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Tales from Outer Suburbia Hardcover – 1 Mar 2009

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 98 pages
  • Publisher: Templar Publishing (1 Mar. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840113138
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840113136
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 1.2 x 24.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Shaun Tan was born in 1974 and grew up in the northern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia. In school he became known as the 'good drawer' which partly compensated for always being the shortest kid in every class. He graduated from the University of WA in 1995 with joint honours in Fine Arts and English Literature, and currently works full time as a freelance artist and author in Melbourne.

Shaun began drawing and painting images for science fiction and horror stories in small-press magazines as a teenager, and has since become best known for illustrated books that deal with social, political and historical subjects through surreal, dream-like imagery. Books such as The Rabbits , The Red Tree, The Lost Thing and the acclaimed wordless novel The Arrival have been widely translated throughout Europe, Asia and South America, and enjoyed by readers of all ages. Shaun has also worked as a theatre designer, and worked as a concept artist for the films Horton Hears a Who and Pixar's WALL-E. He is currently directing a short film with Passion Pictures Australia; his most recently published book is Tales from Outer Suburbia.


Product Description

About the Author

Shaun Tan has been illustrating young adult fiction and picture books since 1996 and is recognised as a leading creator of 'sophisticated picture books'. The Lost Thing, 2000, described as Gary Larson meets Jeffrey Smart, contrasts the casual 'What I did on my holidays' narrative with bizarre, freakishly surreal scenes. In 2002 The Red Tree won Patricia Wrightson Award, NSW Premier's Literary Awards and was an Honour Book in the 2002 CBCA awards ..In 2007 Shaun's brilliant wordless book, The Arrival won The NSW Premier's Book of the Year and the Community Relations Commission Award, the 2007 CBCA Picture Book of the Year Award and achieved a Special Mention in the prestigious Bologna Ragazzi Award...Shaun's honours include the International Illustrators of the Future Contest (1992, the Spectrum Gold and Silver Awards, the Aurealis and Ditmar Awards for Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy, and the 2001 World Fantasy Award as Best Artist. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Parka HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 29 Mar. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Length: 0:18 Mins
I bought this book thinking it was an art book, but it's not. Tales From Outer Suburbia is more of an illustrated story book containing 15 short fantasy stories. And it's a children's book, but more for those above 12 year old because some of the stories are, well, very surreal. It's the surrealism of the illustrations that really caught my attention.

Shawn Tan has a knack of storytelling mixing illustrations and words. He would sometimes end a story arc with a two page illustration to bring the story in full effect. For example, in the story called Grandpa's Story, there will be pages of single panels to show his Scavenger Hunt journey before he can marry. In another story Distant Rain, it was told in the form of a newspaper print.

The stories are really surreal and imaginative. Two things come to my mind when reading are Roald Dahl and Big Fish the movie. All great works of surrealism. Anyone who likes the two should like this book.

There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Anne Strong on 5 Jun. 2009
Format: Hardcover
THis is really a children's book, but with a difference, the tales all have a twist, not always a happy or predictable ending, eg the children who walk so far they really do reach the end of the world. But the illustrations are fantastic and quirky
Its a book to treasure - and keep away from the children !
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Antiquated Entertainer on 4 Jun. 2011
Format: Hardcover
I was already a Shaun Tan fan thanks to the beautiful 'The Red Tree', so was very much drawn to this book hoping it would be in a similar vein. I was not disappointed. The illustrations, as always, are beautiful, subtle, haunting and enchanting all at once, but for me it is the poignancy of the stories that lingers. It's that incredible balance of simplicity and complexity all at once. The things left unsaid. The warm little feelings left behind as small and perfect as the parting gifts in 'Eric'.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER on 26 Jan. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Welcome to the suburbs of Australia as seen through the eyes of author Shaun Tan. This collection of fifteen stories is creatively written and illustrated. A comment on the last page mentions that the book was created with the assistance of "the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body."

Not only are readers presented with tales inspired by humor and often bizarre events, but they are also treated to unique, eye-catching artwork with each story. One story, titled "Stick Figures," asks readers to imagine twig-like creatures that roam the neighborhoods. Their stick bodies and sod heads are magical and mysterious.

"Eric" is a foreign exchange student like no other you can imagine. His view of our world and the things he takes from it will make readers look more closely at the little things in their everyday lives.

"Distant Rain" is created on bits and scraps of paper. It presents the idea that all the snippets, phrases, and sound bytes people encounter daily might all blend together in a massive ball like bits and pieces of poetry. "A vast accumulation of papery bits that ultimately takes to the air, levitating by the sheer force of so much unspoken emotion" will have readers appreciating the written and spoken word on a whole new level.

My favorite of the stories is "Alert but Not Alarmed." Here readers are asked to visualize a neighborhood where every backyard includes a huge "intercontinental ballistic missile." Placed there by the government, these missiles are at the ready to protect the neighborhoods from harm. As the years go by and the missiles remain unfired, people begin to develop their own unique ways to utilize each missile.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Quicksilver TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Jan. 2010
Format: Hardcover
'Tales from Outer Suburbia' is a delightful book. It contains 14 sumptuous and surreal short-stories, each beautifully illustrated. Each story feels like a paean to a time that never existed - when the air was clean, the streets safe, and your biggest worry how a dugong ended up in the middle of your front lawn. Magically appearing sea cows are typical denizens of the fantasy-tinged 1950's idyll that Tan has created. Inside the covers of this slender book are brightly decorated nuclear missiles, a wise water-buffalo and a town that ends abruptly at the edge of the street atlas.

Tan uses a number artistic styles to tell his tales, each fitting well with the story being told. Some stories are blocks of text with illustrations, and others have the text embedded in the pictures themselves. Each is charming, some are sad and others joyous. The strongest tales are those tinged with pathos, and tip a knowing wink to our harsher less pleasant world.

'Tales of Outer Suburbia' is a book lovers book, that will appeal to children and adults alike. Like many graphic novels, you don't get very much paper for your money, but Tan's stories will bear many repeat visits. Every page of this remarkable book is worth its weight in gold. Buy it, you won't regret it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Intrepid Newbie on 9 May 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Shaun Tan's unique stories coupled with innovative, detailed and gorgeous illustrations make this book truly one of its kind. I poured over the detail for hours and still haven't exhausted the depth of this collection. I already know of several friends for whom I plan to buy this book for birthday presents.
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