The Pit and the Pendulum

audiobook (Unabridged) Select Stories of Edgar Allan Poe

By Edgar Allan Poe

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First published in a 1842 literary annual The Gift: A Christmas and New Year's Present for 1843, The Pit and the Pendulum takes place during the Spanish Inquisition. It follows the plight of an unnamed narrator, kept prisoner in a darkened cell full of unseen dangers. Later, by encouraging rats to chew through his bonds, he barely escapes a hideous death by a descending, razor-sharp pendulum. But his torments do not end there. The story is especially effective for its focus on sensory observations, heightening the realism, in contrast to Poe's more frequent reliance on supernatural phenomena.
The Pit and the Pendulum