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2004-04-08 , ,

I finished reading Robert Sullivan’s [Rats](
I bought it after reading an early review and excerpt. I was a little surprised that it is, essentially, what a humorist once called a “Me and Ed went fishin’” story. There’s nothing wrong with a meandering story and there is nothing wrong with this one either. I enjoyed it. I even enjoyed the tenuous connection of historical figures to rats and allusions to their likeness to rats.
What is irritating are the subreferences to Thoreau, Melville and Whitman (not
even sophomore English Lit. majors go around quoting this stuff outside of bars) and buttressing the story with footnotes and bibliography. It’s as if the author
felt guilty for his narrative about watching rats and talking with the people who deal with them and needed to pump it up a little with some scholarship.


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