Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories” as Want to Read:
The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  18,280 ratings  ·  1,143 reviews
Occupying a similarly sinister and macabre world to the American artist Edward Gorey, Tim Burton's work is similarly difficult to place. This is a beautifully produced book filled with fine line drawings – many in colour – illustrating 23 small verse stories which all centre on a surreal deformity – the eponymous Oyster Boy, Stain Boy, The Boy with Nails in his Eyes, Junk ...more
Paperback, 115 pages
Published December 1st 2005 by Faber and Faber (first published 1993)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Be the first to ask a question about The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories

Twilight by Stephenie MeyerHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. RowlingBreaking Dawn by Stephenie MeyerHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. RowlingEclipse by Stephenie Meyer
Recommended books
138th out of 303 books — 204 voters
The Book of Lost Things by John ConnollyCodex Seraphinianus by Luigi SerafiniZombie by Joyce Carol OatesThe Fifty Year Sword by Mark Z. DanielewskiYou Are Sloth! by Steve  Lowe
Weird And Freaky Books
32nd out of 75 books — 2 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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

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.
Florencia Brino
Nov 22, 2014 Florencia Brino rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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.
Mórbido, sinistro, excêntrico, inusitado, imaginoso, fantasioso, esquisito e extravagante… Tim Burton não tem outro registo e é reconhecidamente bom neste. A catadura das suas personagens e respetivas ilustrações corresponde e convém perfeitamente às intenções das mensagens transmitidas, seja em que domínio for.
Eu gosto, pessoalmente, mas é desaconselhável ler A morte melancólica do rapaz Ostra e outras estórias em público, uma vez que o conteúdo da obra suscita casquinadas graves que lembra
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
خیلی خوب بود, خیلی
داستان-شعر های این کتاب دقیقا توی همون فضای انیمیشن عروس مرده یا کابوس قبل از کریسمس بودند

اگر طرفدار کارهای تیم برتون هستید حتما بخونیدش
اینم تصویر بعضی از شخصیتهای این کتاب:)

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
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.

Franco  Santos
Siniestro, gótico, oscuro. Un libro de Tim Burton no podría no ser así. Es una seguidilla de historias tristes y obviamente tétricas. Me gustó.
Sep 22, 2011 Claudette rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Claudette by: Nicola
Two words.

Tim Burton.
خیلی جالب بود. ممنون از بزرگوارانی که معرفی کردن.
شیوه ی کار تیم برتون توی فیلم هاش رو میشه "فانتزی سیاه" نامید. یعنی ایده های فانتزی ای که همراه با وحشت و مرگ هستن. این فانتزی ابداً برای بچه ها نیست. انیمیشن های معروف برتون توی این حال و هوا، کابوس پیش از کریسمس و عروس مرده هستش.

فضای این کتاب، تلفیقی از فانتزی سیاه تیم برتون و طنز شل سیلور استاینه: ترکیب طنز و وحشت.
نتیجه خوب از آب دراومده. هر چند بعضیاشون میتونستن خیلی بهتر باشن.
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.
Homa Sharifmousavi
Apr 14, 2015 Homa Sharifmousavi rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Homa by: FeReSHte
شعر-داستانهای بسیار خلاقانه و تصویرگری فوق العاده و دوست داشتنی،از اونهایی که هر شخصیتش برام زنده میشدند.
این کتاب رو دلم میخواد برای تمام بچههای دنیا بخونم،حتی اگه بترسند و شب کابوس ببینند:دی
Sara Parsi
برای جشن هالوین , پسر صدفی تصمیم گرفت
برای ترساندن مردم خود را به شکل آدمیزاد در آورد

تیم برتون
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
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.
Hossein Pazham
در یک کلام باید بگویم که : تیم برتون نابغه است

کتاب به اتودهایی از ایده هایی می ماند که برتون در ذهن دارد و گزاشته خوب پخته شوند تا روزی از این طرح ها و ایده های بی نظیر هم فیلم هایی به یاد ماندنی مانند دیگر فیلم هایش بسازد.
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
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
Somewhat sad, (very very) weird, yet so sweet and lovely. Quite a heart-warming gem.

The Girl with Many Eyes

One day in the park
I had quite a surprise.
I met a girl
who had many eyes.

She was really quite pretty
(and also quite shocking!)
and I noticed she had a mouth,
so we ended up talking.

We talked about flowers,
and her poetry classes,
and the problems she'd have
if she ever wore glasses.

It's great to know a girl
who has so many eyes,
but you really get wet
when she breaks down and cries.
Tayebe Ej
Mar 18, 2015 Tayebe Ej rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tayebe by: FeReSHte
The Boy with Nails in His Eyes
put up his aluminum tree
It looked pretty strange
because he couldn't really see
I've been a fan of Tim Burton's work ever since I saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a kid. I've loved The Nightmare Before Christmas and my sister and I have watched Edward Scissorhands countless times.
Like his movies, this book is a pure piece of art. It combines stories, poetry and drawings together to form something almost magical. The stories are gruesome yet very funny. Burton is a genius to me.
My only wish is that this book were longer. The 100 pages or so are quickly read due to
Rana Heshmati
سر کلاس شیمی خوانده شد!!!:دی
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Creepy Susie and 13 Other Tragic Tales for Troubled Children
  • Amphigorey Too
  • Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas: The Film, the Art, the Vision
  • Something at the Window Is Scratching: Children's Tales for Disturbed Children
  • Gris Grimly's Wicked Nursery Rhymes
  • Squee's Wonderful Big Giant Book of Unspeakable Horrors
  • Cautionary Tales for Children
  • The World of Edward Gorey
  • Return of the Bunny Suicides
  • The Boy Who Kicked Pigs
  • Tales of Mystery and Madness
  • Tank Girl 2 (Tank Girl, #2)
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

Share This Book

“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…