• Posted on November 23, 2013

Im Land Der Bücher ~ In the Land of Books

*Reading is the dream through foreign hands* Fernando Pessoa

Buchholz In the Land of Books coverIm Land Der Bücher. In the Land of Books. As the title suggests, Im Land Der Bücher is a book about books; about the sometimes strange relationship we have with words, and the myriad states of being one assumes while lost in the pages of a good book. The illustrations in Im Land Der Bücher are not just extraordinarily evocative, they are also beautiful, and funny, and a little bit mournful; words that could describe virtually all paintings by Quint Buchholz, the German artist whose past subject matter includes elephants lumbering down the snowy streets of Canada, a quintet of musicians teetering on a rock, and a man playing a cello on a deserted field while a giant snail, his only audience, oozes by in the distance. In his newest book, Buchholz paints a woman in a bathtub, floating on the ocean. She is reading, and does not notice the beluga whale passing underneath. Where has this book taken her? Though not yet published in English (the author kindly provided a translation), Im Land Der Bücher is a fantastical journey worth taking in any language.

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  • Posted on February 18, 2010

Shoot me now

Tales from Outer SuburbiaI give up.  I mean, I really just…give up.  Shaun Tan is better than me, and better than you, and better than just about every other children’s book illustrator working today.

And it’s not as if he’s carved out some quiet little niche for himself. No. He is a one-man scorched earth policy, destroying all competition in his wake. We can only hang our heads in sombre resignation whenever he publishes a book.

Tales From Outer Suburbia is the latest self-esteem killer from Mr Tan, following on the heels of the stupidly spectacular, and prodigiously lauded The Arrival, published in 2007.

It is a collection of absurdist stories, accompanied by absurdist illustrations, and every last one of them is sublime, beautiful, charming, subversive, witty, idiosyncratic, and wildly inventive. Blah, blah, blah…

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