Young Tristan, a curious boy who rescues all sorts of objects from the rubbish dump, finds an old Viewmaster in its elaborate box, complete with a set of disks. He finds that these represent the ages of humankind, seen as a cyclical structure in which patterns of growth and decay are repeated. Tristan becomes more and more drawn in to the world of the disks, and eventually disappears. The book is full of metaphors and symbols of seeing and watching, circularity and never-endingness, in a complex, fantastical tale, which was Shaun Tan’s first picture book.
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