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Tales from Outer Suburbia

by

Tales from Outer Suburbia Cover

ISBN13: 9780545055871
ISBN10: 0545055873
All Product Details

 

Staff Pick

This set of illustrated short stories by staff favorite Shaun Tan offers a fabulous showcase of his range as an artist. Many of his stories are open-ended, which immediately drew a comparison in my mind to The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg. Tales from Outer Suburbia is the best of short story writing, as well — simple but multi-layered — making it a great book club book as well. I have read this book four times now and, really, I can't articulate how much I love it.
Recommended by Jill S., Powells.com

Review-A-Day

"[Tan]...does not disappoint his readers with this collection of 15 vignettes, each drawing from the oddities of suburban life....[T]he stories and the art form a bridge between the fantastic world and the real world." Sarah Miller, Powells.com (read the entire Powells.com review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An exchange student who's really an alien, a secret room that becomes the perfect place for a quick escape, a typical tale of grandfatherly exaggeration that is actually even more bizarre than he says...

These are the odd details of everyday life that grow and take on an incredible life of their own in tales and illustrations that Shaun Tan's many fans will love.

Review:

"The term 'suburbia' may conjure visions of vast and generic sameness, but in his hypnotic collection of 15 short stories and meditations, Tan does for the sprawling landscape what he did for the metropolis in The Arrival. Here, the emotional can be manifest physically (in 'No Other Country,' a down-on-its-luck family finds literal refuge in a magic 'inner courtyard' in their attic) and the familiar is twisted unsettlingly (a reindeer appears annually in 'The Nameless Holiday' to take away objects 'so loved that their loss will be felt like the snapping of a cord to the heart'). Tan's mixed-media art draws readers into the strange settings, a la The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. In 'Alert but Not Armed,' a double-page spread heightens the ludicrousness of a nation in which every house has a government missile in the yard; they tower over the neighborhood, painted in cheery pastels and used as birdhouses ('If there are families in faraway countries with their own backyard missiles, armed and pointed back at us, we would hope that they too have found a much better use for them,' the story ends). Ideas and imagery both beautiful and disturbing will linger. Ages 12–up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"[A] sparkling, mind-bending collection....Graphic-novel and text enthusiasts alike will be drawn to this breathtaking combination of words and images." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Review:

"15 extraordinary illustrated tales....The thoughtful and engaged reader will take from these stories an experience as deep and profound as with anything he or she has ever read." School Library Journal (Starred Review)

About the Author

Shaun Tan has been illustrating young adult fiction and picture books for more than ten years. His brilliant wordless book, The Arrival, won the CBCA Picture Book of the Year, the NSW Premier's Book of the Year, and the Community Relations Commission Award, and received a Special Mention at the 2007 Bologna Ragazzi Awards. He lives in Australia.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Larry Robinson, February 23, 2010 (view all comments by Larry Robinson)
If you are looking for a way to introduce your children, pre-teen and up, to short stories, this may be just the book. The stories have a whimsical and/or science fiction element to them, but don't let that put you off. These stories cannot be categorized. The run the gamut from very strange to very touching. In addition to great stories, Tan's illustrations are fabulous.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Natasha, May 25, 2009 (view all comments by Natasha)
Shaun Tan does it again with the short story collection, Tales from Outer Suburbia. The book contains fifteen short tales about life in suburbia but with a “magical” touch. Stories about a water buffalo that gives anyone who asks the perfect answer to their question, an unusual exchange student from an unknown place, and what happens to poetry when it’s thrown away will capture your attention and leave you in awe of Tan‘s talent.

“Grandpa’s story,” an analogy for the trials of marriage while describing one couple’s scavenger hunt before their wedding, was one of my favorite vignettes. With artwork by the author, the book is an example of perfection. Tan does not disappoint.

Once I finished reading the last story in the collection, I turned the book over and started reading it again. How many books can you say you've read that you've done that to?
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780545055871
Author:
Tan, Shaun
Publisher:
Arthur A. Levine Books
Subject:
General Juvenile Fiction
Subject:
Short stories
Subject:
Suburban life
Subject:
General
Subject:
Australia
Subject:
Children s Young Adult-Short Stories
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20090231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 7
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
96
Dimensions:
9.5 x 7.25 in
Age Level:
from 12

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Related Subjects

Children's » General
Children's » Picture Books » General
Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Science Fiction
Young Adult » Fiction » Anthologies
Young Adult » Fiction » Short Stories
Young Adult » General

Tales from Outer Suburbia New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$19.99 In Stock
Product details 96 pages Arthur A. Levine Books - English 9780545055871 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

This set of illustrated short stories by staff favorite Shaun Tan offers a fabulous showcase of his range as an artist. Many of his stories are open-ended, which immediately drew a comparison in my mind to The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg. Tales from Outer Suburbia is the best of short story writing, as well — simple but multi-layered — making it a great book club book as well. I have read this book four times now and, really, I can't articulate how much I love it.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The term 'suburbia' may conjure visions of vast and generic sameness, but in his hypnotic collection of 15 short stories and meditations, Tan does for the sprawling landscape what he did for the metropolis in The Arrival. Here, the emotional can be manifest physically (in 'No Other Country,' a down-on-its-luck family finds literal refuge in a magic 'inner courtyard' in their attic) and the familiar is twisted unsettlingly (a reindeer appears annually in 'The Nameless Holiday' to take away objects 'so loved that their loss will be felt like the snapping of a cord to the heart'). Tan's mixed-media art draws readers into the strange settings, a la The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. In 'Alert but Not Armed,' a double-page spread heightens the ludicrousness of a nation in which every house has a government missile in the yard; they tower over the neighborhood, painted in cheery pastels and used as birdhouses ('If there are families in faraway countries with their own backyard missiles, armed and pointed back at us, we would hope that they too have found a much better use for them,' the story ends). Ideas and imagery both beautiful and disturbing will linger. Ages 12–up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "[Tan]...does not disappoint his readers with this collection of 15 vignettes, each drawing from the oddities of suburban life....[T]he stories and the art form a bridge between the fantastic world and the real world." (read the entire Powells.com review)
"Review" by , "[A] sparkling, mind-bending collection....Graphic-novel and text enthusiasts alike will be drawn to this breathtaking combination of words and images."
"Review" by , "15 extraordinary illustrated tales....The thoughtful and engaged reader will take from these stories an experience as deep and profound as with anything he or she has ever read."
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