The Utter Zoo

by: Edward Gorey

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The Utter Zoo by Edward Gorey / ISBN 9780764955082 / 56-page hardcover, 6.5 x 6 inches, from Pomegranate

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Twenty-six curious creatures—from the fastidious Ampoo to the world’s one and only Zote—fill the pages of The Utter Zoo, an alphabet from the untamed imagination of Edward Gorey. The Boggerslosh, the Crunk, and the Dawbis; the Ippagoggy, the Jelbislup, and the Kwongdzu; the Scrug, the Twibbit, and the Ulp—each strange and wonderful zoomate displays its own primary characteristic, described in Gorey’s inimitable, droll, rhyming couplets.

Artist and author Edward Gorey (American, 1925–2000) is beloved for the boundless imagination and sharp humor exhibited in his more than 100 published works. Gorey was also a set and costume designer for innumerable theater productions, including a staging of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, for which he won a Tony. He had a profound affection for literature, film, ballet, and animals. Cats and other odd creatures appear in many of his crosshatched illustrations. His humorously unsettling drawings of vaguely Victorian innocents facing unfortunate ends became familiar to a wide audience after appearing in the opening credits of the PBS television series Mystery! Gorey’s Cape Cod home, a veritable cabinet of curiosities, is now a museum celebrating his life and work.