The Chronicles of Harris Burdick
by Chris Van Allsburg [813.08 All]
1984, Chris Van Allsburg published a collection of illustrations entitled "The
Mysteries of Harris Burdick." The illustrations were ostensibly the work of a
mysterious author/illustrator who had drawn them to accompany his stories, but
who disappeared, leaving no trace of the stories to go with the pictures. In
actuality, the illustrations were intended to inspire readers to write their own
stories. Now, in "The Chronicles of Harris Burdick," the illustrations have been
reissued with accompanying stories by noted authors such as Stephen King, Cory
Doctorow, and Jules Feiffer. The results are mixed. Some of the stories are
intriguing, such as M. T. Anderson's "Just Desert," which has a "nothing is what
it seems" theme that may appeal to fans of "The Prisoner." Others are pleasant
fantasies, such as "The Harp" by Linda Sue Park and Van Allsburg's own "Oscar and
Alphonse." Several of the stories are on the disturbing side (as are some of the
original pictures), and some are surprisingly disappointing (Walter Dean Myers'
"Mr. Linden's Library" seems to have little to do with the illustration it is
supposed to be based on). While the stories here offer an intriguing look at
different authors' approaches, ultimately the illustrations are probably best
used for their original intent: getting readers to write stories of their own.
Stories by readers can be submitted on the official "Harris Burdick" Website.
[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try The
Mysteries of Harris Burdick.] -- recommended by Peter J. - Virtual Services Department
[ official "Harris Burdick" web site ]
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