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The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories: And Other Stories [Paperback]

Tim Burton
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
RRP: £9.99
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Book Description

18 Nov. 2004
Twenty-three illustrated gothic tales from the dark corridors of the imagination of Tim Burton. Burton - the creative genius behind Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow and Nightmare Before Christmas, among others - now gives birth to a cast of gruesomely sympathetic children: misunderstood outcasts who struggle to find love and belonging in their cruel, cruel worlds. His lovingly lurid illustrations evoke both the sweetness and tragedy of these hopeful, yet hapless beings.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (18 Nov. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 057122444X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571224449
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

This unassuming hardcover in black buckram with a dark lavender title plate is the door into a world of twisted pleasures. Filmmaker Tim Burton (Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, The Nightmare Before Christmas) tells 23 winsomely macabre stories about boys and girls who don't fit in. Their bodies are misshapen, their habits are odd and their parents are appalled by them. But they do try hard to be human, like poor unwanted Mummy Boy, who's "a bundle of gauze": he goes for a walk in the park with his mummy dog. Some kids who are having "a birthday party for a Mexican girl" mistakenly take Mummy Boy for a piñata: "They took a baseball bat and whacked open his head. Mummy Boy fell to the ground; he finally was dead. Inside of his head were no candy or prizes, just a few stray beetles of various sizes." For all its simple humour, The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories is a peculiarly disturbing book about the violence that children suffer. It is illustrated in pen and ink, watercolours, and crayon. The themes and imagery are at a young-adult to adult level. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


'Burton's creepy stories conjure up the fantastical, even the slightly demented.' -- Entertainment Weekly

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unusually enchanting and cherished read 9 Jan. 2004
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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rantings of a Tim Burton lover! 20 Jun. 1999
By A Customer
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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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, but splendid! 14 Nov. 2004
By A Customer
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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another masterwork from the King of the Macabre 25 May 2004
By Arbie
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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