Rat: A Novel
Not since Patrick Suskind's best-seller Perfume a half dozen years ago has a work of fiction from abroad created such prepublication excitement. Published simultaneously in nine countries around the world, Andrzej Zaniewski's novel Rat takes as its protagonist one of the most feared and maligned creatures on the planet.
Rattus norvegicus and Rattus rattus - the "domestic" rat and the gray rat, the two basic species of the great rat familyhave accompanied humankind since the beginning of its existence. Throughout history people have created conditions favorable for rats and enabled the species to survive and prosper. In Rat, the author has undertaken the formidable task of describing the world from that animal's viewpoint. In a place of darkness and mystery, a rat takes us from his first moments of consciousness to his final breath. With uncanny ability, the author manages to lead the reader into the mind and universe of his protagonist, to transform one of nature's most despised animals into a poignant creature representative of us all.
In the gutters, drains, and sewers in which the rat lives, we may identify our own world. In the rat's pain, our pain. In its fear, our fear and despair. And in its restless wanderings, with daily survival an uncertainty, our own fate.
Rat is a powerful allegory about the laws that govern us all, about our mythologies, truths and lies, love and hope, loneliness and longing. Humans and rats belong to the same cosmos. Like it or not, we are near relatives, biologically and psychologically.
"Don't think that you love and fail, win and lose, or live and die differently from a rat," warns the author. "A rat has created this novel, but you will find yourself in it."
What people are saying - Write a review
RATUser Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
You know you're in trouble when a novel leads off with a tendentious authorial forward that tells you how to read the book you've just opened. ``Rat is not exclusively a book about animals, even ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - SqueakyChu - LibraryThing
I’ve always liked rodents. In fact, it was the mysterious cover art of the rat face hidden in darkness that first attracted me to pick up this book. Starting to read, I discovered that the story was ... Read full review