The Tim Burton Encyclopedia. By Samuel J. Umland. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015. 283 pages. alkaline $80 (ISBN 978-0-8108-9200-2). Ebook available (978-0-8108-9201-9), $79.95.

The scope of this one-volume work covers most of the creative works produced by or related to Tim Burton. It also lists the names of actors, producers, artist, directors, among others who have worked with Tim Burton in one capacity or another.

The entries in the encyclopedia are listed alphabetically which, in this case, is a little confusing to the reader. Since the encyclopedia includes many different types of creative works, it is hard to distinguish each entry just from the title alone. A better way to have organized the entries may have been to categorize them by type of work and then lists those works alphabetically. Some entries for more prominent works in the encyclopedia include black and white images. These images add a pleasant aesthetic to the work, breaking up the text. The entries themselves range from one column to three pages depending on the work, or person being discussed. There are also references at the end of each entry which may be helpful if the reader wants more information on one of the topics.

The audience for this encyclopedia could range from the novice film student to the seasoned professional. The entries themselves are very easy to read and just long enough to keep the reader’s attention. Although many readers would enjoy this encyclopedia, the audience who I believe who would get the most from this work would be the ultimate Tim Burton enthusiast. It seems that the author has gone to great lengths to find almost every aspect of Burton’s creative process and has found a way to transform those aspects and ideas into the entries in this encyclopedia.

What seems to be different about this encyclopedia from other works about Tim Burton is that it covers all aspect of Burton’s creative ability and not just his films, which most readers are familiar with. The way this encyclopedia is designed, it allows the reader to view Burton as a story teller, a photographer, a director, producer, writer, artist, etc. Another great aspect of this work is that it highlights some of the lesser known works from Burton’s career that seem to be missing from other compilations. This work highlights Burton’s ability to connect with his audiences through many mediums which would be greatly appreciated by Burton fans of any age.

I would recommend The Tim Burton Encyclopedia for reference collections especially for schools or universities with a film or creative writing program. Although this item could be used in an academic capacity, it would also be a great read for anyone who enjoys Tim Burton’s work. This encyclopedia gives readers a glimpse into the world of one of the most interesting and creative minds of today and would be a great addition to any collection.—Jasmine L. Jefferson, First Year Experience Librarian, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio


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