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Dr. Rat Paperback – October, 1997

47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This duo from 1976 and 1989, respectively, are both farces in their own way, except one is dead serious and the other dead funny. Dr. Rat (LJ 7/76) is a cry against animal experimentation told from the point of view of a veteran lab rat. The Midnight Examiner (LJ 4/1/89) follows the motley editorial staff of a tabloid including a bevy of sleazy reporters and a blowgun-wielding publisher.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Doctor Rat is dazzlingly original, witty and insanely satiric. It is also occasionally quite beautiful. "A clout from the pen of a modern Zen master of the literary world." New Musical Express
 
"It's as good as Gulliver's Travels and Kotzwinkle is very close to Jonathan Swift... a masterwork by a WAY-out writer." Readers Syndicate
 
"Doctor Rat is a fascinating book, full of deeply felt emotion, important ideas, and heartbreaking insights." Charleston Evening Post

"Kotzwinkle is a truly imaginative impresario of the might-almost-be-true and here he spins a new fable on the cyclometered wheels in the laboratory of Doctor Rat. How can you not enjoy Doctor Rat? It teases your conscience with educated wit and versatile improvisation, not to mention the casual flick of a tail about to be cut off." Kirkus Reviews
 
"A comic triumph... Doctor Rat is thoroughly anthropomorphic, very funny, and not lacking in the bite of truth essential to good satire. " The New Scientist

"Kotzwinkle is always in control. His writing has an eloquent sense of timing and brevity, and his quisling rodent proves to be an ingenious device, one that cleverly wisecracks us into a gut-churning realization of just how self-oriented and inhumane our species really is." Book Letter
 
"A faint but authentic Blakeian echo in Mr. Kotzwinkle's rage gives the book the voltage necessary to bypass insulating ideas and strike right into the emotions." The Listener --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Marlowe & Company (October 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569247145
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569247143
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,900,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

American novelist William Kotzwinkle is a two-time recipient of the National Magazine Award for Fiction, a Book Critics Circle award nominee, a winner of the World Fantasy Award, the Prix Litteraire des Bouquinistes des Quais de Paris, the PETA Award for Children's Fiction, and he wrote the narration for Michael Jackson's E.T. record which won a special children's Grammy.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Michael Delaware on March 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
Dr. Rat is an expose' on mankind's cruelty to other forms of life around him, most specifically the animal kingdom. This book is an indictment of animal experimental laboratories, slaughter houses, poaching and hunting. Kotzwinkle uses a fast talking insane rodent to portray a macabre view of the inside of an animal experimentation laboratory grotesquely similar to a Nazi concentration camp. In the words of Dr. Rat himself "...having been driven insane, I hold the necessary degree in psychology." With this pointed statement, this bizarre story unfolds. Kotzwinkle paints a dark and frightening tale that is a reflection of our times. This book cuts right into the artificial and bloody foundation of Psychiatric `research' and experimentation, and the reader will be appalled at the harsh spotlight that it shines on the inhumane practices so common place in our society, yet hidden behind a paper-shuffling bureaucracy. This is a very clever book, and very timely. It will open anyone's eyes with its startling viewpoint. A real shocker filled with cold realism. This book is absolutely disgusting at times, but very poignant. It will open your eyes.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jeff on July 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have read these other reviews. Yes, it is laughably funny; yes, it is frequently greusome. What I have failed to read about this book, at least so far, is what can be taken from it. On a basic level, it will make you think about animal conciousness and experimentation, animal cruelty, and blind procedure. True, this makes the story excellent by many standards. However, at the heart of the novel is a message of social and political awareness, and the comentary makes a profound statement on the ailing status of the world today. Kotzwinkle has created an AWESOME METAPHOR which stretches far beyond "a sad story about lab rats", and I am shocked other reviewers couldn't see that!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 8, 1998
Format: Paperback
Entertaining tale of the humans use of animals for medical research.
This book allows you to look at a different point of view in animal research. from the animals side. What do they think? Do they feel? Do they care? Should we, as humans, care about these things? This book is not for kids.
Dr. Rat is an exploration of the use of animals in human research. You are given the view of a lab rat that has been in the research lab just a little too long. He is missing various parts and is quite mad. He talks in poems that make a lot of sense when you stop to listen to them. He is as smart as he is savey in the 'way' of the lab and leads the animals in a revolution to take over the world.
Very entertaining, much more of a social statement than other books of his,and makes you think about the use of animals in medical research and if it is the 'right' thing to do. A must read for those of used who think we are liberal and open minded. And even for those who believe strongly in animal reseach.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By V. Lemon on April 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
If you read Dr. Rat you will never forget it -- ever. I read this many years ago and was reluctant to pick it up for a re-read because of the discomfort and horror it engendered, although I felt oddly compelled. A second reading did nothing to change my mind that a book that could make me that uncomfortable was worth a second look. (Those who believe in mankind's God-given right to dominion over the earth and its creatures should be forced to read Dr. Rat.) This is a strange, intense, often wildly funny, but serious book for people who relish chewy intellectual meat over sentimental feel-good pap.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Vegan on March 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
William Kotzwinkle's novel Dr. Rat combines a cautionary dash of Orwell's Animal Farm with the rancid horror of Sinclair's The Jungle to tell a savagely critical tale of humanity's mistreatment of the other animals sharing our world. Dr. Rat goes for the throat with appalling accuracy, clawing at the emotional core we try to protect with logic and reason. This novel forces us to look at the cruelly underside of animal experimentation, slaughtering houses and hunting. Told with a savage humor that does nothing to cushion the blow of confronting our own barbarism, Dr. Rat stands out as a masterpiece of recognition and rage.
The title character is a laboratory rat long mad from running the maze. "Death is freedom," he shouts again and again.
But while Dr. Rat gaily recites the gratuitous atrocities performed on his fellows by the Learned Professor and his graduate assistants -- "Nobody knows exactly what he's doing, or why. It is sufficient that each month we mention cancer and a new kind of plastic." -- the revolution brewing inside the lab mirrors a great gathering of every sort of animal in the outside world. The story flashes to the mind of a different creature for a chapter, either one suffering at the hand of man or one beginning the trek to the mustering, then flips back to Dr. Rat's lone stand against the rebelling research subjects.
Dr. Rat ignites emotions that most of us are less than comfortable experiencing; all the more reason to read this book and to open your eyes.
Even though this book is fiction, there is a lot of truth to it. This is a book I think everyone should read just so they know what happens in animal testing laboratories. Whether you're not aware or would rather turn away from the issue, animal testing is a cruel science experiment gone wrong.
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