09—Tales From Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan

Arthur A. Levine Books, 2008

I know, I am on a Shaun Tan kick. His illustrations really intrigue me, as does his writing. This book of very short stories is like reading a multitude of Rod Serling Twilight Zone vingettes.

The frontispiece is actually a two page spread before the first story in the book. It is a facsimile of an envelope. The return address sticker is the publisher, the addressee is a dedication and the stamps, the stamps are all different and of different values. They are in no particular order and the stamps are story titles and the value of the stamp indicates the page in the book on which the story begins.

Each story is different and has no relation to the other stories in the book but the stories are all tied together by their other worldliness and that they leave you wondering.

In one story every yard in the neighborhood has a government issued ICBM; in another the neighborhood is populated with live stick figures as well as humans; and in yet another story two brothers set off to find out why a city map ends where it does. The one 

The illustrations are as other worldly as the text. Tan's artistic sensibilities are like no other. This is truly a book to wonder over. And it's available at the library.

© Surveyor of the Passing Scene