The title of this deliciously creepy collection of Gorey's work stems from the word amphigory, meaning a nonsense verse
or composition. As always, Gorey's painstakingly cross- hatched pen and ink drawings are perfectly suited to his oddball
verse and prose. The first book of 15, "The Unstrung Harp," describes the writing process of novelist Mr. Clavius
Frederick Earbrass: "He must be mad to go on enduring the unexquisite agony of writing when it all turns out drivel." In
"The Listing Attic," you'll find a set of quirky limericks such as "A certain young man, it was noted, / Went about in
the heat thickly coated; / He said, 'You may scoff, / But I shan't take it off; / Underneath I am horribly bloated.' "
Many of Gorey's tales involve untimely deaths and dreadful mishaps, but much like tragic Irish ballads with their perky
rhythms and melodies, they come off as strangely lighthearted. "The Gashlycrumb Tinies," for example, begins like this:
"A is for AMY who fell down the stairs, B is for BASIL assaulted by bears," and so on. An eccentric, funny book for
either the uninitiated or diehard Gorey fans.