Rarity From The Hollow by Robert Eggleton @roberteggleton1 #Bookreview #SundayBlogShare

Rarity from the HollowRarity from the Hollow by Robert Eggleton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Rarity from the Hollow straddles several genres; fantasy, sci-fi, social science to name but a few. It comes from an author with a very experienced background in American social services, child welfare, veterans, juvenile youths, homeless youths and the unemployed. This knowledge is weaved through-out the book and shows a deep knowledge of the subjects.

Add to this the author’s own personal background where members of his family suffered domestic abuse, alcoholism and PTSD. First hand experience of these issues allow the author to include these in his book with a great degree of knowledge.

The book is set in West Virginia and there is good use of local dialect and language from the dialogue. We meet Lacy Dawn an incredible eleven year old who has been chosen to save first her parents and then the Universe. She has an alien friend called DotCom who lives in a spaceship in a cave near by. He teaches Lacy Dawn great wisdom which she uses to advise her friends. They also work together to “Fix her family”.

DotCom is supervised by Mr Pump from a fantasy shopping Mall called Shptiludrp, where Lacy Dawn and her mother experience a wonderful stay and shop amongst the other aliens. There are subtle analogies and multiple layers which are all there to be picked over in this complex storyline.

This book isn’t an easy read, the subject matter is at times shocking and made me uncomfortable as a reader. Lacy Dawn’s choice of words and subjects of discussion are at times very disturbing. It reflects a part of society which many of us are sheltered from. The book is dialogue led and this for my reading experience was like wading through deep water, it slowed the pace of the book. I was unable to connect to any of the characters and felt I was watching one of DotCom’s educational videos.

I understand the author has turned to fiction to raise money to prevent child abuse, this is a heavy read but know that your money will go to a good cause.

This review is based on a free copy of the book given to me by the author.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

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9 thoughts on “Rarity From The Hollow by Robert Eggleton @roberteggleton1 #Bookreview #SundayBlogShare

  1. Thanks for the review Rosie. Please let your readers know that excerpts from all reviews with links are also posted on the Lacy Dawn Adventures page on Facebook, from book reviews that were five stars, the review that resulted in the novel having been awarded a Gold Medal, to the one star review where the reviewer thought that the novel was a war story (there was no war in the story). More information about the child abuse prevention agency to which author proceeds have been donated is available — to message me through Facebook, was well. Thanks for your support.

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    • Child abuse / exploitation is universal, from the richest to the poorest, the most educated to the grade-school dropouts…people whom one would never suspect — coaches, priests…. West Virginia’s poverty certainly exasperates the social problem here, and we have the highest overdose death rate for heroin addicts in the nation, but not the highest rate for child maltreatment according to Kid’s Count data.

      For example, four book reviewers of Rarity form the Hollow who own blogs privately disclosed to me that they had been victimized during childhood, one of whom included that she had been a rape victim as part of her book review. That took guts!

      I hope that readers find the movement from tragedy to satire and comedy to more than simple enjoyment, but cathartic and empowering. To quote the novel, “we all have issues and tissues.”

      Most of the five star reviews of Rarity from the Hollow have mentioned comedy. One four star review described the middle chapters to the end of the story as “laugh-out-loud.” (Only classics get five star from this reviewer — the narrative of the review was glowing.) The reviewer for Awesome Indies called Rarity from the Hollow a “Hillbilly version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” a very fun book.

      Just like in individual therapy, some readers and reviewers of the novel seem so drawn in to the tragedy in early chapters that they never make it to the satire and comedy. A retired editor of Reader’s Digest emailed me today that Lacy Dawn was alive in his household, now a family member. I hope that you continue to get to know her, Rosie, because she can be a blast once you do.

      Thanks again for the review.

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      • I was born in the big city of Cleveland, Ohio. At 14 the lumber business took my father and family to the hills of WV. Being up in years now, I was so sheltered and naive that when I found out a girl in my class was pregnant by her brother, I was shocked and terrified. I didn’t understand how babies were made. I thought when you were married and in love, God placed the seed in the mommy from the daddy. At 14, I thought all births came from immaculate conceptions. Needless to say the world has changed, but parts of Appalachia has not. Used to be moonshine stills hidden up in the mountains; now it’s meth labs. Yes, there is humor and love in the beautiful state of WV, and I love to visit, but I’m back in a big city, and I think that’s where I belong. Thanks for the review and sharing your strong feelings. I totally agree and appreciate your observances on Rarity from the Hollow.–Deborah

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  2. Very Different Interpretations of Content, Reviews of Rarity from the Hollow:

    It’s very interesting — the very different interpretations of this story. While the reactions to it have been overwhelmingly positive, some reviewers mention child abuse while others do not. The actual scene is in the third chapter, “Roundabend.” Lacy Dawn and her mother are switched by a war damaged father: night terrors and related mental health problems after returning from the Gulf War. Corporeal punishment of children has been, and remains, a controversial topic. Roundabend is the actual and singular scene which has affected book reviewers. Personally, I consider much corporeal punishment to be abuse, but I don’t feel it would have been appropriate to impose my personal values on readers of the story. It is noteworthy that in the story, neither the protagonist, Lacy, nor her father or mother considered the punishment to have been abusive, and believed that it was based on Biblical interpretation: “spare the rod and spoil the child.” After the third chapter, there is no violence in the novel, not even a bloody nose, and not a single being gets killed in the story. I just think that reviewers mentioning the child abuse in the story has been interesting, and is very welcomed considering the mission of the publication to raise funds for prevention of family violence.

    Another interesting interpretation is whether or not the main supporting character, Faith, Lacy’s best friend, was a sexually abused child. There is nothing in the story that says so, but several reviewers have read it in. Based on a short story about Lacy and Faith when they were eight years old and about locking kids up in mental hospitals (“Stainless Steel”) Faith was an implied sexual abuse victim. The girls are eleven years old in Rarity. But, as far as I know, none of the reviewers of Rarity have read that short story as it was published in 2006 and the magazine is now defunct. The closest that the novel itself comes to implying sexual abuse was in two sentences, one early in the story and the other near the end, about how Faith’s father soiled his underwear when beating Faith to death. It doesn’t state or even imply sexual abuse. In most of the story Faith plays the role of a ghost who inhabits one inanimate object after another, and is sarcastically funny and annoying. Again, I think that the interpretation of sexual abuse is also very interesting because of conflicting interpretations. In my opinion, and I could be wrong, the readers who guessed that Faith (metaphor: “Faith is not dead.”) represented a sexually abused child in the story were very astute, perhaps operating with great intuition, a mother’s instinct, because there is nothing in the story that says this girl was sexually abused. Thanks, folks, for this wonderful interpretation.

    Lacy’s advanced knowledge of all subjects, including sex, especially for her age, is explained in the first chapter — she has been “plugged in” to educational tutorials by the android (who doesn’t have any private parts, “not even a little bump”). There are no on-screen sex scenes in the novel. The “F word” is actually only used twice in the story, which is pretty mild compared to some novels in most genres. Yet, like Rosie, some readers reported having been shocked by the language. Again, I think that it is interesting, and, frankly, a little complimentary.

    There have been some other interesting interpretations that Rosie didn’t mention in her review, so I won’t bore you with my notations of them here. One thing that Rosie and several others have mentioned has been that this novel is not a cookie-cutter quick read. As Rosie mentioned, the use of a lot of dialogue intentionally slows the pace the way that a lot of literary novels do using a variety of techniques. My prayer is that after reading the novel, folks will become increasingly sensitized to the welfare of children, and, hopefully. act in some positive way to protect them, and not just American kids, but children all over the world. Is this hope a bit ambitious for a novel? Absolutely. And, I felt that my best shot at achieving this true success would not be another story that is forgotten after its last page has been turned. I wanted this story to be digested over time and to soak in over time. Apparently, the dialogue has served its purpose for Rosie, and I hope that it does for you, too.

    BTW, the historically most prominent science fiction site in the world will be posting a review of Rarity from the Hollow later today. The site’s owner lives in England. The pending issue is whether or not an analogy to U.S. Presidential politics will be included in the review: Mr. Prump, the manager of the consumer side of the alien mall in Rarity from the Hollow could be interpreted in an analogy to Donald Trump; and, Mr. Rump, the manager of the socialist party of the mall could be interpreted as an analogy of Bernie Sanders who dared to use the word, “socialism” in his campaign for the primary. Of course, as usual, I don’t pick sides and, especially, have edited out anything in the story that I felt was too “preachy.” I guess that’s why the story has had so many very different book reviews…….

    I always post an excerpt of every book review, glowing or otherwise, on the Lacy Dawn Adventures Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/Lacy-Dawn-Adventures-573354432693864/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel If you decide to visit the page, please “like” it while you are there. I’m a novice in the literary marketplace, but my understanding is that the more “likes” the better. I don’t know why, but I figure that it can’t hurt the project.

    Thanks again, Rosie.

    Robert

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    • Rosie, here’s an example of a book review published today that is consistent with your comment about the dialogue in Rarity from the Hollow, but for a different reason. This reviewer lives in the U.K. and is not familiar with the colloquialisms.

      11-30-15 Book Review of Rarity from the Hollow by World Famous Science Fiction Site (excerpt):

      While critical of the use of colloquial voice in dialogue,

      “…There is much here worthy of high praise. The relationship between Lacy Dawn and DotCom is brilliant. The sense of each learning from the other and them growing up and together is a delight to read. The descriptions of DotCom’s technology and the process of elevating the humans around him again is nicely done… Eggleton reminds me very much of Robert Heinlein at his peak….”

      http://sfcrowsnest.org.uk/rarity-from-the-hollow-by-robert-eggleton-book-review/

      See other reviews on the Lacy Dawn Adventures Facebook page.

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