The Evil Garden

The Evil Garden

by Edward Gorey


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A happy, naive family enters the Evil Garden (free admission!) to spend a sunny afternoon in its inviting landscape, lush with exotic trees and flowers. They soon realize their mistake, as harrowing sounds and evidence of foul play emerge. When humongous hairy bugs, famished carnivorous plants, ferocious fruit-guarding bears, and a sinister strangling snake take charge, the family�s ominous feelings turn to full-on panic�but where�s the exit?

Edward Gorey leads us through this nefarious garden with a light step. His unmistakable drawings paired with engaging couplets produce giggles, not gasps. Perhaps The Evil Garden is a morality tale; perhaps it�s simply an enigmatic entertainment. Whatever the interpretation, it�s a prime example of the iconic storytelling genius that is Edward Gorey.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764958854
Publisher: Pomegranate Art Books, Incorporated
Publication date: 03/15/2011
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 284,201
Product dimensions: 6.86(w) x 6.37(h) x 0.51(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

Customer Reviews

Evil Garden 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
jmgold on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pomegranate has been putting out some truly beautiful editions of Edward Gorey's works for some time now and the Evil Garden is up to the same high standard. For lovers of Gorey's works this is a must, and for those unfamiliar with him then the Evil Garden makes one of the best introductions possible.The story is very typical for Gorey, a family takes a trip through a garden (for some free entertainment) and over the course of a few rhyming couplets are picked off one by one by the garden's inhabitants. All of which is gorgeously illustrated in Gorey's Gothic yet whimsical style.
Helcura on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The elegance of Edward Gorey's line drawings deserves a beautiful presentation, and Pomegranate has given us one in with cleanly printed, pleasantly thick pages in this small hardcover book. The tale offers cold-blooded rhymes, spare pen-work, and expressions of oh-so-civilized horror as the monsters close in.What more could one ask for?
jotoyo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"The Evil Garden" is the second Edward Gorey book I have read and it is even better than the first one. At only 32 pages it only takes a few minutes to read the book, but it can be enjoyed over and over again. The spare drawings and rhyming text tell the story of an evil garden that kills and consumes the people that visit it. This makes it a sort of horror story. My grandaughter of 2 saw the book as I was unwrapping it but I convinced her it was not a story book for her. At least not for now!I really enjoyed the whole experience from the macabre plot to the note from the translator (a Mrs. Regera Dowdy) who stated "Alas, my translation of perhaps Herr Blutig's most famous work appears on the melancholy occasion of the seventy-fifth aniversary of the next to the last time he threw himself out of a window." One you get your head around that, you can appreciate the book.
PitcherBooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
On the text: Just to set the record straight, I LOVE Edward Gorey! His art and text are a touch spooky, a touch funny and totally off- the-wall! The Evil Garden is nominally for children (as are most of his books) but find me an adult who won't enjoy it too. As far as I'm concerned it's a classic!The story starts with Free Admission(!) to a lovely garden for a dapper Edwardian family. What a lovely treat, eh? Or maybe not.... There is that remnant of a human foot peeking from under a large boulder. And as the story progresses... insects large enough to carry off a family member or two, an uncle-squeezing boa constrictor, an aunt-eating plant, quicksand that swallows a dear nanny, Such dire happenings! The absurd, fantastic and presumably deadly doings look as if they provoke at most,, an "oh my" or "dear me" from the various family members. Gorey's illustrations and his verse are the very definition of deadpan humor. I adore it. It amuses me to think of The Eagles using the 1965 edition of this title as the inspiration for the last lines in their 1977 Hotel California... "You can checkout any time you like,But you can never leave!" On the edition:Pomegranate did a very nice job on this re-issue. Sturdy hardcover with dustjacket and illustrated endpapers. One couplet per page is matched with a full page illustration. A keeper! [Disclaimer. Book received as an Advance Reading Copy in exchange for book review]
pvincent on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Edward Gorey at his most grimly humorous. This is the tale of a happy little family visiting a garden (Admission Free!), the deadly flora and fauna of which dispatch the family members, one by one, until the remaining few are left to vainly seek escape in the gathering darkness. The beautifully drawn pictures are each accompanied by merrily sombre couplets, charting the inevitable tragedy of this doomed family outing. Originally published in 1965, this is a very welcome Gorey reissue from Pomegranate Communications, who are doing a wonderful job of gradually releasing the late, much lamented, Mr.Gorey's gloriously macabre creations to a wider audience.
kkisser on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In typical understated Gorey fashion, we have the story of a family who ventures into a free garden looking for an afternoon's adventure, only to find that everything has a price. The illustrations are wonderful and minimalist and the characters as unique and odd as any Gorey fan would expect.Pomegranate continues to impress with their masterful production values. Their Gorey books are beautiful objects, full of mystery and delight and morbid humor. I for one, wouldn't have it any other way.
riverwillow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An innocent family is lured into a garden where, one by one, they are attacked and killed by various flora and fauna. Superbly dark.
invisiblelizard on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Couple of things I'll talk about here. First is the story and drawings. The story (poem?) is fine, quite in par with Gorey's usual clever macabre sense of humor, for which I'm glad I now own this book. The drawings are a little sparse. I am much more enthused by his intricate drawings. These leave an awful lot of white space on the page. They almost seem as if they were part of an unfinished project, but who am I to judge the master?Second, the book itself: the printing and the binding. Not the best. There was some ink transfer between pages that I was surprised to see. (I've got other Pomegranate books that are quite lovely, so this one may be an anomaly.) The binding is pulled thin on some pages (able to see the stitching) and on other pages glued an eighth of an inch in. Not consistent. Not very good quality.For a true Gorey fan, you'll buy this anyway, so you've probably already disregarded everything I've said. For the rest, there are truly better offerings available.
Cynara on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love Edward Gorey. I love him silly, fusty, literary, and blasphemous (from time to time I can be heard muttering "Tum tum tum tum said Lord something/ as he somethinged his postprandial tipple/"your mother's behaviour/gave pain to our savior/and that's why he made you a cripple."No surprise, then, that I enjoyed The Evil Garden; it's short and perhaps a trifle slight, but delightfully odd all the same. I pick out favourite pages (the tiny bug shaking a furious little fist) and then find that they're practically all favourites.The plot (such as it is) reminds me of Gorey's pop-up book The Dwindling Party.
SeaBill1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'd like to say that this book was charming. But it's not; it's almost grim, certainly macabre.And I'd like to say that Edward Gorey's couplets are almost doggerel. But somehow, it doesn't matter. One doesn't read Gorey for high literary content.Kudos to Pomegrranate Press for the lovely presentation and production of this slim tome. This is a perfect gift for anyone who loves a Gothic chill.
irkthepurist on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
now i'm married to an american, we've found we're both a bit prone to trying to fill in aspects of each other's youth. i've introduced her to johnny morris, oliver postgate, molesworth and the uncle stories... and she's introduced me to mr rogers and especially john bellairs. how poorer were british childhoods for not knowing either mr rogers or john bellairs? the unbelievable warmth and wisdom of the former and the deliciously grim horrors of the latter. the clincher for bellairs is that this meant my wife pretty much grew up with edward gorey as a significant part of her childhood. me? it wasn't until i read a sunday supplement article about him by a massive fan of his (who i in turn was a massive fan of), stephen appleby. i desperately needed to find more by this man and slowly but surely i didin many ways gorey is the flipside of dr seuss. where seuss is full of the wisdom and wonder of childhood, gorey takes a delicious pleasure in the dark corners of it. only really ronald searle in the UK approaches his style. but now he's almost ubiquitous in the UK - we've finally caught up with his jet black humour and absurdist vision. and it's a wonderful thinghowever i'd always known gorey through the amphigorey volumes. wonderful things they are, and brilliant gateways to the genius of the man as writer and artist, but somehow the context is so very different when you hold a single volume in your hands rather than a compendium. when combined you obviously look for shared ideas and a vision that holds the whole thing together. you see different part of gorey as a writer... but by itself you have to read it for itself. no context at allwhich in this volume, one of his darker more absurd volumes, kind of makes sense because there's no real context to any of the madness that follows. plot description? there isn't one really. some people go to a free garden and soon it turns very dark and very unpleasant for all concerned. it's gorey at his most playful too - claiming to be "eduard blutig's "der bose garten" in a translation by mrs regera dowdy with the original pictures of o mude" (the dedication is pretty much the place where lemony snicket gets his entire schtick, by the way). it's closest in british sensibilities to, say, hillaire belloc's cautionary tales (without any of the morals) and "the lion and albert" (but bleaker). it also reminds me of a recently discovered classic my wife and i found on called "the story of horace" - i delight in this blacker comic side of children's literature. to me it's like the detail of hatemouse in the uncle books by j.p.martin attacking people with a skewerand story aside - the art? well it's gorey isn't it. how can you criticise gorey? details and cross hatching when needed and then big, blank spaces also when appropriate. it's easy enough to come up with ideas like this - now i'm writing my own stuff, i'm forever coming up with ideas for things - but it's all about the delivery. and gorey's genius is to make the pictures *just* uncluttered enough to make the horrors(my favourite? "some tiny creature, mad with wrath/ is coming nearer on the path" - what is best in this? how tiny the creature is? the look of abject confusion on the people? knowing their inevitable fate?) seem ridiculous and to thus blunt the fact that by the end of it everyone is dead. it's like "the ghastlycrumb tinies" - it works there because gorey just uses the mordant, comic misery in as deadpan a nature for it to be palatable. there's a genius in that, i can tell youfinally: the package itself. it's nice enough that pomegranate are reissuing some of the odder, undiscovered gems in the gorey catalogue, but the volume is a lovely thing in and of itself. it's a lovely artifact and - yes, i suppose i am gushing a little here - the bookmark and catalogue it came with make it less of a nice free review copy of a book, but more the sort of package you expect for a birthday. although, it's typically goreyesque that suc
ljbwell on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
More accurately, this is "Eduard Blutig's 'Der Böse Garten' in a translation by Mrs Regera Dowdy with the original pictures of O Müde"For as big a Gorey fan as I thought I was, apparently there are gaps in my knowledge. The Evil Garden appears in the one Amphigorey collection I don't have, and I hadn't come across the story anywhere else over the years. So it was with great anticipation that I sliced open the shrinkwrap to revel in a new (to me) Gorey creation. From the slightly ominous plants against the vignetted green backdrop on the cover, you know you're in Gorey's darkly humorous world. Told in rhyming couplets - a common Gorey style - this is the tale of an outing to the Garden. Entry is free, but odd things inevitably befall the various members of the group - remember, this is Gorey. There are odd creatures, carnivorous plants, mysterious sounds, disappearances, and a bit of screaming & swooning. Each couplet is paired with one of Gorey's trademark crosshatch ink drawings. Without giving too much away, favorites included the baby being carried off, the daughter watching somewhat impassively at the aforementioned carnivorous plant at work, the drowning (again with onlookers), and the back-of-the-hand-to-the-forehead at various other events. This is an excellent addition for anyone who collects Gorey's works. And if you know anyone with a vivid imagination, an oddly skewed funnybone, a touch of Victorian drama & Georgian-through-flapper fashion sense, do them a favor and introduce them to the world of Gorey.
datrappert on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It will take you less than five minutes to read this book, even if you dawdle over the pictures a little. This book is so short that the publisher doesn't number the pages, but it contains one of Gorey's best stories, with his classic line about Great Uncle Franz--although, for the first time in this reading, I did notice that Great Uncle Franz appears in a later illustration, so perhaps he got away from the snake after all. In any case, things still look pretty bleak as the book comes to an end. To enjoy Gorey requires both a high intellect and a real appreciation for very dry black humor. I think this book would probably be the perfect relationship test. So if you're thinking about popping the question soon, first pop this book into the hands of your intended. If they don't get it or find it "sick!", seek your soulmate elsewhere.
dud5ers on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For a lover of Edward Gorey¿s books this work of 1965 will hold no surprises. Still, the drawings are some of the author¿s most elegant, and the inevitable demise of the entire cast recalls the earlier Gashlycrumb Tinies. The Evil Garden incorporates the joke that the original work was in the German of Eduard Blutig (Blutig=Gory) so an Uncle is Franz, not Frank, and the sign over the entrance reads Eintritt Frei! My favourite horrors are the Tiny Creature, Mad with Wrath ¿ so insignificant, but so threatening! - and the Ferocious Bears whose mean, close-set eyes suggest they are distant cousins of the Wuggly Ump. But the creepiest touch of all must be the Sound of Falling Tears which greets the doomed visitors. Thanks again to Pomegranate for making another early Gorey available. But am I alone in wishing for pages that felt more like paper and less like plastic?
Bitter_Grace on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Thank you Pomegranate for continuing to publish beautiful new editions of Edward Gorey's works (please be next, Osbick Bird!).The Evil Garden is one of my favourite Gorey books because, unlike some of his more baffling and twisted works, this one is coherent and strikes a perfect balance between humour and the macabre. A family, delighted at the prospect of free admission, enters a park only to later pay a far more sinister cost (but in delightful rhyming couplets!). I love the way the book has been made true to the original--black and white illustrations, signature Gorey handwriting, and the small size. The addition of colour to the cover, and the elegant book design, make it perfect.
sturlington on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have been a fan of Edward Gorey since I was a Gashlycrumb tiny. This particular story (nursery rhyme? fairy tale?) is in Amphigorey Too, one of my favorite collections. A garden lures in a family with the promise of free admission and a gay afternoon, but one by one, each family member suffers a dire fate. This standalone edition by Pomegranate Communications is beautifully designed, with thick, glossy paper and a dustjacket in lurid pea-soup green. It makes a great addition to my Edward Gorey collection!
cameronl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Evil" in the title, and Edward Gorey as the author makes one expect dark subjects presented in light and cleaver verse with charming illustrations. This small volume delivers on both counts. Typical Gorey in a beautifully printed edition from Pomegranate Communications. Charming to read, a delight to hold.
Nickelini on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A short Gorey story told in rhyming couplets, complete with his crosshatch ink drawings of his typical Edwardian family. They are excited to tour an exotic garden for free, only to learn that free is not always good. My favourite page was "a hissing swarm of hairy bugs / has got the baby and its rugs." Lovely green cover. A little edition to treasure and include in my will. Plan to buy many copies to gift as gifts. Gorey is divine, in his own slightly off, disturbing way. Recommended for: people who appreciate "vaguely ominous" situations happening to perfectly nice Edwardian families.