Amphigorey (Amphigorey, #1)
The title of this deliciously creepy collection of Gorey's work stems from the word amphigory, meaning a nonsense verse or composition. As always, Gorey's painstakingly cross-hatched pen and ink drawings are perfectly suited to his oddball verse and prose. The first book of 15, "The Unstrung Harp," describes the writing process of novelist Mr. Clavius Frederick Earbrass: "He must be mad to go on enduring the unexquisite agony of writing when it all turns out drivel." In "The Listing Attic," you'll find a set of quirky limericks such as "A certain young man, it was noted, / Went about in the heat thickly coated; / He said, 'You may scoff, / But I shan't take it off; / Underneath I am horribly bloated.' "Many of Gorey's tales involve untimely deaths and dreadful mishaps, but much like tragic Irish ballads with their perky rhythms and melodies, they come off as strangely lighthearted. "The Gashlycrumb Tinies," for example, begins like this: "A is for AMY who fell down the stairs, B is for BASIL assaulted by bears," and so on. An eccentric, funny book for either the uninitiated or diehard Gorey fans.Contains: 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, and The Remembered Visit.

Amphigorey (Amphigorey, #1) Details

TitleAmphigorey (Amphigorey, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 28th, 1980
PublisherTarcherPerigee
ISBN-139780399504334
Rating
GenreArt, Sequential Art, Graphic Novels, Humor, Comics, Fiction, Poetry

Amphigorey (Amphigorey, #1) Review

  • Calista
    January 1, 1970
    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.
    more
  • Anthony Vacca
    January 1, 1970
    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.
    more
  • John
    January 1, 1970
    This volume contains The Gashlycrumb Tinies. Perhaps the best way for children to learn the alphabet and of the horrors of life.
  • Florencia
    January 1, 1970
    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.
    more
  • Tammie
    January 1, 1970
    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.
  • Ashley the Magnificent™
    January 1, 1970
    A is for Amy who fell down the stairsB is for Basil devoured by bearsC is for Catherine smothered under a rugD is for David done in by a thugE is for Emily who slipped down the drainF is for Fanny squashed under a trainG is for George stabbed with a safety pinH is for Harold who drank too much ginI is for Ida who drowned in a lakeJ is for John who burnt at the stakeK is for Kelly who was smashed with a safeL is for Lina blinded by maceM is for Mary abandoned on the roadN is for Neville who licke A is for Amy who fell down the stairsB is for Basil devoured by bearsC is for Catherine smothered under a rugD is for David done in by a thugE is for Emily who slipped down the drainF is for Fanny squashed under a trainG is for George stabbed with a safety pinH is for Harold who drank too much ginI is for Ida who drowned in a lakeJ is for John who burnt at the stakeK is for Kelly who was smashed with a safeL is for Lina blinded by maceM is for Mary abandoned on the roadN is for Neville who licked a poisonous toadO is for Ona stuck under a treeP is for Polly who died of ennuiQ is for Quina who was already deadR is for Rhonda who took poison insteadS is for Sally, she choked on a peachT is for Timmy sucked dry by a leechU is for Uma struck by an axeV is for Velma shot in the backW is for Wally who is no longer saneX is for Xida who crashed in a planeY is for Yona squeezed to death by a viceZ is for Zack eaten by mice. Children meeting gruesome deaths while rhyming? Sign me up!
    more
  • PorshaJo
    January 1, 1970
    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.
    more
  • Claire S
    January 1, 1970
    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.
    more
  • Amy Sturgis
    January 1, 1970
    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 dreadWhen he sits on the foot of my bed;I'd not mind that he speaksIn 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 leisureHe 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.
    more
  • Ronyell
    January 1, 1970
    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 Harp2) The Listing Attic3) The Doub 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 Harp2) The Listing Attic3) The Doubtful Guest4) The Object-Lesson5) The Bug Book6) The Fatal Lozenge7) The Hapless Child8) The Curious Sofa9) The Willowdale Handcar10) The Gashlycrumb Tinies11) The Insect God12) The West Wing13) The Wuggly Ump14) The Sinking Spell15) 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
    more
  • Zedsdead
    January 1, 1970
    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 VennWas seen with the wrong sort of men;She vanished one day,But the following MayHer 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 VennWas seen with the wrong sort of men;She vanished one day,But the following MayHer legs were retrieved from a fen.There was a young woman whose stammerWas atrocious, and so was her grammar;But they were not improvedWhen her husband was movedTo knock out her teeth with a hammer.The Suicide, as she is falling,Illuminated by the moon,Regrets her act, and finds appallingThe thought she will be dead so soon.The Proctor buys a pupil ices,And hopes the boy will not resistWhen he attempts to practise vicesFew people even know exists.And of course the Gashlycrumb Tinies:A is for AMY who fell down the stairsB is for BASIL assaulted by bears...Q is for QUENTIN who sank in a mireR is for RHODA consumed by a fire...Just, like.....DAMN, dude.
    more
  • Jeanette
    January 1, 1970
    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.
    more
  • Robin Hobb
    January 1, 1970
    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. :)
    more
  • Antonomasia
    January 1, 1970
    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.
    more
  • aPriL does feral sometimes
    January 1, 1970
    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 HarpThe Listing AtticThe Doubtful GuestThe Object-LessonThe Bug BookThe Fatal LozengeThe Hapless ChildThe Curious SofaThe Willowdale HandcarThe Gashlycrumb TiniesThe Insect GodThe West WingThe Wuggly UmpThe Sinking SpellThe Remembered VisitWe are treated to such inventive verse as:"There was a young woman whose stammerWas atrocious and so was her grammar;But they were not improvedWhen her husband was movedTo knock out her teeth with a hammer.""There was a young woman named PlunneryWho 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 behaviourGave pain to Our Saviour,And that's why He made you a cripple.'"And:"The Baby, lying meek and quietUpon the customary rug,Has dreams about rampage and riot,And will grow up to be a thug.""The Magnate waits upon the pavementFor his enormous limousine,And ponders further child-enslavementAnd other projects still more mean.""The Suicide, as she is falling,Illuminated by the moon,Regrets her act, and finds appallingThe 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.
    more
  • Matthew
    January 1, 1970
    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.
    more
  • Kimberly
    January 1, 1970
    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 VisitRecommended!
    more
  • K.
    January 1, 1970
    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.
    more
  • Ani Vardanyan
    January 1, 1970
    Էդվարդ Գորին գրաֆիկական կարճ ստեղծագործություններ ա գրում. հիմնականում բանաստեղծություններ՝ ուղեկցված համապատասխան նկարներով: Սարսափ ժանրին են պատկանում. ամենից շատ սիրում ա վախեցնել փոքր երեխեքին: Օրինակ՝ մի հատ գործ ունի, որը այբուբենն ա սովորացնում (A is for alala... B is for blabla... էդ կարգի) ու որտեղ ամեն մի տառը ինչ-որ երեխու անվան համար ա ու պատմում ա, թե էդ անունով երեխեն ոնց ա մեռնում, նկարներով էլ ցույց ա տալիս: Ահագին օրիգինալ ու հետաքրքիր էր. կարդացողը հաստատ չի փոշմանի:Հա, ու էս A Էդվարդ Գորին գրաֆիկական կարճ ստեղծագործություններ ա գրում. հիմնականում բանաստեղծություններ՝ ուղեկցված համապատասխան նկարներով: Սարսափ ժանրին են պատկանում. ամենից շատ սիրում ա վախեցնել փոքր երեխեքին: Օրինակ՝ մի հատ գործ ունի, որը այբուբենն ա սովորացնում (A is for alala... B is for blabla... էդ կարգի) ու որտեղ ամեն մի տառը ինչ-որ երեխու անվան համար ա ու պատմում ա, թե էդ անունով երեխեն ոնց ա մեռնում, նկարներով էլ ցույց ա տալիս: Ահագին օրիգինալ ու հետաքրքիր էր. կարդացողը հաստատ չի փոշմանի:Հա, ու էս Amphigorey-ն էդ կարճ գործերի հավաքածուն ա: Նույնը մյուս Amphigorey-ները (Too-ն, Also-ն, Again-ը): Նենց որ արժի հենց դրանք վերցնել միանգամից, ոչ թե պուճուրիկները՝ առանձին առանձին:Մեկ էլ երեխեքից հեռու պահեք, հա: =)
    more
  • Frances Sawaya
    January 1, 1970
    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.
    more
  • stefiereads
    January 1, 1970
    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 :)
    more
  • Dan
    January 1, 1970
    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.
    more
  • Rock
    January 1, 1970
    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.
    more
  • John of Canada
    January 1, 1970
    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.
    more
  • Brenna
    January 1, 1970
    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.
    more
  • Sally
    January 1, 1970
    All (but one) are a *5 or *4 in my book!, October 22, 2014This review is from: Amphigorey: Fifteen Books (Paperback)I'd never heard of Edward Gorey till his work came up as a recommendation on Amazon when I purchased 'Struwwelpeter'.This is a wonderful collection of fifteen short stories/ funny alphabets/ collections of limericks. One 'story' is wordless. A couple have colour pictures and are particularly suitable for a younger audience. One is subtitled 'A Pornographic Work' (you're quite safe All (but one) are a *5 or *4 in my book!, October 22, 2014This review is from: Amphigorey: Fifteen Books (Paperback)I'd never heard of Edward Gorey till his work came up as a recommendation on Amazon when I purchased 'Struwwelpeter'.This is a wonderful collection of fifteen short stories/ funny alphabets/ collections of limericks. One 'story' is wordless. A couple have colour pictures and are particularly suitable for a younger audience. One is subtitled 'A Pornographic Work' (you're quite safe reading it!)I have reviewed each individually (qv), but in brief:1) The Unstrung Harp is to my mind the funniest in this collection - the tale of a struggling writer, written in wonderful rather Victorian English, and with accompanying illustrations.2) The Listing Attic - a collection of excellent limericks3) The Doubtful Guest - another wonderful short story (in rhyming couplets) of a peculiar creature who turns up one day to live with a Victorian family4)The Object-Lesson - very strange; 3 b/w illustrations per page, each with a line of text. No obvious thread to the narrative - seemed to me to be a take-off of Japanese haiku5)The Bug Book - in colour, and aimed at kids too, tale of some friendly bugs and how they deal with a nasty big bully bug who shows up one day6) The Fatal Lozenge - A brilliant alphabet, each letter featuring a person (from Apparition to Zouave) with a 4 line verse7) The Hapless Child - A parody of terribly sad Victorian children's tales (only THEY usually have a happy ending!)8) The Curious Sofa - For me the weak point of the collection. Meant to be a funny pornographic tale, but I just found it silly9) The Willowdale Handcar - Weird, but funny, tale of three young people who decide to take off in a handcar one day. At times quite scary things occur, but as in many Gorey tales, don't expect a conclusion...10) The Gashlycrumb Tinies - Seems to be Gorey's best-known work: a very funny alphabet of 26 little kids who each meet a grisly and quite unusual end ("F is for Fanny sucked dry by a leech")11)The Insect God - I loved this 'cautionary tale' about a little girl who accepts sweets from a stranger - and is abducted and taken off to be fed to an insect! Meanwhile her Victorian family "grew sick with apprehension, Which a heavy tea only served to increase"12)The West Wing - a wordless 30 picture work; each appears to show something spooky in a room - a shadow of a levitating woman; a ghostly face peering through window; handkerchiefs flying...) There's no narrative or story, but I found it grew on me the more I looked at it.13) The Wuggly ump - in colour and definitely aimed at kids, the story of three good little children, weaving daisy-chains and eating their bread and milk; but the Wuggly Ump has left his lair and is headed their vway.14)The Sinking spell - not one of the best but quite entertaining tale of a creature (whom we never see) descending into the house of a Victorian family15) The Remembered Visit - not a funny story, but rather sad and beautiful tale of a little girl being taken to visit an elderly gentleman...Her recollections of the event: topiary, his not wearing socks...and later her guilt at an unfulfilled promise...Buying Amphigorey is the best value way of acquiring a whole collection of Gorey works.
    more
  • Tamsen
    January 1, 1970
    I've wanted to read an Edward Gorey since I got Christmas cards one year with his illustrations. There's something beautiful and sinister about them. This graphic novel is a collection of 15 of his short stories. Some are for children (and thus are weird) -- "The Bug Book" (which is totally racist btw) and "The Wuggly Ump." These are terrible.Some are for writers -- "The Unstrung Harp" should probably be read by every writer and starts off this collection in any interesting way. It's so cynical I've wanted to read an Edward Gorey since I got Christmas cards one year with his illustrations. There's something beautiful and sinister about them. This graphic novel is a collection of 15 of his short stories. Some are for children (and thus are weird) -- "The Bug Book" (which is totally racist btw) and "The Wuggly Ump." These are terrible.Some are for writers -- "The Unstrung Harp" should probably be read by every writer and starts off this collection in any interesting way. It's so cynical from the perspective of a writer that it makes the reader step back from every story to examine it from this point of view. It's the perfect start to the collection.My favorites are "The Hapless Child" and the A-to-Z stories that could be for children - if you wanted your children to have nightmares. "The Hapless Child" is "The Little Princess" with a gruesome ending. Love its fucked-up-ness. It's wonderful. The other two A-to-Zs are "The Fatal Lozenge" and "The Gashlycrumb Times." "The Fatal Lozenge" has lovely gems such as this: "The sight of Uncle gives no pleasure,But rather causes much alarm:The children know that at his leisureHe plans to have them come from harm."And "The Gashlycrumb Times" has my favorite illustration in which I laughed out loud. "T is for Titus who flew into bits" - poor young Titus is holding a unwrapped parcel at the door. Near the end is "The West Wing" - which is simply illustrations without words. This is excellently creepy.All in all - so glad I finally picked this up. Edward Gorey is amazing. There's something so deep and sinister in both his writing and illustrations that your blood curdles in the most delicious way.
    more
  • Icats
    January 1, 1970
    In reading the 15 tales in Amphigory, I thought they were quite poetic, in a Monty Python sort of way.I struggle to describe Edwards Gorey’s stories and basically can only sum it up with two phrases, ”hmmm, wonder where this is going,” and ”I did not see that coming.”Some call his ironic and offbeat humorous stories literary nonsense, but I just call it pure genius. A is for apple and B is for Bear, oh, I don’t think so as you will find in The Gashlycrumb Tinies, "A is for Amy who fell down the In reading the 15 tales in Amphigory, I thought they were quite poetic, in a Monty Python sort of way.I struggle to describe Edwards Gorey’s stories and basically can only sum it up with two phrases, ”hmmm, wonder where this is going,” and ”I did not see that coming.”Some call his ironic and offbeat humorous stories literary nonsense, but I just call it pure genius. A is for apple and B is for Bear, oh, I don’t think so as you will find in The Gashlycrumb Tinies, "A is for Amy who fell down the stairs, B is for Bail assaulted by bears.” His illustrations add so much depth to the stories, or should I say darkness in that charming and witty macabre way.As I writer, I particularly loved this passage in The Unstrung Harp:“Mr. Earbrass has been rashly skimming through the early chapters, which he has not looked at for months, and now sees TUH (The Unstrung Harp) for what it is. Dreadful, dreadful, DREADFUL. He must be mad to go on enduring the unexquisite agony of writing when it all turns out drivel. Mad. Why didn’t he become a spy? How does one become one? He will burn the MS. Why is there no fire? Why aren’t there the makings for one? How did he get in the unused room on the third floor?"If you are a fan of British humor than I believe you will quite enjoy the works of Edward Gorey, despite the fact he was born in Chicago and never visited Britain. Other stories in Amphigory include: 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 Insect God, The West Wind, The Wuggly Ump, The Sinking Spell, The Remembered Visit.
    more
  • Leila
    January 1, 1970
    My sister is responsible for finding this odd, perplexing, entertaining treasure in the stacks of the old university library in our home town. We were rooting around together one afternoon looking for folk songs (believe it or not, kids, those used to be hugely popular in the old days), and she wandered off in search of curiosities. Boy, did she find one.Those who believe they are unfamiliar with the prose and verse works of Edward Gorey (aptly named: his style is like Poe with outlandish humor- My sister is responsible for finding this odd, perplexing, entertaining treasure in the stacks of the old university library in our home town. We were rooting around together one afternoon looking for folk songs (believe it or not, kids, those used to be hugely popular in the old days), and she wandered off in search of curiosities. Boy, did she find one.Those who believe they are unfamiliar with the prose and verse works of Edward Gorey (aptly named: his style is like Poe with outlandish humor--or, perhaps, more like Lewis Carroll's extensive dark side) will still recognize his illustrations. Public Broadcasting Service has for decades used his drawings in the opening credits of its "Mystery!" series. The elliptical heads and static, Victorian bodies that Gorey drew almost 40 years ago are seen in many artists' illustrations in this new century. Droll and faintly spooky, his verse and stories will entertain older children and most adults for quite some time to come, I hope.If you admire Tim Burton, you will most likely enjoy Gorey's work. Gorey was purportedly one of Burton's inspirations. Whether Edward Gorey was inspired by his own name is a question I would like see answered. One of my favorites from AMPHIGOREY--humorously illustrated, of course--is typical of the author's tendency to tread the edge of melancholy to find the comedy in dark subjects:"The suicide, as she is falling/Illuminated by the moon/Regrets her death, and finds appalling/The thought she will be dead so soon."If you don't find that amusing, then you won't care for this book. If you do, you have a treasure chest of the bizarre and humorously twisted to revisit for a lifetime.
    more
  • Andy Culbertson
    January 1, 1970
    I'd never read any Edward Gorey before Amphigorey. The only real exposure I'd had to him was his art for the Mystery! opening credits, so I didn't really know what to expect. In fact, one of the reasons I read the book was to find out what kinds of stories would come from a mind that produced this art style. I was surprised by how much whimsy he mixed in with the darkness. I was also surprised by the fact that some of them were alphabet rhymes rather than stories and that at least one story didn I'd never read any Edward Gorey before Amphigorey. The only real exposure I'd had to him was his art for the Mystery! opening credits, so I didn't really know what to expect. In fact, one of the reasons I read the book was to find out what kinds of stories would come from a mind that produced this art style. I was surprised by how much whimsy he mixed in with the darkness. I was also surprised by the fact that some of them were alphabet rhymes rather than stories and that at least one story didn't have a coherent plot.I'd say the story that fit my vague expectations the most was "The Hapless Child." The imagery in "The Object-Lesson" was the closest to the Mystery! credits. The title page illustration for "The Gashlycrumb Tinies" reminded me of the original Slender Man images. I imagine Gorey's interpretation of that character would be different from the Internet's.Now that I've read it, I don't know what to compare it to for a fair rating, so I gave it 5 stars because I liked it and he's sort of in his own class (or if he's not, someone please point me to others). That said, the illustrations for some of the stories were drawn less carefully than I was hoping, and I'm not sure it was a stylistic choice. But that's my only complaint. I'll probably read his other collections at some point.If anyone likes soundtracks for their reading, I made a Pandora station for music I thought would fit Edward Gorey.
    more
Write a review