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The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories
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The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  15,981 ratings  ·  980 reviews
From breathtaking stop-action animation to bittersweet modern fairy tales, filmmaker Tim Burton has become known for his unique visual brilliance – witty and macabre at once. Now he gives birth to a cast of gruesomely sympathetic children – misunderstood outcasts who struggle to find love and belonging in their cruel, cruel worlds. His lovingly lurid illustrations evoke bo ...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published October 22nd 1997 by Rob Weisbach Books (first published 1993)
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Community Reviews

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This is me--a huge Tim Burton fan (or so I thought):

One day, while carelessly browsing the Internets, I came across a book that I had no idea existed. I couldn't believe my eyes and felt especially stupid when realization hit me: I must have been living under a rock in a God-forsaken place, as never before had I heard of this book:

Of course, as soon as I realized that I had to have this book, another realization hit bullseye: remember that God-forsaken place, the one where I lived under a rock?
Reading this tiny tome was sort of like taking a prolonged vacation on The Island of Really, Really Misfit Toys. The natives are strange but friendly. They take some getting used to, but after a while, you'll want to hug them...BUT be careful - many of them have sharp objects sticking out of their bellies.


The Boy with Nails in His Eyes

The Boy with Nails in His Eyes
put up his aluminum tree.
It looked pretty strange
because he couldn't see.

The above is a pretty good example of what's in this book a
Oct 25, 2014 Ariel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own

I don't have much to say. It's a collection of short poems and accompanying doodles by Tim Burton. It's damned creepy, freaking depressing, laugh out loud funny, and utterly awesome.
Nov 22, 2014 Florencia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: burton fans, dark humor lovers.
Recommended to Florencia by: me!
I am a fan of Burton's movies. So, I was kind of interested in his writings. It wasn't a big surprise to find out that the level of awesome weirdness was the same. The characteristic Burton mixture of darkness and uncomfortable tenderness.

I mean, he wrote some really freaky poems (technically, not that great, and that is a charming plus) but with such sweetness and sensibility that you feel touched. Well, most of the times, just sad. It is written in a way that seems to be funny, and for some p
Robert Beveridge
Tim Burton, The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories (Morrow, 1997)

Someone needs to explain this to me and fast, `cause I don't get it: how is it that bad poetry (and yes, folks, this is truly bad) and art that looks like a second-rate Edward Gorey ripoff (Burton is not the illustrator that he is the sculptor and animator) can be so insanely funny? I am completely at a loss for why I liked this anywhere near as much as I did.

Let's face it, if you squint right while watching The Night
Mairéad (is exploring a floating city)
“Son, are you happy?
I don't mean to pry,
but do you dream of Heaven?
Have you ever wanted to die?”

4.5 stars because honestly it's just plain creepy and I want more!

As a Tim Burton fan myself, I never heard of this until my cousin, who's probably the BIGGEST Tim Burton fan ever (she wears black and she collects EVERYTHING Tim Burton and I'm rather jealous lol) showed me the book one day when I was visiting. It's the most wondrous and bizarre read I could ever have the pleasure of experiencing. It
I love Tim Burton's movies for their beautiful cinematography and sense of macabre with a pinch of dark humor.
His poetry is right up my alley, just like the stories of Edward Gorey (who is known to have influenced Burton).

Roy, the Toxic Boy

To those who knew him
-his friends-
we called him Roy.
To others he was known
as that horrible Toxic Boy.

He loved ammonia and asbestos,
and lots of cigarette smoke.
What he breathed in for air
would make other people choke!

His very favorite toy
was a can of aerosol
Half-oyster, half-boy, Oyster Boy is born to a perfectly human couple who supposedly conceived him after dining on “one spectatular dish- / a simmering stew of mollusks and fish.” Growing up, Oyster Boy, whose proper name is Sam but is sometimes called "that thing that looks like a clam," becomes a laughingstock (“When the Thompson quadruplets espied him one day, / they called him a bivalve and ran quickly away.) and a picture of sadness and reticence (“One spring afternoon, / Sam was left in th ...more
A short collection of macabre poems, illustrated like a children's book, but aimed more at the YA market, and delightful for dark-thinking adults as well.

There are lots of gory things about eyes, stories of non-human children (toxic, half robot, half oyster etc) and a most inappropriate present from Santa.

Occasionally the rhythm doesn't quite work at the first attempt, but even so, it's great fun.

It is strongly reminiscent of Hilaire Belloc's "Cautionary Tales for Children" (http://www.goodre
از تیم برتونی که این بالا نوشتم میشه حدس زد که این یه کتاب متفاوته.
مجموعه ایه از داستان های خیلی کوتاه با تصویرهای فوق العاده جذاب و سوژه های عجیب غریب!

سوژه های این کتاب اغلب بچه هایی هستن که به نحوی غیر طبیعی هستن و به همین دلیل تنهان و طرد شده ن.
نویسنده با لحن بیخیال و بچگانه چیزایی میگه که در عین خنده دار و مسخره بودن، غم انگیزن. بر خلاف ظاهرش از نظر من این کتاب مناسب بچه ها نیست!
خیلی کتاب ظریف و دوست داشتنی ایه.
Apr 20, 2008 Núria rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: los que se han sentido alguna vez un bicho raro
Un librito delicioso lleno de freaks para los que alguna vez se han sentido unos freaks. Es el típico universo de Tim Burton traducido en poemitas de una ingenuidad brillante. No es necesario decir nada más. Sólo añadiré que yo lloré con la historia del Chico Ostra y también con la de Chico Momia. Pero en realidad todos los personajes son tan entrañables que me gustaría poder adoptarlos a todos.
Maryam Muhammadi
کی فکرش را می کرد که کسی

از تنفس هوای بیرون بمیرد؟؟؟؟

وقتی روح ری بدنش را ترک کرد،

ما همه در دل دعا خواندیم.

روحش رفت به آسمان

و سوراخی در لایه اوزون درست کرد.

Sara Parsi
برای جشن هالوین , پسر صدفی تصمیم گرفت
برای ترساندن مردم خود را به شکل آدمیزاد در آورد

تیم برتون
Sep 22, 2011 Claudette rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Claudette by: Nicola
Two words.

Tim Burton.
It's because of books like this I prefer to shop at used bookstores versus Amazon (well, and also because Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is a big supporter of Bush). I always loved Tim Burton's films but didn't even know he had books out until I found this little gem misplaced on a wrong shelf in a used bookstore (moreover, a bargain at $2!). Much like his films, the book is full of morbid/weird/freaky imagery, both in the text of the poems as well as the accompanying images. It has everything from R ...more
Ali Alawi
Tim Burton is a mystery to me,
Quite literally.

When I was a little kid
I never knew that he's the one who built
Wonka's chocolate factory and said
Beetlejuice thrice.

Now, I have this really dear friend
who sometimes pretends to be Tim.
I never understood his obsession
and why he's possessed by this Tim
until I read this tome.

You see, this Burton does not write like a McEwan or a Joyce
He's words certainly aren't as flamboyant as Wilde's.
But I just loved how simple the work was
and the way it mimed these
I've wanted to read this for a long time, and last year in Melbourne I went to the touring Tim Burton exhibit where most of the original cartoons and poems were on display. There's a great charm, wit, and naivety present throughout the illustrations, countering the dark subject matter. Sure, the rhymes aren't always that good or natural, the content base but ultimately it's easy to enjoy the grim misfortunes of a bunch of deformed and isolated characters.

As an aside, I asked my partner to marry
Bryce Wilson
Pulled myself away from watching Sweeney Todd for the 183rd time to revisit this wonderfully nasty bit of work from Tim Burton. It's a little darker then most of his works, and the first time I was read it I was a little taken aback. He definitely witholds the happy endings he reserves for most of his freaks in this tome. Still it's funny, beautiful, a little sad and a little sweet. In other words pure Burton.

And as a boy with nails in his eyes myself, I'm glad someone finally put my plight dow
B u n n y ♥  | BooksWithBunny
Adoro le illustrazioni ♥
colleen the contrarian  ± (... never stop fighting) ±
This collection of poem-stories is pretty much as weird and absurd as you would expect from Tim Burton.

Each poem is accompanied with drawings, in a style which is vaguely familiar. The drawings add a layer of enjoyment to the stories, and sometimes are pretty necessary for the 'joke':

I would almost be tempted to say these could be enjoyed by kids, but there are some slightly adult situations, like the woman who seems to have a fling with a blender and gives birth to a robot boy:

If you like some
This is a collection of very very short stories which are all written in verse and have an accompanying illustration or illustrations. This whole book was written and illustrated by Tim Burton who is one of my favourite artists and I was very intrigued when I stumbled across this on Amazon. It's a very small book but it's a brilliant one and I have to say that it was better than I thought it would be.

This collection showcases some of Burton's weird character ideas and stories and whilst some sto
Jul 26, 2014 Lourdes rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Simpatizantes de Tim Burton y de las historias infantiles. Coleccionistas de soledades.
Recommended to Lourdes by: Felipe
3.5 lulitas

Conmovedoras y, por momentos, aterradoras narraciones sobre una colección de niños tristes, rechazados por el solo hecho de ser diferentes.

La brevedad de los textos, la simpleza y profusión de las ilustraciones (que no por eso son menos perturbadoras) y el hecho de que las historias están escritas en rima pueden dar la idea errónea de que se trata de un libro para niños. Sin embargo, lo oscuro de los temas (que incluyen la muerte, la soledad, la incomprensión social, el suicidio, el
Charlotte Jones
This book is full of mad ideas and sometimes disturbing themes, but overall these poems are easy to read, enjoyable and enhanced by the wonderful illustrations provided by Tim Burton. It is something that I could easily read just a few poems out of if I didn't have much time, or something that I will definitely be re-reading in its entirity at some point in the future. Robot Boy is my favourite of the collection due to the humour and interesting accompanying images.


For Halloween
Oyster boy decided to go as human
(Oyster Boy steps out)

Stick Boy noticed that his Christmas tree looked healthier
Than he did
(Stick Boy’s festive season)

Stick Boy liked Match Girl,
he liked her a lot
He liked her cute figure,
he thought she was hot

But could a flame ever burn
for a match and a stick?
It did quite literally;
He burned up pretty quick.

(Stick Boy and Match Girl in Love)
Mary Rose
Burton lo conozco por sus peliculas como El extraño mundo de Jack, El cadaver de la novia, Ed Wood, El gran pez y muchas otras más; pero nunca había pensado en que vería un libro publicado por él y especialmente uno de poesía.
Reconozco que me ha gustado muchisimo sus poemas, todos ellos uno más peculiar que el anterior, al igual que la edición del libro: acompañado por ilustraciones y, en las últimas páginas, toda la recopilación de los poemas en su versión original (del cual recomiendo totalm
Donald Armfield
A fan of Tim Burton. Who brought us Edward Scissorshands. Nightmare Before Christmas and many others.

These shorts are a little morbid read through a child's eyes. If your kid is afraid of bumps in the night then avoid this book.

I enjoyed every story starting with something strange and ending with a laugh or smirk.
jajajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajajaja este libro se lee en 30 minutos, es HERMOSO, siniestro, melancólico, gótico, TIM BURTON cómo solo él sabe ser, <3.

Haré una foto-reseña de este libro en mi BLOG, seguro!
Adorabile, malinconico, infido. Ovviamente da leggere così, in lingua originale, non oso immaginare la traduzione italiana. Consigliatissimo.
"Stick Boy liked Match Girl,
He liked her a lot.
He liked her cute figure,
he thought she was hot.

But could a flame ever burn
for a match and a stick?
It did quite literally;
he burned up quick." -p.1-3

"One day they got news that made Mr. Smith glad.
Mrs. Smith would would be a mom
which would make him the dad!
But something was wrong with their bundle of joy.
It wasn't human at all,
it was a robot boy!
He wasn't warm and cuddly
and he didn't have skin.
Instead there was a cold, thin layer of tin.
There were w
When I was about five years-old, my older cousins decided to have a sleepover at my house which involved watching an inordinate amount of Johnny Depp movies - one of which happened to be the enchanting Edward Scissorhands. I remember watching and, without consciously realising it, found it tapped into a very gothic part of my childish mind. I was always a particularly melancholy kid with a penchant for the dark and mysterious (although in hindsight this probably only really translated into "lack ...more
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Timothy "Tim" William Burton is a prolific American film director/writer, best known for the dark imagry and quirky nature of his popular films. He is also the author and illustrator of the poetry collection "The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories."
More about Tim Burton...
Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas Burton on Burton The Art of Tim Burton (Standard Edition) Tim Burton Tim Burton's Corpse Bride: The Illustrated Story

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“Stick Boy liked Match Girl,
He liked her a lot.
He liked her cute figure,
he thought she was hot.
But could a flame ever burn
for a match and a stick?
It did quite literally;
he burned up quick.”
“Son, are you happy?
I don't mean to pry,
but do you dream of Heaven?
Have you ever wanted to die?”
More quotes…