Ratman’s Notebooks by Stephen Gilbert

Ratman's NotebooksI’ve never seen the movie “Willard,” which was based on this 1969 yarn. However, this book does a wonderful job of taking a subject that about 98% of people find repulsive and implores the reader to feel compassion. Much like people, rats are living, breathing creatures that just want a warm place to sleep and food in their bellies.

Everyone dreams of inventing a job that will guarantee them security and fortune. And by teaching the rats to do his bidding, the main character in this book rises through the ranks thanks to his unique talent (or addiction).

And like all addictions, he eventually must pay the piper (pun intended). The rats are a wonderful metaphor for what happens when a small problem grows into a big problem that even he can no longer control.

Several of the character’s plights still ring true today. Countless people worry about losing their jobs, running out of money or generally feeling insecure. But in selling his soul to the vermin, our proper English rat king seals his own fate. Wonderful ending!

Reviewed by JP


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