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The Unstrung Harp
by Edward Gorey | Literature & Fiction
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 10/14/2006
Average 8 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by dagett): to be read


8 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, October 14, 2006

8 out of 10

I've loved Gorey's funny/weird style for ages, and I pick up his books whenever I find them. This one was among a six-for-a-bargain sale at the gift shop in the actual Edward Gorey House on Cape Cod - definitely worth a visit if you're in the area!

Subtitled "Mr. Earbrass Writes a Novel", this one is one of Gorey's more verbose works, as it actually has text; whole paragraphs of it! Appropriate, as it's about the production of a novel, from first scratchings to presentation copies, all accompanied by Gorey's inimitable illustrations. The tone here is slightly befuddled rather than grim or gloomy, and the whole book's very funny if you've ever tried to write anything at all. This passage seemed even more likely to appeal to BookCrossers:

Mr Earbrass has driven over to Nether Millstone in search of forced greengages, but has been distracted by a bookseller's. Rummaging among mostly religious tracts and privately printed reminiscences, he has come across The Meaning of the House, his second novel. In making sure it has not got there by mistake (as he would hardly care to pay more for it), he discovers it is a presentation copy. For Angus - will you ever forget the bloaters? Bloaters? Angus?
I lent this to a fledgling novelist of my acquaintance, and he seemed to find it amusing {grin}. 


Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Thursday, August 28, 2008

This book has not been rated.

I thought I'd offer this delightful little book for a book ring; see the forum post here.

The book is a small hardcover that weighs about 7 ounces, so postage shouldn't be too bad even for international mailings, and I'm willing to make it an international ring if I get enough participants who are able to mail internationally. Please post a reply in the forum thread or PM me if you'd like to participate, and include any mailing restrictions you may have.

Bookring instructions:

When you receive the book, please journal it, and PM the next person in line for their address so you'll have it ready when you've finished the book.

Note: even if you've sent books to that person before, please PM them before mailing this one, to confirm that the address is correct and that they're able to take on a bookring book at this time.
Try and read the book promptly - ideally, within three weeks of receiving it (it's a very short book!). (If you expect to take longer, you can request to be put at the end of the list. If you find you're swamped with other books when the person before you contacts you about the bookring, you can ask to be skipped, and then let me know whether you'd like to be moved down the list or dropped entirely. If you receive the book and find it's taking longer than you'd planned to get through it, I'd appreciate an update in its journal entries or on your profile, just to let me and the other participants know you haven't forgotten it.)

When you're ready to pass the book along, please add your comments about the book and indicate where you're sending it, either through a journal entry or through the new controlled-release-note option. If you find that you're having problems contacting the next person in line, or don't think you can manage to mail the book as originally agreed, please let me know; I'll be glad to try to work something out!

Participants, in mailing order:
labmomnm [NM]
NMReader [NM]
4libros and family [NE]
Megi53 [VA]
madmadge [UK]
dagett [Austria]
...and back to GoryDetails [NH].

[Update, 3/6/2009: I've acquired a copy of Amphigorey, which includes The Unstrung Harp along with other Gorey works, so this is now a book ray instead of a ring.] 


Journal Entry 3 by wingGoryDetailswing at Albuquerque, New Mexico USA on Tuesday, September 02, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Released 9 yrs ago (9/2/2008 UTC) at Albuquerque, New Mexico USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

I sent the book off to labmomnm in New Mexico today, to kick off the book ring. Hope you enjoy it! 


Journal Entry 4 by winglabmomnmwing from Albuquerque, New Mexico USA on Friday, September 05, 2008

9 out of 10

Arrived in yesterday's mail - will read after I finish my current book. Thanks for sharing!

12 September '08 - This was great fun! I had several favorite parts, but I think the stuffed fantod under a glass bell was perfect - is it just me, or is the fantod sucking its tail? The literary dinner & Mr. Earbrass' "athletic sweater of forgotten origin and unknown significance" were other favorites. I'm going to have to track down a copy of this for my very own. Once again, BookCrossing has the potential to add to my stash, rather than deplete it!

I've PM'd NMReader to try to arrange a hand-off this weekend. 


Journal Entry 5 by winglabmomnmwing at Mailed to next BC member of the Bookring, Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Saturday, September 20, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Released 9 yrs ago (9/20/2008 UTC) at Mailed to next BC member of the Bookring, Bookring -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Mailed to NMReader 


Journal Entry 6 by NMReader from Herndon, Virginia USA on Monday, September 22, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Arrived in the mail today. Looking forward to reading 


Journal Entry 7 by NMReader from Herndon, Virginia USA on Thursday, September 25, 2008

8 out of 10

I enjoyed this book and could relate to portions of it all too well but I was expecting more from Gorey. I would definitely read again and recommend.

Thanks for including me. 


Journal Entry 8 by NMReader at by mail, a fellow bookcrosser -- Controlled Releases on Thursday, September 25, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Released 9 yrs ago (9/26/2008 UTC) at by mail, a fellow bookcrosser -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Hope to mail over my lunch.

Sorry very hectic work schedule - wasn't mailed until 10/5/08 


Journal Entry 9 by 4libros from Omaha, Nebraska USA on Thursday, October 09, 2008

This book has not been rated.

I just received the book in the mail today. Thank you, NMReader for sending it to me, and GoryDetails for offering the book for this ray. I really appreciate the opportunity to read Gorey's work. My family will probably read it, too, but I'll post my journal entry soon and get it sent out as soon as possible.

Edited to add labmomnm to my thanks. Without you, too, I wouldn't have this book. :) 


Journal Entry 10 by 4libros from Omaha, Nebraska USA on Thursday, October 09, 2008

10 out of 10

And, of course, I had to read TUH immediately. I agree with GoryDetails that his wit is apt for anyone who has written a novel. I especially liked the touch about him being the tea server at a party ostensibly thrown in his honor.

As soon as family has a chance to read this and I get the address for the next participant, I'll get the book moving again. Thank you for the wonderful experience! 


Journal Entry 11 by Peregrin from Omaha, Nebraska USA on Saturday, October 11, 2008

7 out of 10

Chronicles the stages of emotion that a writer goes through. The artwork is reminiscent of Charles Addams, and serves to flesh out the story a bit. I found the book faintly amusing, but was thankful that it was short. I can spare 20 minutes for droll, but beyond that I would like a bit more engaging entertainment. 


Journal Entry 12 by 4libros at Danville, Virginia USA on Saturday, October 11, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Released 9 yrs ago (10/13/2008 UTC) at Danville, Virginia USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

to Megi53 


Journal Entry 13 by Megi53 from Danville, Virginia USA on Monday, October 20, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Arrived with today's mail. I'm not very familiar with Gorey's work, but I love the way he drew the heads on the cover illustrations!

This is taking its place at #3 on my TBR list; ideally, I'll read it on Halloween while waiting for trick-or-treaters. I may not be able to resist diving in right away, though. Will PM madmadge for address this evening. 


Journal Entry 14 by Megi53 from Danville, Virginia USA on Friday, October 31, 2008

8 out of 10

A tiny masterpiece! I read it with the dictionary beside me. Among other words, I had to look up "desuetude", "greengages", and "fantod". (I'm still not quite sure about "fantod", but I enjoyed seeing the little creature's second appearance next to Earbrass in an illustration.)

The names of people and towns along with titles of books and plays were very amusing ("a performance at Lying-in-the-Way of Prawne's The Nephew's Tragedy"). Future readers, be sure to peer closely at the illustrations for more funny text ("Answer Came There None"; "It was still snowing.").

Some parts were poignant: poor old Earbrass, having to look through hundreds of books for the olive-bound volume that might have contained the poem he half-remembered for his epigraph. Now he could just zip right to it with Google.

I could totally identify with his attempt to read past page 33 in a nonfiction book he started 2 years and 7 months ago!

The end was touching and hopeful. Mailed to madmadge on Saturday, November 1.

(Oh -- I should add that I'm on a quest to understand the publishing business. I gleaned a few minor points from Scuffle and Dustcough, such as the notion that authors must "keep the amount of absolutely necessary changes within the allowed pecuniary limits.")
 


Journal Entry 15 by madmadge from Alderholt, Hampshire United Kingdom on Thursday, November 06, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Book arrived this morning. I had hoped it might pop through the letterbox when Beloved was at work but no such luck! It's one of his days off and he's getting tired of the growing piles of books that have outgrown my bookshelves. Little does he know that there are also three carrier bags lurking secretly in the bedroom! How underhand can you get?

Any way, to return to this one, it looks fascinating and maybe will give me some inspiration for my own writing efforts. I don't have any commitments at the moment so will get around to it ASAP and try to mail it within the prescribed three weeks. Thank you Gory for including me and Megi for posting it to me all the way from Virginia, USA. NB: Where do you get those star-shaped post-its? 


Journal Entry 16 by madmadge from Alderholt, Hampshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, November 12, 2008

8 out of 10

This is not at all the kind of book I would normally read but I loved it, so much so that I read through it three times! All those wonderful names for places and people, titles of books, etc. Every page I turned to raised a smile and some made me laugh out loud. Some of it is also so true for a would-be writer - the eagerness to get those words down on paper and then the doubt when you come to re-read what you've written some time later, the sleepness nights and the disconnected words and phrases running through your head.

I think my favourite picture was that of the literary dinner with his fellow-authors "few of whom he recognizes" and they all look exactly the same! Wonderful humour!

I just HAVE to show this to one of my fellow would-be writers at the writers class today. Some of his writing is along the lines of Gorey's and I'm sure he'd appreciate it.

Will then be sending it on dagett in Austria when I get the address.

I wouldn't have missed this book for the world and shall be looking out for more of Gorey's work. Thank you GoryDetails. 


Journal Entry 17 by madmadge from Alderholt, Hampshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, November 19, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Ron enjoyed the book but his reaction wasn't as enthusiastic as I'd hoped. His only comments were that he found it amusing and that it was very true to life in parts. I suppose that's better than nothing.

Any way, I've just PMed dagett for details and will post it off as soon as I can. 


Journal Entry 18 by madmadge from Alderholt, Hampshire United Kingdom on Sunday, November 23, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Just about to make another attempt to PM dagett - GoryDetails, if you see this, perhaps you could let him/her know I'm looking for them and ask them to send me the address. Trouble with PMs at the moment but my e-mail address is on my shelf.

1/12/2008 - Posted last week. 


Journal Entry 19 by dagett from Wien - irgendwo / Vienna - somewhere, Wien Austria on Monday, December 01, 2008

This book has not been rated.

The book arrived today. Thank you GoryDetails for the bookring and many thanks to madmadge for mailing it to me and for making me laugh out loud - the Peng Shui card is so cute and funny! 


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