1. Margaret Brosky
2. Edward Gorey’s “Amphigorey Also,” is made up of 17 short stories, all following a childlike theme. Each story deals with a different set of characters performing random actions. As each story line is ridiculously random, the individual passages become more interesting as the reader continues. The many stories include “The Utter Zoo”, “The Blue Aspic,” “The Epiplectic Bicycle,” “The Sopping Thursday,” “The Grand Passion,” “Les Passementeries Abecedarium,” “L’Heure bleue,” “The Broken Spoke,” “The Awdrey-Gore Legacy,” “The Glorious Nosebleed,” “The Loathsome Couple,” “The Green Beads,” “Les Urnes Utiles,” “The Stupid Joke,” “The Prune People,” and “The Turning Fork.”
One of the short stories, “The Epiplectic Bicycle” follows two siblings, Embley and Yewbert, who begin their adventure on “the day after Tuesday and the day before Wednesday…” A rumble between the two is interrupted when a mysterious bicycle appears before them. The curious children hop on the bicycle and begin their ride through what appears to be a lost world. They eventually find themselves at an obelisk, raised in their very own memory 173 years ago.
Another short story includes “The Sopping Thursday” which follows a gentleman in desperate search for his umbrella. He searches his entire home, asks everyone he comes across if they had seen it, and eventually shops for a new one. His loyal dog stays by his side through the entire search, looking high and low to find his owner’s missing umbrella. Through the story, the man looks to friends and strangers to borrow one, but finds no luck. He checks every umbrella in stock at a shop, but not a single one is right for him. By the end, his “loyal beast” discovers the missing umbrella when the gentleman’s roommate returns home with it.
3. The artwork in this book appears to be done in all pencil or ink and is mostly drawn in black and white. Gorey’s drawings seem much more abstract than they do realistic and are very minimalistic. They are done loosely and appear very sketchy, with thick straight lines. His drawings do not show much value, but the small amount of value he does use is created by sharp hatched lines. Gorey keeps his images in tight boxes and spreads the boxes out across the page. He fills each with lines, but leaves open, negative space between each box. This leaves the pages and drawings clean and easy to look at.
4. I believe Gorey’s intention in writing this book was to make the reader think. His short stories are very entertaining, but it is difficult to make sense of the story lines. Reading the stories through a few times usually helps to connect certain events, but generally they take a turn for the least expected at the end. I think his intention was to take real life, relatable situations and warp them into surreal adventures. I think he wanted to make the reader think about a different world and a different way to look at life. Considering the plots of each short story, I believe Gorey wanted to include to reader in the experience and make them feel as if they are a part of the adventures.
5. I think the biggest strengths of this graphic novel include the lack of description. Gorey has done an excellent job at capturing his reader’s attention by solely using black and white images and little text. Although some stories do include text and captions, I believe the most interesting are those without it because it forces the reader to create their own story based on the images. I like how the reader is included in stories such as “The Broken Spoke,” because the pages are constantly changing orientation. Another of this graphic novel is how interesting each story really is. Gorey does an excellent job at capturing his reader and taking them along on the journeys with his characters. He truly makes each individual one fun to read and attempt to decipher.
6. A big weakness I found in this graphic novel is how hard it is to truly figure each story out. Although fun at times, it becomes frustrating constantly trying to figure out what Gorey is expressing. Also, most of the characters look the same. I realize this is probably because it is his drawing style, but with the characters looking so similar it brings the reader back to a previous story and characters’ personalities, which makes it difficult to understand the new character completely.
7. I would recommend this book to high school students. I feel it is far too advanced for elementary schools, and middle school aged students would not be able to fully appreciate Gorey’s style and stories. With the plots being so random and ridiculous, I feel high school aged students would enjoy this book tremendously. I think his intention was to open his reader’s minds, and I feel high school aged students would be the perfect age group to decipher his meanings.
8. Other books by Edward Gorey include: The Doubtful Guest, The Gashlycrumb Tinies, The Headless Bust, Elegant Enigmas, The Lost Lions, The Strange Case of Edward Gorey and many, many more.
9. I would give this book 5/5 stars