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The Rat Paperback – May 5, 1989
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The construction of the novel is very intricate, poems and prose interweave several plots. The rat of the title is a pet which the narrator keeps, and which suddenly starts telling him about the end of humanity in a nuclear war; rats survive and found a new civilisation. The narrator does not want to accept this and starts telling stories to prove to the rat that he still exists. There definitely is a feeling of endgame about the novel, as Grass summons characters from earlier novels (such as Oskar from "The Tin Drum"), all the women he has loved (the five of them corss the Baltic Sea in a boat) and his native Danzig-Gdansk as if to say goodbye to them all. In another subplot, characters from well-known fairytales try to start a kind of revolution to save the German forests.
Much of this is very poignant, some of it full of brilliant black humour, yet somehow I get the impression that maybe Grass tried to do too much here. The novel is far from being a page turner. As both the rat and the narrator insist on their points of view, some annoying repetitions occur. - To me it seemed quite dated, too. Even Grass himself seems to be less worried about the end of the world today, as his recent novels are more concerned with the injustices of German unification.Read more ›
This book is certainly not for everyone, and I would not advise reading it until after you have read "The Tin Drum" and "The Flounder" both by Grass, but for me this book was a remarkable reading experience.
After I finished the book, I even had a fonder, or more tolerant, view of rats.
Can't wait to start Die Blechtrommel.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There is almost too much going on in the story. Grass' creativity is astounding, with the she-rat and the space ship, but portions of the plot with Grimm fairytale characters are... Read morePublished on August 28, 2007 by roan
I should have said; the old german culture at its best seen by the man who carried on despite the new riches of the miracle.
Culture and courage. Read more