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The Hapless Child

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  595 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
An undiluted tragedy.
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published August 15th 1961 by Peter Weed Books (first published 1961)
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Calista
Wow. This is super Morbid and it made me so sad. It did not have a happy ending. I would say this is mature material for mature people. I did not find the funny. Still, the art is amazing - so Gorey and the story is every horrible thing that can happen to a person does and life goes from amazing to a showcase of horrors.

Cait Poytress
This is the perfect book to read to your child when they are going through one of their whiney "It's not faaaaaaaaair" phases. Really? You want to see unfair? Here, let me tell you a little story about poor Charlotte Sophia. If that doesn't shut them up...
Coos Burton
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bueno, no es precisamente un cuento de hadas, la verdad es una historia muy triste (la piba no pega una). Gorey es uno de mis artistas favoritos de toda la vida, cada cuento suyo que leo es una caricia a mi oscuro corazoncito.
Lindsay
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A Little Princess as told by Gorey... he doesn't believe in happily ever afters...
Amanda - Go Book Yourself
Jun 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, wtf


A rather macabre version of "A Little Princess" by Francis Hodgson Burnett

Charlotte Sophia had a charmed life with loving "well to do" parents. Her blissful existence ends when her father is called to fight in Africa. When she learns of his death, Charlotte's mother falls into a fatal decline and she is left orphaned.

The family layer ships her off to boarding school where she punished by teachers and bullied by fellow classmates.

Charlotte eventually escapes from the miserable place but things d
...more
Ana
Jan 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A medida que iba disfrutando de la obra he visto similitudes con algunas de las obras de Durero en cuanto a técnica se refiere. Si hablamos de estética Tim Burton podría ser una buena referencia. Son reminiscencias, pero está claro que el estilo de Edward Gorey está perfectamente definido y es reconocible para el lector profano que empieza a degustar sus obras.

Antes de realizar esta reseña he investigado un poco por la red y por lo visto muchos padres (que piensan que las ilustraciones implican
...more
Michael
Jul 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Gorey's specialty is writing horrific stories about the bad things that happen to unfortunate children. His books seem designed to give little kids nightmares, and I have a hunch that they are often successful. They are sick, deadpan, mean-spirited and often hilarious. This is one of my very favorites.

'Tis the story of a young child who has a tragic and very brief life, every page packing on another misery for the little tyke to deal with, culminating in the child's unceremonious and highly iron
...more
Amy (Other Amy)
This is the only one of the 'kids die' stories in Amphigorey that didn't improve significantly on a reread for me. Although I did find the little lizard critter in each pane, and that was enjoyable. So there's that. Maybe if I had read A Little Princess at some point I would enjoy it more. I will revisit if I happen to read that one.

(Reread in Amphigorey; reviewing separately.)
Rakisha
Oct 02, 2017 rated it liked it
The most depressing and harrowing "children's book" I've ever read. Father killed in war, mother (presumably) commits suicide because she's so depressed, the uncle dies from a brick falling on his head, the child is bullied, robbed, sold in the white slavery/sex work to a drunk, goes blind, stumbles into the street and gets run over by her actually alive father who doesn't even remember what his child looked like. The art is creepy and beautiful. The story is succinct and powerful. But the audie ...more
Sally
Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
"Her only other relative, an uncle, was brained by a piece of masonry", October 22, 2014

This review is from: The Hapless Child (Hardcover)
Lovely little story for an adult or child, telling the story of little Charlotte Sophia, whose life drastically alters from living with parents who were 'kind and well-to-do'...
B/w illustrations portray her awful life; the humour (for the adult reader) coming from the non-arrival of the expected happy end ...
Erika
Jan 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A grimly ironic tale by Edward Gorey, wherein a young child is orphaned, and in the antithesis of "A Little Princess," endures great hardships without the happy ending.

The real interest in Gorey's work isn't so much the story as the morbid artwork. He's well-known for his sketch-like drawings. It was Gorey who did the much-loved introduction to PBS' Mystery!

Gorey couldn't have been much of a child-lover, if his stories were anything to go on. But they're amusing, and rather timely.
Kate
At some point Edward Gorey sat down and thought to himself, "Frances Hodgson Burnett and Charles Dickens ... those two were too lighthearted with their children's stories."

This is like "The Iron Tonic: But With A Tiny Child."
Luli Maggi
Oct 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ilustrados
Lo leí en el sillón de la librería del MALBA porque salía re caro. Ahora es lo primero que quiero encontrar en la feria del libro because idgaf.
¿Cómo se hace para en tan poco texto y algunas ilustraciones uno se ponga tan triste y de una manera tan morbosa? Ni idea, pero este tipo lo logró.
Anne-Marie
Nov 02, 2010 rated it it was ok
I bought a bunch of Edward Gorey books for a dollar at a library sale. I thought they were for kids. Not so. I didn't know who Gorey was at the time and then later found out how much people worship him for being so ironic and creepy. Whatever. I'm selling them.
Doug Friedenberg
Nov 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Like Oscar Wilde said of the Little Nell story: "One would have to have a heart of stone not to laugh at it."
Likewise, the Hapless Child.

Would have reviewed when I read it, but they didn't have a reading social network at the time.
Callie Rose Tyler
Nov 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
That story was very sad, but the signature matter-of-fact tone which Gorey uses to present the story adds charm? (if you can find a book in which a child suffers charming) One of the better Gorey books, in my opinion.
connie
Jan 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It is a very interesting book .short and sweet ..but the poor girl doesn't have a happy ending ..Edward Gorey is a very unique author ..Am going to read some of his other works . For those who do not know him ..He is the artist of the drawings that were shown at the start of Mystery Theater on PBS.
Tracy
Dec 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Creepy, depressing, wonderful. Especially fun for fans of A Little Princess.
Cathy
Nov 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Gorey and depressing with haunting artwork.
Beverly
May 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picturebooks
Utterly depressing story, but beautiful, detailed black and white ink drawings.
Palimp
Dec 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excelente muestra del buen hacer de Gorey
Jennifer
Sep 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The most despair-inducing children's story I have read this year.
Abigail Wildes
So sad~
Quitealice
Aug 26, 2015 rated it liked it
So very sad.
Pamela
Apr 30, 2013 rated it liked it
A wonderfully macabre take on A Little Princess. It's Gorey, so don't let the short length fool you into thinking this is a picture book for kids.
Faedyl
May 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
nice!
Kathy
Mar 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Morbid and beautiful, Mr. Gorey's specialty.
Jessica
Jan 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
That poor poor little girl.
Reenie
Dec 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: children
Wickedly and humorously depressing. And great pictures.
Wetdryvac Wetdryvac
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sort of like passively snuggling up to a running brush grinder, in a comforting sort of way.
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Born in Chicago, Gorey came from a colorful family; his parents, Helen Dunham Garvey and Edward Lee Gorey, divorced in 1936 when he was 11, then remarried in 1952 when he was 27. One of his step-mothers was Corinna Mura, a cabaret singer who had a brief role in the classic film Casablanca. His father was briefly a journalist. Gorey's maternal great-grandmother, Helen St. John Garvey, was a popular ...more
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