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

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  15,227 ratings  ·  943 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)
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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?...more
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...more
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...more
Mairéad (stuck at the Edge of Nothingness)
“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...more
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

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.
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...more
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.
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
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
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...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...more
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...more
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)
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.
Adorabile, malinconico, infido. Ovviamente da leggere così, in lingua originale, non oso immaginare la traduzione italiana. Consigliatissimo.
Sep 22, 2011 Claudette rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Claudette by: Nicola
Two words.

Tim Burton.
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...more
People here might not know it, but I love Tim Burton. His movies are absolutely fantastic and thus I really wanted this book, but I couldn't find it anywhere. Until I went to Amsterdam and found it in great condition in a second-hand bookstore.

I started reading immediately, only to be stopped by my boyfriend since he knows if I start reading I lose track of time and everything around me. :)

So I waited until we had to travel back home. And Oh My Gosh this book is so wonderful, perfectly in style...more
James Barker
I always found Tim Burton a bit hit and miss as a director- the brilliance of 'Edward Scissorhands' vs. the dreadful disappointment that was, to me, his Alice in Wonderland, for example. I loved this very short collection of dark poems about childhood outcasts and misfits, and I found Burton's artwork witty and strange. I don't doubt it was only published because it's Burton's work but no matter- this is darker than Dahl and really just an extension of one of Burton's central themes in his film...more

این کودکان عجیب و گاه نازیبای تصویر شده توسط برتون که کاملا چیره دستانه خلق شده اند، فرزندان عادات و رفتارهای مایند! رنج را ببینید خودتان!!
زندگی ساده و راحت نیست
برای ملکه جاسوزنی.
وقتی بر تخت سلطنتش تکیه می زند
سوزن ها در شکمش فرو می روند.
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...more
"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...more
Quite flabbergasted by Tim Burton as I have always been and continue to be! Poems never really caught my interest before, but this book certainly did for obvious reasons. Well, I'm not sure whether I'm being biased or not but I sure sound like it. The stories manifested in the poems were all burtonized to the bone! I really loved that. The usual sense of Tim's own darkness was pretty absorbing too. I HAVE TO REREAD IT!
Nina Rapsodia
Jun 19, 2014 Nina Rapsodia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Los que les gustan los dibujitus
Recommended to Nina by: Merodeando en la biblioteca
Shelves: no-propios, 2011
Hace tiempos inmemoriales que no reseño, pero este librito lo encontré marujeando en la biblioteca de mi universidad, y me lo devoré en menos de media hora. Así que mi reseña será francamente corta, pero es que le hace justicia a libro, que también es cortísimo.


Reseña completa:
I love this book to bits. It's bizarre and really funny. Characters from this book of small poems become forever ingrained in the imagination. It's definitely worth a read if you have a warped sense of humor, as I do.
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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…