Though bite-size, this first novel by Sam Savage
is mouth-wateringly creative, clever, unconventional and entertaining. Firmin
the Rat was born in the basement of a bookstore, and from thenceforth constructs
his entire schema of the world both around him and within him in terms of
literature. His imagination is as wild as the author's, taking Firmin on flights
of fancy that encapsulate the reader in a fantasy land that is hard to tear away
from. He takes us around the world to cities like Paris, inside the intimate
relationships of Hollywood stars such as Ginger Rogers, into the brains of literary
greats including F. Scott Fitzgerald, and everywhere in between.
Bibliophiles will love the many references to classic literature, ranging from
Shakespeare to Hemingway to Dickens to Byron. But the story, peppered with
laugh-out-loud humor and raw emotion,...
Beyond the Book
Though his book is wildly inventive, Savage is far from the
first novelist to anthropomorphize a rat. Firmin stands out for presenting literature
as sustenance for the body as well as the mind - as Firmin eats his way through
the books, the thoughts, words and deeds contained consume him with intoxicating
For every work of literature that contains a positive description of
an anthropomorphized rat, there are probably at least a couple where rats come
off less well; they seem to do especially poorly in books 'peopled' only by animals where they tend to
be typecast as
villains or outcasts.
From the rats of Hamlin to Dilbert's co-employee Ratbert, rats feature far and...