Saturday, January 25, 2014

Crabtree

 

Jon and Tucker Nichols 

I can see why this book is generating a lot of positive buzz. It's unusual, both in format and content. There's nothing I like better than taking a tour of someone's house. Reading this is exactly like that, although I'm pretty sure this guy has far more unusual items than the rest of us.

Alfred Crabtree has lost his false teeth. After a brief and fruitless search, he starts to organize all his belongings on the advice of his sister. Not only does Alfred has some very odd items, he also has some interesting methods of categorization. I found Alfred to be extremely compelling only five pages in, where he displays his collection of real ducks and decoys (including six spare eyeballs). And I knew we could be friends when I stumbled across his very large collection of Small Yapping Dogs.     


Page by page, we get to see this great mix (from dull to wacky to what-the-hee-haw?) of Alfred's possessions, neatly laid out and labeled. Sometimes the category is weird, other times the seemingly normal group contains odd items, or maybe the labels are terribly clever. In any case, you can find humor on every page, and  part of the fun is looking closely. I particularly liked the page with the packed boxes and his nutty labels, although I'm sad we don't get to see the contents of the Sticky Things box.      


I love how the book is oversized - fourteen inches tall. Big books feel like such a luxury to me, particularly when you can open this one up and have all these great big pages filled with fascinating items. It's exactly like pawing through someone's closet, with none of the embarrassment.  

Review copy provided by McSweeney's McMullens.
 
 

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