Delving into his complete works for a project recently, it dawned on me how my impression of this prolific writer had been cemented by my familiarity with just one or two of his books -- like The Gashleycrumb Tinies , a deliciously morbid, alphabetical catalog of 26 children's deaths. As it turns out, this is fairly representative of the fates of children throughout Gorey's work -- they nearly always meet a tragic end. Having gone through most of his books over the weekend, I wanted to share some of Gorey's most striking and sometimes shocking panels involving kids -- many of them creepier and more morbid than I had ever given Gorey credit for being. We'll start off with a classic, from the much-beloved Gasheycrumb Tinies : Can you imagine a contemporary cartoon book depicting an axe-murdered child like this? In some ways, our culture has become much more permissive since Gashleycrumb was written in the early 60s; but these days unspeakable things happening to children seems a rarely-crossed taboo.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The Hapless Child by Edward Gorey. An undiluted tragedy. Get A Copy. Hardcover , 64 pages. Published August 15th by Peter Weed Books first published More Details Original Title.

Other Editions 9. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Hapless Child , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of The Hapless Child. This is super Morbid and it made me so sad. It did not have a happy ending. I would say this is mature material for mature people. I did not find the funny. Still, the art is amazing - so Gorey and the story is every horrible thing that can happen to a person does and life goes from amazing to a showcase of horrors.

View 2 comments. A tale of woe especially for Halloween. Aug 30, Cait Poytress rated it it was amazing Shelves: ucked-fay-up-way , cold-weather-reading , read-in , childrens , art. This is the perfect book to read to your child when they are going through one of their whiney "It's not faaaaaaaaair" phases. You want to see unfair? Here, let me tell you a little story about poor Charlotte Sophia.

If that doesn't shut them up Her blissful existence ends when her father is called to fight in Africa. When she learns of his death, Charlotte's mother falls into a fatal decline and she is left orphaned.

The family layer ships her off to boarding school where she punished by teachers and bullied by fellow classmates. Charlotte eventually escapes from the miserable place but things d A rather macabre version of "A Little Princess" by Francis Hodgson Burnett Charlotte Sophia had a charmed life with loving "well to do" parents.

Charlotte eventually escapes from the miserable place but things don't improve much. The locket containing her parents pictures is stolen and she is sold to a drunken brute who makes her work for scraps off food. She changes so much that her father, who, as it happens is not actually dead you wimped out Gorey!! Jesus, that was depressing. I need to go out in the sun now Feb 07, Lindsay rated it it was amazing.

A Little Princess as told by Gorey Possibly the dreariest children's story ever, I could picture Morticia reading this to little Wednesday. It also features some of the most detailed and stunning art I've seen yet from Gorey. Jul 11, Michael rated it really liked it Shelves: childrens-books , s. Gorey's specialty is writing horrific stories about the bad things that happen to unfortunate children.

His books seem designed to give little kids nightmares, and I have a hunch that they are often successful. They are sick, deadpan, mean-spirited and often hilarious. This is one of my very favorites. Death, abuse, sickness, fear and suffering are the major ingredients of the child's life, and the story is brought to life through Gorey's marvellous illustrations. I'm not giving any of the details because that would just take the fun out of it. This is one of my very favorite Gorey books and would be a good starting place for someone new to him.

But, if you don't like your humor black as the blackest black that ever blacked, perhaps "The Gashlycrumb Tinies" would be a better starting place: it's more overtly funny, while this one has such a tragic end that you have to be pretty twisted to laugh at it. That didn't stop me, of course. View all 4 comments. Dec 29, Amy Other Amy rated it it was ok Shelves: art , death , , 2-stars-just-ok , not-reviewing , with-pictures , cw-child-abuse-or-death , the-world-adores-and-i-do-not , reviewed-apart.

This is the only one of the 'kids die' stories in Amphigorey that didn't improve significantly on a reread for me. Although I did find the little lizard critter in each pane, and that was enjoyable. So there's that. I will revisit if I happen to read that one. Reread in Amphigorey ; reviewing separately. Oct 02, Rakisha rated it liked it. The most depressing and harrowing "children's book" I've ever read.

The art is creepy and beautiful. The story is succinct and powerful. But the audie The most depressing and harrowing "children's book" I've ever read. But the audience for this book can't possibly be children? I found it in the children's section of the library, but this is just too much.

I wonder if it is creepier than original Grimm tales. A grimly ironic tale by Edward Gorey, wherein a young child is orphaned, and in the antithesis of "A Little Princess," endures great hardships without the happy ending. The real interest in Gorey's work isn't so much the story as the morbid artwork. He's well-known for his sketch-like drawings. Gorey couldn't have been much of a child-lover, if his stories were anything to go on.

But they're amusing, and rather timely. Oct 22, Sally rated it really liked it. Nov 02, Anne-Marie rated it it was ok. I bought a bunch of Edward Gorey books for a dollar at a library sale. I thought they were for kids.

Not so. I didn't know who Gorey was at the time and then later found out how much people worship him for being so ironic and creepy. I'm selling them. That story was very sad, but the signature matter-of-fact tone which Gorey uses to present the story adds charm? Nov 17, Doug Friedenberg rated it it was amazing. Like Oscar Wilde said of the Little Nell story: "One would have to have a heart of stone not to laugh at it.

Would have reviewed when I read it, but they didn't have a reading social network at the time. Jan 13, connie rated it it was amazing. It is a very interesting book. Edward Gorey is a very unique author..


Hapless Child by Edward Gorey, First Edition

As a UK based Gorey collector, I am greatly enjoying your blog! Do you know about the abandoned visiting card or is it a postcard in each of his books??!! If so, do you know where it is in The Golden Bat it is the only one I can't find? I know that Edward Gorey liked to put announcement cards into many of his drawings, but I did not notice them in every book I will have to take a look now that you mention it!


The Hapless Child by Edward Gorey Book Review – A Macabre Tale of an Orphaned Child

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The Hapless Child


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