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The Tale of One Bad Rat Paperback – October 17, 1995
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Top Customer Reviews
As in many of Potter's tales, Bad Rat's main character is one of unfortunate circumstance who has to see her way past the wicked foxes and ill-tempered farmers of her life to find her happily ever after. Instead of using an actual rat, though, Talbot introduces us to Helen Potter, a wildly imaginative, homeless teenager, whose only possessions are the Beatrix Potter books she took when she ran away from home and whose only friend is her small nameless pet rat.
Helen's world on the streets of 1990s London is not an easy one. She gets by panhandling and through the kindness of her fellow street kids, but is plagued by occasional bursts of her own imagination. Among other things, she sees visions of possible ways to end her life, can see historic versions of her surroundings, can envision people as their animal counterparts and even imagine a giant version of her own pet rat. She views herself as a bad person-a bad rat. This psychologists tell us, is often the case among those who, like Helen, have been damaged by the all too common nightmare of parental abuse. It is the exploration of this important problem that forms the foundation for this story.
Like her namesake, Helen's finds pleasure in drawing-whether doodling on her pants or copying Beatrix's illustrations from her books.Read more ›
Take the example of rats--far from being reviled at best and something to be experimented on at worst, Helen shows other characters and us, the readers, that they're intelligent, amazing creatures that should be respected and even worshipped, as in Hindu religion. What's especially great about this novel is the way that it mixes an unflinching look at horror and brutality (Helen being abused by her father and rejected by her mother; fantasies of suicide; scenes of sexual predation as she hitchhikes; and much more) with a clear appreciation for the power of art and thinking (as well as the positive example of another assertive individual, Beatrix Potter) to help someone come into her own and leave her abusers behind.
If you read Beatrix Potter books as a child, as I did, you would have recognized immediately that the cover is a direct homage to the classic white covers of the little books. The plain white background, centered watercolor illustration, and even the title font is a faithful echo of every tale she ever published. Go check out one and see if you don't revise your opinion. I was, in fact, drawn to the book immediately BECAUSE I recognized it as a Beatrix Potter concept.
Oh, and the story is a very good one, and timely. :)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I mean, it is entertaining but it was not as insteresting as I expected. I read in a webpage that this graphic novel was one of the best ever written... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Maria Navas
Okay, I have had my eye on this book for many years but never stepped the mark to actually get a hold of it. That is until my local library got a copy. Read morePublished on July 9, 2012 by Sincerety
A 16 year old girl called Helen Potter leaves home, running from an abusive father and a mother who doesn't care. Read morePublished on October 2, 2010 by Sam Quixote
A Tale of One Bad Rat is a story about a teenage girl, Helen, who runs away from her
house because of sexual abuse. She has a pet rat and she loves to draw. Read more
The graphic novel "The Tale Of One Bad Rat" by Bryan Talbot is an Eisner Award winning story about Helen Potter, a woman who was sexually abused by her father for 8 years while she... Read morePublished on May 6, 2010 by One More Option
I don't usually go into stores that sell comix and games, so it was purest luck that I even found The Tale of One Bad Rat. Read morePublished on May 2, 2010 by phatladysings
I love this book. I have read it hundreds of times. Let me just say that I love the social issues addressed and as someone who loved Beatrix Potter as a child, she would be so... Read morePublished on November 1, 2009 by Melody
The Tale of One Bad Rat is consistently judged to be one of the finest British graphic novels ever produced - it could even make a convincing run to be one of the fan favorites as... Read morePublished on October 24, 2009 by J. Shurin
I bought this book to write a research paper for my PhD course. My personal impression is that young readers prefer to see more visual material even when 'reading'. Read morePublished on May 19, 2007 by HH