© Shaun Tan.

Not long ago I read and reviewed “The Arrival” by Shaun Tan, and loved it. I bought this book on the strength of that experience, and while I liked it pretty well, I think it’s a lesser work. This is a collection of short stories of various lengths, but most have a more lightweight feel than “The Arrival.” Length may be one reason, but I can’t help feeling Tan approached these pieces in different way, almost as if they are experiments rather than heartfelt stories. There is some of the creative oddity of the other book here and there, but generally the pieces are more predictable and less involving. Certainly worth a look, but not the solidly wonderful and amazing experience of “The Arrival.” The starting and/or ending point of many is the Australian suburbs, with forays into more or less weirdness along the way. I don’t know if these were done before or after the other book, but my guess is before. I’ll keep an eye out for more work by Tan, but this book is only mildly recommended.

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