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READING THE TBR, DAY 236: The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories (1997) by Tim Burton

If this volume of nonsense verse had been penned by almost anyone else, it would probably have been dismissed as sophomoric and rather pointless. But since it was written (and, it must be added, illustrated) by once-visionary director Tim Burton it received praise such as this:

The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories exquisitely conveys the pain of an adolescent outsider. Like Tim Burton’s movies, the work manages to be both childlike and sophisticated, blending the innocent and the macabre.” New York Times

The weird thing is, both assessments would be correct. Full of creepy kids of often questionable parentage — and one of whom is eaten by his father to cure his impotence — there is definitely metaphor here, and I get it, but the verse often limps along to very unsatisfactory conclusions, and the wordplay is lacking, and ONE OF THE KIDS IS EATEN BY HIS FATHER TO CURE HIS IMPOTENCE.

One poem — this one prose — did make me laugh, however. Entitled “James,” it runs thus: “Unwisely, Santa offered a teddy bear to James, unaware that he had been mauled be a grizzly bear earlier in the year.”

That is the whole of it, and, for me, the best of the collection. I think that says it all, really. 

SCORECARD

TBR DAY 236: The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories by Tim Burton
GENRE: Poetry, Humour, Creepiness
PUBLISHED: 1997
TIME ON THE TBR: ~5 years.  
PURCHASED FROM: Op shop.
KEEP: Possibly.

Published inTBR

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