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Amphigorey: Fifteen Books Paperback – 28 January 1980
Enhance your purchase
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
Frequently bought together
About the Author
- Publisher : Penguin Putnam Inc (28 January 1980)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 240 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0399504338
- ISBN-13 : 978-0399504334
- Reading age : 18 years and up
- Dimensions : 20.29 x 1.37 x 27.58 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 147,912 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Top reviews from other countries
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 limericks
3) The Doubtful Guest - another wonderful short story (in rhyming couplets) of a peculiar creature who turns up one day to live with a Victorian family
4)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 haiku
5)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 day
6) The Fatal Lozenge - A brilliant alphabet, each letter featuring a person (from Apparition to Zouave) with a 4 line verse
7) 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 silly
9) 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 family
15) 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.