Pages - 91
Published by Templar in 2009
When I was a kid, there was a big water buffalo living in the vacant lot at the end of our street, the one with the grass that no one ever mowed. He slept most of the time, and ignored everybody who walked past,unless we happened to stop and ask him for advice. Then he would come up to us slowly, raise his left hoof and literally point us in the right direction.
I am a little unsure how to actually review this book. It is classified as a graphic book, but to me, it appeared more as a short story book with pictures. The stories are beautiful and poignant and full of meaning. Not that I always really understood the moral of each story, but they were very interesting to read, with such beautiful graphics to look at.
I actually think that Shaun Tan describes his book much better than I could possibly imagine. So I have taken a snippet from his website to allow him to explain this book better.
Tales from Outer Suburbia is an anthology of fifteen very short illustrated stories. Each one is about a strange situation or event that occurs in an otherwise familiar suburban world; a visit from a nut-sized foreign exchange student, a sea creature on someone’s front lawn, a new room discovered in a family home, a sinister machine installed in a park, a wise buffalo that lives in a vacant lot. The real subject of each story is how ordinary people react to these incidents, and how their significance is discovered, ignored or simply misunderstood.
I hope that makes it clearer for you, it definitely made it clearer for me. How I wish I had read that passage before I read the book. It actually makes me want to go back and read it again, with that passage in mind. I do feel that that passage should be written in the front of the book to aid the reader before their journey through the stories.
The best description I can give you of this book is surreal but interesting and beautifully illustrated. Definitely a book that deserves a peep.