Tales From the Inner City

Tales From the Inner City

Book - 2018
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A collection of short stories and original art that imagines the lives of animals and humans colliding in urban environments.
Publisher: [Toronto, Ontario] : Tundra Books, ©2018.
ISBN: 9780735265202
Characteristics: 219 pages :,illustrations (some colour) ;,25 cm.


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ArapahoeTanya Mar 19, 2020

Unique short stories with beautiful illustrations!

Jul 16, 2019

Mesmerizing stories and pictures that are ethereal and thought-provoking and haunting. Highly recommended.

Jul 15, 2019

Symbolic, inventive, meditative realms provoking reflection on the way we live and think. Fantastical artwork the perfect complement to these short stories. Favourites: One afternoon the members of the board; We found them in gutters; Bears with lawyers.

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


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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