This sorry tale of petite Charlotte Sophia's catastrophic, short life is classic Gorey. The poor child is orphaned and treated mercilessly by schoolmates and ruffians alike, and only barely survives--for a time, anyway--by the skin of her baby teeth. Even her doll suffers a grusome end. The little girl's journeiy is perfect fodder for Edward Gorey's brilliant penwork, so detailed and perfectly wrought that it's hard to believe he could master these images at such a small size (the illustrations reproduced in the book ar the same size as his original drawings). The Hapless Child is widely regarded as one of Gorey's best books; happily it is now back in print after an absence of many years, so that we can all enjoy weeping for CHarlotte Sophia again...and again, and again.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I got my copy of A Hapless Child without really knowing the story. I have been familiar with Edward Gorey's books for some time, and this one appealing because of the exquisite drawings. When I read the book, I was expecting a happy conclusion. I was taken in by the Hollywood standard of not killing off your hero. Certainly, the last two pages are both shocking and oddly humorous at the same time. I had to remember that Mr. Gorey was foremost a satirist with a tilt toward the macabre. In The Hapless Child he takes on Victorian novels like Oliver Twist where orphans have a miserable time until their lives are turned around by some rich distant relative or (as with Mr. Gorey's story) are discovered by a parent thought to be dead.
The Hapless Child was out-of-print for several years. This re-issue by Pomegranate is very good. The drawings are beautifully reproduced, the paper is superb and the binding and covers are meant to last.
The funniest tragedy ever written. With illustrations. I have owned, and loaned out or given, several copies. Lately, I've had to rely upon Amphigory to supply my bile. Now it's back again in a single volume! The perfect gift for weddings, Bar Mitzvahs and birthdays!
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