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The Haunted Tea-Cosy

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  1,034 ratings  ·  38 reviews
In the preface to "A Christmas Carol," Charles Dickens wrote that he tried "to raise the Ghost of an Idea" with readers and trusted that it would "haunt their houses pleasantly." In December 1997, 154 Christmases later, the "New York Times Magazine" asked our Edward Gorey, "the iconoclastic artist and author, " to refurbish this enduring morality tale. What is Gorey's mora ...more
Paperback, 66 pages
Published 1999 by Bloomsbury (first published 1997)
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Community Reviews

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Bev
Jul 27, 2012 Bev rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Bev by: Sue at bibliosue.blogspot
Shelves: fiction, christmas
This Gorey masterpiece gives us his take on the Christmas Carol story by Dickens. Edmund Gravel sits down for tea on Christmas Eve, cuts a slice of fruitcake, and is immediately visited by the Spectre of Christmas That Never Was, the Spectre of Christmas That Isn't, and the Spectre of Christmas That Never Will Be. Guided on his spectral journey by the Bahhum Bug, Edmund is taken through his village of Lower Spigot and shown Affecting Scenes, Distressing Scenes, and Heart-Rending Scenes. Filled w ...more
Melee
Today while wiling away the minutes at the library, waiting for my grandparents to come pick me up, I found myself wandering the nonfiction section. The Haunted Tea Cosy by Edward Gorey caught my eye because of its small size compared to its surrounding books. I found I had to pick it up because A. its title amused me and B. it was by Edward Gorey. (A name that pops up every now and then but I really have no idea what his significance was. I'm still not sure, actually...) Anyhow, I read The Haun ...more
carl  theaker


Subtitle - a dispirited and distasteful diversion for Christmas.

Gorey has Dickens meeting Kafka in an artsy replay of the Christmas
Eve classic.

Always loved Gorey's work on Mystery Theater.

The back of the book wittily says -

Many of Edward Gorey's most fervent devotees think he's (a)English
(b) dead. Actually, he has never so much as visited either place.

Well that was in '97. He is dead now (2000), but hard to believe he's
not English.
Cynthia
The British tradition of reading ghost stories on Christmas Eve continues. Edward Gorey wrote and illustrated this odd Dickensian tale. Have your dictionary handy: anent, subfusc, minatory, objurgatory, and cynosure!
Zena V.
I was just thinking about Gorey a few days ago. Odd to run across this. Should find another copy.
Alaine
I have always been a fan of Gorey's illustrations, Especially those used in PBS' Masterpiece Mystery opening credits. This is the first book I've read that Gorey wrote. I will have to read more before I can make a solid opinion.
Susie
Dec 21, 2014 Susie added it
Love his artwork---and in an Edward Gorey way--a very positive message!
Wart Hill
Sep 23, 2014 Wart Hill marked it as to-read
Gonna try to remember to check this out tomorrow. Start Spooktober early!
Kristin
Dec 18, 2014 Kristin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Amanda
Shelves: 2014
Well this is just wonderful and bizarre.
Earline
The Haunted Tea-Cosy is a bizarre retelling of Dickens’ A Christmas Story (sounds perfect for me, right?). Edmund Gravel is visited by the Bahhum Bug and is taken on a journey with the Spectre of Christmas That Never Was, the Spectre of Christmas That Isn’t, and the Spectre of Christmas That Never Will Be.

Overall I enjoyed the strange drawings and the concept of the story, but I felt like I should’ve enjoyed it more than I did. A fun short “Dispirited and Distasteful Diversion for Christmas” tha
...more
Cathy
A strange little book whose subtitle is: "A Dispirited and Distasteful Diversion for Christmas". A very short book with illustrations by author Edward Gory. A parody of "A Christmas Carol", main character Edmund Gravel meets the Bahhum Bug, the Spectre of Christmas That Never Was, the Spectre of Christmas That Isn't and the Spectre of Christmas That Never Will Be. Cute Charles Admas-like drawings for the characters; the scenes the ghosts show Edmund make no sense, but I think that was the point. ...more
Megankellie
Jan 09, 2013 Megankellie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Edward Gorey Fans
Recommended to Megankellie by: My Subconscious
Shelves: candy, weirdo
I tried to read a book called "Poem Crazy." I will not review it because I was mad about the complete absence of humor and reality that humans have an excrement system. This basically is a judgmental way of saying "I was not in the mood for 'Poem Lukewarm Smiling'" and/or "I wanted to read a collection of jokes or pictures of people falling over but instead I chose to pointlessly suffer." In reaction, I spent 15 minutes with Edward Gorey. What a terrific weirdo. I needed a dictionary and wikiped ...more
Patty
This book fell into my lap at work and since it is quite short, I figured I would take a break and read it. It is a quick, irreverent retelling of Dicken's A Christmas Carol. I know others have retold this tale, but Gorey has his own style. I miss seeing new books by him, but the old titles hold up well. I was glad to read this again.

I recommend this to readers who like quirky books; those who have not encountered either Gorey or this book before or folks who are bah humbug on Christmas.
E.M. Epps
Well, it's Edward Gorey. You know who he is, right? Twisted, clever, hilarious, unique? Again, as always.

'I am the Spectre of Christmas that Never Was,' it muttered, 'and I have come to show you Affecting Scenes.'


Review from my blog, This Space Intentionally Left Blank
Gerry
A pastiche on Dickens' A Christmas Carol in that three ghosts visit Edmund Gravel, in the role of Scrooge, who is also known as The Recluse of Lower Spigot. The Barhumbug, what a great name for a creature, appears from the Tea-Cosy to lead Edmund on his adventures.
Sara
Gorey is always on form, and this is no exception. Reminiscent of an exceptionally bizarre "Christmas Carol", Gorey's penchant for strange, pithy descriptions of ominous events in the lives of his numerous oddly named characters shines throughout.
Emmy
Dec 15, 2013 Emmy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: absurd
I don't quite understand it, but after reading it a few times, I have to admit that I rather like it. And I quite relished Gorey's use of large and/or unusual words. It added a nice touch to the general confusion of the piece.
Orrin Grey
Apparently this is one of Edward Gorey's more recent works. I didn't find the art style quite as detailed or arresting as I'm used to from Gorey, but the book was still a lot of fun. I think I liked the sequel better, though.
Cheryl
Strange but enjoyable twisted version very loosely based on the familiar Christmas tale. The unusual vocabulary and odd turn of phrase make this much more likely to amuse adults than children.

Carolyn
Mar 08, 2008 Carolyn rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone with a sense of humor or anyone who needs a sense of humor!
Recommended to Carolyn by: Tara
I love going for a ride with Edward Gorey! He always takes you on the dark and twisted roads that you've not been on before. I need this book for my Christmas library collection, HINT, HINT.
Robert
A giant bug battling didacticism? International wallpaper thieves? Opaque spectres ala "A Christmas Carol?" Typical Gorey, surreal and splendid.
Danna
I've been putting away my holiday books and reading as I go, so here's the first of them. Good ol' Gorey! Often odd, always a pleasure.
Linda
I went through an Edward Gory phase. Interesting, enjoyable, but a little convoluted.
Diane
A little lite reading for lunch. Love Edward Gorey's illustrations.
Emma
A Gorey take on A Christmas Carol. I thought it was alright...
Whitney
Thoroughly confused. But it was an interesting short read.
Darlene
Not my favorite Gorey, but still worth a few laughs.
Kaethe
Ah, Gorey. Thank you for this, and so many other delights.
Sara
What I just read?? And why did it make me laugh??
Jessica
Yet another bizzare Xmas tale from Edward Gorey
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Born in Chicago, Gorey came from a colorful family; his parents, Helen Dunham Garvey and Edward Lee Gorey, divorced in 1936 when he was 11, then remarried in 1952 when he was 27. One of his step-mothers was Corinna Mura, a cabaret singer who had a brief role in the classic film Casablanca. His father was briefly a journalist. Gorey's maternal great-grandmother, Helen St. John Garvey, was a popular ...more
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