Friday, November 23, 2012

[BOOK REVIEW] Amphigorey by Edward Gorey

Title:  Amphigorey

Author: Edward Gorey

Genre: Horror / Fantasy

Year Published: 1972

Year Read: 2012

Series: Amphigorey #1

Publisher: Perigee Trade

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 10+ (Death, Violence, Disturbing Imagery and Sexual Situations)


After reading Edward Gorey’s morbid classic “The Gashlycrumb Tinies” (which is also surprisingly in this volume), I just had to read more of Edward Gorey’s works and I managed to pick up a volume of his works called “Amphigorey” and boy, was I amazed at the stories in this collection!

In this volume, there is a collection of fifteen stories written by Edward Gorey and they include:

1)      The Unstrung Harp
2)      The Listing Attic
3)      The Doubtful Guest
4)      The Object-Lesson
5)      The Bug Book
6)      The Fatal Lozenge
7)      The Hapless Child
8)      The Curious Sofa
9)      The Willowdale Handcar
10)  The Gashlycrumb Tinies
11)  The Insect God
12)  The West Wing
13)  The Wuggly Ump
14)  The Sinking Spell
15)  The Remembered Visit

Wow! I never would have thought that I would find part of the complete collection of Edward Gorey’s works since he noted at the introduction that most of his works were expensive and hard to find, so he made this compilation of all of his works, which was fine with me!  After reading most of his works in this volume, I have a greater appreciation for Edward Gorey’s writing style as the majority of stories he had written were truly morbid and gruesome to read through!  Just reading about murders and people dying of unnatural causes was just a treat for me to read since I love reading really morbid stories with effective illustrations!  Edward Gorey’s illustrations clearly compliment the dark and spooky mood of the stories as the colorings are all in black and white, which seems like something that came out of Alfred Hitchcock’s movies.  Some of my favorite stories in this volume were “The Fatal Lozenge,” “The Hapless Child,” “The Gashlycrumb Tinies,” “The Insect God” and “The Wuggly Ump.”

~A Little Warning~


As I mentioned before, there are many images of characters being killed or dying of unnatural causes and also, there are many stories where children are killed or are being mistreated that could be disturbing for young children.  There is also a story called “The Curious Sofa” that implies that sexual activities between several characters are present.  Also, the reason why I took off half a point from this book was because I felt that some of the stories in this volume were a bit boring (“The Unstrung Harp” was my least favorite story) and some stories were a bit difficult to understand since the language is a bit old-fashioned for the modern audience.

Overall, “Amphigorey” is a great collection of stories for fans of Edward Gorey’s works and anyone who loves reading about morbid stories would definitely enjoy this collection!  I would recommend this volume to older children and teenagers since there are many disturbing moments in this collection and some young readers might not understand the sexual themes in “The Curious Sofa.”


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