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The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy Hardcover – 7 Dec 1998

4.8 out of 5 stars 108 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 7 Dec 1998
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber; New edition edition (7 Dec. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571195121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571195121
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 1.6 x 20.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 680,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Occupying a similarly sinister and macabre world to the American artist Edward Gorey Tim Burton's work is similarly difficult to place. This is a beautifully produced book filled with fine line drawings--many in colour--illustrating 23 small verse stories which all centre on a surreal deformity--the eponymous Oyster Boy, Stain Boy, The Boy with Nails in his Eyes, Junk Girl, The Pin Cushion Queen...The tales are all quietly disturbing. As with Burton's cinematic work (Edward Scissorhands, Nightmare Before Christmas and Mars Attacks) the book seems aimed at children but the subtexts feel too disquieting. This however is where Burton's genius lies. Children are outcasts in the adult world and their own notion of what is important, grave, frightening and odd is different to ours. We each remember the child inside of us and so are each compelled to recognise the otherness within ourselves: the outcasts that Burton paints are somehow strangely well known to us. As dark and disturbing as the best fairy tales Burton shares a space with the Brothers Grimm--a place that all children know exists when the lights go out and the adults leave the room. --Mark Thwaite

Review

'Burton's creepy stories conjure up the fantastical, even the slightly demented.' -- Entertainment Weekly --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This collection of poems are essentially short stories about misunderstood children, outcast from society and mentally tortured by their abnormalities. Such characters include “The Boy with Nails in His Eyes”, “The Pin Cushion Queen” and “Jimmy, the Hideous Penguin Boy”. Each short story portrays the loneliness and sadness, which consume these characters as they struggle to find compassion, love and acceptance in their lives.
Each story is simply, yet beautifully illustrated by Burton who designs the sets, costumes and mise-en-scene for his films in the same intricate manner. The illustrations are almost childish but provoke a feeling of deep sorrow in the reader. Each illustration is roughly coloured with faint watercolours enhancing the fragility and innocence of youth in these individuals. . In contrast to the saddening drawings, the poems are surprisingly funny in a twisted, typically Burton-esque way. The stories are a complex combination of humour and tragedy, disguising deep and serious subtexts with a light hearted mask.
Although this book has the appearance of an illustrated storybook for children, the macabre subjects of the stories and satirical humour can only be fully appreciated by adults. But it is the childlike and innocent nature of the book which makes it such an unusually enchanting and cherished read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I liked this little collection of macabre poems about the woes of growing up. Discover strange misfits, hapless beings in a fantastical world. From the pen that created the cult classics such as (my most favourite film of all time) 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' and 'The Corpse Bride'. The creative genius that is Tim Burton.

The little book is eloquently illustrated in his most creatively bizarre style, a book for all Tim Burton fans.
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Format: Hardcover
My first experience of Tim Burton was when I saw the first Batman andI loved the style of his work.After that I saw The Nightmare Before christmas and it blew me away!! I have recently purchased oyster boy & other stories and thought it was Tim Burton in a book . He teases us with such works and your always hungry for more with his eerie endings .The characters are just sad looking misfits and are troubled like so many of us in life,but their troubles are far from normal and you just have to grin at their misery.His drawings are just so unique! oyster boy and other stories brings out the child in me makes me want to write my own tragedies long and short!All I have to say is MORE PLEASE TIM BURTON.!!!!!!!!!!!!! .
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Format: Hardcover
As this is my first ever encounter of actually READING a book by Tim Burton I found it quite strange, yet altogether fascinating at the same time. I almost felt as though Jack, pumpkin king was reading the text. Tim Burton writes as well in books as in his films and I am now a dedicated fan! A lot of my friends have commented on the books adult humour and it's 'sickness', but I found it amusing, heartwarming, dark and macabre, all the things you would expect from a Tim Burton book. A fabulous book!!!!!!
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By A Customer on 14 Nov. 2004
Format: Paperback
The ratio of the price to the number of words you get from this book is terribly high. One may think this is kind of a dishonest way of publishing. However, if you look into the contents and you will see that it is actually worth buying it. The stories will 'haunt' you (not too much in such a terrible way) as they are absolutely weird. The illustrations are also very well-done so as to get you into these strange short stories easily.
Tim Burton's unique style has been fully reflected in this dark but splendid piece of work. If you like his movies, you will like this book and will hang on to it forever.
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Format: Hardcover
I really cannot be unbiased about this work, because it is by one of my great influences, Tim Burton. I absolutely love his best work - the dark fairy tales, such as 'Beetlejuice' and 'Sleepy Hollow' - especially my favourite animated movie of all time (alongside Aladdin, that is), 'Nightmare Before Christmas'.
I bought this book for that name. The content is exactly what I wished for - an eclectic group of disfunctional gothic characters, that while creepy, are sincerely endearing. The stories of these doomed children are of misfortune, each due to a unique hamartia, a fundamental fault (for example, Stain Boy, whose disadvantage is pretty self-explanatory - I should add that he is now the titular character in a series of animated shorts on the website AtomFilms). Each tragic tale is written in the form of rhyming verse, and each poem paints a truly disturbing vignette of a character that you will either deeply empathise with, or find vehemently repulsive (it is an odd combination that Burton pulls of effortlessly). Many might consider the work allegorical, highlighting the burden of idiosyncratic flaws that ail the outsiders of human society - others will just relish the sinister humour, sympathetic care and fervent artistry of the writing and illustrations.
The verse is well-crafted, and the watercolour paintings of the poor ailed children are evocative and deliciously haunting. I'd recommend this to any Burton fan, both adults, and children that like a bit of light-hearted horror (as I did as a child, loving 'Nightmare Before Christmas' so much in my early years). I reluctantly drop one point due to the fact that its very short, and probably not something for every mood. Also, people who don't share a delight for Burton's vision of the gloomy fairy tale should probably give this a miss. For the rest of us, this is a highly enjoyable read that will please on many levels.
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