The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy by Tim Burton (Review)

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

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About the author

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Tim Burton was born in August 1958 and is an American filmmaker, artist, writer and animator. He is famous for his dark, gothic and eccentric horror and fantasy films. He often works with Johnny Depp and Danny Elfman.

Blurb

Twenty-three illustrated gothic tales from the dark corridors of the imagination of Tim Burton. Burton – the creative genius behind Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow and Nightmare Before Christmas, among others – now gives birth to a cast of gruesomely sympathetic children: misunderstood outcasts who struggle to find love and belonging in their cruel, cruel worlds. His lovingly lurid illustrations evoke both the sweetness and tragedy of these hopeful, yet hapless beings.

Review

When I saw this book in the bookshop a few days ago I grabbed it and immediately had to buy it. I love all the work of Tim Burton but I did not know he had done a book. I was so happy to find this book and very excited to read it. Yesterday I finally had time to sit down with a mug of tea and read it.

This book is a collection of short tales illustrated by Tim Burton himself, what is not to like? All the tales feel like children’s stories with the short little paragraphs and illustrations, however this is far too gothic and gruesome in places for children so Young Adults and upwards is a must.

The book is depressing, gruesome, gothic but most of all hilarious but naughty hilarious because you feel like you should not be laughing at these tales. I found The Melancholy Death of the Oyster Boy to be very depressing, I felt very sad about the fate of the Oyster Boy and I was rather shocked about how he died.

Another element that surprised me was how many tales contained parents who hate their children. It made me wonder what Burton feels about his own children to be honest. I am not complaining though as it made for good reading.

Nearly all the tales are my favourites but a few are my absolute favourites. Stain Boy is one because this reminds me of some of my nephews who no matter what get dirt everywhere and clean clothes do not stay clean for long. Sue was another favourite, the idea of someone walking around with a tissue attached to their face made me giggle.

I loved everything about this book, the illustrations, the stories everything is just brilliant. The book took less than half an hour to read, I found I wanted it to last longer. I definitely plan on re-reading this on halloween. This book has a massive 5 out 5 Dragons.

Purchase this book from Waterstones

Amazon Paperback

Lady Book Dragon.

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The Story of Brexit: A Ladybird Book by J. A. Hazeley and J. P. Morris (Review)

The Story of Brexit: A Ladybird Book by J. A. Hazeley and J. P. Morris

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About the authors

J. A. Hazeley and J. P. Morris are best known for having written episodes of Miranda and That Mitchell and Webb Look.

Review

I have not read all of the new Ladybird books for adults mainly the husband and wife ones as when I got married my husband and myself got them for Christmas off the family for a joke. As I mentioned in my last Waterstones post this one was at the till and it just jumped into my hand.

I did find this book funny to start with but then it started to drag a little and was just a bit repetitive along the lines of ‘those who voted out did not understand what they were doing’ etc. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it had been shorter, short and sweet was the key in this case. It would have also been better if it had been a bit more balanced and made fun of both sides.

The illustrations as per usual were excellent and went brilliantly with the writing and added to the book.

An OK little book to read with a mug of tea and a biscuit, if you are not too easily offended about Brexit. I only gave this book 3 Dragons out of 5 and probably would not bother to read it again.

Lady Book Dragon.

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What Is Your Cat Really Thinking? by Dannyboy and Sophie Johnson (Review)

What Is Your Cat Really Thinking? by Dannyboy and Sophie Johnson

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About the authors

Sophie Johnson is a writer and comedian from London.

Sadly I could not find anything about Dannyboy.

Blurb

The secrets of the feline world are out! Find out what your curious kitty really thinks when you try to play with them, why they love knocking things off tables and why they get really cheesed off when your culinary skills fall short of their expectations.

Review

My husband received this book as a Christmas present and when he had read it I borrowed it to see what it was all about. I am actually a dog person but my husband has two cats that I became mommy to when we got married. Living with cats for the last few years has taught me a lot but mainly that they are nothing like dogs!

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This book contains cartoons of cats and what they are thinking for each cartoon and I can say hand on heart that most of the thoughts that these cartoon cats are having I can imagine my cats thinking. It is almost like the book is about my two cats.

My favourite one in particular is shown below. I quite like the idea of my cats blogging about their humans.

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I really enjoyed this book and it is obviously written by a cat owner because it is so truthful. It is a really quick read, hence the short review but good fun and a real giggle. If you are a cat owner I highly recommend it. I gave this little book 5 Dragons out of 5 Dragons.

Lady Book Dragon

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Enid Blyton: Five at the Office Christmas Party by Bruno Vincent (Review)

Enid Blyton: Five at the Office Christmas Party by Bruno Vincent

About the author

Bruno Vincent is the author of several humour titles, including The Famous Five Series, he has also written two volumes of gothic horror stories for children which were adapted for the stage.

Blurb

Join Julian, George, Dick, Anne and Timmy the dog as they try to prepare the perfect office Christmas Party, with no budget at all. Will they succeed, and make everyone happy? Or will all the emergency services be called before the night is out?

Review

I have read most of the Famous Five parodies by Bruno Vincent but I had been saving this one to read over the Christmas holidays and I was pleased I did. I read most of the Famous Five series when I was a child and have always enjoyed reading about the five’s adventures, especially George as I was also a tomboy when I was young.

The four children are now adults and are blundering along trying to get adult life correct. Timmy is now very mature and does not take such an active role in the adventures although he is still present, watching over the four. The story begins with Julian getting fired from his job and managing to get another job working with Dick, George and Anne at the business that their rogue cousin Rupert owns. None of them particularly enjoy their work apart from Julian who finds the simple data input work a lot better than his previous job as he used to over think that job.

Just before Christmas Rupert pulls the four into his office and asks them to organise the Christmas party to help raise morale in the company. This does not end well, especially when the workers sample Julian’s punch.

The story is hilariously funny and well written, Vincent has obviously done his homework and read a great deal of the original Famous Five books because he has each of the five perfect, their childhood characters come through in their adult life. Anne is still homely, petite and pretty, George is still stubborn, bad tempered and boyish, Julian a know it all but now has a drink problem, Dick who is always happy to follow everyone’s lead and is happy to just potter around playing Pokemon Go. Vincent has been nothing but respectful to Enid Blyton’s work and legacy and I think she would have rather enjoyed his version of the adult five.

The only reason this book did not get 5 dragons was because the ending was a little bit disappointing for me and it finished a bit too soon on a cliffhanger no less. This book was a brilliant read I would recommend for anyone who wants a good laugh over Christmas and who enjoyed the Famous Five series as a child. A big 4 out of 5 dragons from me.

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Lady Book Dragon

Review 13: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos

About the author

Loos was an American screenwriter, playwright, and author born in 1889. She is best known for her novel Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. She wrote scripts from 1912 till her death in 1981 and was the first scriptwriter on the payroll of Triangle Film Corporation. She wrote a great many of the Douglas Fairbanks films and did the stage adaptation of Collette’s Gigi.

Blurb

With these deceptively simple words Lorelei Lee, a not-so-dumb blonde with a single-minded devotion to orchids, diamonds and champagne, embarks on what Edith Wharton was to call, perhaps not entirely seriously, ‘the great American novel’. Written in diary form, Lorelei Lee’s life makes for an outrageous, witty read. Capturing the carefree attitude of the glamorous jazz age, the flighty Lorelei moves from suitor to suitor, from scandalous situation to frivolous engagement, ever in search of the elusive millionaire who could provide her own happy ending.

With the help of her wise-cracking friend and protector Dorothy, Lorelei learns to spot a gentleman ‘whom you can call up at any time and ask him to go shopping and he is delighted’ at a hundred paces, dances with the Prince of Wales, and travels to Paris to enjoy ‘the Eyeful Tower’. Sharp, hilarious and undeniably endearing, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes would be immortalised by the 1953 musical starring Marilyn Monroe, and Anita Loos herself was so impressed by the success of her creation that she ended up dyeing her hair …

Review

Gosh this book was annoying! I got this book a couple of years ago free from The Folio Society because I had spent so much money with them, however I do remember it was meant to be another book but they had sold out and so they sent me this one instead. 

I struggled with this book, I know the book is written in diary form and Loos included grammatical and spelling errors but it was these errors that drove me mad. I just found them over the top and I know they were there to add to the feel of a diary but it just upset me, I wanted to correct all the errors with a big red pen. 

The diary belongs to Lorelei who is an American society girl who is moving through life going from one suitor to the other getting as many presents as she can out of them and looking for the richest man she can find to eventually marry or sue in court. Lorelei has a friend Dorothy who helps her in this quest. Lorelei starts the diary to help her become educated as she keeps saying she is an educated girl and just wants to read books and see the all education she can.

The first thing I worked out was that Lorelei is really not very educated, she pretends to be and tells the men she meets she is but in fact she is severely lacking. She is educated in one department and that department is using men to get what she wants and she can work out a rich man and poor man just by looking at them. I did like the fact that all the books she was given to read she found some excuse not to read and when she went to museums she just complained about her aching feet. This made me laugh a little bit but then it turned to despair.

I had high hopes for this book and I think I had in mind of something like The Great Gatsby but sadly I did not enjoy it like I did The Great Gatsby. Lorelei was just too annoying for me, I know it is set in a different time but she just came across as too immature and money grabbing. She just used men for her own advantage and only thought of shopping and champagne. I started to feel really sorry for all the men she took shopping and then discarded. She’s lazy and sleeps in till silly times basically because she is hungover all the time. The more I think of her character the more she annoys me and to be honest I would not like a person of her character anywhere near me. 

I am sorry that my review is so against the general grain of all the other reviews out there and I know that this book is considered a great American classic but I found it very hard to digest. I did not believe the spelling and grammatical errors were necessary and certainly deterred me from the book. Also I could not believe that such an annoying character could exist but I have found her. Until now I thought it was Jane Austen’s Emma who was the most annoying heroine in the literary world, but no she has moved to second place as Lorelei has taken her crown. I think it is most likely that it is because I prefer a strong female lead who does not depend on men to get through life and Lorelei just does not fit into this category.

The other area I did not enjoy was the illustrations. I found they lacked finesse and I doubt I will be keen to read another book with illustrations by Ffolkes.

All in all a massive disappointment for me, thankfully it is not a long book and I got it for free from The Folio Society. Just 1 star out of 5 from me.

Lady Book Dragon.