I loved author/illustrator Shaun Tan's short story collection, Tales from Outer Suburbia. It was weird and whimsical and as oddly satisfying as taking a small, hesitant taste of a strange new food (like starfruit or kimchi) and discovering it's delicious beyond what you have words to describe. So when I learned a brand new collection, Tales from the Inner City, was out, I was beyond excited and couldn't wait to get my hands on it.
Tales from the Inner City is one of those rare (make that RARE) occasions where a book lives up to its hype. Surpasses it, even. Tan creates a world where wild horses and rhinos roam the city's highways, where magical fish swim through the nighttime sky, and a where very special cat brings together a neighborhood of people who would otherwise have remained strangers. Here, a tiger stalks anyone not clever enough to wear a mask on the back of their head, a mischievous nighttime fox runs amok in your home--but restores everything by dawn, and a child prodigy dreams of only one thing (and it isn't what you'd think). There't more. Much more. But too much to cover in a single review.
Tales from the Inner City was almost as wonderful as Tales from Outer Suburbia. Like those from its predecessor, the stories in Tales from the Inner City are not the sort of short story you read and forget. These are the sort that stick with you long after you've read them and returned the book to its proper place on the shelf. They are the sort you find yourself thinking about at odd times. They are commentaries about us and our world, but never in a way that's preachy or political or in your face. But they DO make you think. And the accompanying artwork is beautiful!
To sum it up: This book is incredible in too many ways to count. I loved it!