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The Gashlycrumb Tinies Hardcover – October 15, 1997
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I found this book hilarious. Gorey's children have a proper Victorian look to them which makes their scenarios that much more bizarre. Most of the drawings show the unfortunate children just before their deaths; only a few of the pictures actually show explicit death or violence.
One could read "Gashlycrumb Tinies" as an outrageous parody of children's books (of alphabet primers in particular), or just enjoy it for what it is. Either way, I think it's a wicked delight.
As my title indicates, I found it highly amusing. I found myself laughing out loud a few times while reading this very short book.
The illustrations are fantastic as you can gather from most of these reviews. Most of the illustrations are funny but I might note the exception to that in the gruesome image of Kate's corpse after being struck with an ax. I think that's the only illustration taking place after the event. That proved to be an exception though. The book is very amusing and hilarious at times.
It's an anti-children's book for adults. It can be a funny remedy to the insipid and happy-go-lucky kinds of children's books. That doesn't mean this is just for parents or those particularly sick with those children's books. I think anyone with a decent sense of humor, and especially a dark one, would enjoy this.
It's short. I don't know why the information says it's 64 pages because there are only 26 letters in the alphabet. Anyway, my point is that it's just a little humorous diversion.
This hardcover edition is really great. It's high quality and just plain nice...
Although his disaster-specific illustrations (such as "R is Rhoda consumed by a fire") are macabrely witty, Gorey is really at his best when he leaves the most to your imagination. Consequently, it is really his illustrations of impending doom ("P is for Prue trampled flat in a brawl") or the shocking aftermath of an unknown circumstance ("K is for Kate who was struck with an ax") that are most likely to inspire a mischievous grin.
Although you might not want to give this to your anxiety-prone niece or your traumatized stepson as a Christmas stocking stuffer unless you wish to make them worry about your intent, older children will likely find it every bit as comical as adults--but adults are the real audience here, much more likely to catch the drop-dead humor involved. Wickedly amusing and sinisterly charming in every way.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer
For those who may not know, The Gashlycrumb Tinies, by the legendary Edward Gorey, is a series of pen and ink illustrations that concern the ghastly, serial deaths of twenty-six small children (yes I feel awful just typing that knowing it's being read) all of whom have a name beginning with one consecutive letter of the alphabet, A,B, C, etc. and all of whom are depicted meeting singularly gruesome fates, each of the incidents set merrily to rhyme. The children are Victorian or Edwardian, as are nearly all characters Gorey drew, and they meet their demises in astonishingly horrid ways. One is devoured by mice, another is eaten by bears. Another is sucked dry by a leech, yet another unfortunate meets her fate under a rug. One child even manages to perish from ennui!
Oh, dear Lord, this is insanity, and yet as penned by Gorey, this is so sick it's funny.
I'm stopping here.
Before anyone tracks me down to stone me at a crossroads under a full moon while chanting from the Book of Common Prayer, try reading this disgustingly hilarious little collection and see if you don't agree it reaches in and finds some twisted avenue in your soul and tickles till your inner sadist erupts with laughter.
I like children. I swear I do.
"M is for Maud who was swept out to sea..."
Help! I'm not a bad person for laughing, honestly! Sick! Sick! SICK!