The Tale of One Bad Rat by Bryan Talbot

onebadratThe Tale of One Bad Rat by Bryan Talbot
136 pgs.

The Tale of One Bad Rat is a touching and painful story of a young girl named Helen who has been sexually abused by her father. After years of abuse, Helen has run away from home taking with her only her beloved Beatrix Potter books and her pet rat. The memories of the molestation continue to haunt her and deny her the willingness to become close to anyone else. She meets strangers throughout the way and while some are more welcoming than others, she has a hard time growing close to anyone anymore. Aside from her pet rat.

Bryan Talbot tackles this issue perfectly through the graphic novel format. Talbot has a real gift when it comes to telling unconventional tales in the format of the graphic novel. With Alice in Sunderland, he gave a history of Lewis Carroll and with this amazing, but shorter, graphic novel, he’s expertly tackled the subject of sexual abuse and it’s long term effects on children.

Helen shows all the signs of past abuse…she blames herself for what happened, diminishes herself as a person, cuts her hair off to make herself less attractive to men, and shies away from any form of love, even genuine love that has no alterior motives. This book is a gift to humanity. I think that it would be so well received in the hands of someone who’s lived through abuse of any kind. He tackles the issue in an honest way yet in a very approachable manner. Another one that I wish I didn’t have to give back to the library…


Other Views and Opinions:

Books of Mee
Things Mean A Lot
The Hidden Side of a Leaf


13 Responses

  1. They have this in my local library and I keep pikcing it up and putting it back down again. Next time I am there if they have it in I will definitely check it out. Thanks for the great recommendation.

  2. Rhinoa, Oh you definitely have to get it!!! You’d like it, I promise.

  3. I really liked this book! Someday I am going to review it! I am technically still on a break, but the unread blog posts were piling up and catching up on that would be stressful when I return…

  4. I’ve seen such good things about this one, I think I’m going to have to get a copy.

  5. This one is on my list – but I think I’m going to have to wait a while, so I can recover from Tender Morsels first!

  6. Hey Chris!

    I must say, I’ve only recently began reading your blog, but am enjoying it quite a bit. I checked over at amazon for this book since I’m putting in an order soon and wanted to let you know that they have some used copies for $1.50 (just in case you wanted your own copy since it was a library book!)

    I’ve only recently gotten into graphic novels through a challenge that nymeth hosted. Because of this, I’m constantly asking people for more suggestions. Got any?

  7. yay, I knew you’d love it ❤ Did you know that he has a steampunk-ish graphic novels coming out later this year? I’m really looking forward to that!

  8. Oh Chris, what a lovely, lovely review. Yep, one of those left-tears-in-my-eyes kind of reviews. Care to guess what book I’m going to start tonight?

  9. Kailana, Take your time with your break!! I don’t want you to burn out! But I have to say that I’m anxious to hear your thoughts on this one 😉 I thought it was great!

    Bart, Definitely get a copy! It’s a great book!

    Valentina, How did I miss your review?! I searched through my google reader and you’re definitely on there! I’ll fix that!!

    Darla, Sheesh…I have Tender Morsels sitting right here waiting for me..I really have to dig into it!

    Christina, Well I’m so glad to hear you’re enjoying my blog 😀 I certainly have some GN recommendations for you! Skim by Mariko Tamaki is fantastic! There’s one based on Tori Amos’ songs called Comic Book Tattoo that’s amazing. Gene Luen Yang is amazing. His book American Born Chinese won the printz and I’m reading The Eternal Smile right now which is his new one and I think it’s even better than American Born Chinese! Then of course there are series like Fables and my all time favorite The Sandman by Bill Willingham and Neil Gaiman respectively…I could go on and on too! But try any of these…I think you’d like them!

    Nymeth, What?! I have to get that!!! I’m going to see if Amazon has it to preorder…Do you have anything to add to my recs for Christina? I love it when people discover Graphic Novels 🙂 I’m reading The Eternal Smile right now and it’s amazing!! You have to get it.

    Debi, Woohoo! You’re going to love it Debi. He handles the subject so well. He’s a fantastic writer.

  10. So excited to see my library has a copy of this one! Thanks for the great review 🙂

  11. […] a very short period of time, I read three rave reviews for this short graphic novel, so when I saw it on the library shelf this morning, I figured […]

  12. […] Also reviewed by Dewey | Nymeth | Valentina | Comics’ by Products | Related Reading | nothing of importance | Stuff as Dreams Are Made On […]

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