Quirky Books: The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories by Tim Burton

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories by Tim Burton

This book is disturbing. It seems like most of the poetic stories involve a child being born with some kind of affliction. The intent may be to glorify social afflictions rather than birth defects, yet it is simply cruel.

It is advertised correctly. The back of the book contains a description from someone at Harper Entertainment. No one takes credit for the description. "Now he gives birth to a cast of gruesomely sympathetic children - misunderstood outcasts who struggle to find love and belonging in their cruel, cruel worlds."

It also includes a synopsis of the typeface. Not sure why it is important to know Scripps College Oldstyle designed by Fred Goudy in 1941 graces the pages. Yet it does seem like quirky information Tim Burton would find interesting.

The content of the book, it is melancholy at best. The illustrations for poems are based on Tim Burton's work, cute and dismal. One poem "Staring Girl" portrays her eyes getting a rest. Her eyes popped out of her head, while resting poolside. Why? I don't know. Though Tim Burton is known for creating entertaining sets for children; do not give this book to a child.

The subjects of his poems are adult. Suspicious birth associated to an affair; a woman using a child to save a relationship; girls turning into big fat billowy beds; people getting sliced up by their friends for amusement, and various ways of children dying.

Childish jokes are scattered throughout the book. The punch line revolves around the child dying or being casually dismissed by society. The premise doesn't even attempt to offer a parabolic resolution.

The title character is conceived during his parent's honeymoon. His father kills him, by eating him, because he is an oyster. Later when they plan on having children the mother wants a girl. Perhaps he scorns quick marriages. Oysters have an association to sexual conduct. The parents might be overtly sexual and less attentive to their children. The child is a burden. In effect, lack of care slowly kills the soul of the child.

All I can say is if you are wealthy and famous enough someone will publish your book. This book is perfectly hateful, offering further mental abuse and feelings of rejection to anyone who may have suffered any of these maladies. I wonder when the movie will be out in theaters.

Poetry Breakdown
Brie Boy by Tim Burton
Jimmy, the Hideous Penguin Boy by Tim Burton