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Mr. Auguste Dupin is a fictional character created by Edgar Allan Poe for his famous short story "The Murders of the Rue Morgue." Dupin is generally recognized as the first modern detective in the first modern detective story. In The Man Who Was Poe, Edgar Allan Poe adopts the persona of Dupin to help solve the mysterious disappearance of Edmund's sister.

Avi presents us with the conventional—and contested—portrait of Poe as a hopeless alcoholic, attempting to drown his numerous demons in drink. Yet when he puts on the mantle of the great detective, he's a completely different man—thorough, logical, and meticulous in his investigatory methods. Put crudely, Dupin is Poe during his all too rare moments of lucid sobriety. But during those moments, and through the alter ego of Dupin, we get to see flashes of the real Edgar Allan Poe—a highly intelligent man with a wonderfully creative, original mind.

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