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The Tale Of One Bad Rat

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  2,606 ratings  ·  206 reviews
Running away from the nightmare of sexual abuse, Helen Potter finds herself treading in the footsteps of the children's storyteller, Beatrix Potter. Across the decades, two lives touch, and Helen discovers that the strength of two is far greater than that of one.
Published January 1st 1996 by Titan Books (UK) (first published September 30th 1991)
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3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,606 ratings  ·  206 reviews

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Tippy Jackson
Apr 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, comic, drama



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.
Feb 10, 2011 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
Dov Zeller
I'm between a 3 and a 4 in the gr stars. This book does many things beautifully and well, and also sometimes it feels like a dated manual of some kind, detailing the negative affects of abuse. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Just the book gets a little klunky in moments and then resolves kind of quickly.

That said, Talbot does some delicate and beautiful storytelling in here. Helen, the protagonist, has run away from home, fleeing the abuse and neglect of her parents. She manages to keep he
Ksenia (vaenn)
Шістнадцятирічна Гелен - звичайна лондонська втікачка: голодна, змерзла, розгублена, незвикла до великого міста та його небезпек (і до ночівлі в картонній коробці також незвикла). Але дещо вирізняє дівчину серед інших волоцюжок. У неї є ручний щурик, дивний талант провалюватися на секунду в інші часи чи світи та великий-великий секрет, про який татуньо звелів нікому не казати. І жити з цим секретом дедалі важче, бо можна втекти до Лондона, але не можна втекти від себе.

"The Tale of One Bad Rat" -
Jan 28, 2009 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:

Sooraya Evans
Bottled up emotions... it's best to let it out. I didn't quite like how Helen confronted her abuser though. A talk. That's all? I was expecting something violent. Now, that would be more satisfying :)

I also don't see the point of all those boring facts about rats (thrown in here and there) throughout random conversation between characters. Felt unnecessary.

But still, an overall good read.
Rachel Nabors
Dec 13, 2008 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
Nov 17, 2012 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.
Jan 21, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Nov 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Adam Šilhan
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kresba, která se snažila o co největší přístupnost necomicsovým čtenářům mi moc nesedla. Příběh je vydařený. Jen když sáhnete do knihovny, vytáhnete Pohádku o zlobivé kryse a čekáte, že si na noc přečtěte podobně odpočinkový příběh jakým je Grandville, ptž se přece zase bude jednat o nějaká zvířátka, tak vás to trochu překvapí.
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gripping, emotional tale, with amazing artwork throughout
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book for the story as well as the making of it that Talbot describes in the end!
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The artwork was beautifull! Also I loved the explanation of the author at the end of the book. it is very nice to read that an authoer makes such deliberate choices producing a book.

Some things went a bit too fast in my opinion (the time she needed to resolve some issues), but overall it is a beautifull book nicely connecting a children stories, Beatrix Potter, with more serious themes, sexual abuse and homelessness.
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Adoro a Bryan Talbot. Ya está. Ya lo he dicho. Y tampoco me ha defraudado con 'El cuento de la rata mala'.

He postergado mucho la lectura de esta novela gráfica porque su temática me echaba un poco para atrás. Un cómic sobre abusos a una niña en el ámbito familiar... Como padre, me incomoda profundamente que pueda existir eso (aunque existe, claro, vaya si existe) y, en fin, hasta ahora había querido ahorrarme el mal trago de la lectura de esta novela gráfica.

Pero al final he caído, y no me arr
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A História de um Rato Mau centra-se numa rapariga, sem abrigo, que fugiu de casa e tem, consigo, um rato como animal de estimação. Entre as reacções de repulsa que a sua presença resulta nalgumas pessoas, lá vai reunindo alguns trocos para comprar alimentos para si e para o rato.

Uma noite é confrontada por um homem, de aparência rica, que tenta aproveitar-se da sua situação indefesa. Felizmente um grupo de rapazes, também eles em condição semelhante à dela
Sam Quixote
Jul 24, 2011 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
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 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
Stewart Tame
Mar 29, 2013 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
A moving, originally told, and strikingly drawn comic that weaves together the story of young teenage runaway and sexual abuse survivor with the biography and stories of Beatrix Potter. Highly recommended for all teens and adults.
Pedro Alhinho
Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
inglaterra, anos 90. perturbante narrativa sobre as sequelas do abuso sexual. grafismo notável.
Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
my heart ached while reading this, i enjoyed it so much.
Jun 01, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
it's one thing to feature a character who's a survivor of sexual abuse. it's another thing to use that character's history as a cheap plot device.
Aug 17, 2011 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.
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.
Ysora Luinwe
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
El cuento de una rata mala, de Bryan Talbot, es una rara avis en el mundo editorial que de tanto en cuanto nos encontramos. A menudo este libro ha sido utilizado en escuelas y universidades como lectura de apoyo, especialmente para niños abusados, aunque ese no fuera el objetivo inicial del autor.

Talbot tenía interés en hacer un cómic sobre el distrito de Los Lagos, ya que ese lugar ejerce cierta fascinación en él desde hacía años. Encontró mientras investigaba que Beatrix Potter también se ins
Nuno Ferreira
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ainda que possa causar alguma estranheza ver um tema tão forte como o abuso sexual de menores representado de forma tão direta numa banda-desenhada, Bryan Talbot fê-lo com distinção. Utilizando artifícios tão legítimos como a metáfora, a deambulação de Helen Potter e a companhia do rato gigante caiu como uma luva no retrato social a que o autor britânico se propôs.

Da relação doentia com os pais, à familiaridade com a escritora Beatrix Potter, acompanhamos o rumo de uma jovem desnorteada, definha
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2015 Reading Chal...: The Tale of One Bad Rat by Bryan Talbot 1 6 Dec 05, 2015 07:33PM  
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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