Rachel attracts attention wherever she goes: This is a very dark and disturbing story and there were moments when I was reading when I felt distinctly uncomfortable about feeling so engaged with the developing storyline. The acute psychological line demanded by material of this sort gets trodden with an unobtrusive delicacy: This leap of the imagination by a Helpless by barbara gowdy writer may be more tolerable; but though it's courageous, and though Ron's awareness of the "line" not to be crossed remains, there are passages that slip into the gratuitously disturbing.
I think that based on the skilled writing, the compelling plot and interesting characters, it was very very good. This story was made into the film Arousal. She often draws on magic realism as a writing style, combining the fantastic or unusual with realistic and believable descriptions, placing her within the tradition of Southern Ontario Gothic.
The novel has had a mixed reception in the US and in Gowdy's native Canada, where critics are either discomfited or admire this daring attempt to imbue the psyche of a child abductor with shades of grey.
Being propelled through this skilful but unpleasant page-turner leaves the reader with a distinct feeling of being stalked. He becomes aware of Rachel and, convincing himself that her mother is neglectful, and that Mika is sexually molesting her, he decides that he should rescue her and provide a safe, loving home for her.
But her true feat is the sympathetic portrayal of Ron himself, a man who seems painfully unaware of his own dark impulses. Her narrative is seamless and her undeniable skill is to make this dark tale of hazard and damage utterly plausible.
Most of the book is about Ron and Nancy concealing and taking care of her, and Celia and Mika looking for her and freaking out, understandably. And the result is a page-turner that finds tension not in the obvious question will Rachel be rescued? Like Vladimir Nabokov though she is unlike him in so many other waysGowdy refuses to flatter the idols of the marketplace and provide half-witted banalities in the guise of evil.
I fell in love. This is the second book I have read for this project that talks about committing suicide in that way. Yet the author forced me to recognise the influences of his own experiences as a child, as well as his self-denial in his desperate struggles to control his adult urges.
The comically dark novel focuses on a nuclear family in a s Ontario suburb. Nine year-old Rachel Fox is abducted during a power-outage, leaving her mother Celia terrorized and a full-scale search in effect.
The character of Ron is so well developed. This resulted in several listeners complaining that the novel was 'dark', 'disturbing' and had ' frightened the life out of them'.
He really believes that she is in danger or is already being molested and that she is safer with him. But, on the other hand, the prose masterpiece that is Lolita would never have been written without considerable boundary-breaking. Gowdy weaves an unsettling narrative, her fiction all-too-grimly reflecting recent UK headlines.Joanna Briscoe finds Barbara Gowdy's story about paedophilia, Helpless, a compelling but very uncomfortable read.
Helpless, a critically-acclaimed novel by author Barbara Gowdy.
Helpless: A Novel by Barbara Gowdy Rachel is a nine-year-old girl whose luminous beauty inspires every form of admiration. One summer night, when a summer blackout plunges the city into darkness and confusion, her most fervent admirer—a middle-aged appliance repairman named Ron—abducts her from her home/5(2).
Buy a cheap copy of Helpless book by Barbara Gowdy.
From the internationally acclaimed author of The White Bone and The Romantic, a haunting and suspenseful novel of abduction and obsessive love Nine-year-old Rachel Free shipping over $ Barbara Gowdy is the author of five previous books, including, most recently, The White Bone and The Romantic.
Her fiction has been published in more than twenty countries. Her fiction has been published in more than twenty dominicgaudious.nets: Barbara Gowdy. Barbara Gowdy is the author of seven books, including Helpless, The Romantic, The White Bone, Mister Sandman, We So Seldom Look on Love and Falling Angels, all of which have met with widespread international acclaim.A three-time finalist for The Governor General’s Award, two-time finalist for The Scotia Bank Giller Prize.Download