Noisy Outlaws, Unfriendly Blobs, and Some Other Things That Aren't as Scary, Depending on How You Feel About Lost Lands, Stray Cellphones, Creatures from the Sky, Parents Who Disappear in Peru, a Man Named Lars Farf, and One Other Story We Couldn't Quite Finish, So Maybe You Could Help Us Out - McSweeney's

This book is dedicated to General Wilson, a lonely oak tree, who donated his bark, branches, and heartwood to form the pulp that made this paper so you could have a few hours of reading pleasure. No, no—don't feel bad. He was happy to do it for you.

Those folks at McSweeney's have some wacky ideas about publishing, and this is probably one of their more accessible books. It's aimed at young readers, maybe junior high or high school, and is a mix of sort-of-horror, science fiction, modern fables, and the like. It's a great collection of authors, including Lemony Snicket, Nick Hornby, George Saunders, Jon Scieszka, Neil Gaiman, and Jonathan Safran Foer; and each piece is illustrated by a different artist (mostly people I hadn't heard of before). Of the eleven and a half stories, there was only one that I just didn't particularly care for at all. Gaiman is brilliant, as always, and Snicket serves up a "tedious" introduction ("Don't be silly!" cried the Long Division Worm. "Math is fun! Come with me and I'll show you!"). Foer's entry, "The Sixth Borough," is actually adapted from his novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which I liked the first time around.

I was trying to think about which stories to write about, but I just like too many of them. I should probably just go buy this book.

Oh, and the unfinished story mentioned in the title: the dust jacket includes half a story by Lemony Snicket and is formatted so you can take off the jacket, finish the story, and send it in for a contest to win publication, a set A Series of Unfortunate Events, and "eleven pounds of chocolate, a Venus flytrap, six hundred tiny glass bottles, and a large sack of dirt from Winnipeg." Sadly, the contest ended earlier this year.

Fed to jonathan's brain | July 13, 2006 | Comments (0)


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