8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Gorey and ghastly,
This review is from: Amphigorey Also (Paperback)
The much-lamented Edward Gorey specialized in intricate, ominous pen-and-ink drawings. Doomed Victorian opera singers, alligators, time-bending bicycles, and plenty of creatures strange and grotesque fill "Amphigorey Also," a collection of Gorey's quirky work.
Included is the cute "Utter Zoo" ("The Ippagoggy has a taste/for every kind of glue and paste"), the tragic "Blue Aspic" (a crazed, impoverished man stalks an opera diva), the amusing "Sopping Thursday" (Bruno the dog looks for his master's umbrella), and the delicious revenge fairy tale "The Tuning Fork." The highlight is the "Awdrey Gore Legacy," a deliciously warped murder mystery.
Some of the offerings are kind of befuddling, like the disjointed conversation between a mustachioed man and a woman with a geisha hairdo, or the "Eclectic Abcedarium" with its too tiny pictures. But most of them, like "Les Passementeries Horribles" (in which embroidery and tassels act ominous) or "The Prune People" (which is pictures of people with prunes for heads) are amusing even if they make no sense.
Edward Gorey's delicate pen-and-ink illustrations would be fun even if he didn't possess the morbid whimsy that fills almost every story. Okay, if you are easily offended, then the "Loathsome Couple" will offend you with a pair of crazy killers lure, photograph and murder small children ("They spent the better part of the night murdering the child in various ways"). But he did so in the best of bad taste.
His slightly warped sensibilities were also shown in the chilly skies and barren-looking outdoors, cute children and haughty adults in Victorian attire. There are occasional splashes of color (like the blue backdrops of "L'heure Bleue"), but even then it tends to be a bit eerie and faded like old photographs.
The eerie whimsy of Edward Gorey's work is alive and well in "Amphigorey Also." A few of the works are duds, but overall it's a strange and wonderful ride.