Friday, 20 December 2013

The Chronicles of Harris Burdick, by Chris van Allsburg

Why I read it: New Yorker review

Podcasts: Alas, no.

Brow: If you're a child, this is pretty high-brow stuff, but if like me you loved the original book of drawings with captions and you picked this up out of nostalgia, it's middle brow.

Summary: Back in the 80s, Chris van Allsburg released a book of illustrations and captions that he claimed had been left at a publisher's office by a man identifying himself as Harris Burdick. Burdick promised to return the following day with stories to go along with the drawings, but never came back. Children and adults have been filling in the blanks with their own stories ever since. This is a collection by famous adult writers.

What I liked about it: I was obsessed with the original book of drawings as a kid and used it as my inspiration for nearly every creative writing project I had in school. Of course, these stories are not the same as the ones I would have written, but still, some of them have their own merits.

What I didn't like about it: Honestly, there's nothing not to like about it. If you still like whimsy and value creativity, buy one of the books and leave it on the shelf for visitors to discover and have their imaginations tickled by.

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