edh's Reviews > Tales from Outer Suburbia

Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan
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's review
Jan 31, 09

Read in January, 2009

Tan leaves the reader breathless with these short pieces from the intimate, inner lives of those who live in the suburbs. Using a different style/technique to illustrate each story, the magical realism of Outer Suburbia merges in a disquietude that makes you doubt what may really be happening beyond the borders of urban life. An otherworldly foreign exchange student leaves behind an everlasting garden for his host family, neighborhood dogs exact revenge on a evil man, and a lost undersea diver is not the fish out of water that he seems to be. Poetry fragments take on a life of their own, a couple goes on an impossible quest to become married, and within their home a family discovers a mysterious courtyard that helps them escape the drudgery of daily living. The combination of words and pictures come together beautifully - where words don't suffice, the visual elements come to the fore and continue the narrative. Let Tan take you to the edge of the map and back in the stories of those who dwell in the suburbs (but whose stories live in all of us).
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