Customer Reviews


7 Reviews
5 star:
 (2)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review of Hungry Rats, October 22, 2010
This review is from: Hungry Rats (Paperback)
This is a novel in three parts, each told from a different character's point of view, and each narrated in the second person. For the first two or three pages I was distracted by this, but after that I was so absorbed in the story that I stopped noticing. By the end, I was impressed with this method of storytelling; each character colors the story in their own light, so that you as reader are constantly aware that there is no omniscient presence to explain what's going on. Everyone leaves clues not only in what they say, but in how they say it and even in what they fail to say.

In the first part, Meredith Malady is obsessed with a series of grisly murders taking place in her hometown. As she tries to figure out who the killer is, you the reader are being trained as a detective.

The second part of the novel is told by Jim Carr and Maggie Duncan, a pair of serial killers from Michigan's past. This section is chilling, as the second person narration brings you into the minds of the deranged pair as they confess their lives to each other.

The final section brings it all together; Meredith's sleuthing knits the clues left behind by the modern day killer to the legacy left by Carr & Duncan's long ago actions in the woods. The identity of the narrator of the first section is revealed, which changes the whole story (unless you figured it out early). Meredith Malady's detective skills have put her directly in the killer's sights, and her life depends on her intelligence and nerve.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent, captivating book, November 4, 2010
This review is from: Hungry Rats (Paperback)
Hungry Rats is an incredibly gripping read. Connor Coyne has exhibited a well-developed artistry, creating a story rich in narrative and philosophy. He flows seamlessly over place and time, synthesizing the stories we tell, the lives we live, and the world in which we live. His astute observations of civic decline are reinforced by the reverse perspective: Meredith's story becomes our own. Finally, his writing, while maintaining the fluidity of prose, develops as melodically and motivically as a beautiful symphony.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong Debut for Coyne, January 18, 2011
This review is from: Hungry Rats (Paperback)
Hungry Rats marks an impressive debut from Connor Coyne. Right out of the gate, we can see that he has developed his own fearless style. This is not a novel that is trying to be like a bland best-seller, nor is it trying to create a pastiche of literary giants. The novel is distinctly Coyne's in voice and tone, who repeatedly displays an intriguing ability to write pulp material with the care of proper literature.

The novel is not without its challenges. Indeed, it takes a few pages to fully immerse oneself in Coyne's unique world. The book itself is composed of three parts, each a bit of a stand-alone yet interdependent of the others.

The first part is a second-person account of a teenage outcast trying to understand her connection with a rising serial killer. It works far better than it has any right to on paper. Coyne has managed use a device best known for choose-your-own-adventure stories with the single most over-used topic of the last 20 years and turn it into involving, fascinating and uncompromising literature.

The jump to the second act can be a bit jarring. We change narrators, subject matter and time-period. This part is about whorehouses, sociopaths and lumberjacks and is told by two first person narrators. The switching back and forth between narrators comes without warning and does not afford the reader a device like change of font or color to track the two. In the end, it is still fairly easy to tell which character is talking. The story itself is evocative of "Deadwood", but with darker and more twisted (!) leads.

The third part doesn't work as well for me, but that is mainly a matter of personal preference. It feels speculative and nebulous, a bit train of thought. Still, I have to appreciate a story that is willing to not give out easy answers and wrap things up for the reader.

All and all, Hungry Rats is a thoroughly mesmerizing story that makes me want to check out the writer's future projects.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You've never read a book like this before!!!, February 12, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Hungry Rats (Paperback)
Hungry Rats is a story of pain. The emotional pain of neglectful and abusive parents. The physical pain of a murdered victim, dying at the hands of a gruesome serial killer nicknamed the "Rat Man." Not to mention the pain of Flint, Michigan, an entire city slowly sinking into decline in the wake of the departing auto industry. Amongst it all is our heroine, Meredith Malady, broken and sweet. She is a teenage girl determined to save both the city from the Rat Man, as well as herself from a torturous home life. These events, which bookend around a flashback to the grisly lives of Meredith's ancestors, create one complete tale that suggests neither places nor people can ever shake the residue of their history.

While certainly a dark novel, Hungry Rats manages to avoid ever falling into the trap of melodrama. With a writing style somewhere between poetry and post modernism, the novel reads like the most twisted nightmare, yet remains grounded enough in reality to hold a reader`s interest and leaving them deliciously perturbed. This is not the average, generic serial killer novel. Hungry Rats begs to be re-read, and analyzed and dissected, right down to the clearly symbolic surname of the main character. For some it may get a bit too cerebral, the philosophizing becoming distracting from the violent and fascinating plot.

Complex and original, Hungry Rats is a treat for the mind, standing out amongst the hordes of repetitive and unimaginative supermarket fiction. If it suffers from any real flaw, it is that it ended too quickly. The author could have taken either Meredith's journey or her ancestor's struggles and adapted them into full length novels on their own. Together, though, they create a fascinating whole.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A satisfying take on the teen noir thriller, March 11, 2011
This review is from: Hungry Rats (Paperback)
Who is the Rat Man?

Bella has nothing on Meredith Malady. Seriously, this novel is part poem, part Sweeney-Todd drunken butcher's opera, with a dash of logging-town historical fiction. What starts as a dark, licorice-flavored coming-of-age story poses, by the end, a serious mystery in which we as readers feel compelled to choose an allegiance.

As a high school teacher, I wish I could put this on the curriculum to read with my students. Hungry Rats feels like several books in one. There's plenty of young adult material here: imperfect parents, awkward jealousies, dangerous friendships, runaway adventures. At the same time, this slim volume would make a power-shake of reading comprehension. Don't let the experimental style deceive you--this is edgy fiction that's made for devouring.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hungry Rats, Fat Rats, November 27, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Hungry Rats (Kindle Edition)
A nice serial killer story. This experimental style of writing is very good, though I found it difficult to grasp a second person narrative. It was the first time I came across a novel in the second person, and frankly it didn't go with me too well; may be, I'm a bit slow. And there is just one other issue I didn't like - for a serial killer story, it moves too slowly, and a bit too wordy, though the number of killings are plenty. As a reader of serial killer stories, I like a fast paced story. May be it's only me who feels this way - it was a bit dragging until half the novel.

But the good parts that I liked are many. I certainly liked the final section and the ending - I don't wish to reveal the ending, but it makes up for all the dragging that goes on in the first half. Connor's writing style is innovative and impressive. The POV changes from one section to another, which I think Connor has adopted boldly. Meredith's character has a great change, from a somewhat timid girl in the beginning to a decisive and confident person later.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars must-read for Flint natives, April 29, 2011
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Hungry Rats (Paperback)
This book definitely told an interesting story, but being a mid-Michigan native, I found myself really caught up in the locale of the book - Flint, Michigan. The odd (and sometimes bleak) culture and history of Flint was a theme throughout the book and it was fun to have locations I've walked and driven described in such great literary styling. The author really captured the city well, and even if the serial killer theme isn't something you think you might enjoy, the book is worth reading for how well it envelops you in the setting.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Hungry Rats
Hungry Rats by Connor Coyne (Paperback - September 2, 2010)
$16.00 $14.33
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.