Tales from the Inner City

Tales from the Inner City

TALES FROM THE INNER CITY is a collection of incredibly original stories, rich with feeling, strangely moving, almost numinous. And when the reader comes to the artwork, it's like walking into an amazing room, and then throwing open a curtain to see a brilliant scene that makes you understand and appreciate everything you've encountered in a deeper way....

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Title:Tales from the Inner City
Author:Shaun Tan
Rating:

Tales from the Inner City Reviews

  • Michelle

    Another great book by Shaun Tan! This time focusing on the relationship between humans and animals, with amazing artwork to go along with the short stories. Some of my favorites were: Crocodile, Dog, Cat, Bear, Owl, and Rhinoceros.

  • T.D. Whittle

    Never fear, gentle reader, for while we cannot resurrect the bears, the cows will surely avenge their deaths. I have been following Shaun Tan's work for years now, and was exceptionally happy to attend a talk he gave at a Melbourne bookshop around the time

    was published. This one is my favourite of his works so far, though I love quite a few of them, including the aforementioned Bird King.

    In the Author Notes Tan released about

    , he opens with this statement:

    (See Allen & Unwin Book Publishers link to download

    .)

    This type of artistic process fascinates me, which is probably why I love authors such as Murakami, too, who says he writes in the early mornings before he's fully awake because that's when his subconscious is still tossing up interesting ideas (that's my paraphrasing, not what he actually said). Like Murakami, Tan's books are shot through with images that evoke something powerful in us, through pictures and words, yet they are both elusive and ephemeral. We feel constantly that we are on the brink of grasping something important, which we may lose upon wakening.

    Tan also had this to say in his notes:

    He offers us a series of poetic and thoughtful illustrated vignettes in

    , with each story spinning off one of his unusual hypotheticals. The results are stunning.

    (See Allen & Unwin Book Publishers link to download

    .)

  • Tom Evans

    I now know why Shaun Tan is so critically acclaimed, an incredible collection of stories complemented by outstanding illustrations.

  • Brianna

    Wow, what a gorgeous books. Review TK for Kidsreads or Teenreads.

  • Michelle

    This is a very significant book. It is dark and often difficult to read, especially the shark, pig and fish chapters. But its message about the interconnectedness between humans and animals is incredibly important. Animals have largely not been respected by humans. They have been abused, tortured, imprisoned and murdered throughout recorded history. And yet, humans still consider themselves the enlightened, superior beings. Tan cleverly exposes the truth. He does this through a beautiful blend o

    This is a very significant book. It is dark and often difficult to read, especially the shark, pig and fish chapters. But its message about the interconnectedness between humans and animals is incredibly important. Animals have largely not been respected by humans. They have been abused, tortured, imprisoned and murdered throughout recorded history. And yet, humans still consider themselves the enlightened, superior beings. Tan cleverly exposes the truth. He does this through a beautiful blend of prose and poetry- economical and powerful. His trademark illustrations are haunting and add to the poignancy of the text. Of all the chapters I found the pigeon one the most hopeful and that is primarily because it poses the theory that if humans disappeared, nature and animals in particular would prevail. It is not an easy read; however Tan forces us to engage in questions regarding our relationship with the animals we share this world with that need to be addressed and he does so in his inimitable way, with intelligence and grace.

  • Rebecca

    Everything Shaun Tan does is amazing. This collection of surreal stories about animals in the city is longer, but, like a picture book, does a lot with the visual impact of a page turn, many of which reveal haunting double-page paintings that end each story with a vision that you may or may not have been picturing. Teens and adults will find much to discuss here. I was reminded at different times of stories by Margo Lanagan and Ray Bradbury, and also the visually mysterious book The Mysteries of

    Everything Shaun Tan does is amazing. This collection of surreal stories about animals in the city is longer, but, like a picture book, does a lot with the visual impact of a page turn, many of which reveal haunting double-page paintings that end each story with a vision that you may or may not have been picturing. Teens and adults will find much to discuss here. I was reminded at different times of stories by Margo Lanagan and Ray Bradbury, and also the visually mysterious book The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, by Chris Van Allsburg. Don't miss Shaun Tan's work if you want to see the best boundary-pushing of the visual storytelling format in books.

    "And, once again, the bears showed us.

    There they were, God help us, the Ledgers of the Earth, written in clouds and glaciers and sediments, tallied in the colours of the sun and the moon as light passed through the millennial sap of every living thing, and we looked upon it all with dread. Ours was not the only fiscal system in the world, it turned out. And worse, our debt was severe beyond reckoning. And worse than worse, all the capital we had accrued throughout history was a collective figment of the human imagination: every asset, stock and dollar. We owned nothing. The bears asked us to relinquish our hold on all that never belonged to us in the first place.

    Well, this we simply could not do.

    So we shot the bears."

  • Mathew

    An absolutely fascinating collection of what I can only think of describing as post-modern cautionary tales which, through our relationship with animals, explores man's materialistic obsessions and how we have lost our relationship with animals and the natural world.

    As with all Tan's work, interpretation is left open and meanings will be rich and varied with some stories' messages clearer than others (perhaps). It is fascinating to think that the blend between extended written narrative and glo

    An absolutely fascinating collection of what I can only think of describing as post-modern cautionary tales which, through our relationship with animals, explores man's materialistic obsessions and how we have lost our relationship with animals and the natural world.

    As with all Tan's work, interpretation is left open and meanings will be rich and varied with some stories' messages clearer than others (perhaps). It is fascinating to think that the blend between extended written narrative and glorious paintings throughout all come after Tan's last venture which was The Singing Bones (retellings and explorations of Grimm's fairy tales). In this light, you can begin to see where Tan is going with these stories (wholly his own) and the journey he has taken to get to this point.

    After a comment on social media about the appropriateness of one of the stories (the word 'shit' crops up in one tale) there is question about whether you could share the book with primary children. I am sure my opinion will differ from others but I will say that Tan's open, ambiguous message about how we are losing touch with the natural world and the creatures in it would be a powerful talking point for children that could affect their perceptions of the world. The openness of the tales means that the reader must make their own conclusions and in doing so, readers would claim a greater ownership over the ideas which Tan is trying to share. That is a very good thing indeed.

  • Westerville

    Don't miss Shaun Tan's work if you want to see the best boundary-pushing of the visual storytelling format in books. - Becky O, Collection Development

    .

  • Maxwell Leaning

    Quite dreamlike and surreal. The advanced reader's copy we received at the bookstore had only a handful of stories, however they were unique and intriguing and the illustrations were phenomenal. I look forward to getting a chance to read the full thing.

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