Current Reading: Born To Be Posthumous – the Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey

Born To Be Posthumous – the Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey by Mark Dery, Little, Brown, 2018 hardcover, biography

I like the artwork of Edward Gorey a lot, so I thought this would be an interesting, even fascinating book. I was wrong.

The author seemed to have his own agenda, and was obsessed with the fact that Gorey was gay, more than any other aspect of his life or work. Yes, finally about halfway through (after I’d done a goodly bit of skimming) there comes discussion of his books and their publication, but the reader will have had to wade through all the other biographical this-and-that before getting there, and while some of the discussion is interesting, the dearth of illustrations makes the discussion hard to follow at times.

For me, as a fan of the artwork this was a letdown in every way. I gave up at the two-third point. I’m glad I got this from the library instead of buying it. Unless this kind of thing is your cup of tea, save yourself the time and don’t bother.

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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13 Responses to Current Reading: Born To Be Posthumous – the Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey

  1. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I won’t. Thanks for the warning.

    Not much reading the last few days as we’ve been out of town since Thursday (back home this afternoon). I’ve been trying to get through the ebooks I have from the library. Currently that is a collection by Seth Fried that is not what I expected it to be, The Great Frustration. Also reading the second by Emma Viskic about deaf Melbourne PI Caleb Zelic, And Fire Came Down.
    I did read The R.A. Lafferty Fantastic Megapack.

    • Hope you had a good time being elsewhere. I’m stumbling about with reading, DNF’d a couple of library books, including Kevin Anderson’s KILL ZONE, and am now reading some short stories until I get some inspiration for next novel. It’s cool and rainy here, good reading weather, but I just don’t seem to be in the mood for it.

  2. Jerry House says:

    I was about to pick this one up at the library but probably won’t thanks to your heads up.

    Not much reading this week, mainly graphic novels, short stories, and small books. My FFB, Evelyn Waugh’s LOVE AMONG THE RUINS, was a biting satire against the welfare state, brining it to the point of absurdity. M. V. Carey’s Three Investigator’s adventure THE MYSTERY OF THE FLAMING FOOTPRINTS was the first in the series that I have read by her and the oly one of the twenty or so in the series I’ve read that was a disappointment. An interesting set-up was flawed by telegraphed plot points and an unsatisfactory and unbelieveable resolution. Worse, Ms. Carey apparently wrote herself into a corner, leaving the main mystery unanswered in a it’s-too-dangerous-to-reveal-how-this-was-done-so-I-won’t-tell-you-how-it-was-done manner, Ptah! Strangely, of the 80 books or so by M. Carey listed on Good Reads this one was one of the most popular. Go figure.

    I’ve been reading a lot of new wave stories from the British SF mag NEW WORLDS from the 60s. In addition I finished two anthologies: Gregory FitzGerald’s NEUTRON STARS (SF) and Michael Parry’s REIGN OF TERROR: THE 1ST CORGI BOOK OF GREAT VICTORIAN HORROR STORIES. Both contained some neat reading.

    My graphic novel reading was a mixed bag. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: THE CLONE CONSPIRACY was a massive, overreaching arc spread over not only the Spider-verse but also several different Marvel titles. Dan Slott was the main writer with a gazillion other w riters taking up the threads. As a result, it was a herky-jerky tale going in all sorts if directions at once. Confusing and poorly resolved. CAPTAIN AMERICA BY ED BRUBAKER, VOL. 2 was pretty interesting. Marc Andreyev joined Brubaker in writing CAPTAIN AMERICA & BUCKY: THE LIFE STORY OF BUCKY BARNES was also a nifty volume, but I’m a big fan of Brubaker’s work so I might be prejudiced. SISTERS by Raina Telgermeir was an autobiographical story from her early teens of her relationship with her younger sister during a week-long car ride. Funny, penetrating, compassionate…all the things I’ve come to expect from Telgermeir. My favorite of the four GNs this week.

    Both we and the damncat survives the move and all are happily ensconced in the new place. The AC is working well and we are ignoring the heat outside. Dorian missed us completely so life is good — much better than many of those Dorian visited. Hope your week goes well, Rick.

    • Thanks, Jerry. We were glad to see the hurricane missed you. A couple of those GNs sound okay, but I’m not reading such these days, though I have plenty I could reread. I’m floundering a bit with reading. i just finished the new Louise Penny novel, with mixed thoughts.

  3. Born To Be Posthumous – the Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey by Mark Dery has garnered mixed reviews. I was tempted–because I like Edward Gorey’s work–but your review has tipped the scales to REJECT. I’m reading THE GIRL WHO LIVED TWICE.

  4. tracybham says:

    Too bad that the book about Gorey was a disappointment, but now we are forewarned. In the last week I read HEARTSHOT by Havill, which I already told you I loved. I read JOE COUNTRY by Mick Herron, the latest book in a spy fiction series that I actually keep up with, and CORALINE by Neil Gaiman. Except for GOOD OMENS, which he co-wrote with Terry Pratchett, I had not read anything by Gaiman. It was a good read, but not really my kind of book.

    • I run against the grain with Gaiman. Except for the Sandman comic, I haven’t much cared for his stuff. I hope you’ll move on the the second Posadas book, it’s even better.

      • tracybham says:

        I will have to try the Sandman comic. I will probably try one more Gaiman novel to see what I think.

        And I will definitely be reading the 2nd Posadas book, the sooner the better. I am going to try to find it at the book sale (in less than two weeks) and then if not there, I will check out some online sources.

  5. The Buffalo Bills, down 16-0 in the 3rd Quarter, managed a surprising come-back. Teams that have four or more turnovers have only a 5% chance of winning the game. The Bills had four turnovers in the First Half! Very sloppy game! On to the Giants!

  6. tracybham says:

    I read MORE WORK FOR THE UNDERTAKER by Margery Allingham last week. She is one of my favorite authors, and this one was pretty good, but not as good as others I have read recently. Right now I am reading THE MANUAL OF DETECTION by Jedediah Berry; it is a combination of mystery, science fiction and fantasy and sometimes confusing.

    I have been thinking about reading more short stories lately… but not doing anything about it.

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