Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tales from Outer Suburbia, by Shaun Tan

A family hosts a peculiar exchange student who chooses to sleep in the pantry, asks unusual questions, and departs mysteriously one day... leaving behind a most spectacular thank you gift.

An elderly man entertains his grandchildren with the story of his wedding day. But if you're expecting a tale of dancing, cake, and fancy parties, think again. Back in those days, weddings were much more complicated affairs.

A family, down on their luck and weary of their dreary existence, discovers a secret passage within their own home... A secret passage that leads to a kind of perfect paradise. Maybe there's one in your home?

Welcome to Outer Suburbia, where a blind reindeer visits once a year to take peoples' most valued possessions, where endangered sea creatures appear (quite suddenly) on the front lawn, where mandatory government-issued missiles become a thing of beauty, where turtles need to be rescued and there exists a magic formula for growing a beloved pet out of every day random discarded objects. 

Shaun Tan's (The Arrival) bizarre and beautiful book, Tales from Outer Suburbia is packed with such stories. Some are several pages long, while others are no more than a couple sentences. Still others are mostly told through bright illustrations. Each is fantastical in a way that it will transport you the way a great story should. It's a memorable book, and I'm very happy I finally picked it up.

This one is memorable, guys! Don't pass up the chance to read it! --AJB

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