The Gashlycrumb Tinies

The Gashlycrumb Tinies

by Edward Gorey

Hardcover(First Edition)

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A new, small-format edition of one of Edward Gorey’s “dark masterpieces of surreal morality” (Vanity Fair): a witty, disquieting journey through the alphabet.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780151003082
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 10/15/1997
Series: Peter Weed Books Series
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 64
Sales rank: 69,719
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 0.34(d)

About the Author

Edward Gorey (1925-2000) wrote and illustrated such popular books as The Doubtful Guest, The Gashlycrumb Tinies, and The Headless Bust. He was also a very successful set and costume designer, earning a Tony Award for his Broadway production of Edward Gorey's Dracula. Animated sequences of his work have introduced the PBS series Mystery! since 1980.


An Interview with Edward Gorey

Edward Gorey's stories and illustrations are quite unlike anything else ever written or drawn, and he's got the personality to match. An intensely private person, Gorey almost never makes forays into the public domain, and when he does, as you'll see if you keep reading, he does little to lessen the shroud of mystery that surrounds him.

barnesandnoble.comYour artistic style brings to mind 19th-century book illustrations (which might contribute to the false rumors that you are dead!). What do you think draws you to this era and sensibility? Why Edwardian England as the setting?

Edward GoreyI suppose so, to all of the above, more or less, he murmured reluctantly, but these are the sort of questions I think are worse than a waste of time to try to answer for reasons I have no intention of wasting more time in even adumbrating. Your new book, The Haunted Tea-Cosy, is a hilarious, rather dark retelling of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. What inspired this book?

Edward GoreyI was inveigled in several sneaky steps by The New York Times into doing it. Apart from a character named Bahhumbug and the appearance of three spectres, it has nothing much to do with Dickens's Christmas Carol, which I am not sure I have ever read. Any other Dickens books you would like to illustrate?

Edward GoreySome years ago I came across an anecdote about Dickens I refuse to pass on to anyone, and I haven't read anything by him since. What other classics would you like to work on that you haven't?

Edward GoreyThere are all sorts of classics I could possibly illustrate if asked, but as I have over the years accumulated too many of my own texts to have any chance of doing drawings for but a few of them, I would only do something by someone else if I was offered an outrageous sum of money, and maybe not then. Any classics you would refuse to do?

Edward GoreyFor example, Jane Austen and the Marquis de Sade, although for different reasons. The themes of your books often explore the darker side of life or impending fate. Most of your characters contemplate things dreadful, or often dead. Are you preoccupied yourself with the notion of fate? What inspires these notions in your work?

Edward GoreyI think my books are about nothing, and I don't see why Flaubert felt it would be so difficult. Otherwise, refer to my answer to the first questions above. Your drawings are instantly recognizable as "a Gorey." How would you describe your own style?

Edward GoreyTrue, even by me; however, I hope I don't have one. Quentin Crisp said style was a terrible thing to happen to anyone, and I couldn't agree with him more (Nancy Spain). I love your use of obscure literary references and multilingual word games as adjuncts to your drawings. Do the drawings precede the prose or vice versa?

Edward GoreyThank you. One's first duty is to entertain oneself. The complete text, prose or verse, comes first, or there would never be anything but a couple of stray uncaptioned drawings. The Haunted Tea-Cosy is your first commercially published book in a decade, but you have been very prolific in the meantime, especially in theater. Tell us a little bit about some of your most recent theatrical projects.

Edward GoreyI won't even begin to try. Besides, they are confined to somewhere or other on Cape Cod on a couple of weekends every now and again during the year. Who do you think your books appeal to? And do you have an audience in mind when you write your books?

Edward GoreyI am aware of individuals who like my books ranging from quite small children to persons older than myself, but I have no picture of an audience as a whole, or for that matter parts, and I certainly have no one in mind, not even me, when I write. Are there any particular artists or authors who most influenced your inimitable style?

Edward GoreyThere must be hundreds; I would not know where to begin. Besides, I suspect the greatest are from people I have never thought of in that way. Do you have some favorites among your hundreds of drawings and books?

Edward GoreyI loathe them all equally, or would if I ever looked at them -- which I never do unless I have to for some extraneous reasons. Are you a fan of any televised cartoons or animated films today?

Edward GoreyI adore Ned's Newt, one of the truly great loopy series, really not for the tinies at all but for people of more than a certain age who spent almost all of it watching B movies. At the moment Fox runs it Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30am. Yes, A.M. --not perhaps the best time of day for taking in no-stop split-second morphing accompanied by brilliantly silly and recherché one-liners. You work brings to mind the dark genius of Alfred Hitchcock. What are some of your favorite Hitchcock movies -- or other movies?

Edward GoreyNow here is a question I could go on and on and on about for hours on end, but I suppose I had better not. As it happens, re Hitchcock, possibly my favorite movie is "The Lady Vanishes.". Otherwise, let me mention some names: Feuillade (rush out and get "Les Vampire"), Naruse, Clouzot, Franju, Lang (the German films), Keaton, Chaplin, Laurel & Hardy, Louise Brooks, Lillian Gish, George O'Brien, and so forth and so on. To show I still go to the movies, if only infrequently, "Babe: Pig in the City." What inspired you to illustrate T. S. Eliot's beloved Old Possum's Book Of Practical Cats?

Edward GoreyThere is that word again. The publishers asked me. It was amusing but not easy to do because Mr. Eliot did not have to bother with any consistent view of his protagonists. Have you seen the musical "Cats"? If so, what did you think?

Edward GoreyNo. If I had, I don't know that I would have been able to do the drawings. You are said to have perfect attendance at the New York City Ballet from 1957 to 1982. Would you say that attending performances is one of the greatest things you miss about New York now that you have moved to Cape Cod?

Edward GoreyYou joke, yes? The only thing. I disliked New York the first time I set foot in it, and for the 30-odd years I was there, at least part of the time, I told myself I was only passing through. Do you listen to any particular music when you draw and write?

Edward GoreyI usually listen to music while I work, but I have wildly eclectic tastes (with gaps), and it is probably chosen from whatever CDs I have not got around to yet, which I fear now number in the hundreds. Do you see your work taking any new directions in the future?

Edward GoreyI only see what I happen to be working on at the time, and other things I have jotted down bits and pieces of to pick up at a later date, if there is one. What are you most interested in pursuing now?

Edward GoreyTheater in general, and puppets in particular. But who knows if and when something entirely unthought of will get my attention. I don't.

(And a question of my own.)

Edward Gorey Why did you answer these questions?

Edward GoreyIt is, as a dear friend once wrote years ago in a context I no longer remember, "a question perhaps only Philadelphia can answer."

Customer Reviews

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Gashlycrumb Tinies 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
allebarim_mirkat More than 1 year ago
It is fantabulous! I accidental found this book one day while with some friends and just had to have.... Its morbidity is so odd that is somewhat comforting... It reminded me of the creepy old stories/nusrey rhimes that my grandaparents would tell. Great book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
At first when you read this book you are shocked by some of the things they said, but the second, third, and so on and so on, it is the funniest thing ever! It is an excellent balance between dark and funny! :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
A is for Amy who fell dwn the stairs.B is for Basil assaulted by can you not love it? This is killer! literally! Mr. Gorey's alphabet is amazing, with neato, groovy pictures, boss poetry, and an all around macabre, killer, spooky feel to it. I am gonna use this to teach my kids the alphabet, that is assuming i ever have kids.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This freakish view of our ABC's boldly takes on the task of turning a variety of 26 fictional children's deaths into a warped side-spitter. I'd say task well accomplished Mr. Gorey! Laughter from death is truly a feat and the master of mortuaries Edward Gorey pulls it off beautifully with a combination of sadistic surprizes and illustrations with 'Gore' to boot.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Edward gorey is a genius, this book contains a perfect mix of magnifecent, and macabe. i would recamend this book to anyone with a dark sence of humor.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a teen and the Gashlyrumb Tinies are fantastic. I read this book and after doing so I bought a copy for myself. This book is so original and ulike all the other childrens books out there, it is great. It makes you laugh and best of all it is for all ages. Im sure that kids will enjoy it just as much as their parents and grandparents!! F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C !!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Edward Gorey has outdone himself agian with an excellent book. My friends love this bbok so much!!!! we rewrote it to include names of all the people we wish this would happen to!! tee hee
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one I am soon adding to my collection of Gorey books. Gorey adds just enough morbism and just enough humor to make this book a must have. I just returned the library's copy and I am soon to go out and buy my own!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is a great dark( and some rather grim) versions on contemporay rhymes. The art work by Gorey is wonderful, full of detail.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the more delectable bits of Gorey's morbid mind. Something to remind the kiddies of what happens to the naughty ones.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is incredible. The first time I picked it up as a child was the greatest day of my life, I have gotten a copy to have as an adult. I like to think of it as a way to unwind after a particularly difficult day and enter the mind of someone who seems more demented than even me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I couldn't believe how much i loved this morbid little look at the alphabet and the tragidies of the children inside...the best part all rhymes. a beautifully written 'goth' sort of picture book...I'll never sell it or part with it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My friend's mom bought this book a few years ago. Whenever I go to their house, I always pick it up to flip through it again. Yes, it's sick and twisted, but it's also hilarious-something you don't want to miss.
Haltiamieli on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a small, dark gem. Morbid, macabre and yet not coldhearted. The poem is simple (in all but the occasional choice of a wonderfully obscure word, the Gorey trademark) but memorable, and the illustrations show great technical skill coupled with a sharp eye for arrangements. Can anyone look at Neville and not feel his bottomless (and apparently quite fatal) ennui in their heart?Not for everyone, though...
riverwillow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The depths of my love for this book know no bounds - superbly macabre and very funny.
Nikkles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The drawings in this book are fantastic and the story is grisly and adorable at the same time. Great for adults who enjoy good art and funny little stories. Or mature children. A is for Alice who fell down the stairs . . .
dr_zirk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Gashlycrumb Tinies takes a morbid spin on the classic children's rhyming alphabet book, and if it's not the most original concept that Edward Gorey ever developed, it's still thoroughly entertaining.
TheDivineOomba on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Absolutely best alphabet book ever, of course, not for very small children but I suspect older kids will love it. :)
noneofthis on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The only possible way I could like this book better is if it contained a story, or perhaps a plot.
spytel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite books. A children's book with a dark Goth side. If you like the drawings and cartoons of Charles Addams (The Addams Family), you'll love Ed Gore (don't you love the name?). Basically an ABC alphabet book with pen and ink drawings of children meeting their premature ends (B is for Basil assaulted by bears).
andreablythe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I can't help but laugh at all the creative ways these poor and unfortunate children get done in. :)
caerulius on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"A is for Amy, who fell down the stairs. B is for Basil, assaulted by bears..." Do you like letters? Do you like bad (yet morbidly humorous) things that happen to children? Then this book is for you.Often considered Gorey's signature work, The Gashlycrumb Tinies is certainly the most widely known. My favorite is, N, for Neville, "who died of ennui". Creative, dark, and irreverent, with victorian-style pen and ink drawings to match.
jesslyncummings on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Beautiful artistry, wonderful imagination, and gothic Goreyness. (Nice pun, right?) It's a classic and every time I look through it I feel like I'm solving a puzzle.
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