The Helpless Doorknob: A Shuffled Story by Edward Gorey
The possibilities for enjoying Edward Gorey’s The Helpless Doorknob are nearly endless. As Gorey himself explained in the original edition, this shuffle story is “made up of 20 cards which can be read in 2,432,902,069,736,640,000 different ways.” Each card features an illustration with a declarative sentence, usually featuring a character whose name begins with A (Agatha, Amanda, Andrew, Adela, Angus, Alfred, Ambrose, Alethea, Arthur, to be precise), each of whom does something notable or not (wrote a note, vanished from a picnic). Shuffle these cards to reveal a story that may or may not make sense to you—but will entertain you every time, nonetheless.
20 black-and-white cards to shuffle into a story in a small, decorative box.
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.
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