The Viewer

The Viewer For Tristan the city dump was a treasure trove full of history He would take each sad broken and dirty thing apart to see how each could be made to tick whir or ring Then he found the box It was

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  • Title: The Viewer
  • Author: Gary Crew Shaun Tan
  • ISBN: 9781894965026
  • Page: 306
  • Format: Hardcover
  • For Tristan, the city dump was a treasure trove full of history He would take each sad, broken, and dirty thing apart to see how each could be made to tick, whir, or ring Then he found the box It was filled with lenses, a microscope, a monocle, a magnifying glass, and a Viewmaster What Tristan saw through the dark orbs as he clicked the viewer was like nothing he had eFor Tristan, the city dump was a treasure trove full of history He would take each sad, broken, and dirty thing apart to see how each could be made to tick, whir, or ring Then he found the box It was filled with lenses, a microscope, a monocle, a magnifying glass, and a Viewmaster What Tristan saw through the dark orbs as he clicked the viewer was like nothing he had ever seen before He clicked slowly, then crept into bed, trembling Afraid, Tristan tried to pull the viewer from his eyes, but he could not He tried to look away, but he could not Something compelled him to keep looking, to try against his own wishes to actually enter this thing, this machine In the morning when Tristan had not come down, his mom called him There was no answer She went to his bedroom, knocked and went in Tristan s bed was empty, but on his desk was a box, its lid closed, its latch firmly locked Which was curious very curious indeed.

    One thought on “The Viewer”

    1. Eerie, dark little story with a wonderfully subtle look back at history through Shaun Tan's fantastic illustrations. I loved the not-so-happy ending

    2. It took me multiple reading to enjoy this as much as I do now and, ultimately, fully interpret what I think the story is sharing with us. As always with both Gary Crew AND Shaun Tan, I need a bit of warming up to appreciate them so this took an evening of close reading to glean some understanding. Tristan is, for me, a symbol of all that is right and wrong with the human condition. We are endlessly curious, we try to fix things that are better left alone and we often don't know when to stop. The [...]

    3. I requested this book from my library solely to see more of Shaun Tan's illustrations. He's the illustrator, but not the writer of the story. The story is one of those creepy, horror stories that never comes right out and names the threat, or gives exact details about how the threat is eventually carried out. So, I don't think this is a great story to have "pictures" of things that should be left to the reader's imagination. The illustrations are expertly done, and definitely shows Tan's talent [...]

    4. A Gary Crew – Shaun Tan collaboration which promises a delightful blend of creepy storytelling and rich illustrations. This picture book tells the story of Tristan who often visits the city dump in search of treasure. One day he finds a mysterious ornate box in which there is a seeing tool, much like an old Viewmaster – a favourite childhood toy of mine given a delightfully creepy resurgence here. As Tristan looks through it, he sees the brutal history of civilisation unfold through each cli [...]

    5. Brief summary:A boy (Tristan) discovers a box at the dump, his curiosity takes over and he takes it home. Upon opening he discovers it's a view master with discs for him to view. These were of events in the world. Starts from how the world began past evolution, Egyptians, war and to the present day.Implied reader:Reader would need to know what a view master is and be aware there are problems in the worldThemes:DeathCuriosityAddictionLife as we know itHistoryTechniques:The book uses different vie [...]

    6. May contain spoilers.This is a book that is very hard to judge. I can imagine that the story and outcome are a reflection on the readers attitude to life, or perhaps their experiences. From this I felt that the "Viewmaster" represented the never ending cycle of destruction and death, that no matter what the one constant is that people/animals (all aspects of life) will die. I feel the ending of the book represents his own death, there is no response, he is not there, and has joined the viewmaste [...]

    7. Not sure where to start with this book. I was on edge the entire book, the colours and illustrations gave an eerie atmosphere, one that made me very uncomfortable. I would say that this is challenging picturebook that I may use in Year 5/6 but not any lower. The story line gave topics that could be investigated in depth, mans success and destruction. I definitely need to revisit this one as I believe there is so much more to learn and gain from it. Thought provoking.

    8. Shaun Tan's illustrations are incredibly detailed and eerily beautiful, which fits Gary Crew's story perfectly:However, I wasn't too impressed by the (horror?) story itself. I feel that I somehow missed its point

    9. Brief summary:A boy (Tristan) discovers a box at the dump, his curiosity takes over and he takes it home. Upon opening he discovers it's a view master with discs for him to view. These were of events in the world. Starts from how the world began past evolution, Egyptians, war and to the present day.Implied reader:Reader would need to know what a view master is and be aware there are problems in the worldThemes:DeathCuriosityAddictionLife as we know itHistoryTechniques:The book uses different vie [...]

    10. Tan's writing and illustrations are always very thought-provoking. The Viewer is the story of a young boy who regularly finds treasures at the local dump. One day he comes home with a box full of instruments for looking at things, including a viewfinder toy. Through this he looks at the pictures, which appear to include moments in world history. When he looks again they have changed. Eventually he crawls inside the viewer.Like all of Tan's books, the pictures are incredibly detailed and hold man [...]

    11. I feel like I'm being harsh here but I read this one the same time as The Red Tree, Rabbits and The Lost Thing it's going to look a poorer relation. That's probably very harsh on this book as it's quite sound. It has a modern ghost story set to a viewfinder of human history. There's probably a lot of hidden meaning but I was probably worn out after the above. I would still recommend it but I prefer the others I have mentioned. There is no denyingds today are spoilt for quality! This is a million [...]

    12. Gary Crew, The Viewer (Simply Read Books, 2003)Any book illustrated by Shaun Tan is probably going to be a winner, and Gary Crew's The Viewer is no exception. A boy finds a box, takes it home, and finds a Viewmaster inside with a set of discs that are unlike anything he's ever seen before. Very short, and Tan's illustrations are the star attraction here, but still well worth your time, no matter your age. ****

    13. The intricacy and detail which has gone into the picture is amazing! You have to constantly flick back and check previous images to see what patterns there are forming. The detail and creativity which has gone into the compact discs is also of a fantastic quality.Amazing book, so deep in thought as you read through it. Would offer so much to do with the children.

    14. As usual, Shaun Tan's art was amazing. But, the story was one that has been told and retold. Amazing machine turns kind of creepy, kidnaps (or whatever you want to call it) kid. Slightly creepy, but not creepy enough. Reminds me of several other stories. Chris Van Allsburg does it much better.

    15. Dark story with few drawings and many black backgrounds filled with text. Enigmatic from the beginning, stays in this mood until the very end. My overall impression was not too good, but perhaps it is just not for me. Children with a deep sense of wonder might find it interesting.

    16. I will read anything by Gary Crew. And with illustrations by Shaun Tan, The Viewer is just so amazing. I can remmeber my own "viewmaster" when i was young.

    17. The book was really weird. It focuses on Tristan a young baby who is enveloped by curiousity. His whole character personifies the aquisition of new knowledge. I struggled to understand the story, at first it seemed as if he had found some evil contraption which swallowed him and stole him from his world. Perhaps however, the story which shows lots of images of death and pain over time is implying that too much curiousity can lead to our down fall. Perhaps Tristan unpleasantly passed away at the [...]

    18. Gary Crew and Shaun Tan team up to tell a horror tale in a chilling Picture Book that is definitely not for the little ones. This work is very different in tone and style from Shaun Tan's solo work. Gary Crews excellent writing contribution combined with Shaun Tan's lush and colourful illustrations give the reader a false sense of security that slowly becomes more unsettling as the tone of the narrative gradually changes. Outstanding!!!

    19. Not a picture book for children!! My six year old son picked up this book at the library because the cover looked interesting. I am glad I looked at it first. This is not a book for young children!! It is dark, scary, and has a terrible ending! The machine eats the boy! Do not let your young children read this book. I don't know why it was shelved in the same area as Curious George and other picture books for children.

    20. My first look at Shaun Tan's intriguing art work, I spent quite a while looking at each page of this book a few years ago. The story is intriguing too and the ending is left open to your interpretation. I'm not sure how many young people (I mean children) would enjoy it as it could be a bit scary, Even though there aren't that many words.

    21. Very dark indeed. Not a picture book for the younger reader. It's probably aiming at an at least late primary school audience. A rather grim view of world history seen through one of those cool little viewers that we all had as kids. And then creepy at the end. A good book, masterfully illustrated by Shaun Tan.

    22. This Is A Beautiful book, I would question the age range given though, definitely one to read and evaluate before reading to your child, but the art is beautiful and the story is creepy and thought provoking with the imagery! such an awesome little book!

    23. The trippiest illustrated book I've ever read (this side of Crew's other amazing work The Watertower), the weirdness is accentuated by lush pictures by Shaun Tan. Read it yourself before reading it to your kid - it could be too much for younger minds to comprehend.

    24. I found this book because I like the illustrator, Shaun Tan. It isn't a bad book, but it isn't especially new or interesting, and I feel like it doesn't highlight the inventive strangeness that I most like in Tan's other work.

    25. I'm heading in to see the Children's Librarian tomorrow to suggest that perhaps this isn't a book for the Picture section. Junior is even a stretch. Perhaps YA

    26. The actual story is okay, including a semi-disappointing "climax," but the progression of several themes in the images is very interesting.

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