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Tales from Outer Suburbia

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  7,635 ratings  ·  1,188 reviews
You thought you knew suburbia.

Then you meet an exchange student from another world, discover a secret room that lets you escape to a place of perfect beauty, find a neighborhood where brightly painted missiles decorate every yard, and wait for a blind reindeer who demands a very special offering... These are the odd, magical details of everyday suburban life that might for
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published February 1st 2009 by Arthur A. Levine Books (first published 2008)
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4.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,635 ratings  ·  1,188 reviews

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Ahmad Sharabiani
Tales from outer suburbia, Shaun Tan
تاریخ نگرش: سی ام ماه سپتامبر سال 2016 میلادی
ا. شربیانی
Feb 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kiddiwinx, hey-shorty
is this really for children?? are children really this sad and dark and complicated emotionally?? i dont know, but i know that this book is outstanding. i think in a way it is harder to tell a story without words, like the arrival, but this shows that he is also an exceptional word-story-teller. and i am an exceptional word-hyphen-stringer.
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5000-2019
This little book is a children's book for adults and it is a masterpiece! It consists of short stories written and illustrated by Shaun Tan who is a man with the wildest imagination ever.

My favourite of the stories tells the tale of two boys who argue over what happens when you reach the end of the street directory. Have you ever looked at that last page and wondered where the roads go next? The boys find out and there is a brilliant illustration of when they do.

I also loved Alert but not Alarme
“The house at number seventeen was only ever mentioned with lowered voices by the neighbours. They knew well the frequent sounds of shouting, slamming doors and crashing objects. But one sultry summer night, something else happened, something far more interesting: the appearance of a large marine animal on the front lawn.”

Where do you go from here in a story titled “Undertow”? Australian author/artist Shaun Tan has THE most interesting imagination. The stories are short and thought-provoking
Nabila Tabassum Chowdhury
এই-বইটা-সুনদর! ❤

ছোট ছোট ১৫টা গলপ। লেখার মাধযমে গলপ বলা, ছবির মাধযমে গলপ বলা। ছবি এখানে অকসিলারী নয় বরং সমান গুরুতবপূরণ। কোনো কোনো কষেতরে অধিক গুরুতবপূরণ।

কোথাও এক জায়গায় পড়েছিলাম পৃথিবীর সকল গলপ বলা শেষ, নতুন গলপ বলা সমভব নয়। হয়তো তাই। তবে অবশযই এবং অতি অবশযই নতুনভাবে বলা সমভব। যাদু বাসতবতার পরয়োগ মনে হয় একষেতরে খুব কাজে আসে, একটা গলপকে সমপূরণ ফরেশ মনে হয়। যে অনুভূতির কথা বলা হয়েছে অসংখযবার, সেই অনুভূতিই এমন কিছু থেকে উৎসারিত হয়ে, এমন ভাবে উঠে আসে যেভাবে আর কখনই আসেনি। তখন হয়তো সে অনুভূতির সাথে
Mutasim Billah
What would it be like to have a children's story-book without fairies, princesses and princes, dungeons and dragons and the usual haberdasheries known as the ingredients of a children's book?

What if there was a book of stories set in the urban concrete jungle about everyday things that made normal life look magical? With beautiful illustrations, and wordplay, Shaun Tan did just that.

In Tales from Outer Suburbia the stories revolve around the tiny elements of our daily lives that we barely give a
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is truly spectacular...a collection of wildly imaginative very short stories accompanied by artwork that clearly demonstrates Shaun Tan's remarkable artistic range. He employs many different techniques and seems to use every available space inside the covers to spread his magic in a way that is fresh and fun. From the table of contents to the acknowledgements to the oodles of doodles on the inside covers, this is something to

Shelved as YA Graphic, this is better than that. It requir
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-australia, g-bd, 4e
Uma das vantagens que os adultos têm em relação às crianças é gostarem de ler livros infantis (só porque elas não gostam dos livros para adultos); a outra é não serem obrigados a comer sopa. Não me lembro de mais nenhuma...

Contos dos Subúrbios é um encanto de livrinho; são quinze histórias mágicas, contadas através de texto e ilustrações, que nos enternecem e surpreendem. Muito lindo.

Jan 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On the face of it, I’m an inadequate reviewer for Shaun Tan. When you review a book for kids, what do you do? You take that little book, you pick apart its layers (if you’re lucky enough to find any), then you box up each and every one of those layers, a paragraph apiece, and voila! Instant review. Having a format to follow makes everything so simple. It’s as if you’re simply filling in the blanks on a Mad Libs sheet. "Pronoun has written an adjective book that will adverb verb you each and ever ...more
This is a different story for Shaun Tan. He has a lot of words in this one. There are 15 short stories in this collection. Each, a little vignette. Shaun Tan sees the world differently and he has an artistic gift to share it with the world.

His stories always create a mood and encourage us to think about something a little differently or deeper. It is an amazing gift he has.

I love the little story of 'Eric'. The little figure reminds me of another story about Eric. I wonder if someone else took
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Shaun Tan’s books are surreal, they are magic. Maybe his imagination starts where ours end!
I fell for his books after reading 'The Arrival.' That had only pictures telling you stories. But this one has pictures and some little stories, too.

There is a part in this book where he said that people often write down their untold feelings on paper and keep them hidden. Those can be in forms of poem or can be just some simple words. That part is so beautiful and true that almost made me cry!

Well, for
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
چقدر دوست داشتم این کتاب رو. پر از خرده ریزه های رنگی و موجودات قشنگ و دوست داشتنی بود

Emm - Haunter of Quiet Libraries
You are now checking out of the library...
Stunning, poetic, beautiful... tell me a synonym that hasn't already been used to describe Outer Suburbia, with its kindly monsters, strangers in diving suits, and bewildered people searching for their purpose. It's only absurd on the outside. ;)

Shaun Tan is an artistic genius. I have no idea how he does it, it's a secret known only to the little dream creatures, but somehow he takes a simple, strange idea. One idea. And turns it into something that is r
Dec 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Extremely beautiful. Leaves you with a pretty clear feeling of why and how love, poetry and understanding are basically the same thing. (Although "to leave" cannot be less appropriate for a book that so much stays with you.)

Read it 10 times and 10 times fell in love.
وقتی این کتاب رو باز میکنید، اتفاقی که میفته درست مثل قصه هاس... با باز شدن کتاب یه نور قشنگ ازش بیرون می زنه، و شما رو همراه خودش وارد دنیای فانتزیش می کنه. انگار که دیگه کتاب توی دست هاتون نباشه؛ بلکه شما میون کتاب باشید. انگار که همه چیز رو فراموش کنید و حتی متوجه گذر زمان توی دنیای واقعی نباشید... فقط قراره گم بشید لابلای قصه های این کتاب؛ و صد البته لابلای تصویرسازی های چشم گیر و فوق العاده قشنگش.


قصه ها یکی از یکی خاص تر و متفاوت تر هستن، هرکدوم شما رو وارد یه دنیای دوست داشتنی میکنن، و شای
Ajeje Brazov
Shaun Tan ormai è diventato di diritto il mio autore di graphic novel preferito. Autore davvero particolare, originale, eclettico, visionario.
In questo libricino, una chicca il solo oggetto in sè, è una raccolta di storie dove il surreale si miscela col reale e con l'onirico, in modo perfetto. Ogni storia ha un suo stile grafico, stupendo per la vena immaginifica espressa in queste pagine.
L'autore di solito mi ha abituato ad opere perlopiù a disegni, dove questi ultimi davano vita al racconto se
Tukunjil Nayeera
This book is so wonderfully illustrated by Shaun Tan himself! I am still drooling over the graphic works of Tales from Outer Suburbia.

However, I don't think this book belongs to Children genre. To be honest, I didn't get all the short stories from this book. Poor me! I wonder, since when my sense of understanding become so poor!! 😞
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dīvaini skaista grāmata par neredzamo dzīvi Austrālijas suburbijā. Katrs stāsts unikāls, arī ilustrācijas autors spējis variēt, ka pat grūti noticēt, ka tās darinājusi viena un tā pati roka.
Nevaru sagaidīt, kad mans Bumbulītis būs pietiekami saprātīgs, lai vēlreiz šos stāstus lasītu kopā un varētu man pastāstīt, ko tad ir sapratis.
Petya Kokudeva
Jun 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
В една любима книга - The Gift - авторът Lewis Hyde казва така: “Прекосяването на мистерия винаги освежава. Ако, докато работите, можете поне веднъж на ден да се натъкнете на лицето на някоя мистерия, работенето ще си е заслужавало.”
Шон Тан е именно енигматик. Преди години, когато за първи път гледах късометражния му филм “The Lost Thing” (и се разбръмчах да открия повече от този автор), си казах: “Брех, не разбирам нищо и разбирам всичко?!” Толкова ми харесва да обитавам и да анализирам това ч
Maggie Stiefvater
Apr 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
In the spirit of honesty, I have to admit that I was already biased to like this book because of my intense love for Shaun Tan's The Arrival. I was hoping this book, which unlike the wordless THE ARRIVAL pairs words and art, would live up to his previous work.

The answer is an unabashed yes. Inside TALES FROM OUTER SUBURBIA is a collection of related short stories that explore the absurdity, sadness, and joy of suburban life (in this case, Australian suburban life). As always, Tan's art is fille
Johara Almogbel
Jul 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Johara by: Noura
There's something about Shaun Tan's books that are so ethereal and otherworldly it's like sitting at the edge of a very high cliff and quietly watching the clouds as they move past your feet. Tales from Outer Suburbia is no different, and it's like I want to absorb the book into my skin.

That sounds weird. I can't explain it. I just want to.

So very obviously definitely recommended.
হাঁটুপানির জলদস্যু
চমৎকার সব গলপ। খুব ভালো লেগেছে "এরিক", "বরোকেন টযজ", "ডিসটযানট রেইন", "গরযানডপা'জ সটোরি", "সটিক ফিগারস"।

ছবিকে গলপের অংশ করে তোলার বযাপারটা খুব পছনদ হযেছে, নইলে চার তারা দিতাম।

সহপাঠকদের জনযে নোট: এতগার কেরেতের গলপ হযতো খুব উপভোগ করবেন, যদি এ বইটা ভালো লেগে থাকে।
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-books
First hand experience is always a defining factor for the things coming ahead. I was lucky to come across one of the right persons, Shaun Tan and his touching, almost perfect graphic novel The Arrival, which ignited my love for sequential arts & graphic novels.

I appreciate Shaun's alternative view of looking at regular everyday things in a twilight. His creative imaginations, the wilderness & rawness of his art combined with his taste for satire, bittersweet topics & intricate little
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Четвъртата звезда е заради арта и безкрайно красивото оформление на изданието. От самите приказки честно казано очаквах повече. Личи си, че са писани допълнително към самите илюстрации и някои от тях ми стояха като мънички кръпки, развяващи се след рисунките. Най-много ми хареса "Нащрек, но не и в смут".
Weird and wonderful. Loved every story, a few stand outs were Eric, No Other Country, and Make Your Own Pet, they were so strange and imaginative.
Gergana Dimitrova
May 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Поезия от крайните квартали

Четенето задоволява всички сетива. Поне на някои книги. Слушаш шума от разгръщането на страниците, усещаш миризмата на хартията и мастилото, докосваш корицата и пръстите ти проследяват лекото изпъкване на лака, разположен върху заглавието и някои малки детайли (не върху цялото), дланите ти се плъзгат гладко по страниците, ако е избрана гланцирана хартия, или по-бавно, скърцайки, ако е обемна. Някои даже опитват всичко това как е и на вкус.
И все пак зрението си остава н
Markku Kesti
Sep 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ehkä neljä tähteä. Vaikea sanoa. Välillä viiden tähden helmiä ja hienoja kuvituksia ja näppäriä taittoratkaisuja. Välillä vain outoja juttuja. Tai sitten jotain ihan muuta. Sopii yhtä huonosti viiden vanhalle kuin happiteltassa makaavalle ikivanhukselle. Aikuisille kirjoitettu lastenkirja tai lapsille kirjoitettu aikuisten kirja. Typerä, mutta ihastuttava. Pönttö, mutta näppärä. Omituinen, mutta liikuttava. Kummallinen, mutta epäpersumainen. Ei mitään tolkkua kenelle tämä sopii, enkä ole edes ih ...more
این هم مثل سایر کتاب های شان تن عالی بود. این کتاب مجموعه داستان بود. بعضی از داستان هاش فوق العاده بودن. بعضی هاشون معمولی تر بودن. ولی همه شون، اون حس و حال عجیب و غریب مخصوص شان تن رو داشتن.

نکته ی مهم راجع به این کتاب اینه که این، به خلاف دو کتاب دیگه ای که ازش خوندم
(The Rabbits و Arrival)
بیشترش متنه و تصویرها، فقط مکمل هستن. به خلاف اون دوتا که یکیشون اصلاً متن نداشت و اون یکی، تلفیقی از متن و تصویر بود.

به هر حال، تجربه ی خوبی با کتاب های این مرد داشتم. اگه کتاب های بیشتری ازش پیدا کردم، با
May 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Тези 15 кратки разказа не подлежат на еднозначно дешифриране. Те се разпадат и следват собствена логика, собствена стълбица на смисъла.
Това, същото това съзнание, което доскоро е било отстоянието от света, собствената мяра за нещата, рухва и се възражда като фрагмент от нещо, в което писателят те включва, създава те и те оставя да се доразвиеш.
Jigar Brahmbhatt
Out of all these surreal, sleepy tales "Stick Figures" was the most affecting to me. It appeals to the humane sensitivity of the reader, where in a single stroke of imaginative manipulation another layer of meaning is overlay-ed on what has surpassed. Good stories don't just pay off, they deepen the mystery.
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Charles County Pu...: Sarah recommends: Tales From Outer Suburbia 1 8 Mar 22, 2017 06:47AM  
Book Review 1 1 17 Aug 03, 2014 03:40PM  

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Shaun Tan (born 1974) is the illustrator and author of award-winning children's books. After freelancing for some years from a studio at Mt. Lawley, Tan relocated to Melbourne, Victoria in 2007. Tan was the Illustrator in Residence at the University of Melbourne's Department of Language Literacy and Arts Education for two weeks through an annual Fellowship offered by the May Gibbs Children’s Liter ...more
“Have you ever wondered
What happens to all the
poems people write?
The poems they never
let anyone else read?
Perhaps they are
Too private and personal

Perhaps they are just not good enough.

Perhaps the prospect
of such a heartfelt
expression being seen as
shallow silly
pretentious saccharine
unoriginal sentimental
trite boring
overwrought obscure stupid
simply embarrassing

is enough to give any aspiring
poet good reason to
hide their work from
public view.


Naturally many poems are IMMEDIATELY DESTROYED.
Burnt shredded flushed away
Occasionally they are folded
Into little squares
And wedged under the corner of
An unstable piece of furniture
(So actually quite useful)

Others are
hidden behind
a loose brick
or drainpipe
sealed into
the back of an
old alarm clock
put between the pages of
that is unlikely
to ever be opened.

someone might find them one day,
The truth is that unread poetry
Will almost always be just that.
to join a vast invisible river
of waste that flows out of suburbia.

Almost always.

On rare occasions,
Some especially insistent
pieces of writing will escape
into a backyard
or a laneway
be blown along
a roadside embankment
and finally come
to rest in a
shopping center
parking lot

as so many
things do

It is here that
something quite
takes place

two or more pieces of poetry
drift toward each other
through a strange
force of attraction
to science
and ever so slowly
cling together
to form a tiny,
shapeless ball.

Left undisturbed,
this ball gradually
becomes larger and rounder as other
free verses
confessions secrets
stray musings wishes and unsent
love letters
attach themselves
one by one.

Such a ball creeps
through the streets
Like a tumbleweed
for months even years

If it comes out only at night it has a good
Chance of surviving traffic and children
and through a
slow rolling motion
(its number one predator)

At a certain size, it instinctively
shelters from bad weather, unnoticed
but otherwise roams the streets
for scraps
of forgotten
thought and feeling.

time and luck
the poetry ball becomes
A vast accumulation of papery bits
That ultimately takes to the air, levitating by
The sheer force of so much unspoken emotion.
It floats gently
above suburban rooftops
when everybody is asleep
inspiring lonely dogs
to bark in the middle
of the night.

a big ball of paper
no matter how large and
buoyant, is still a fragile thing.

Sooner or
it will be surprised by
a sudden
gust of wind
Beaten by
driving rain
in a matter
of minutes
a billion

One morning
everyone will wake up
to find a pulpy mess
covering front lawns
clogging up gutters
and plastering car

Traffic will be delayed
children delighted
adults baffled
unable to figure out
where it all came from

Stranger still
Will be the
Discovery that
Every lump of
Wet paper
Contains various
faded words pressed into accidental

Barely visible
but undeniably present
To each reader
they will whisper
something different
something joyful
something sad
truthful absurd
hilarious profound and perfect
No one will be able to explain the
Strange feeling of weightlessness
or the private smile
that remains
Long after the street sweepers
have come and gone.”
“It's funny how these days, when every household has its own inter-continental ballistic missile, you hardly even think about them. . . . A lot of us, though, have started painting the missiles different colors, even decorating them with our own designs, like butterflies or stenciled flowers. They take up so much space in the backyard, they might as well look nice, and the government leaflets don't say that you have to use the paint they supply.” 19 likes
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