Rarity from the Hollow
Paperback, 284 Pages
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Lacy Dawn's father relives the Gulf War, her mother's teeth are rotting out, and her best friend is murdered by the meanest daddy on Earth. Life in the hollow is hard. But she has one advantage -- an android was inserted into her life and is working with her to cure her parents. But, he wants something in exchange. It's up to her to save the Universe. Lacy Dawn doesn't mind saving the universe, but her family and friends come first. Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire.
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Apr 5, 2017“Rarity from the Hollow” is a daring, unique, and fascinating read that attempts to focus on serious real-world issues through a zany sci-fi adventure. It’s written well enough to be called literary fiction and creative enough to grab the intention of seasoned and new speculative fiction fans alike. The writing is brilliant. It feels timeless, classic and mature in a way that would ensure its longevity if more people knew about it. I would even say it could be read in a college setting both for the craft itself and its unique brand of storytelling. The believable struggle and darkness of the Hollow breaks your heart while the outlandish solutions to Lacy Dawn’s problems feel not only believable (by some stroke of genius on Eggleton’s part), but deserved and bright. In addition to being an expertly crafted story, “Rarity” did something that most pop fiction doesn’t usually do: It made me ask questions, both as a a writer and a reader. I’ve never forgotten the questions I... More > pondered when first reading “Rarity” and I greatly appreciated seeing them still present in this updated version. If anything, the updates made me explore the questions more. What literary and plot elements work when discussing difficult topics in science-fiction? What elements don’t? Why is that? What do we expect from protagonists in bad situations, especially children? Are those expectations fair? Are there limits on who gets redemption arcs? What does that mean for how we view unkind, even abusive, people in real life? What really makes a fairy tale “adult?” Is it merely facing darker, grittier events, or is it the themes behind them? The fact that I was constantly questioning myself as both a consumer and producer of fiction as I read is what really makes me want to suggest this book. If you like challenging books, questions, and a lot of zaniness, “Rarity from the Hollow” is definitely worth a read. Also, the author dedicates his proceeds to the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia, so even you end up not liking the book itself, it would still be a worthwhile purchase. TRIGGER WARNING: As much as I encourage others to read this book, the depictions of spousal and child abuse could potentially bring up potentially harmful memories and feelings for some people. Reader’s discretion is advised.< Less
Apr 4, 2017A strange book about a middle schooler (Lacy Dawn) tasked with saving the universe by the android Dotcom along with the help of her best friend (a ghost), her young mother and father, a pot farmer, her dog, and a bunch of telepathic trees. Like I said, a strange book. The sci-fi is reminiscent of Douglas Adams’ books: not very deep but far-ranging and surprising. The sci-fi bends to meet the narrative, rarely the other way around. Homelife ranges from messing with welfare workers to murder (though not much of the latter), giving the sense that Lacy Dawn’s world is not as bad as it might seem, and is sometimes much worse. But like most kids, she rolls with the punches (literal and metaphorical). Only time references to D.A.R.E. and the Gulf War took me out of the story. Changing these things wouldn't make the story better, but it firmly sets it probably 25 years ago. The comedy ranges from knee-slapping to eye-rolls. I read it with a smile on my face. (Despite the domestic abuse,... More > poverty, drug abuse, etc., because this is a funny book for adults. It just happens to be about a child living in a horrible situation.) Some of the laughs come from situations, like the family visiting the mall-planet, or when they organize an auction to sell off-world merchandise. Often humor comes from dialogue within and without. Eggleton often veers into the thoughts of her companions. These glimpses are often a single thought designed to capture the most important thing the character is thinking at the time. For example, when Dotcom goes number two for the first time. Quite a lot of humor is derived from Dotcom's slow process of transforming from a machine into man. He has to learn about bodily waste, erections, etc. He is definitely one of the best reasons to read Rarity. This is an easy read, despite some heavy subject matter, because nothing tends to keep the heroine down for long. Dark parts of the book are balanced with levity and variety, keeping it from being too gloomy. It bounces all over to bring the folks down the hollow to other worlds. My one complaint is that the plot is loose. Lacy Dawn knows from the beginning she must save the universe, but we don’t know why the universe needs saved until pretty far in. It doesn’t seem to concern the characters, though, so don’t let it bother you too much either. If you’re looking for something silly and irreverent, but full of heart (not to mention ridiculous SF concepts), check it out. https://goo.gl/q4llFH< Less
Mar 31, 2017Rarity from the Hollow is subtitled A Children's Story. For Adults. The author, Robert Eggleton,writes with the accuracy of familiarity about the lives of children caught in a multi-generational cycle of abuse; of men scarred by war and poverty, of PTSD, of the coping mechanisms of wives and mothers trying to hold families together. The opening scenes of this book are difficult to read and harrowing in their blunt depiction of the kinds of abuse that Lacy Dawn, the protagonist, and her friend Faith experience. As Lacy Dawn narrates the story, elements of fantasy begin to develop, fantasy that then changes to a coherent, but oddly detached story of extra-terrestrial (and human) intervention. The extra-terrestrial intervention addresses primarily the psychological and behavioural issues confronting Lacy Dawn's family; the human intervention – of a type beyond (or above?) the law, in a renegade Gates Foundation way – provides employment and support. The book could be read, I think, as... More > pure fantasy, revealing Lacy Dawn's imagined escape from the cruel realities of her life, or, as a satire on the hurdles faced by agencies or individuals attempting to intervene in the lives of families caught in the vicious cycle of abuse. Or, perhaps, a combination of the two. I lean toward the latter. In either case, it is not a particularly easy or enjoyable read, the reality of the described lives always in the back of the reader's mind, emphasizing the unreality of the unfolding events. A strong element of sexuality, realistic but disturbing given the age of the protagonist, remains throughout the story. But it stands in good company: I can think of other disturbing satires that have been difficult to read, but carry a strong message: A Clockwork Orange, for one. This is not a book for children, or even for teens, and it is not a book for those who are looking for escapist fantasy. Rarity from the Hollow pulls no punches: even though some passages are very funny, it is unlikely to be those the reader remembers. It's also a book you'll likely need to take breathing spaces from. But I remain glad I was offered it to review. I'm giving Rarity from the Hollow four stars. (Please note: this is a review of the first edition.) All proceeds from the book have been donated to a child abuse prevention program.< Less
Mar 29, 2017Funny and engaging with a silliness that we need every occasionally! Lacy Dawn's father relives the Gulf War, her mother's teeth are rotting out, and her best friend is murdered by the meanest daddy on Earth. Life in The Hollow isn't great. But Lacy has one advantage -- she's been befriended by a semi-organic, semi-robot who works with her to cure her parents. He wants something in exchange, though. It's up to her to save the Universe. To prepare Lacy for her coming task, she is being schooled daily via direct downloads into her brain. Some of these courses tell her how to apply magic to resolve everyday problems much more pressing to her than a universe in big trouble, like those at home and at school. She doesn't mind saving the universe, but her own family and friends come first. Will Lacy Dawn's predisposition, education, and magic be enough for her to save the Universe, Earth, and, most importantly, protect her own family? R arity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction... More > filled with tragedy, comedy and satire. It is a children's story for adults, not for the prudish, faint of heart, or easily offended. What did I like? Having lived in the Ozarks and seen this type of poverty first hand I was impressed how the author took these things a step further without trivializing it. This was a humoristic look at that type of living and right out into outer limits into a serious problem that needed to be solved. Lacy was captivating with the childish/adult actions that she developed with the help of her new friend. Amazingly Robert even included the problems of our war hero’s and I liked his method of solving that problem. What will you like? A charming and engaging storyline that is developed with lots of humor. Characters that will captivate you even with their silliness. You will see the work that the author has put into each page and look forward to the next adventure that takes Lacy and her family forward. I really enjoyed the book and even with its adult content I found it quite funny. I received this from the author for an honest review with no compensation.< Less
Feb 10, 2017I really enjoyed the revised edition of this book! Robert Eggleston has done an awesome job with his character development. Once you start to read the book you will immediately like or dislike certain characters. The story encompasses many things including a look at child abuse, love, heartache, science fiction and more. Lacy Dawn is 11 when the story begins and she has a horrendous home life. Her father battles demons from his Gulf War experience and takes it out on Lacy Dawn and her mother. As the story develops this 11 year old, Lacy Dawn, is to save the earth and another planet which is represented as being a large shopping mall. The devastation will occur from cockroaches. I did feel the Mall was a paarody on life in general - rush, rush, rush, no time for breaks, no time for rest, no time for others, just get a move on and get things done. I am not going to tell you if Lacy Dawn succeeds or not or much more about the story but if you want an interesting read that is unique -... More > Rarity from the Hollow is the book for you. I'm wondering if we will hear more about Lacy Dawn in the future............< Less
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- Robert Eggleton (Standard Copyright License)
- Revised Edition
- Dog Horn Publishing
- November 3, 2016
- Perfect-bound Paperback
- Interior Ink
- Black & white
- 1.07 lbs.
- Dimensions (inches)
- 6 wide x 9 tall
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