edgar Allan Poe. The 7th graders are frightfully smart and love a good prank. Alas, they find themselves expelled from their school though, not for their usual shenanigans, but for cheating on a test they didn't cheat on. Home-schooling is boring until their cat, Roderick, goes missing. A trip to Kansas ensues. Mystery abounds, but are the twins in over their heads? Students in 4th-7th grades will enjoy this fun mystery, and learn a little bit about Edgar Allan Poe as well. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christine Crawford | 2/15/2014

    " Cute middle-grade book with clever references to literature. Not quite as good as the Series of Unfortunate Events, but reminded me a bit of them, so would probably make a good read-alike. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christopher | 2/6/2014

    " After reading this book with my son, he immediately asked to start the next book... He was not happy that it is not out yet! :-) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 1/27/2014

    " I really liked this book. It was cleverly told, and delightfully illustrated. I enjoyed the references to the works of Edgar Allan Poe. I thought the one shared mind concept between identical twins was interesting, perhaps especially as I have identical twin nieces. When they are old enough to read this book (they're only six-months-old at the moment) I'll have to gift it to them. :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 1/18/2014

    " Cute, fun and quirky! Perfect middle grade book with enough literary references for adults to enjoy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ashley Wesner | 12/25/2013

    " I really liked this one. The twins are very clever. It was a pretty interesting and fun read! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Karen | 11/10/2013

    " The only reason I gave this a 1 star is because the kindle version I got from Netgalley was messed up and I couldn't read it. If I get a copy and read it I will update my review. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ellen | 10/29/2013

    " This was a fun short read. Not anything amazing, but I enjoyed it. I can see kids really liking it. 4th grade and up (maybe a third grader who's a good reader). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nathan Lieblein | 10/1/2013

    " boring and easy "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yvonne | 9/26/2013

    " A great first book for a new middle-grade series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diane Greiner | 5/27/2013

    " This a fun tale to read with quirky characters and a Sherlock Holmes style plot. Middle grade fans of the Series of Unfortunate Events will enjoy this series by Gordon McAlpine. With the boys Edgar and Allan taking center stage in the story, it is bound to be a hit with middle grade readers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 5/13/2013

    " This was a fantastically fun, quick read. I look forward to reading more of Edgar and Allan's "misadventures"! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Serina | 5/5/2013

    " very nice telling of story of twins named after their great uncle poe. very smart and clever book. excellent read. wrapped up nicely with a little tease of more to come "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carly Thompson | 4/20/2013

    " Clever children's book featuring genius twin boys (and descendents of Edgar Allan Poe)who outwit an evil scientist. Includes appearances and help from their namesake Edgar Allan Poe) from the afterlife. Kids who like Lemony Snickett and clever heroes will enjoy this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tamara Richman | 3/18/2013

    " Cute I suppose but why waste all the heavy literary references? Although I must say that the thought of Edgar Allan Poe consigned to write fortune cookie fortunes for the hereafter is quite amusing. I don't see much kid appeal in this series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer Leigh | 3/1/2013

    " A cute and adventureous read about the great great great grand nephews of Edgar Allen Poe. A huge conspiracy! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rachel | 1/7/2013

    " Great idea, cute literary references, but just not enough plot to make me excited. The best part of the book was Poe and Shakespeare arguing in he afterlife "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ron | 1/1/2013

    " My son read this tale to us in the evening. He and my wife enjoyed the adventures of Edgar and Allan Poe as much as I did. Having the illustrations helped in regard to some plot points. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tara | 12/22/2012

    " This is a funny and smart middle grade book. It is full of allusions and jokes from literature, science, and film. It reminded me a lot of the Series of Unfortunate Events series but is even smarter. Highly recommended for young readers or as a light comic read. "

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About the Author
Gordon McAlpine is the author of two novels for adults (The Persistence of Memory and Joy in Mudville),  the YA/adult crossover novel Mystery Box (which imagines the "real life" of Franklin Dixon and Carolyn Keene, the creators of the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew!),and -- of course -- the first Misadventure of Edgar and Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Start.  He lives with his wife in Southern California.
About the Narrator

Arte Johnson is an award-winning narrator and an American comic actor who won an Emmy Award for his role in the television series Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. His audiobook narations have won two AudioFile Earphones Awards, and he placed as a finalist for the Audie Award for best narration in 2003 and 2007.