The Tale of One Bad Rat, Hardback
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


Winner of the Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album Reprint, "The Tale of One Bad Rat" is the story of a young girl, Helen Potter, who runs away from home to escape an uncaring mother and a sexually abusive father.

Eventually she finds her way to the Lake District, drawn there by her love of the work of Beatrix Potter, and in that beautiful landscape she at last finds peace.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 144 pages, chiefly ill
  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Comics and Graphic Novels
  • ISBN: 9780224084703



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Although I enjoyed reading this book and found the artwork absoultely sumptuous, I feel it let itself down somewhat by incorporating two story factors that removed Helen from the sympathetic and the real worlds. Firstly, it was very clever to use Beatrix Potter as Helen's 'touchstone' and life parallel but it just felt somewhat unlikely that a modern girl would idolise Potter in such a way. Secondly, giving Helen a giant rat as an imaginary friend (and the fact that she never moves on with her life and leaves the rat behind) only portrays her as someone of dubious mental and emotional health and this contradicts with later attempts to characterise her as a now strong and defiant individual. All in all, nearly a fantastic book..... but not quite.

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