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Edward Gorey, nacido en Chicago en 1925 y recientemente desaparecido, en abril de 2000, ha sido, sin lugar a dudas, uno de los autores e ilustradores norteamericanos más personales, originales e interesantes de la segunda parte del siglo xx. Paradigma de lo macabro y de lo bizarro, es autor de un centenar de libros ilustrados e ilustrador de otros sesenta. Autodidacta y ex Edward Gorey, nacido en Chicago en 1925 y recientemente desaparecido, en abril de 2000, ha sido, sin lugar a dudas, uno de los autores e ilustradores norteamericanos más personales, originales e interesantes de la segunda parte del siglo xx. Paradigma de lo macabro y de lo bizarro, es autor de un centenar de libros ilustrados e ilustrador de otros sesenta. Autodidacta y excéntrico -vivió la mayor parte de su vida completamente solo, rodeado de sus gatos, libros y discos, y cultivando su gran pasión por el ballet-, Edward Gorey comenzó trabajando como director artístico en la editorial neoyorquina Doubleday y dedicando las noches a trabajar con gran empeño en sus propios libros. No obstante, debido al rechazo de los editores, que consideraban escandaloso el chocante y absurdo humor negro de sus obras, hubo de fundar su propia editorial, Fantod Press, y hasta distribuir y vender sus propios libros ilustrados. Su primera y peculiar mininovela, The Unstrung Harp (El arpa no encontrada) apareció en 1953. A ella le seguirían The Listing Attic (El desván del listado, 1954) y The Object Lesson (El ejemplo práctico, 1958). Sin embargo, sus creaciones no alcanzaron al gran público hasta que en 1972 la editorial Putnam publicó la antología que hoy presentamos, Amphigorey, cuyo éxito propició la aparición posterior de otros dos excelentes recopilatorios: Amphigorey Too (1974) y Amphigorey Also (1983), y elevó a su autor a la categoría de ilustrador de culto. Para definir los dibujos y las historias de Gorey podríamos remitir al lector a una tradición de ilustradores irrepetibles entre los que estarían sin duda Odilon Redon, Arthur Rackham, Alfred Kubin, Roland Topor, o, más recientemente, Tim Burton.


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Edward Gorey, nacido en Chicago en 1925 y recientemente desaparecido, en abril de 2000, ha sido, sin lugar a dudas, uno de los autores e ilustradores norteamericanos más personales, originales e interesantes de la segunda parte del siglo xx. Paradigma de lo macabro y de lo bizarro, es autor de un centenar de libros ilustrados e ilustrador de otros sesenta. Autodidacta y ex Edward Gorey, nacido en Chicago en 1925 y recientemente desaparecido, en abril de 2000, ha sido, sin lugar a dudas, uno de los autores e ilustradores norteamericanos más personales, originales e interesantes de la segunda parte del siglo xx. Paradigma de lo macabro y de lo bizarro, es autor de un centenar de libros ilustrados e ilustrador de otros sesenta. Autodidacta y excéntrico -vivió la mayor parte de su vida completamente solo, rodeado de sus gatos, libros y discos, y cultivando su gran pasión por el ballet-, Edward Gorey comenzó trabajando como director artístico en la editorial neoyorquina Doubleday y dedicando las noches a trabajar con gran empeño en sus propios libros. No obstante, debido al rechazo de los editores, que consideraban escandaloso el chocante y absurdo humor negro de sus obras, hubo de fundar su propia editorial, Fantod Press, y hasta distribuir y vender sus propios libros ilustrados. Su primera y peculiar mininovela, The Unstrung Harp (El arpa no encontrada) apareció en 1953. A ella le seguirían The Listing Attic (El desván del listado, 1954) y The Object Lesson (El ejemplo práctico, 1958). Sin embargo, sus creaciones no alcanzaron al gran público hasta que en 1972 la editorial Putnam publicó la antología que hoy presentamos, Amphigorey, cuyo éxito propició la aparición posterior de otros dos excelentes recopilatorios: Amphigorey Too (1974) y Amphigorey Also (1983), y elevó a su autor a la categoría de ilustrador de culto. Para definir los dibujos y las historias de Gorey podríamos remitir al lector a una tradición de ilustradores irrepetibles entre los que estarían sin duda Odilon Redon, Arthur Rackham, Alfred Kubin, Roland Topor, o, más recientemente, Tim Burton.

30 review for Amphigorey: 15 Obras Ilustradas De Gorey

  1. 5 out of 5

    JV (semi-hiatus)

    Hark, dear readers, for this book is dark and full of terrors! Amphigorey is composed of 15 tales that are nonsensical, rattling, and ghastly. Should you decide to read this, be wary of the dark side for it might satisfy the macabre in you. The Unstrung Harp - 4 stars A fascinating story (and perhaps a valuable commentary) written by the writer (the author) in dedication to other writers and would-be writers about a writer (Mr. C.F. Earbrass) and the writing profession itself! Did I just write a Hark, dear readers, for this book is dark and full of terrors! Amphigorey is composed of 15 tales that are nonsensical, rattling, and ghastly. Should you decide to read this, be wary of the dark side for it might satisfy the macabre in you. The Unstrung Harp - 4 stars A fascinating story (and perhaps a valuable commentary) written by the writer (the author) in dedication to other writers and would-be writers about a writer (Mr. C.F. Earbrass) and the writing profession itself! Did I just write a tongue twister or am I too redundant? Anyways, this is a must-read for writers/novelists writing a lengthy literary piece for Gory greatly portrays and captures the essence of the creative writing process with considerable depth as well as the writer's pleasant and upsetting experiences. Listing Attic - 4 stars An eccentric collection of limericks filled with grim humour. Imagine Melisandre, the Red Priestess, reading some of these: "There was a young lady named Rose Who fainted whenever she chose; She did so one day While playing croquet, But was quickly revived with a hose." "At the Villa Nemetia the sleepers Are disturbed by a phantom in weepers; It beats all night long A dirge on a gong As it staggers about in the creepers." "At whist drives and strawberry teas Fan would giggle and show off her knees; But when she was alone She'd drink eau de cologne, And weep from a sense of unease." The Doubtful Guest - 4 stars A quirky and befuddling story about an uninvited, unwanted, and unwelcomed guest in the form of a penguin (?) wearing a scarf and white Chucks! It seems that the tale is utter nonsense but when you dig deep, it's a fable of sorts — a guest who might have overstayed its welcome, a pet who became part of the family, having a new child in the family or perhaps an unwanted (or illegitimate) child, who knows? "It came seventeen years ago - and to this day It has shown no intention of going away." The Object Lesson - 3.5 stars Illogical, ludicrous, surreal! This is a vastly incoherent tale with a nonsensical narrative! You don't need to understand it. Just throw logic out of the window and let this absurdity confound you! I love the part where a man gave a string to a distraught Throbblefoot Spectre as well as Madame O throwing herself out over the parapet and suddenly disappeared... "Madame O___ in conversation with an erstwhile cousin saw that his moustache was not his own, on which she flung herself over the parapet and surreptitiously vanished." The Bug Book - 4 stars A weirdly delightful and hilarious narrative about several colourful bugs who are living in peace when suddenly a black bug appeared. At first, the colourful bugs decided to become friendly with the odd bug, but then the black bug drove them all away! The colourful bugs band together and devise a plan to get rid of that humongous bug once and for all. I guess some bugs are worth squashing and mailing after all! Now, where's my handy-dandy-ever-reliable broomstick? I'm off to squash someone something. The Fatal Lozenge - 3 stars A morbid, depressing, and unstructured story that goes from A to Z with each letter embodying an individual. This story shows that there are reprehensible people who exist as well as some individuals who need kindness, love, and empathy. "An Apparition of her lover She recognizes with dismay; And later on she will discover That he himself had died today. The Baby, lying meek and quiet Upon the customary rug, Has dreams about rampage and riot, And will grow up to be a thug." The Hapless Child - 5 stars Haunting, harrowing and an emotional read, this is a series of unfortunate events that unravelled after the death of Charlotte Sophia's father. This is a dark and menacing tale about Charlotte's fate that realistically portrays that life is not all sunshine, rainbows, and candyfloss and that stories don't always have happy endings. The Curious Sofa: A Pornographic Work by Ogdred Weary - 5 stars Right, this was hilarious and it tickled me bits! Who doesn't want some naughtiness? Let me assure you that this work is not pornographic at all, in fact, you'll find none in it. It's clean and quite decent but really sexually suggestive and forces our minds to fill in the blanks. If you fancy a bit of "how's your father" without being rompy pompy, this one is for you! Guaranteed to have some giggles along the way! Of course, you're in the land of the well-endowed and all things peculiar are thrown in! Kinky, I might say. However, your mileage might vary, but if you have a wild imagination, you'll find this one to be a hidden gem. The Willowdale Handcar - 3 stars When intolerable ennui strikes, what more can you do but set an odd adventure and explore your surroundings by using a handcar, at least that's what our three protagonists have done! This was such a flummoxing tale! The Gashlycrumb Tinies - 5 stars For fans of gore, you will find this rather amusing. Should I say that it's better to learn ABCs this way? For mature adults a defo yes, but for kids, a big no. "A is for Amy who fell down the stairs B is for Basil devoured by bears C is for Catherine smothered under a rug D is for David done in by a thug" The Insect God - 3.5 stars "O what has become of Millicent Frastley? Is there any hope that she's still alive? Why haven't they found her? It's rather ghastly To think that the child was not yet five." A short rhyming story about Millicent's sudden disappearance. I think this adage still remains true: "Don't talk to strangers". The West Wing - 4 stars Wordless art that evokes a sense of trepidation, mystery, and fear for the reader. Imagine yourself in a peculiar museum of sorts. Immerse in each individual art. Stare at it, does it stare at you back? What do you really see? Mayhap just the tip of the iceberg, but take yourself deeper and you'll find a psychological disturbance that will haunt you eventually. The Wuggly Ump - 4 stars The Wuggly Ump is a nasty creature. One day it felt ravenous and came out of its cave. Reminds me of the story of the three little pigs, except that the three children in this story let this creature in on their chinny, chin, chin. No need to huff and puff to blow their house in! Tasty, I'd say! The Sinking Spell - 3.5 stars Told in rhyming couplets, Gorey tells a story about "something", but what? What was plummeting, descending, falling, dropping, and eventually disappearing? What? Curiouser and curiouser indeed! The Remembered Visit - 3 stars Perhaps an allegory of sorts of how we should seize opportunities given the chance and ensuring that we hold our vows to the best of our abilities for time ebbs and flows. It neither wavers nor stops for anyone.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    It's hard to convey the joy I get from looking at almost all of Edward Gorey's work; I love it so. Whether you adore "The Unstrung Harp" or detest "The Gashleycrumb Tinies," If you're famliar with his work and love, like, dislike or hate it, you can skip this review. It won't hurt my feelings, and anyway I wouldn't know. But there are laughs to be had here and if you're new to him or adore him or want a refresher, there is thoughtful amusement, silliness and so much more in the four anthologies It's hard to convey the joy I get from looking at almost all of Edward Gorey's work; I love it so. Whether you adore "The Unstrung Harp" or detest "The Gashleycrumb Tinies," If you're famliar with his work and love, like, dislike or hate it, you can skip this review. It won't hurt my feelings, and anyway I wouldn't know. But there are laughs to be had here and if you're new to him or adore him or want a refresher, there is thoughtful amusement, silliness and so much more in the four anthologies of which Amphigorey is first. Gorey was a writer and illustrator who mainly created short works full of dark humor, deftly drawn in black-and-white panels, occasionally color. Words are perfectly married to the panels. In each panel something is off, sometimes a few things. A character has feet that are backward or looks like no creature we've seen before. A house, like that in "The West Wing," has panel after panel of rooms that are increasingly bizarre. He disliked the term "gothic" applied to his work but it is, and often with a Victorian sensibility. His sense of humor was wry and droll and generally dark. His graphic short novels are not all simplistic and sometimes the reader has to work things out. He also did drawings for others' work, including illustrating John Updike's "Twelve Terrors of Christmas." He published some things under anagrams of his name. I mention this because like his body of work, this fun fact entertains my Nabokov-loving heart. Pen names included Dogear Wryde and Ms. Regera Dowdy. The guy was weird and I love weird. Amphigorey is a gem for fans of Gorey. One sheltered-in-place day I ordered all four anthologies at once to cheer myself up (morbid, yes, and so cheering). I do wish I'd read them last to first because Amphigorey is his Best Of and it's like starting with dessert. Here's a taste of his prose from "The Unstrung Harp," one of my favorite of his books, which opens Amphigorey. It's the tale of novelist C(lavius) F(rederick) Earbrass, whose prior work includes the successful "The Truffle Plantation" and "More Chains Than Clank," and who is now struggling to finish the novel "The Unstrung Harp" or TUH, as he refers to it, pondering, pondering, wherever he is. From a panel in which he's in the bath: "Several weeks later, the loofah trickling on his knees, Mr. Earbrass mulls over an awkward retrospective bit that ought to go in Chapter II. But where? Even the voice of the omniscient author can hardly afford to interject a seemingly pointless anecdote concerning Ladderback in Tibet when the other characters are feverishly engaged in wondering whether to have the pond at Disshiver Cottage dragged." Part of another panel: "Mr. Earbrass has finished Chapter VII, and it is obvious that before plunging ahead himself he has got to decide where the plot has to go and what will happen to it on arrival. He is engaged in making diagrams of possible routes and destinations, and wishing he had not dealt so summarily with Lirp, who would have been useful for taking retributive measures at the end of Part Three..." Throughout Gorey's works children appear, generally in dire circumstances. He claimed not to like children and that's fairly obvious. These are with few exceptions not for kids and those ought to be purchased separately. His most famous book is "The Gashleycrumb Tinies," a satire of alphabet primers using children's names and...it's easily searchable on the web. I don't dislike it, I don't adore it but there are those for whom it may be a bridge too far. Gorey insisted he was asexual and there's no evidence to the contrary. Another of my favorite books included here is "The Curious Sofa: a pornographic work by Ogdred Weary" (the pen name another anagram of Edward Gorey). It's not overtly racy but it's bizarre and hilarious. An increasingly large group of people gather for entertainments which are described and hinted at in PG-rated language and drawings. But in one panel he writes: "That evening in the library, Scylla, one of the guests who had certain anatomical peculiarities, demonstrated 'The Lithuanian Typewriter, assisted by Ronald and Robert..." That's a brainworm for me, The LIthuanian Typewriter, silly as it is. I take such delight in Gorey, I know I will read this again and again. The other three anthologies will be savored on days when I most need a lift. And if a day comes when the EMTs must take me to the ICU with covid-19, I will grab my Goreys and demand they go with. Possibly in the back of the ambulance I'll still be laughing at The Lithuanian Typewriter...It's all nonsense. Which is how Edward Gorey usually described his work: "Nonsense." Marvelous, internally coherent and FUN -- and if it's nonsense, it's nonsense that delights, stimulates and tickles. I never want to be so serious that there's no place for that on my shelves and in my brain.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Calista

    A Collection of Edward Gorey’s 1st 15 tales that are mostly out of print. This is the best way to be able to read Edward Gorey now. His first story was 1953 and the last in the collection was 1965. The artwork holds this collection together, but for the most part there is nothing that pulls them together accept Edward’s dark sense of humor. I can only imagine that during the 50s this would have been a fresh air of variety and something a bit different. I have no idea how this man got published i A Collection of Edward Gorey’s 1st 15 tales that are mostly out of print. This is the best way to be able to read Edward Gorey now. His first story was 1953 and the last in the collection was 1965. The artwork holds this collection together, but for the most part there is nothing that pulls them together accept Edward’s dark sense of humor. I can only imagine that during the 50s this would have been a fresh air of variety and something a bit different. I have no idea how this man got published in the 50s accept he was so good. This is a fantastic collection of stories, probably more for the mature reader. The artwork is stunning. The story was a surprise and a delight if you can be delighted by a dark twist. There are 4 of these collections. Eventually, I will read them all.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Vacca

    Filled with even more violent child deaths than its successor, Amphigorey Too, this collection of fifteen of Gorey’s earliest works is a catafalque of morbid delights. Beginning with Gorey’s debut, the metafictional masterpiece, The Unstrung Harp, the reader is lead down a surreal path of the playfully grotesque. Insects make sacrifices to their vicious gods, an anthropomorphic houseguest makes a nuance of itself, guests at an orgy bear witness to the horrors of a sofa modified into an infernal Filled with even more violent child deaths than its successor, Amphigorey Too, this collection of fifteen of Gorey’s earliest works is a catafalque of morbid delights. Beginning with Gorey’s debut, the metafictional masterpiece, The Unstrung Harp, the reader is lead down a surreal path of the playfully grotesque. Insects make sacrifices to their vicious gods, an anthropomorphic houseguest makes a nuance of itself, guests at an orgy bear witness to the horrors of a sofa modified into an infernal device, a threesome of fops make a doomed expedition on a handcar, the alphabet is learned at the expense of twenty-six children and, in general, the many eccentrically named characters that populate Gorey’s world are fated with brief lives that only in end in uncertainty and terror. Gorey’s gothic sensibilities, Victorian settings, and art deco caricatures are already realized here at the start of his career. Nothing but a pleasure to read, I am sad there are only two other collections left for me to pour over and that Gorey never wrote in a lengthier prose format. His knack for rhythm and diction is to be admired and should be studied by anyone who wants to learn a thing or three about how to craft a sentence with gusto and panache.

  5. 5 out of 5

    John

    This volume contains The Gashlycrumb Tinies. Perhaps the best way for children to learn the alphabet and of the horrors of life.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Florencia

    I loved this book! This is a collection of fifteen stories and drawings. Gorey's artwork is stunning. And his twisted, creepy sense of humor is just my cup of tea (not everyone's cup, I know). It can be dark but funny at the same time. It's not about some silly, creepy stories, there's a dark reality here that can be found outside this book. So, if this is too twisted and horrifying for you, can you survive watching the late night news? My first Gorey was The Gashlycrumb Tinies (review here). And I loved this book! This is a collection of fifteen stories and drawings. Gorey's artwork is stunning. And his twisted, creepy sense of humor is just my cup of tea (not everyone's cup, I know). It can be dark but funny at the same time. It's not about some silly, creepy stories, there's a dark reality here that can be found outside this book. So, if this is too twisted and horrifying for you, can you survive watching the late night news? My first Gorey was The Gashlycrumb Tinies (review here). And I just immediately connected with this weird little man. Most of the times, there's a lesson to be learned in these stories. So, it's weird but also hmm... educational. Nov 30, 13 * Also on my blog.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tammie

    I really enjoyed "Amphigorey", which is a collection of 15 books first published between 1953-1965. "Gashlycrumb Tinies", "The Listing Attic" and "Wuggly Ump" are a few of my favorites titles in this unique and sometimes bizarre book. I really enjoyed "Amphigorey", which is a collection of 15 books first published between 1953-1965. "Gashlycrumb Tinies", "The Listing Attic" and "Wuggly Ump" are a few of my favorites titles in this unique and sometimes bizarre book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Zedsdead

    If Shel Silverstein witnessed one too many crimes going unpunished and took a dark turn, this is what he would sound like. Or perhaps Dr Seuss injected himself with Science Juice, things went wrong as they are wont to do, and Edward Gorey emerged as his Mr. Hyde. In any case, these rhymes are insanely charming and bleak. An incautious young woman named Venn Was seen with the wrong sort of men; She vanished one day, But the following May Her legs were retrieved from a fen. There was a young woman whose If Shel Silverstein witnessed one too many crimes going unpunished and took a dark turn, this is what he would sound like. Or perhaps Dr Seuss injected himself with Science Juice, things went wrong as they are wont to do, and Edward Gorey emerged as his Mr. Hyde. In any case, these rhymes are insanely charming and bleak. An incautious young woman named Venn Was seen with the wrong sort of men; She vanished one day, But the following May Her legs were retrieved from a fen. There was a young woman whose stammer Was atrocious, and so was her grammar; But they were not improved When her husband was moved To knock out her teeth with a hammer. The Suicide, as she is falling, Illuminated by the moon, Regrets her act, and finds appalling The thought she will be dead so soon. The Proctor buys a pupil ices, And hopes the boy will not resist When he attempts to practise vices Few people even know exists. And of course the Gashlycrumb Tinies: A is for AMY who fell down the stairs B is for BASIL assaulted by bears... Q is for QUENTIN who sank in a mire R is for RHODA consumed by a fire... Just, like.....DAMN, dude.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ashley the Magnificent™

    A is for Amy who fell down the stairs B is for Basil devoured by bears C is for Catherine smothered under a rug D is for David done in by a thug E is for Emily who slipped down the drain F is for Fanny squashed under a train G is for George stabbed with a safety pin H is for Harold who drank too much gin I is for Ida who drowned in a lake J is for John who burnt at the stake K is for Kelly who was smashed with a safe L is for Lina blinded by mace M is for Mary abandoned on the road N is for Neville who licke A is for Amy who fell down the stairs B is for Basil devoured by bears C is for Catherine smothered under a rug D is for David done in by a thug E is for Emily who slipped down the drain F is for Fanny squashed under a train G is for George stabbed with a safety pin H is for Harold who drank too much gin I is for Ida who drowned in a lake J is for John who burnt at the stake K is for Kelly who was smashed with a safe L is for Lina blinded by mace M is for Mary abandoned on the road N is for Neville who licked a poisonous toad O is for Ona stuck under a tree P is for Polly who died of ennui Q is for Quina who was already dead R is for Rhonda who took poison instead S is for Sally, she choked on a peach T is for Timmy sucked dry by a leech U is for Uma struck by an axe V is for Velma shot in the back W is for Wally who is no longer sane X is for Xida who crashed in a plane Y is for Yona squeezed to death by a vice Z is for Zack eaten by mice. Children meeting gruesome deaths while rhyming? Sign me up!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Amy Sturgis

    I'm naturally wired to love Edward Gorey, his elegant and twisted pen-and-ink drawings, and his morbid tales and verses of death, tragedy, and general mishap. His adeptness at poking fun at Victorian tropes and the matter-of-fact, even lighthearted way with which he describes inexplicable mystery, terrible peril, and fatal accidents make him a delight for anyone who loves the Gothic tradition. This collection gathers together fifteen of his illustrated books, including stories, verses, and pictu I'm naturally wired to love Edward Gorey, his elegant and twisted pen-and-ink drawings, and his morbid tales and verses of death, tragedy, and general mishap. His adeptness at poking fun at Victorian tropes and the matter-of-fact, even lighthearted way with which he describes inexplicable mystery, terrible peril, and fatal accidents make him a delight for anyone who loves the Gothic tradition. This collection gathers together fifteen of his illustrated books, including stories, verses, and picture books. It's outstanding for anyone who appreciates (or wants to appreciate) Gorey. The Unstrung Harp; or, Mr Earbrass Writes a Novel catalogues the many woes of the literary life. The Listing Attic is a series of stand-alone dark limericks, mostly in English (though a few are in French). As always, Gorey's drawings work hand in hand with his words. Here's an example of the limericks: Each night Father fills me with dread When he sits on the foot of my bed; I'd not mind that he speaks In gibbers and squeaks, But for seventeen years he's been dead. The Doubtful Guest, told in rhyming couplets, tells the story of an unidentifiable and vaguely sinister guest who descends upon a family, wrecks their home in a mild kind of way, and refuses to leave for seventeen years. "It was seemingly deaf to whatever they said,/ So at last they stopped screaming, and went off to bed." The Object Lesson is a thoroughly moody (and hilarious) prose tale of twisted Victoriana with such memorable ingredients as the Throbblefoot Spectre and the statue of Corrupted Endeavor. This is a favorite line of mine: "On the shore a bat, or possibly an umbrella, disengaged itself from the shrubbery, causing those nearby to recollect the miseries of childhood." The Bug Book tells the story of how a happy community of bugs is waylaid by an interloper bent on breaking up their parties, and how the bugs work together to squash him "quite flat." The Fatal Lozenge, one of my favorites, is another series of stand-alone verses, each playing with a Gothic "type." The illustrations are priceless. The sight of Uncle gives no pleasure, But rather causes much alarm: The children know that at his leisure He plans to have them come to harm. The Hapless Child is a tragic story of the Victorian "poor orphan" variety that culminates in the most melodramatic and fatal of ways, a dark revisiting of "A Little Princess" by Francis Hodgson Burnett. The Curious Sofa, A Pornographic Work is a laugh-out-loud story of the delightful fall of Alice, who is innocently eating grapes in the park when she is invited to join what becomes an increasingly improbable debauch, escalating into a full-scale orgy holiday. The descriptions and illustrations rely wholly on inference and imagination, and thus are all the funnier. The Willowdale Handcar, or The Return of the Black Doll is a delightfully creepy prose story about the ill-fated trip of Edna, Harry, and Sam, who simply wish to escape the monotony of quiet Willowdale. "Afterwards, a gold ring embellished with leaves, grapes, etc. was found; inside were engraved IRON HILLS and the letters D.M.G., which last stood for the words 'Don't move, Gertrude.'" The Gashlycrumb Tinies (another personal favorite), The Insect God, and The West Wing comprise The Vinegar Works: Three Volumes of Moral Instruction. The Gashlycrumb Tinies offers an alphabet of rhymes depicting the myriad ways in which small children could meet ghastly ends. (I remain delighted that it begins with "A is for Amy who fell down the stairs." Go me!) The Insect God tells the horrific secret behind a little girl's kidnapping. (Human sacrifice, anyone?) The West Wing relates its macabre tale through illustrations alone. The Wuggly Ump seems like a cute nursery rhyme; it's all fun and games until someone gets eaten! The Sinking Spell makes me laugh out loud with its depiction of something -- we never see what exactly -- that a family witnesses descending from the sky, falling through the house, and ultimately descending into the cellar. The collection ends with the truly poignant The Remembered Visit, a story about memory, missed opportunity, and the finiteness of life. Not everyone appreciates or enjoys the macabre, even cynical flavor of Gorey and his gorgeous art, but if you have a taste for the Gothic and a love of the morbid and bleak, as I do, then you need more Gorey in your life. This collection is a perfect place to start.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Claire S

    And this, again, gifted from Dad in the 70's at which point I didn't appreciate it at all. In the 80's, in college, were often around people who thought it was Incredibly funny and good and artistic and creative and whole shows put on with/of/about it all and so on. I was unmoved. Unlike 'wild-and-crazy-guys' (different story), in this case, even when I was the right age it just wasn't my cup of tea. I get why it's great and all, but like Coen Bros' films, my reaction is not something I can cont And this, again, gifted from Dad in the 70's at which point I didn't appreciate it at all. In the 80's, in college, were often around people who thought it was Incredibly funny and good and artistic and creative and whole shows put on with/of/about it all and so on. I was unmoved. Unlike 'wild-and-crazy-guys' (different story), in this case, even when I was the right age it just wasn't my cup of tea. I get why it's great and all, but like Coen Bros' films, my reaction is not something I can control, it's just adjacent to (not within) that set of things that I, in fact, like. But I'm happy it's out there and others do enjoy it and life is good in that way.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ronyell

    4.5 stars! EDWARD GOREY’S BEST WORKS JAM-PACKED INTO ONE VOLUME! After reading Edward Gorey’s morbid classic The Gashlycrumb Tinies (which is also surprisingly in this volume), I just had to read more of Edward Gorey’s works and I managed to pick up a volume of his works called “Amphigorey” and boy, was I amazed at the stories in this collection! In this volume, there is a collection of fifteen stories written by Edward Gorey and they include: 1) The Unstrung Harp 2) The Listing Attic 3) Th 4.5 stars! EDWARD GOREY’S BEST WORKS JAM-PACKED INTO ONE VOLUME! After reading Edward Gorey’s morbid classic The Gashlycrumb Tinies (which is also surprisingly in this volume), I just had to read more of Edward Gorey’s works and I managed to pick up a volume of his works called “Amphigorey” and boy, was I amazed at the stories in this collection! In this volume, there is a collection of fifteen stories written by Edward Gorey and they include: 1) The Unstrung Harp 2) The Listing Attic 3) The Doubtful Guest 4) The Object-Lesson 5) The Bug Book 6) The Fatal Lozenge 7) The Hapless Child 8) The Curious Sofa 9) The Willowdale Handcar 10) The Gashlycrumb Tinies 11) The Insect God 12) The West Wing 13) The Wuggly Ump 14) The Sinking Spell 15) The Remembered Visit Wow! I never would have thought that I would find part of the complete collection of Edward Gorey’s works since he noted at the introduction that most of his works were expensive and hard to find, so he made this compilation of all of his works, which was fine with me! After reading most of his works in this volume, I have a greater appreciation for Edward Gorey’s writing style as the majority of stories he had written were truly morbid and gruesome to read through! Just reading about murders and people dying of unnatural causes was just a treat for me to read since I love reading really morbid stories with effective illustrations! Edward Gorey’s illustrations clearly compliment the dark and spooky mood of the stories as the colorings are all in black and white, which seems like something that came out of Alfred Hitchcock’s movies. Some of my favorite stories in this volume were: The Fatal Lozenge The Hapless Child The Gashlycrumb Tinies The Insect God The Wuggly Ump ~A Little Warning~ THIS BOOK IS NOT EXACTLY FOR CHILDREN! As I mentioned before, there are many images of characters being killed or dying of unnatural causes and also, there are many stories where children are killed or are being mistreated that could be disturbing for young children. There is also a story called “The Curious Sofa” that implies that sexual activities between several characters are present. Also, the reason why I took off half a point from this book was because I felt that some of the stories in this volume were a bit boring (“The Unstrung Harp” was my least favorite story) and some stories were a bit difficult to understand since the language is a bit old-fashioned for the modern audience. Overall, “Amphigorey” is a great collection of stories for fans of Edward Gorey’s works and anyone who loves reading about morbid stories would definitely enjoy this collection! I would recommend this volume to older children and teenagers since there are many disturbing moments in this collection and some young readers might not understand the sexual themes in “The Curious Sofa.” Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

  13. 4 out of 5

    PorshaJo

    Amphigorey, or amphigouri, meaning a nonse verse or composition. That is totally this book and the 15 stories included in it. Strange, dark, creepy....I love it. I'm certainly a fan of Gorey and can't wait to read the other 'Amphigorey' books. Each story is told with various black and white drawings. I have to say, this book is *not* for children. Some of the stories are just ghastly, such as The Gashlycrumb Tinies. Learn your ABC's along with rhyming verse telling how small children die. I'm su Amphigorey, or amphigouri, meaning a nonse verse or composition. That is totally this book and the 15 stories included in it. Strange, dark, creepy....I love it. I'm certainly a fan of Gorey and can't wait to read the other 'Amphigorey' books. Each story is told with various black and white drawings. I have to say, this book is *not* for children. Some of the stories are just ghastly, such as The Gashlycrumb Tinies. Learn your ABC's along with rhyming verse telling how small children die. I'm sure Gorey is not for everyone. But those looking for strange and unusual and macabre, this is for you.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Robin Hobb

    Edward Gorey's books are problematic for me. We go into the book store. I find one we haven't seen before and call the Office Kat over. We start thumbing through it, and pretty soon we are snorting with laughter, the tears are running down our cheeks and we are creating a disturbance in the store without intending to. For Chrismas, the Office Kat received a deck of cards by Gorey that are similar to Tarot Cards. They have completely and accurately predicted her day every time she has used them. : Edward Gorey's books are problematic for me. We go into the book store. I find one we haven't seen before and call the Office Kat over. We start thumbing through it, and pretty soon we are snorting with laughter, the tears are running down our cheeks and we are creating a disturbance in the store without intending to. For Chrismas, the Office Kat received a deck of cards by Gorey that are similar to Tarot Cards. They have completely and accurately predicted her day every time she has used them. :)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette (Now on StoryGraph)

    Not great literature, but there's more than one way to earn five stars. This guy's artwork is just delightful, and his twisted imagination and black humor are superb. This is a collection of fifteen of his short books in one volume. If the people at my library knew what was in this book, they might rethink their placement of it in the young adult section. Some of it is quite grisly, and some of it is downright bawdy. Not great literature, but there's more than one way to earn five stars. This guy's artwork is just delightful, and his twisted imagination and black humor are superb. This is a collection of fifteen of his short books in one volume. If the people at my library knew what was in this book, they might rethink their placement of it in the young adult section. Some of it is quite grisly, and some of it is downright bawdy.

  16. 4 out of 5

    aPriL does feral sometimes

    Edward Gorey certainly knows how to deliver depravity and sweet talk his audience at the same time! 'Amphigorey' is a collection of 15 little fun art books that are extremely cultured, shockingly twisted and delightfully creepy, all the while absolutely appalling beyond belief. Drawings of proper Edwardians and careful, polite commentary discuss such topics as child abuse, parental death, murder, hauntings, rotting bodies, perversions, ominous scary individuals, strange creatures, insanity, suici Edward Gorey certainly knows how to deliver depravity and sweet talk his audience at the same time! 'Amphigorey' is a collection of 15 little fun art books that are extremely cultured, shockingly twisted and delightfully creepy, all the while absolutely appalling beyond belief. Drawings of proper Edwardians and careful, polite commentary discuss such topics as child abuse, parental death, murder, hauntings, rotting bodies, perversions, ominous scary individuals, strange creatures, insanity, suicide, and religious excess. Gorey explores these subjects in poetry, limericks, readers for 'children', and mild-seeming descriptions of cartoons that appear calm on the surface. I was enchanted and charmed. Included are: The Unstrung Harp The Listing Attic The Doubtful Guest The Object-Lesson The Bug Book The Fatal Lozenge The Hapless Child The Curious Sofa The Willowdale Handcar The Gashlycrumb Tinies The Insect God The West Wing The Wuggly Ump The Sinking Spell The Remembered Visit We are treated to such inventive verse as: "There was a young woman whose stammer Was atrocious and so was her grammar; But they were not improved When her husband was moved To knock out her teeth with a hammer." "There was a young woman named Plunnery Who rejoiced in the practice of gunnery, Till one day unobservant, She blew up a servant, And was forced to retire to a nunnery." "To his clubfooted child said Lord Stipple, As he poured his post-prandial tipple, 'Your mother's behaviour Gave pain to Our Saviour, And that's why He made you a cripple.'" And: "The Baby, lying meek and quiet Upon the customary rug, Has dreams about rampage and riot, And will grow up to be a thug." "The Magnate waits upon the pavement For his enormous limousine, And ponders further child-enslavement And other projects still more mean." "The Suicide, as she is falling, Illuminated by the moon, Regrets her act, and finds appalling The thought she will be dead so soon." And: "E is for Ernest who choked on a peach" "F is for Fanny sucked dry by a leech" "I is for Ida who drowned in a lake" "J is for James who took lye by mistake" --While the drawings all show little kids in the moment before something fatal is about to occur. I wish I could have met Gorey. I'd have liked to buy him a drink.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Antonomasia

    Having got the personal significance out of the way when I wrote about Amphigorey Also, it's now much easier to concentrate on Gorey qua Gorey. This first collection contains many of his best known strips, including The Doubtful Guest, The Curious Sofa and The Gashlycrumb Tinies, although I'm not quite sure I like it as much as vol. 3. The Unstrung Harp - on Goodreads this is loved as a great book about writing. (Although Mr. Earbrass, of the Maugham-esque moustache, is a full-time author who does Having got the personal significance out of the way when I wrote about Amphigorey Also, it's now much easier to concentrate on Gorey qua Gorey. This first collection contains many of his best known strips, including The Doubtful Guest, The Curious Sofa and The Gashlycrumb Tinies, although I'm not quite sure I like it as much as vol. 3. The Unstrung Harp - on Goodreads this is loved as a great book about writing. (Although Mr. Earbrass, of the Maugham-esque moustache, is a full-time author who doesn't want for money.) Wordier than most other Gorey strips. The peaks and troughs of the initial creative process as detailed here are just as familiar from activities like cooking new recipes, DIY, creating databases, packing and unpacking, as from more obviously related ones like university essays. I absolutely love the two panels during which he finishes the novel and the week following this. Exactly as I always was on finishing essays. The later part of the battle, about rewriting - an activity I've only ever done for online reviews and blogposts - confirms my horror of it as applied to longer pieces of work. The story takes place in England but American details creep in, such as Mr E's favourite sports jersey and 'jelly' for jam. I can't be the first person to notice that Gorey used the word 'fantod' before David Foster Wallace (with whom it's now associated) learned his ABC. The Listing Attic - not terribly impressed by this long succession of limericks. (Although kudos for writing a few of them in French.) Over 50% of them are rather forced, with unlikely character names and contrived wording. Those which sound natural, using 'normal' words and placenames, are best. They do give an excellent overview of Gorey's favourite topics - that he does write more than just the usual gothic Edwardian aristos, and malevolent relatives who inspired Lemony Snicket. These show why his work has aged so well as - besides the mainstreaming of the gothic, he hits the right political notes for his likely, young ,readers now: there's a rhyme about a nasty Xenophobe (with an illustration indicating he's what we'd surely call a Racist); harsh treatment of children, and strong overtones of child abuse lurk with the other more U-rated horrors; and there's occasional LGBT subtext. The most notably contemporary in their concerns included a) the Harvard men, stalwart, hairy, drunk on sherry, who say they are 'burning a fairy'; [Brideshead Revisited revisited?] b) the couple from Herts, whose sex is in doubt, never without their [walrus] moustaches and long trailing skirts. And bowler hats, according to the illustration; c) the flapper on a divan, who, attacked by a virile young man, broke his wrist with her fan. The Doubtful Guest - typically cute and creepy and funny but not really horrific, in the setting of a country house; the classic image I have of Gorey. The Object Lesson - surreal / absurdist Gorey, where things don't quite follow on but they're somehow, just ... funny alongside the existential horror. Like. A wonderful caption: 'On the shore a bat, or possibly an umbrella, disengaged itself from the shrubbery, causing those nearby to recollect the miseries of childhood.' The Bug Book - like a children's story where it's okay to squish nasty interlopers with rocks. As long as you put them in a stamped addressed envelope afterwards. The Fatal Lozenge - another Alphabet. The dark side of Victorian life, essentially. Though the Fetishist fits the early 21st century maxim: if it exists, there's porn of it. ...Hassocks? The Hapless Child - What puritanism has struck me? I can't quite see the point of this now... It is Hogarthian, Dickensian, it highlights conditions of another time which could lead to tragedy. Frances Hodgson Burnett with an unhappy ending. I would rather not find it superfluous, and a sort of exploitative but classy misery-porn, but for some reason I do. The Curious Sofa - Now, it mostly makes me think of Lost Girls, but with coy illustrations, and captions which leave plenty to the imagination. The Willowdale Handcar - the most American one: railroads and handcars and. A mixture of the absurd non-sequitur Gorey and his gothic-tragedy type of story. Perhaps the typically mysterious alternative title 'Return of the Black Doll' refers to the armless figurine in The Listing Attic. The Vinegar Works parts 1-3 A vinegar works is also mentioned in The Willowdale Handcar. The Gashlycrumb Tinies - the original Gorey alphabet of small Victorian children meeting elegantly unpleasant fates. Underwhelming to re-read after his other works. But makes sense as a Hilaire Belloc for a world where god is dead. Their fates are arbitrary and meaningless and unfair. The Insect God - ditto. But a longer story of one child. The sort of gothic fancifulness easiest to associate with Gorey (rather than those stories where the crimes are entirely realistically unpleasant.) The West Wing - mysterious. Pictures of mostly empty rooms, containing individual discarded items, one or two persons living or dead, ruin and decay, and monsters of varying sizes or parts thereof. There is a carpet that looks like the sea. I like the way there are many possible interpretations. I started to think of it as pictures of random rooms in the wing at random times over many years. Brought to mind Punchdrunk Theatre productions and photos of disused theatres. The Wuggly Ump - This would be a good one for a child with a good sense of humour, who isn't easily scared. A kind of satire on children's stories and their conventions but with a different, less pleasant, ending from usual. The simplicity of the drawings is reassuringly unrealistic. And the sleep / dream aspect made me think of The BFG. The Sinking Spell - classically Gorey lacunae: so much unseen and unspoken; the central Creature is never visible and we don't hear any details of it - only that the inhabitants of the house it appears in are somewhat unnerved and fascinated. Like The Doubtful Guest beast, but quieter, and less long-term. Appears to feature Aunt Celia Bagthorpe as the mother. The Remembered Visit - my favourite in the whole book. Only child Drusilla, 11, a holiday abroad with her parents, and a memory years later. It perfectly captures what it is like at that age, dutifully tagging along, perhaps having absorbed some of their interests, the essential dullness of the atmosphere, where the next youngest people probably are your parents. Her visualisation of the old man who's had an interesting life v the decrepit reality, and of the people he and the old-lady friend-of-the-family are talking about, as one big colourful yet static and distant crowd is spot on. This is what being about 9-13 and being the only kid in the company of adults 40+ years older was like. Her forgetfulness afterwards, whilst ascribed as a character trait, also captures the sense of people seeming part of a place, before the internet, and now you are back from that brief holiday, they are gone.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    I am proud to share a birthday with Edward Gorey, so every February I am reminded to dip back into the amusing and macabre realms of this great artist. Visiting some old house as a child, wandering into a room where you're not allowed and peeking at dusty items, a set of old photographs scattering on the floor when you move some curious object on a high shelf, the black and white, pallid, mustachioed faces staring up at you with haunted expressions, you hear a cat hiss in the shadows, you leave t I am proud to share a birthday with Edward Gorey, so every February I am reminded to dip back into the amusing and macabre realms of this great artist. Visiting some old house as a child, wandering into a room where you're not allowed and peeking at dusty items, a set of old photographs scattering on the floor when you move some curious object on a high shelf, the black and white, pallid, mustachioed faces staring up at you with haunted expressions, you hear a cat hiss in the shadows, you leave the room nervously and in the next room discover a chest of antique weapons, which you proceed to play with and get injured by... this is the wonderful type of feeling that Gorey's work gives me. It's continually impressive what distinct textures and moods he could create with simple lines of black ink.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    AMPHIGOREY is a graphic collection containing fifteen books written by Edward Gorey. This was simply a fun read for "blah" day! Contained here are: --The Unstrung Harp --The Listing Attic --The Doubtful Guest --The Object-Lesson --The Bug Book --The Fatal Lozenge --The Hapless Child --The Curious Sofa --The Willowdale Handcar --The Gashlycrumb Tinies (my personal favorite!) --The Insect God --The West Wing --The Wuggly Ump --The Sinking Spell --The Remembered Visit Recommended! AMPHIGOREY is a graphic collection containing fifteen books written by Edward Gorey. This was simply a fun read for "blah" day! Contained here are: --The Unstrung Harp --The Listing Attic --The Doubtful Guest --The Object-Lesson --The Bug Book --The Fatal Lozenge --The Hapless Child --The Curious Sofa --The Willowdale Handcar --The Gashlycrumb Tinies (my personal favorite!) --The Insect God --The West Wing --The Wuggly Ump --The Sinking Spell --The Remembered Visit Recommended!

  20. 4 out of 5

    K.

    Yes, I discovered Edward Gorey on Tumblr. Yes, I bought this from a garage sale for one stinkin' dollar. Yes, this is totally up my alley. No, I do not condone the carnage of children. Yes, I enjoy the sinister, the gloom, and macabre. Yes, the Pacquiao-Bradley match is a conspiracy. Yes, I discovered Edward Gorey on Tumblr. Yes, I bought this from a garage sale for one stinkin' dollar. Yes, this is totally up my alley. No, I do not condone the carnage of children. Yes, I enjoy the sinister, the gloom, and macabre. Yes, the Pacquiao-Bradley match is a conspiracy.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ed Erwin

    A mixed bag, not all stories 5 start, but some parts certainly are. Like Edward Lear, the genius is more in the art than the words, but the stories of each are good, and Gorey can write better limericks (including some in French). A few pieces have art in color. The B/W ones are more to my taste. "The Fatal Lozenge" was another illustrated ABC book, almost as good as the "Gashlycrumb Tinies" (also included here). "The Curious Sofa" was another surprise; I had no idea Gorey had done any "pornogra A mixed bag, not all stories 5 start, but some parts certainly are. Like Edward Lear, the genius is more in the art than the words, but the stories of each are good, and Gorey can write better limericks (including some in French). A few pieces have art in color. The B/W ones are more to my taste. "The Fatal Lozenge" was another illustrated ABC book, almost as good as the "Gashlycrumb Tinies" (also included here). "The Curious Sofa" was another surprise; I had no idea Gorey had done any "pornographic" tales. At least that is what he calls it, but the sex is only implied.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Frances Sawaya

    This is a return reading of one of my favorite authors/illustrators on the occasion of his 88th birthday (see today's Google Doodle). Once upon a time we had every book of his (all first editions) and all signed. Now in retirement we have had to sell the collection, a great loss. We have kept, however, this paperback collection of his early works. Simply love his bizarre humor. Always gives me a grin and a chuckle. This is a return reading of one of my favorite authors/illustrators on the occasion of his 88th birthday (see today's Google Doodle). Once upon a time we had every book of his (all first editions) and all signed. Now in retirement we have had to sell the collection, a great loss. We have kept, however, this paperback collection of his early works. Simply love his bizarre humor. Always gives me a grin and a chuckle.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)

    Gorey's first fifteen books offer an interesting cross-section of his work, from his precise style being formed, to him playing with other looser methods and color. But it's a mixed bag, some hit their tone perfectly, others are just a little too grim... The Unstrung Harp ★★★★★ The Listing Attic ★★★ The Doubtful Guest ★★★★★ The Object Lesson ★★ The Bug Book ★★★ The Fatal Lozenge ★★ The Hapless Child ★★★ The Curious Sofa ★★ The Willowdale Handcar ★★★★★ The Gashlycrumb Tinies ★★★★★ The Insect God ★★ The West Gorey's first fifteen books offer an interesting cross-section of his work, from his precise style being formed, to him playing with other looser methods and color. But it's a mixed bag, some hit their tone perfectly, others are just a little too grim... The Unstrung Harp ★★★★★ The Listing Attic ★★★ The Doubtful Guest ★★★★★ The Object Lesson ★★ The Bug Book ★★★ The Fatal Lozenge ★★ The Hapless Child ★★★ The Curious Sofa ★★ The Willowdale Handcar ★★★★★ The Gashlycrumb Tinies ★★★★★ The Insect God ★★ The West Wing ★★★★★ The Wuggly Ump ★★★ The Sinking Spell ★★★ The Remembered Visit ★★★★★

  24. 5 out of 5

    stefiereads

    Edward Gorey’s style of writing and illustration is my kind of dark. I love how bizarre and haunting his works are. This collection is perfect to be read on Halloween. It’s short but surely will make you creeped out. His stories sometimes starts very slowly and suddenly BAM! It hit you surprisingly at the end. Like you won’t guess that the way that it ended could be that bizarre. All you know something bad is going to happen. In this collection though the stories are not all BAM! But what amaze Edward Gorey’s style of writing and illustration is my kind of dark. I love how bizarre and haunting his works are. This collection is perfect to be read on Halloween. It’s short but surely will make you creeped out. His stories sometimes starts very slowly and suddenly BAM! It hit you surprisingly at the end. Like you won’t guess that the way that it ended could be that bizarre. All you know something bad is going to happen. In this collection though the stories are not all BAM! But what amaze me is that how small and simple but not so harmful can bugged you A LOT and make you feel uncomfortable. I am a fan of Edward Gorey and will read more of his works :)

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    This is a collection of previous Edward Gorey works. It contains fifteen previous "books": The Unstrung Harp, The Listing Attic, The Doubtful Guest, The Object Lesson, The Bug Book, The Fatal Lozenge, The Hapless Child, The Curious Sofa, The Willowdale Handcar, The Gashlycrumb Tinies, The Insect God, The West Wing, The Wuggly Ump, The Sinking Spell, The Remembered Visit. Most people are familiar with Gorey because of "The Gashlycrumb Tinies" (this is that alphabet of children who are killed in biz This is a collection of previous Edward Gorey works. It contains fifteen previous "books": The Unstrung Harp, The Listing Attic, The Doubtful Guest, The Object Lesson, The Bug Book, The Fatal Lozenge, The Hapless Child, The Curious Sofa, The Willowdale Handcar, The Gashlycrumb Tinies, The Insect God, The West Wing, The Wuggly Ump, The Sinking Spell, The Remembered Visit. Most people are familiar with Gorey because of "The Gashlycrumb Tinies" (this is that alphabet of children who are killed in bizarre ways, A is for Alice who fell down some stairs, etc...) or at the very least because he did the intro for "Mystery" on PBS. For people my age (and a little older) Gorey's art work is also recognizable from the John Bellairs book. I've come across a few people who don't know him by name, but when they see his work, say "Ohh, this guy, I've seen this guy's stuff before." I think that Gorey actually pioneered "Twee Goth" (way ahead of his time.) For that matter, he was sort of Proto-goth. He was rocking the goth style before a angsty teenager powdered their face, put on eyeliner and pressed play on a Cure tape, just to commune with the darkness. My whole childhood, I remember seeing Gorey's art in different places. It was fascinating. So dark, yet humorous, and cutesy. And it was so able to communicate a certain feeling, a bizarre combination of creepiness and nostalgia for Victorian/Edwardian UK and/or New England. That said, I can't adequately judge the quality of this art, it is perfect for what it is, and it is what it is. The writing isn't great or anything. A lot of the limericks left me thinking "Man, this is too awkward, he could have said something clearer here." All in all, I really enjoyed this book. My girlfriend got it for me for my birthday, and I read it as part of my "spooky" book marathon for october '09. There were a few limericks in french in "The Listing Attic" which I had to get out the old french-english dictionary to understand. I actually rewrote them in english trying to keep the meaning faithful and put them back into limerick form.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rock

    If you, like me, prefer to curl up in your dark, mucus-lined lair on sunny afternoons; if listening to Joy Division is your idea of a rousing bout of good cheer; and if your great love of children, like mine, extends to cartoon depictions of them being felled by accidents and homicide, then this is your book. Funny, dark, occasionally provoking a thrill of anxiety that comes from staring at a door opened just a crack, and terror at what finally leaps therefrom, these 15 books-in-one are like lit If you, like me, prefer to curl up in your dark, mucus-lined lair on sunny afternoons; if listening to Joy Division is your idea of a rousing bout of good cheer; and if your great love of children, like mine, extends to cartoon depictions of them being felled by accidents and homicide, then this is your book. Funny, dark, occasionally provoking a thrill of anxiety that comes from staring at a door opened just a crack, and terror at what finally leaps therefrom, these 15 books-in-one are like little spells cast in illustrations as detailed and fascinating as whorls in a fingerprint. Worlds populated with Edwardian figures, kidnappers, malevolent insects, tortured scribes, croquet, straw boaters, starched collars, children neglected, children starved, children skewered, smothered, smooshed, and run down by Model Ts, other impending and ostensible catastrophes drawn with either prose or singsong poems or even mute wordlessness: yes please! If, however, you prefer your psychological night life unshadowed and unambiguous, then you are hopeless and should go back to watching television, your only friend.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Gorey was a man of dazzling intellect and he had a talent not only in his stunning artwork but in his writing itself. His creative anagrams of his own name, his brilliantly British sounding character names and places, and bizarre storylines that could only come from someone with a prodigious intellect and a voracious imagination. In addition, I loved pouring over his finely tuned artwork, what originally attracted me to his books. His drawings show painstakingly effort and attention to detail, e Gorey was a man of dazzling intellect and he had a talent not only in his stunning artwork but in his writing itself. His creative anagrams of his own name, his brilliantly British sounding character names and places, and bizarre storylines that could only come from someone with a prodigious intellect and a voracious imagination. In addition, I loved pouring over his finely tuned artwork, what originally attracted me to his books. His drawings show painstakingly effort and attention to detail, especially in backgrounds and interiors. Some of his drawings were barely there, what I assume to be his early work. It's very clear that his artwork only got better with time. This omnibus contains fifteen brief illustrated stories. I especially picked this book up for his story that intrigued me most of all: The Gashlycrumb Tinies, a deliciously dark abcdarium featuring outlandish causes of childhood deaths. Dark and macabre, these books are not intended for children. Gorey's drawings, vocabulary, bizarre names, and unimaginable plots make this book a very fun read.

  28. 4 out of 5

    John of Canada

    An amphigory is a nonsense verse or composition.The stories and poems were very troubling and I did a fair bit of laughing out loud.Children meeting horrible ends,frightening monsters,human and otherwise.What is wrong with me.When I read The Unstrung Harp I had two thoughts.The writing is remarkably original and this sure seems a lot like Monty Python.Right on both counts.The artwork is beautiful in a grim,nightmare inducing way.I looked on the internet and...THERE IS A GOREYSTORE! Time to decora An amphigory is a nonsense verse or composition.The stories and poems were very troubling and I did a fair bit of laughing out loud.Children meeting horrible ends,frightening monsters,human and otherwise.What is wrong with me.When I read The Unstrung Harp I had two thoughts.The writing is remarkably original and this sure seems a lot like Monty Python.Right on both counts.The artwork is beautiful in a grim,nightmare inducing way.I looked on the internet and...THERE IS A GOREYSTORE! Time to decorate. Also;a crapaud is a toad,bleu means blue.You're welcome.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jarrah

    A fascinating collection of some of Edward Gorey's earliest work, the best-known of which is The Ghashlycrumb Tinies. If you're familiar with that story you'll have a sense of what to expect in the rest of the book: twisted and macabre stories and poems accompanied by black and white drawings. This is the stuff of nightmares ranging from the absurd to the too-real (gender-based violence and gay bashing). Several times I found myself turning to the internet to learn more about Gorey and the exper A fascinating collection of some of Edward Gorey's earliest work, the best-known of which is The Ghashlycrumb Tinies. If you're familiar with that story you'll have a sense of what to expect in the rest of the book: twisted and macabre stories and poems accompanied by black and white drawings. This is the stuff of nightmares ranging from the absurd to the too-real (gender-based violence and gay bashing). Several times I found myself turning to the internet to learn more about Gorey and the experiences that shaped his writing, including his role in

  30. 5 out of 5

    Brenna

    I loved this! I was introduced to Gorey through his illustrations for John Bellairs’ books back when I was in fourth grade, but I had never actually read any of his own stories. “Amphigorey” is a great Gorey starter — and of course my favourite book ended up being “The Gashlycrumb Tinies.” Deliciously unsettling artwork and nonsensical stories make for a great combination.

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