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Amphigorey (Amphigorey #1)

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  14,578 ratings  ·  191 reviews
The title of this deliciously creepy collection of Gorey's work stems from the word amphigory, meaning a nonsense verse or composition. As always, Gorey's painstakingly cross-hatched pen and ink drawings are perfectly suited to his oddball verse and prose. The first book of 15, "The Unstrung Harp," describes the writing process of novelist Mr. Clavius Frederick Earbrass: "...more
Paperback, 220 pages
Published January 28th 1980 by Perigee Trade (first published 1972)
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Jul 12, 2008 John rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: humour
This volume contains The Gashlycrumb Tinies. Perhaps the best way for children to learn the alphabet and of the horrors of life.
4.5 stars!


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 Doubtf
Ashley the Magnificent™
A is for Amy who fell down the stairs
B is for Basil devoured by bears
C is for Catherine smothered under a rug
D is for David done in by a thug
E is for Emily who slipped down the drain
F is for Fanny squashed under a train
G is for George stabbed with a safety pin
H is for Harold who drank too much gin
I is for Ida who drowned in a lake
J is for John who burnt at the stake
K is for Kelly who was smashed with a safe
L is for Lina blinded by mace
M is for Mary abandoned on the road
N is for Neville who licke...more
Yes, I discovered Edward Gorey on Tumblr.

Yes, I bought this from a garage sale for one stinkin' dollar.

Yes, this is totally up my alley.

No, I do not condone the carnage of children.

Yes, I enjoy the sinister, the gloom, and macabre.

Yes, the Pacquiao-Bradley match is a conspiracy.
Ani Vardanyan
Էդվարդ Գորին գրաֆիկական կարճ ստեղծագործություններ ա գրում. հիմնականում բանաստեղծություններ՝ ուղեկցված համապատասխան նկարներով: Սարսափ ժանրին են պատկանում. ամենից շատ սիրում ա վախեցնել փոքր երեխեքին: Օրինակ՝ մի հատ գործ ունի, որը այբուբենն ա սովորացնում (A is for alala... B is for blabla... էդ կարգի) ու որտեղ ամեն մի տառը ինչ-որ երեխու անվան համար ա ու պատմում ա, թե էդ անունով երեխեն ոնց ա մեռնում, նկարներով էլ ցույց ա տալիս: Ահագին օրիգինալ ու հետաքրքիր էր. կարդացողը հաստատ չի փոշմանի:

Հա, ու էս A...more
Not great literature, but there's more than one way to earn five stars. This guy's artwork is just delightful, and his twisted imagination and black humor are superb.
This is a collection of fifteen of his short books in one volume. If the people at my library knew what was in this book, they might rethink their placement of it in the young adult section. Some of it is quite grisly, and some of it is downright bawdy.
I am proud to share a birthday with Edward Gorey, so every February I am reminded to dip back into the amusing and macabre realms of this great artist.

Visiting some old house as a child, wandering into a room where you're not allowed and peeking at dusty items, a set of old photographs scattering on the floor when you move some curious object on a high shelf, the black and white, pallid, mustachioed faces staring up at you with haunted expressions, you hear a cat hiss in the shadows, you leave t...more
Oct 09, 2009 Dan rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Edward Gorey Fans, Proto Goths, People who romanticize the early 20th century
Recommended to Dan by: Rachel Wilch
This is a collection of previous Edward Gorey works. It contains fifteen previous "books":

The Unstrung Harp, The Listing Attic, The Doubtful Guest, The Object Lesson, The Bug Book, The Fatal Lozenge, The Hapless Child, The Curious Sofa, The Willowdale Handcar, The Gashlycrumb Tinies, The Insect God, The West Wing, The Wuggly Ump, The Sinking Spell, The Remembered Visit.

Most people are familiar with Gorey because of "The Gashlycrumb Tinies" (this is that alphabet of children who are killed in biz...more
Claire S
And this, again, gifted from Dad in the 70's at which point I didn't appreciate it at all.

In the 80's, in college, were often around people who thought it was Incredibly funny and good and artistic and creative and whole shows put on with/of/about it all and so on. I was unmoved.

Unlike 'wild-and-crazy-guys' (different story), in this case, even when I was the right age it just wasn't my cup of tea. I get why it's great and all, but like Coen Bros' films, my reaction is not something I can cont...more
I've wanted to read an Edward Gorey since I got Christmas cards one year with his illustrations. There's something beautiful and sinister about them.

This graphic novel is a collection of 15 of his short stories. Some are for children (and thus are weird) -- "The Bug Book" (which is totally racist btw) and "The Wuggly Ump." These are terrible.

Some are for writers -- "The Unstrung Harp" should probably be read by every writer and starts off this collection in any interesting way. It's so cynical...more
Robin Hobb
Edward Gorey's books are problematic for me. We go into the book store. I find one we haven't seen before and call the Office Kat over. We start thumbing through it, and pretty soon we are snorting with laughter, the tears are running down our cheeks and we are creating a disturbance in the store without intending to.

For Chrismas, the Office Kat received a deck of cards by Gorey that are similar to Tarot Cards. They have completely and accurately predicted her day every time she has used them. :...more
April Helms
This contains 15 of Edward Gorey's works, including The Gashlycrumb Tinies, which is probably the best known (A Is For Amy, who fell down the stairs, etc.) "Weird" is the first word to come to mind when I read this. "Weird," and written absurdism. Some of it was pretty clever; others seemed rather pointless (either it was commenting on things I knew nothing about and didn't get the joke, or perhaps the pointlessness was the point.) I loved the limricks, many of them were quite clever (although a...more
Vibina Venugopal
Amphigorey is the first among the series of book of three.I happened to read this book in strange circumstances just like the bizarre collection of stories that set a classic example for social satire..There are fifteen short stories in this book and each one a unique in its own way..Gorey's illustration is something that one would find it quite different from any of the books one usually reads..I read the stories at random and though unique some of them where not my cup of tea .....

What would y...more
Frances Sawaya
This is a return reading of one of my favorite authors/illustrators on the occasion of his 88th birthday (see today's Google Doodle). Once upon a time we had every book of his (all first editions) and all signed. Now in retirement we have had to sell the collection, a great loss. We have kept, however, this paperback collection of his early works. Simply love his bizarre humor. Always gives me a grin and a chuckle.
Edward Gorey literally makes my jaw drop. I had seen his works on the shelves of Halloweentown and thought, "Fun little creepy things." But they were SO much creepier than I expected. When it came to reading this volume, I had to keep myself from delving into it at night; the drawings and lightly regaled morbid stories spazzed my imagination.

It was difficult trudging through The Unstrung Harp - it was dreadfully dull. All of the limerick and poetry collections (The Listing Attic, The Fatal Lozen...more
If you, like me, prefer to curl up in your dark, mucus-lined lair on sunny afternoons; if listening to Joy Division is your idea of a rousing bout of good cheer; and if your great love of children, like mine, extends to cartoon depictions of them being felled by accidents and homicide, then this is your book.

Funny, dark, occasionally provoking a thrill of anxiety that comes from staring at a door opened just a crack, and terror at what finally leaps therefrom, these 15 books-in-one are like lit...more
Rachel Jackson
I found this book at my office one afternoon and was intrigued by the few illustrations I saw as I flipped through it. Now that I have read through it, I can say this book is adorable! Well, in a dark, disturbing kind of way. Edward Gorey both writes and illustrates his stories with a very old-fashioned, quaint vision of what the stories and characters should do and be, and it's a delightful result.

Some of the poems weren't that funny; some of the illustrations were rather dull. But overall I lo...more
My sister is responsible for finding this odd, perplexing, entertaining treasure in the stacks of the old university library in our home town. We were rooting around together one afternoon looking for folk songs (believe it or not, kids, those used to be hugely popular in the old days), and she wandered off in search of curiosities. Boy, did she find one.

Those who believe they are unfamiliar with the prose and verse works of Edward Gorey (aptly named: his style is like Poe with outlandish humor-...more
I found the stories included to be a lovely, dark sort of humorous, with his sentences and choice of words playful and captivating, and the illustrations beautiful. Unfortunately, I can only give this anthology edition four stars because the quality of printing is distracting at times. I've compared it to my small Gashlycrumb Tinies book and the difference in contrast and lack of detail is noticeable. As the size is also smaller, it may just be somewhat unavoidable that lines are condensed into...more
Mary Overton
Ah, the dark absurdity of Gorey's illustrated texts! This book gathers 15 of them, originally published between '53 & '65, and a motley lot they are, from the pitiless "Hapless Child" about golden haired Charlotte Sophia orphaned and sold to a "drunken brute" who forces her to make paper flowers, to the innocently pornographic "Curious Sofa" which ends in horror. Perhaps my favorite is "The Unstrung Harp"(TUH) about a writer, Mr. Earbrass, completing and publishing his novel of the same titl...more
Jun 18, 2008 Icats rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: humor
In reading the 15 tales in Amphigory, I thought they were quite poetic, in a Monty Python sort of way.

I struggle to describe Edwards Gorey’s stories and basically can only sum it up with two phrases, ”hmmm, wonder where this is going,” and ”I did not see that coming.”

Some call his ironic and offbeat humorous stories literary nonsense, but I just call it pure genius. A is for apple and B is for Bear, oh, I don’t think so as you will find in The Gashlycrumb Tinies, "A is for Amy who fell down the...more
My introduction to Edward Gorey (1925-2000) came earlier this year, in the form of one of his work - 'The Gashlycrumb Tinies'. Someone helpfully scanned and posted the entire thing online.[return][return]The story, each line illustrated, goes like this:[return][return]A is for Amy who fell down the stairs[return]B is for Basil assaulted by bears[return]C is for Clara who wasted away[return]D is for Desmond thrown out of a sleigh[return][return]Definately not your standard ABCs. Heck, younger chi...more
Mary Beth
I have owned this book for over 30 years and have always considered it an incredible volume of art and humor. It is a mixed bunch of short stories. I found The Listing Attic, which has a bunch of limericks in it, quite expressive and funny. Yes, it is very dark. The Gashlycrumb Tinies is quite disturbing if you aren't prepared for it, but it does remind you how precious our children are and how they need to have people looking out for them. Several of the stories have morals behind them and seve...more
Lacy Lovelace
Edward Gorey has been one of my favorite illustrators since he illustrated a book my mother had when she was a little girl, Rumpelstilskin. I used to love looking through that book! When I was perusing the used bookstore one day I came across this little gem and had to get it! It contains several stories he wrote and illustrated. My favorite is the Gashlycrumb Tinies! It's definitely on the morbid side but a creative way to use the alphabet coupled with rhyming.
Si Barron
Great introduction to Gorey and his strange style of drawing and writing.

Sometimes the drawing trumps the writing as in the one about the strange penguin-like creature that comes to stay with a Victorian family in their large estate: the ideas here are willfully surreal with little to hold the scenes together and sometimes Gorey tries too hard to be 'weird'. However the drawings are always brilliant with his stylistic tics (intense line, elongated figures, insane detail) and obsessions (Victori...more
I just need to add a review because I just read it again. :P

Edward Gorey was a master of the macabre.

The trick was not only in the illustrations but how you interpret all the morbid limericks and quatrains, stories apparently composed of random, supposedly blasé sentences, and tales of terrifying mishaps and tragedies.

I have to admit that I got my twisted sense of humor from Gorey (which made me weird and most people don't get it). I also got my taste for ghastly, horrid, dark, grim films and bo...more
I LOVE this book. We were studying children's stories in Creative Writing, and I happened to pick this one up. Well, I knew that it wasn't really a children's book when I opened up to:

"There was a young curate whose brain
Was deranged by the use of cocaine;
He lured a small child
To a copse dark and wild,
Where he beat it to death with his cane."

Brilliant but incredibly sinister. That sums up the entire book. I am fascinated by Gorey's dark limericks, poems, and stories. Some of them are so cryptic...more
It was creepy, and not necessarily in a good way. The illustrations are gorgeous, but the humor was a bit too dark and twisted for my taste! I loved The Doubtful Guest. It made me laugh out loud, and it's clever and hilarious. The Bug Book made me smile, and so did The Unstrung Harp (because from what I've heard, it's a very accurate portrayal of writing :). The rest of the I can appreciate a certain level of creepiness, but not this morbid. Liking 3 of the 15 stories means that th...more
Nov 30, 2013 Florencia rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: awesome people with a dark sense of humor
Recommended to Florencia by: my normal brain
I loved this book! This is a collection of fifteen stories and drawings. Gorey's artwork is stunning. And his twisted, creepy sense of humor is just my cup of tea (not everyone's cup, I know). It can be dark but funny at the same time. It's not about some silly, creepy stories, there's a dark reality here that can be found outside this book. So, if this is too twisted and horrifying for you, can you survive watching the late night news?
My first Gorey was The Gashlycrumb Tinies (review here). And...more
Kris Larson
The first of four volumes of Gorey's work, Amphigorey contains some of my favorite pieces, like "The Doubtful Guest," "The Curious Sofa" and "The Gashlycrumb Tinies," Gorey's hilarious alphabet of horrific child deaths. ("A is for Amy who fell down the stairs, B is for Basil, assaulted by bears...") It also contains "The Unstrung Harp," the story of a writer who struggles with his latest book. I often consult TUH in times of blockage.

"Mr. Earbrass has been rashly skimming through the early chapt...more
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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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The Gashlycrumb Tinies (The Vinegar Works, #1) Amphigorey Too Amphigorey Also The Doubtful Guest The Epiplectic Bicycle

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“Such excess of passion
is quite out of fashion”
“There was a young woman named Fleager
Who was terribly, terribly eager
To be all the rage
On the tragedy stage,
Though her talents were pitifully meagre.”
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