The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe


The old man is kind, but he has a vulture eye and his heart beats like a watch enveloped in cotton.  It is too much for the narrator to bear, whose senses are acute.  No, the old man must die.  Yet, will death stop the beating heart, or will it never cease?

Duration: 00:21:18 (about 21 minutes)
File Size: 19.5 MB
Download: The Tell-Tale Heart – MP3

Recording Copyright © 2007 Nikolle Doolin


In this story, there is an old, male victim, but the narrator’s gender is never mentioned, except, perhaps, for the generic description of madman.  I’m sure Poe was thinking of a male protagonist, when you consider the period in history the story was written and the nature of the horrible crime, but I decided to read this as a female character—not just as a woman reading a male role.  Since Poe did not make the gender absolute, it opens the door for a different kind of presentation.  So, try to imagine that a woman is telling you her terrible tale.  I’m sure the audience of Poe’s day would have found that even more hideous.

Warning: This story contains subject matter that may not be suitable for all audiences.