Tales From the Inner City

Tales From the Inner City

Book - 2018
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A collection of illustrated short stories, each one about the relationship of humans and the animals, both wild and domestic, that share the urban environment of the inner city.
Publisher: New York, NY : Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., 2018
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781338298406
1338298402
Branch Call Number: YA SF TAN
Characteristics: 219 pages : color illustrations ; 25 cm

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LPL_MattL Apr 04, 2019

Tales from the Inner City is a mesmerizing collection of short stories that are thematically focused on man's relationship with animals. These stories are poignant, wholly original and beautifully surreal. Not only is this book a fascinating and entertaining read, it is a feast for the eyes. Shaun Tan's artwork transports the viewer to an alternate universe very similar to our own, but with flashes of unsettling and transcendent weirdness. Tales from the Inner City will impel you to seek out other works by Shaun Tan, I would recommend this book to older children, teens and adults.

JCLChrisK Dec 08, 2018

Magical.

Marvelous, otherworldly, enthralling, haunting, wonderful. Magical.

Working in libraries has cured my of my book-hoarding obsession. I have such easy access to nearly anything I want on a daily basis, I no longer feel much need to own the books myself. This is one of the rare exceptions. It's not enough for me to have consumed this book; I want to possess it. I want to repeatedly immerse myself in it and dwell in it. I want to become a part of it and make it a part of me.

This is not the kind of book you open looking for explanations. It is not one to understand, to carefully analyze with logic. This is a book of intuition. It speaks to your associative brain. It offers not rational meaning but meaningful feeling. You "get it" without being able to say just what it is you're getting.

Tales from the Inner City is a collection of short stories paired with images, each about an intersection of humans with an animal. Each tale is a different animal--literally and figuratively. Some are a few sentences, some ten or twelve pages, most somewhere in between. Most have inexplicable and supernatural occurrences that come with no explanation. They are intentionally vague and hazy and mythical. All implicitly consider the consequences of civilization on the natural world.

This is not a lecture. Yes, there are sadness and regret and acknowledgment of human error, but the book is not designed to be a guilt trip. There are stories of joy and wonder as well. They are complex and nuanced and full of confusing ambivalence. Not frustrating confusion, though. Reality is a muddle, after all. And these tales tap into that muddle magically.

They transport you into the heart of things.

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JCLChrisK Dec 08, 2018

Explanation is a luxury we can't afford these days, and reality doesn't care for it, being far too busy following its own unknowable course.

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