Rarity from the Hollow, by Robert Eggleton: A Review

Rarity from the Hollow is subtitled A Children’s Story. For Adults. The author, Robert Eggleton, 1 Rarity Front Cover WEB (2)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 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.

All proceeds from the book have been donated to a child abuse prevention program.

Available on AmazonLulu, or from Doghorn Publishing.

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3 thoughts on “Rarity from the Hollow, by Robert Eggleton: A Review

  1. Thanks again for great review of Rarity from the Hollow, an adult literary science fiction novel. A lot has happened since the post and I decided to update you and your readers.

    The novel is currently in the process of being republished by Dog Horn Publishing, a traditional small press in Leeds. The 2016 Amazon link is: http://www.amazon.com/Rarity-Hollow-Robert-Eggleton-ebook/dp/B017REIA44

    Following are some of the highlights about the novel since we last communicated:

    As you know, the novel was found by the editor of Atomjack Science Fiction Magazine to be laugh-out-loud funny in some scenes. Long-time science fiction book
    critic, Barry Hunter, closed his review, “…good satire is hard to find and science fiction satire is even harder to find.” http://thebaryonreview.blogspo……

    A former Editor of Reader’s Digest found that, “Rarity from the Hollow is the most enjoyable science fiction that I’ve read in several years.” http://warriorpatient.com/blog

    Rarity from the Hollow was referred to as a hillbilly version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and awarded a Gold Medal by Awesome Indies: “…Tucked between the folds of humor are some profound observations on human nature and modern society that you have to read to appreciate…it’s a funny book that most fans of sci-fi will thoroughly enjoy.” http://awesomeindies.net/ai-ap……

    With respect to the story’s treatment of tough social issues, this reviewer said: “If I could, I would give it all the stars in the universe…I was hesitant to accept. I usually do not read or review books that discuss child abuse or domestic violence; however, I was intrigued by the excerpt and decided to give it a shot. I am glad that I took a risk; otherwise, I would have missed out on a fantastic story with a bright, resourceful, and strong protagonist that grabbed my heart and did not let go.” http://www.onmykindle.net/2015

    A prominent book reviewer from Bulgaria named Rarity from the Hollow as one of the best five books that he had read in 2015. http://codices.info/2015/12/to

    On January 20, 2016, Rarity from the Hollow was awarded a second Gold Medal by another popular book review site: https://readersfavorite.com/bo….

    An Affiliate of Fantasy Fan Federation, an international organization that has been around since the 1940s, posted on Amazon: “The author has created a new narrative format, something Ive never seen before, with a standard third-person narration, interspersed, lightly, with first-person asides. This makes me think of Eugene ONeills play Strange Interlude where internal and external dialogue are blended. Rarity from the Hollow begins with some rough stuff, hard to read, involving child neglect and child abuse. But it soon turns the corner to satire, parody, and farce, partaking a little of the whimsical and nonsensical humor of Roger Zelazny or even Ron Goulart….”

    “…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/rari……

    Rarity from the Hollow has now appeared on over one-hundred blogs or magazines worldwide, in twenty-two different countries including all over the U.S. and the U.K., Finland, Mexico, Bulgaria, Belgium, South Africa, Croatia, Uruguay, India, Taiwan, Australia, Nigeria, Egypt, Malaysia, Canada, Vietnam, Portugal, The Netherlands, Sweden, and Israel. The project has grown into a world-wide movement to sensitize people about child maltreatment through a satiric and comical science fiction adventure.

    Thanks again for your great review!

    Like

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