karen's Reviews > The Doubtful Guest

The Doubtful Guest by Edward Gorey
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's review
Apr 16, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: aaaahhrrrtt

this review is for bird brian!!

i am insisting on reading this book as a metaphor for parenthood. in this wonderfully-illustrated-as-always edward gorey book, this creature arrives one evening, uninvited, unexpected. and it looks like a weird-ass penguin in a scarf and some canvas kicks.and it just will not leave.

it came seventeen years ago - and to this day it has shown no intention of going away

i assume there are plenty of parents who feel this way about their odd children - the alien, the other, the unrelatable who seems never to be leaving the nest and letting them get back to their lives already.

and it is a total pain in the ass. while this creature is living amongst them, it eats all the syrup and toast, and part of a plate, it steals parts from the gramophone, it hangs out in the fireplace and destroys its own shoes, it rips up books (!!!)

and messes up the hanging pictures, it lies down on the floor in front of the door and gets in everyone's way, it hides in a tureen, it steals and hides all the bath towels, it sleepwalks, it throws the beloved objects of others in the pond, and it seemingly has no intention of ever leaving or getting a job or finding a nice girl and settling down!!

sound familiar, parents??
time to clean house before it gets any worse.
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Comments (showing 1-24 of 24) (24 new)

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karen hahaha okay! but i already wrote two today, so maybe tomorrow. i don't want the internet to get bored with me.

karen that is a smart move.

karen okay - i wrote your damn review.

Mariel I always wanted him to come to my house.

karen i want him to go to greg's house. then i can visit, but he won't be destroying my books.

Mariel My birds already get mine so the damage is done.

message 7: by Greg (new)

Greg You might not even notice he had been in my apartment when he is through.

karen true enough...

Kwoomac I keep this book in my guest room so no one overstays their welcome.

karen that is a fantastic move on your part.

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

On my 17th birthday, my father taped that first illustration and quote to my bedroom door.

karen hahahaha your dad is cool - i approve!

Esteban del Mal Osho wrote: "On my 17th birthday, my father taped that first illustration and quote to my bedroom door."

I'm borrowing that idea.

karen you got some time...

Esteban del Mal It goes by fast.

message 16: by Will (new) - rated it 5 stars

Will Byrnes We love EG here. I had the pleasure recently of visiting his erstwhile home, now a museum. The guest mess had been thoroughly cleaned up.

The guests in my place can indeed leave a terrible mess. But, then, they have to compete with their parents hosts.

Miriam i am insisting on reading this book as a metaphor for parenthood

In that case, do you think The Raging Tide: Or, the Black Doll's Imbroglio is a metaphor for (dysfunctional) family life?

karen ooh, i would have to read it first and then unleash my former english major self....

message 19: by Will (new) - rated it 5 stars

Will Byrnes

One of many GashlyCrumb clues planted about the Gorey Museum

Z is for Zillah

karen that is so cool! i couldn't see this image at work yesterday, but i'm glad i remembered to come back and check.

Christian D.  Orr I read this story back in 1985 at the tender age of 10 (yes, I just dated myself!). Back then, I didn't grasp the notion of the parenthood allegory, but now, having read that perspective, it makes a lot of sense.

karen i'm not sure it was intended that way, but it works for me!

Christian D.  Orr It apparently works for quite a few people, as I see several other reviewers have made the analogy.

Miriam Didn't occur to me, either.

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