The Doubtful Guest by Edward GoreyThe Doubtful Guest by Edward Gorey

The Doubtful Guest

byEdward Gorey

Hardcover | June 15, 1998

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A vaguely sinister comedy of manners by beloved artist Edward GoreyTold in a set of fourteen rhyming couplets, The Doubtful Guest is the story of a solemn, mysterious, outdoor creature, dressed rather ordinarily in sneakers and a scarf, who appears on a winter night at a family's Victorian home and never leaves again. Gorey's eerie and charming illustrations accompany the verses, making this an enjoyably strange (and strangely enjoyable) read for all ages.
Edward Gorey (1925-2000) wrote and illustrated such popular books as The Doubtful Guest, The Gashlycrumb Tinies, and The Headless Bust. He was also a very successful set and costume designer, earning a Tony Award for his Broadway production of Edward Gorey's Dracula. Animated sequences of his work have introduced the PBS series Mystery...
Title:The Doubtful GuestFormat:HardcoverDimensions:32 pages, 4.63 × 7 × 0.31 inPublished:June 15, 1998Publisher:Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0151003130

ISBN - 13:9780151003136

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from An actual story Edward Gorey books are always fun to read but many are not stories with a plot. This one is and it is great. Short to be sure, but great nonetheless. Gave me an overwhelming urge to stand with my nose pressed against a wall.
Date published: 2017-07-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from odd, dark and touching Edward Gorey is amazing and this is one of his best tales !
Date published: 2017-04-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Doubtful Guest I loved the Gashlycrumb Tinies, so when I saw this at one of my local bookstores I picked it up and bought it. It's funny, cute and the drawings as usual are pretty amazing. However, I don't think it's as good as the Gashlycrumb Tinies.
Date published: 2011-07-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant Edward's collected works can be found in Amphugorey His dark, twisted humor leaves me spastic with laughter. Not for everyone, but I like it.
Date published: 2003-05-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nose against a wall? I loved it! It was hilarious! I was inspired to buy it after purchasing "The Gashlycrumb Tinies", which was also very humerous. I hope to find and buy more Gorey in the future!
Date published: 1999-01-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Doubtful Guest Whimsical as usual, and not just for kids, this Gorey is sure to be a classic!!!
Date published: 1999-01-15

From Our Editors

When a strange creature comes to call on a very proper Victorian family, they simply don't know how to ask it to leave. The only resistance they show is a loud scream and then they quietly put up with the disruptive being. They calmly accept it tearing out entire chapters from their books, lying in the way of the drawing-room door and peeling the soles of its shoes. The Doubtful Guest is a wicked look at the ridiculous nature of manners and Victorian politesse. The story alone is odd enough - but throw in Edwar Gorey's peculiar line drawings and you have an off-the-wall fable.

Editorial Reviews

Originally published in 1957, The Doubtful Guest serves as a prime example of the beauty, eccentricity, and brilliance of Edward Gorey's work. If the book was read aloud without revealing the accompanying black-and-white drawings, you might guess the tale came from the quirky genius of Dr. Seuss. The rhyming couplets and nonsensical verse (about an even more nonsensical creature) feel familiar, but in Gorey's skilled hands, the experience becomes altogether new.The doubtful guest shows up unannounced and unwelcome, yet its presence is accepted after only a brief interlude of screaming. The staid, pale, Victorian inhabitants of the mansion alternately stare and glare at the doubtful guest as it tears out whole chapters from books, peels the soles of its white canvas shoes, and broods while lying on the floor ("inconveniently close to the drawing-room door"). Strangely, or rather, typically, as this is a Gorey book, the stymied occupants never ask the guest to leave--and in 17 years it has still "shown no intention of going away." Maintaining a matter-of-fact tone in spite of true oddity is pure, delicious Gorey, and his trademark drawings are not to be missed. The ghostly, stark, and undeniably amusing illustrations make The Doubtful Guest an entrancing tale in which reserved, insular lives meet with the unexpected and bizarre. (Ages 5 and older)