I am a fan of Burton's movies. So, I was kind of interested in his writings. It wasn't a big surprise to find out that the level of awesome weirdness was the same. The characteristic Burton mixture of darkness and uncomfortable tenderness.
I mean, he wrote some really freaky poems (technically, not that great, and that is a charming plus) but with such sweetness and sensibility that you feel touched. Well, most of the times, just sad. It is written in a way that seems to be funny, and for some people, this is a book that contains some weird poems that made them laugh and that's it. But after a while, its melancholic humor kicks in, and you just feel bad for most of the characters. And related (I know I did). I wanted to help them, to adopt them and bring them home and have picnics everyday and dance under a rainbow and clean the house while a couple of birds make their beds. However, this is a Burton universe. And from a certain point of view, it's not that different from our real world.
Besides the poems, Burton also drew some lovely cartoons (still, not appropriate for children...). If you're going to read about a boy with nails in his eyes, it is nice to see a detailed picture of that, right?
Same thing with a girl with many eyes.
Imagine the flood she'd cause if you ever make her cry.
There are poems like The Girl Who Turned into a Bed, Sue and Jimmy, the Hideous Penguin Boy that made me smile with a feeling of "what a piece of rare work this guy is". And others like The Melancholy death of Oyster Boy that almost made me cry. Voodoo girl, funny with a heartbreaking ending line. Anchor baby, simply tragic. Oh, Melonhead! You have to read this good advice.
MelonheadThere once was a morose melonhead,who sat there all dayand wished he were dead.
But you should be carefulabout the things that you wish.Because the last thing he heardwas a deafening squish.
Rare, isolated creatures, kids that doesn't fit normal standards and are rejected by their parents and laughed at by their neighbors, strange people with odd problems. This book is about all the weirdos that are far more interesting than any other regular, normal people around. Like, a girl with only two eyes, for instance. Pff, boring.
I loved it. Like any other book that seems simply written but contains complex ideas, forgotten values and familiar feelings.