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El cuento de una rata mala
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El cuento de una rata mala

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,987 Ratings  ·  164 Reviews
El cuento de una rata mala es un clásico de la novela gráfica internacional: premio Eisner a la mejor novela gráfica de 1995, nominada a los premios Harvey en la categoría de mejor novela gráfica y premio Haxtur a la mejor historieta larga –cosecha ya una veintena de premios en varios países–, esta obra fundamental en la trayectoria del británico Bryan Talbot vuelve a esta ...more
Hardcover, Colección Sillón Orejero, 136 pages
Published July 2013 by Astiberri Ediciones (first published September 30th 1991)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tippy Jackson
Apr 26, 2012 Tippy Jackson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama, comic, 2012



The art was spectacular. The story too much on the nose, for the most part. I suppose where it strays from reality for me was when daughter confronts her dad and he has a sort of "what have I done" moment and then she moves on with her life and begins her process of healing. This was a little too simplistic for me and didn't match what I've experienced or encountered with others, which is closer to confrontation leads to denial, more abuse, chastisement, criticism, hatred etc. an
Seth T.
Nov 11, 2011 Seth T. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
The Tale of One Bad Rat is one of those classics of the medium, one of those books that was an indelible footnote in the quest to prove that comics could be about more than just superheroes and melodrama. Whether Bryan Talbot's intent or not, One Bad Rat became one of the arguments for comics being a medium of communication worth the same level of serious consideration as literature. Or if not literature, then at least the same sober reflection that cinema could garner. In a way, that's kind of ...more
Jan 28, 2009 Chy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Okay, let’s see. The basic premise, according to Talbot, was “a homeless girl with a synchronistic link with Beatrix Potter follows Potter’s escape into her new life in the Lakes.” He goes on to admit that having Helen flee sexual abuse at the hands of her father was a plot device to get her homeless, but that it is a common cause of teenage homelessness.

Fine then. So it’s common. That explains the cliché way he dealt with it? I don’t think so.

And I’ll tell you what I really think:

This is a graphic novel centred around a survivor of parental emotional/sexual abuse, Helen,who loves Beatrix Potter and empathises with rats. It follows her journey in dealing with, and eventually healing from, this abuse.

The positives first: the art was good and gave a solid sense of Britain in the Nineties, and some of the character moments/elements depicting reaction to abuse and trauma were well done. The fake Beatrix Potter book at the end was perfect. I was glad to see a narrative where t
Rachel Nabors
Dec 13, 2008 Rachel Nabors rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was truly a work of art.

I remember my mother wanted to read it back in my childhood, but she never picked up any of the issues. So I was quite excited when I found a battered collection of them at my new library.

Bryan Talbot handles this touching story of childhood lost, molestation, and street living with a realism and humanity that I've not seen from authors before. Most turn their stories into Lifetime movies, almost making caricatures of the people involved. And perhaps that's the stran
Brenton Nichol
A young woman, Helen, flees her cruel, cold stepmother and her sexually abusive father, becoming a ward of the streets. Following the trail of Beatrix Potter, her favorite author, Helen survives drunken statesmen, police, squatter houses, and opportunistic "good" Samaritans, at last reaching her promised land in the countryside and finding healing there.

This hits a bit close to home, as several people close to me have histories that mirror portions of this book: sexual assault, a life on the str
Jan 17, 2013 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This Graphic Novel (Capital G, Capital N) made me cry.

I cried because I felt the suffering of the main character Helen Potter.
I cried because I felt joy at her overcoming her adversities.
I cried because this was a perfect example of how the graphic medium can be; just as mature and well drafted as any Novel out there.
Then I cried when I had finished reading it, just because.
I got to work this morning and just had to pick up from where I was reading last night. I read some before the students came. I happened to be outside another teacher's room. She looked over my shoulder and commented, "I just think it is so funny that you are reading a comic book at school." I did not have a chance to respond, but if she only knew! Plus, it is a graphic novel. I had to read this book after hearing my classmates talk about it. When I heard it talked about in class, so different t ...more
Mar 06, 2013 Helmut rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics

Ganz ehrlich, so richtig begeistern konnte mich dieser Titel nicht. Dabei ist sowohl Idee als auch Ausführung sehr gut gelungen: Er greift ein schwieriges und ernstes Thema auf, und setzt dieses dezent und einfühlsam um. Hier wird nicht die Moralkeule herausgeholt, und weder Vater noch Tochter sind in klischeehaften Opfer- oder Täterrollen dargestellt. Die Tat selbst wird immer nur durch mehr Hintergrundinformationen klarer, und erst am Ende offen ausgesprochen - ein sehr intelligente
Intense, and no doubt groundbreaking for the time. Yay for bringing abuse stories into the foreground. These stories are necessary. Appreciated the rat as metaphor. Obviously triggering for some. The ending is a bit hard to believe, but probably necessary. Cheers for color illustration, and integrating literature and it's impact into story. Pretty tough to read.
Stewart Tame
Sep 27, 2015 Stewart Tame rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely stuff! This book has earned its reputation, and I'm sorry I never got around to reading it until now. A young runaway in London with a pet rat embarks on a journey that will take her in the footsteps of Beatrix Potter. It's a journey of self discovery and involves her coming to terms with the incestuous abuses of her father that drove her from home in the first place. In the wrong hands, this could have been heavy and fraught with Message. Talbot's skills as a writer/artist are much bette ...more

This was not the kind of book you love. It is the kind of book that moves you. When Eisner began writing graphic novels, he had books like this in mind. This is a book first, and comic second. It tells a story that needs to be told.

It's actually for this work that I have created a new shelf, dubbed "important." I'll be slowly moving over other books from classics, and contemporary novels which deserve to be read. A story that needed to be told was here.

I think this will be used in classroom
Ming Siu
For its time, it was a progressive graphic novel. Now, though, some portions feel a tad clumsy in their writing. Still, good intentions, and all that.
Feb 23, 2016 Haifa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
my heart ached while reading this, i enjoyed it so much.
I've only just realised that this book is kind of a 'thing', in a 'comics can be serious graphic novels' 1990's way. However I don't think it has aged that well. Stylistically it feels generic, unsurprising given Talbot's background in comics-comics. I know he wanted it to read easily to a non-comics audience but it's bogged down by some, how can I say, visual *dullness* for that. And to me the story doesn't ring quite true, not that the details or the psychology of the main character is not pla ...more
Helen Potter pengagum Helen Potter yang lain yang lebih dikenal sebagai Beatrix Potter. Helen Potter lari dari rumah karena tak tahan di-abuse oleh bapaknya sendiri selama sekian tahun. Bersahabat dengan seekor tikus, Helen hidup menggelandang di jalanan hingga dia bertemu sekelompok pemuda yang memberinya tempat untuk berteduh. Sayang mereka punya kucing dan sayang suatu hari kucing itu membunuh sahabatnya. Merana ditinggal mati si tikus, Helen kembali lari. Kali ini untuk menapak tilas kehidup ...more
Apr 19, 2015 Joeydag rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I often pick up a graphic novel when I walk by where they are on display at the Santa Clara City Library at Central Park. There are so many I usually let a cover or a title draw me to borrow a book. This cover drew me because Neil Gaiman wrote a foreword for it and it is an odd cover. It turns out the author/illustrator started out planning to write a mainstream story about a character that runs to the Lakes Country in England where Beatrix Potter lived and worked. As motivation for the characte ...more
Đorđe Bajić
Talbot je širem krugu poklonika stripa pre svega poznat po svom radu na popularnim serijalima Helblejzer i Sendmen. Priča o jednom lošem pacovu (1995) donosi jedan sasvim drugi senzibilitet; mnogo je ukorenjenija u stvarnosti, ličnija je, kamernija i samim tim potresnija. Glavna junakinja, tinejdžerka Helen, beži od kuće kako bi se spasila neželjenih očevih dodira i ledene majčine mržnje. Sledeći trasu kojom je nekada davno hodio njen idol i uzor, spisataljica/ilustratorka Beatriks Poter (1866-1 ...more
Jan 24, 2013 Karl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't recommend this one enough. Here Brain Talbot deals with issues of child abuse in such an incredible and honest way. Fans of Beatrix Potter will enjoy how the story is framed and narrated.
Karla Cristobal
Feb 05, 2016 Karla Cristobal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Bad little girl. Dirty little bitch. Common as a muck."

Poignant, heartfelt, while beautifully drawn, inked, and colored, Talbot shines in this story of sexual abuse and self-discovery. Horrifying in its revelations and flashbacks of twisted family life, it manages to be more than just about this story. For one, it gives us a glimpse of the London streets and the English Lake District from the point-of-view of runaways and outsiders. Likewise, it also shows us how a girl uses her love for Beatri
Pyol Starrick
I initially read this back in college when I took a class about how comics can be used in the classroom or to help clients.
This author has been well known for some time as the artist from the batman comics so no one was expecting something of this plot or drawing style from him. He did an amazing job and was startlingly accurate with the what a survivor goes through and thinks. Even more amazing is that the author did not even intend to have the immense impact he has had with this graphic novel
Ben Cheng
Two things that struck me as the most worthwhile in this book. Rat Kings and how I must visit the English Lake District. The story is good enough, following this female vagabond on her seemingly endless pursuit of peaceful isolation and comfort. The art style threw me off a bit, as it seems more like art for a picture book rather than a comic book or "graphic novel". As our protagonists ordeal reaches a close in the climax when a visitor comes to the bed and breakfast she's been working at, at t ...more
Aug 13, 2015 Lily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I enjoyed what this story did and the very important message that it conveyed, I didn't enjoy the overall story arc as much. I feel like there was so much more that could have happened here and the dialogue seemed less authentic than I would have liked.

That being said, it was great to see Helen's personal development and self-awareness. I appreciated Talbot's ability to make such a painful and disheartening subject manageable and not overwhelming.

Overall it was an interesting read.

Mar 30, 2015 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Helen Potter is a homeless British teen with a pet rat. She moves from place to place, searching for a semblance of comfort. One form of peace comes from drawing and painting, specifically recreating Beatrix Potter's illustrations. She doesn’t trust anybody and she hates to be touched, especially by men. We all know why but we’ll still learn from these pages. (view spoiler)

Not an easy read, but it’s the right, good kind of difficulty. Some people ca
A beautiful, ambitious book, marred by stiff dialogue.

In the afterword, Talbot writes:
"[Bad Rat's] story dictated the illustration technique... this meant a drastic stylistic change. Because of the content and the mainstream nature of the story, I felt that it needed to be clear and accessible, easily readable by those without an acquired knowledge of comic grammar."
In an early flashback, Helen's father comes home and calls for her. He's hungry: it's in his expression; it's in his eyes. If we
Considering the subject matter of this book, I feel the story is very well thought out and very powerful. It definitely does a very good job of helping to get the message across about the subject of sexual abuse and the effect it has on the child's emotional development.

The story is done in such a way that you can easily relate to the lead character as well, especially if you're a keen artist, despite her difficult circumstances. The comic artwork is clear and well presented, almost leaving you
Theresa Reifon
Format/Length: Graphic novel; 136 pages

Award(s)/Distinction(s): Eisner Award

Theme(s): Survival, sexual abuse,confronting one's demons/past,change, courage, inner struggles, change, meeting challenges


This graphic novel brings up very serious issues, sexual abuse and suicidal thoughts, through the main character Helen. Helen was sexually abused by her own father. Besides being wrong by her biological father, it is apparent that Helen was not wanted by her mother. All of this combined toge
May 30, 2010 D.M. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone, really
This is a remarkable book, and Talbot -- as far as I'm concerned -- never topped it. The story, though it may come across as a little pop-psych by its climax, is engaging and the illustration is the best Talbot ever created, lush yet simple at the same time. It is telling that this superb work is worlds away from his usually more sci-fi outings.
If there's a single drawback to reading this, it's that I still feel it'd be a more interesting read were I more (or at all) familiar with the works of B
Sam Quixote
Sep 19, 2011 Sam Quixote rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A 16 year old girl called Helen Potter leaves home, running from an abusive father and a mother who doesn't care. She finds herself begging on the streets of London and, along with her pet rat and a bag full of Beatrix Potter books, she begins a journey similar to Potter's out of her horrible situation into a place where she is safe and happy both in mind and body.

Bryan Talbot does a fantastic job depicting the horrors of street life in London. The sprawl, the crazies who are out there preying
Christine Champagne
Helen Potter, a victim of child abuse, is a runaway living on the streets of London. The only trustworthy friend she has is a tame rat, that is, until it is killed by a stray cat. She comes across many shady and violent characters during her trek through the city. Helen’s only comfort now is the “ghost” rat that she talks to. Her journey is leading her to the home of Beatrix Potter, her favorite writer and artist.

This book contains some elements of how (unfortunately) some teenagers go through l
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Talbot began his comics work in the underground comix scene of the late 1960s. In 1969 his first work appeared as illustrations in Mallorn, the British Tolkien Society magazine, followed in 1972 by a weekly strip in his college newspaper.

He continued in the scene after leaving college, producing Brainstorm Comix, the first three of which formed The Chester P. Hackenbush Trilogy (a character rework
More about Bryan Talbot...

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