Rat Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Rat

In 1993 Polish writer Zaniewski's novel was published simultaneously in 9 different countries (in English the following year with the help of translator Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough). The story follows the narrator-protagonist rat from birth to death, with much indiscriminate mating, violence, scrabbling for food and trash, and dire conflicts with humans, cats, dogs, and other rats. Zaniewski apparently presents a rat's life and point of view as directly and accurately as can be done -- although this particular one manages to get to a greater variety of landscapes (regular European city, war-torn European city, desert town under a burning bright sun -- perhaps northern Africa?) via ships and train, than the average, one imagines. Narration also slips from first to second person and back on a regular basis, even in the same paragraph, which is not jarring but a cause for wonder. Top marks for imagination and consistency, but lowered score for an unremittingly bleak and oppressive narrative.
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The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Chapter Analysis of Rat

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed Animal story    -   Yes Kind of animal:    -   mouse/rat Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Animal talks/thinks aloud?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Eastern European


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   7 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Eastern Europe City?    -   Yes City:    -   dirty, grimy (like New York)    -   dangerous Misc setting    -   sewers/subways

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   impregnation/reproduction    -   actual description of hetero sex    -   two guys doing it    -   rape/molest Amount of dialog    -   little dialog

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