The narrator of Poe’s short story “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar” is fascinated by mesmerism, an early form of hypnotism. His ultimate goal is to attempt to mesmerize someone who is on the brink of death because to his knowledge it has never been done before. Luckily for him, one of his friends, M. Ernest Valdemar, is dying of tuberculosis and only has a few more days to live. After Valdemar agrees to go through with this strange experiment, the narrator hustles down to begin working. But no one, not even the narrator, could have guessed what would happen once the experiment starts.
This story was excellent, to say the least. It keeps you ravenously turning the pages because you simply must know what happens to poor Valdemar once the mesmerism has begun. There is also the interesting perspective to consider, which had me intrigued from the very first time it is mentioned. The narrator is telling a story that actually happened to him many months ago, and I couldn’t help but wonder, Why now? Why tell the story after all these months? I guessed that something must have happened recently to elicit this change, but I never predicted the actual outcome. The ending is gruesome and fantastic all the same, and definitely one worth waiting for!
Overall, this quick, fast-paced story is a great one to read if you’re in the mood for a little something different.