I read this in 2010, gave it three stars, and I have no idea why, because I can't remember a damn thing about it.

Let's see if Wiki can cast some light on it...

"The Man of the Crowd" is...about a nameless narrator following a man through a crowded London...

After an unnamed illness, the unnamed narrator sits in an unnamed coffee shop...he considers how isolated people think they are, despite "the very denseness of the company around". He takes time to categorize the different types of people he sees...the narrator focuses on "a decrepit old man, some sixty-five or seventy years of age", whose face has a peculiar idiosyncrasy...


Wow, no wonder I'm having trouble remembering the specifics of this one, everything and everyone is nameless! It's easy to forget people and things when your brain doesn't categorize them with some kind of title, name, or at least a brief-yet-memorable definition.

The Man of the Crowd reminds me of something a college professor once told me: 99 out of 100 people you'll meet will be interesting is someway, while that 100th person will be interesting because he/she will be so unnaturally boring as to make him/her interesting.

So, our unnamed narrator spots the world's least interesting man and is so drawn to him as to spend the entire evening and night following the man around to discover what he's about. The plot thickens the more nothing happens. The very fact that this man wonders without purpose, seems to have no home or place to go, this limbo state is enough to condemn the man in the eyes of his pursuer. Clearly, thinks the narrator, this man is guilty of something!

I have a vivid imagination, so this sort of scenario actually makes sense to me. Poe had a pretty dang vivid imagination, too...in fact his probably ranks up their on the top "most vivid" list. I think that kind of mind, the curious one that can make up crazy shit where others see normality, is prevalent in writers especially while their industriously working away at their craft. So while this might sound nuts I'm going to say it anyway, The Man of the Crowd is the kind of story that could only be written by a writer.