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The Haunted Tea-cosy: A Dispirited and Distasteful Diversion for Christmas Hardcover – 20 Oct 1999


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (20 Oct. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747545308
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747545309
  • Product Dimensions: 19.1 x 19.2 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 293,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A truly prodigious and original artist, Edward St. John Gorey (1925-2000), gave to the world over one hundred works, including The Gashlycrumb Tinies, The Doubtful Guest and The The Wuggly Ump; prize-winning set and costume designs for innumerable theatre productions from Cape Cod to Broadway; a remarkable number of illustrations in publications such as the New Yorker and the New York Times. Gorey's masterful pen and ink illustrations and his ironic, offbeat humour have brought him critical acclaim and an avid following throughout the world.

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First Sentence
He was hardly able to cut a slice of fruitcake from the last one he had received more than a decade ago. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tatiana on 12 Jan. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book. It is so good and so me that I bought 2, one a present and one for moi. Mr. Gorey is so dark in his humour but his engravings are utterly rememberable. I keep hearing the words in my head. Lovely, lovely volume.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Catleugh on 3 Feb. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What can I say? Gorey's inimitable black humour coupled with his superb draftsmanship have once again produced a little gem. These little books by the master never fail to delight and lift my mood at least.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MFo on 28 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was the first book of Gorey's, where I encountered colour. I have to say, I prefer it just black and white. The best character is most definitely the Bahhum Bug but I didn't find this book as enjoyable as some of his other titles. It was just 'okay'.
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7 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Nov. 1998
Format: Hardcover
I liked it lots, beautiful illustrations for a nice change of pace from the usual holiday cheer, and yes "her husband's were the brains" is correct, as in "her husband's [brains] were the brains".
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 29 reviews
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
A slight poem 24 Feb. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I've read this book a time or two and looked up words I thought I knew. They're sometimes long, sometimes arcane and even sometimes quite inane.
Didactically its well diffused. It's only we it leaves confused. Just when you think you've got the plot, you find what's plot is really not.
And here's a clue that's truly droll. Wallpaper seems to have a role. Perhaps it's meant to be the paste that makes diffusiveness a whole.
Yet it's a Dickens of a story, and we know, of course, it's a-la-Gorey.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Amusing diversion for Christmas 6 Nov. 2002
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Three ghosts, a recluse and an initial apparition. Dickens, right? Wrong: Edward Gorey does his own take on "Christmas Carol" in "The Haunted Tea Cosy." Delightfully verbose and filled with Gorey's surreal drawings, this is a picture book that adults will adore.
Recluse Edward Gravel is going about dreary tasks before Christmas. Then sudden an enormous insectile creature leaps from beneath the tea cosy. (Never mind what a tea cosy is) It is the Bahhum Bug, which has come to "diffuse the interests of didacticism." To escort the Bahhum Bug and Mr. Gravel, three subfuse but transparent personages appear to show him the Christmas That Never Was, The Christmas That Isn't, and The Christmas That Never Will Be. They show him distressing scenes around the grey town of Lower Spigot. It's written in a wry, twisted style, this book includes delightfully dour illustrations by the late and much lamented Gorey.
Tired of relentless holiday cheer? Looking for a dash of Halloween's darkness in the chirrupy holiday season? Then check out "The Haunted Tea Cosy," and then carry on to "the very edge of the unseemly"!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Hilarious 24 May 2001
By kennedy19 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"The Haunted Tea Cosy" shows Gorey's esoteric humor at its best. Loosely based on Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," we follow Edmund Gravel through a series of affecting scenes rendered in flat pen and ink, many involving wallpaper and other absurd Edwardian commonplaces. In the end he builds a mountain of fruitcake and carries a celebration "to the very edge of the unseemly." Fans of Gorey will treasure this addition to the canon, and those unfamiliar with his brilliant "Amphigorey" collection may begin to see what the fuss is about by reading this offbeat gift book.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Good interpretation with illustrations below par 18 Nov. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I LOVE Ed Gorey's work and have a growing collection. His attention to detail, symbolism, word usage and dark humor are all hallmarks.
However, I was a little disappointed with the "Haunted Tea Cozy," which I received as a gift. This is a clever, witty interpretation of "A Christmas Carol" and is vintage Gorey with regard to the text and choice of characters.
However, the drawings were just not as sharply detailed as Gorey fans will be expecting. I don't want to place blame with Mr. Gorey (this work was first printed in magazine form a year before and maybe the loss of crispness, hatching etcetera was due to the printing).
If you are an avid collector you will still want it and if you like the story or Mr. Gorey's writing it's worth the money. Nonetheless this is the first time I can say that I felt slightly cheated with a Gorey work.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Bahum Bug and Happy New Year 5 Dec. 1999
By Ann W. Unemori - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is a wonderfl antithesis to all the forced jollities of Dicken's beloved chestnut. Old Scrooge should only meet this Bahum Bug! Instead, the Yuletide Bug takes the dour Edward Gravel through a tour of Christmases that Never Were, Isn't, and Never Will Be, all shown in wonderfully ambiguous terms. Of course the Moral Lesson Is Learned, and Mr.Gravel learns to sheer cheer with the equally grey people of his town of Lower Spigot. But the delight is that nowhere does Gorey force the lesson on us, never do the odd little tragedies, even in cemetaries, force one to See the Real Meaning of Christmas--until we have finished the story, and even then it is a droll little moral. This is one story I intend to make a holiday standard in my family.
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