Edgar Allan Poe, the legendary American writer, gave us more than enough masterpieces, but The Fall of the House of Usher is, without a doubt, one of his greatest novels. It was first published in 1839, more than 150 years ago, and the story follows a nameless narrator who's arriving at the dwelling of his good buddy, Roderick.
The man sent him a letter, claiming he was suffering from an illness and asking him to visit and to lend that much-needed hand. Usher turns out to be a hypochondriac, among other things (the fact is - this condition wasn't even "labeled" when Poe wrote about it). Madeline, the sick fella's sis, is also ill and is constantly falling into all kinds of scary trances. Roderick is a pretty talented painter, and the narrator says that he's impressed, hoping to make the guy laugh and to cheer him up.
Next, he reads with him and even listens to his improvisations on a guitar. Usher then admits that he's confident the house is a living, breathing thing and that his sickness has something to do with it. Soon, the narrator learns that the sister is already dead, but Roderick asks him to entomb her for 2 weeks in the fam's tomb before taking her to a cemetery and giving her a proper burial.
The narrator agrees, and then, a series of unexplainable, gothic things starts to unfold. The Fall of the House of Usher explores fear, guilt, and redemption, and the house of Usher is like a symbol of our own destruction. It's a main "character", and Poe pays it as much attention as the narrator and Roderick, putting it on the same scale. This is the writer's most famous work, and the critics are calling it a masterpiece of American Gothic, a one-of-a-kind story.