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Doctor Rat

af William Kotzwinkle

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315963,042 (3.55)11
As the grant-supported, knowledgeable survivor of the most refined scientific experiments, Doctor Rat, Ph.D., dedicates himself to defending mankind against the worldwide rebellions, uprisings, and insurgencies of his fellow animals.
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Viser 1-5 af 9 (næste | vis alle)
This book defies easy description by the plain simple fact that it transcends itself, over and over.

I mean, it starts out with Doctor Rat, a grant-subsidized scientist performing experiments on other animals in a way that seems like a diatribe against animal experimentation, but along with his poetry and his singing, he goes well beyond that kind of tale by out-doing the sheer evil of the Nazi scientists in WWII, becoming an anti-revolutionary bastion, and out Darth Vadering Darth Vader.

Did I laugh my head off at the point where he had his commentaries about human musicians pulling a David Attenborough on the whales while they waxed rhapsodic about how smart they were? Yes!

But when we get to a full revolution (remember, this book came out in 1977) of the animals versus the humans, with Doctor in his finest, most horrific mode, this book becomes a full world-war as tragic, scary, and bats**t insane as any of the best war documentaries. It's bloody, full of truly terrible biological warfare, and when whole battalions of elephants get... hey! Well... no spoilers... it's... brilliant. Disgusting. And amazing.

This satire goes WELL beyond its humble beginnings and skewers everything it touches.

Oh, and it makes a good case to stop castrating rats. Just imagine... if this one rat had not been castrated, then so much tragedy could have been avoided...

( )
1 stem bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
too dark for me.
  ThomasPluck | Apr 27, 2020 |
Dr. Rat, incarcerated in an animal experimentation facility at a university, has been driven insane by his treatment and is now a sycophant and cheerleader for the researchers, although they don’t realize it, since he’s a lab rat. He’s probably the only rat that quotes St. Thomas Aquinas: “Animals have no soul!”

As he rules over the lab, in his mind anyway, animals across the globe are gathering together in vast meetings, drawn, compelled by an unknown force. They are just waiting for man. When man does come, disaster results. In the lab, the animals are revolting too. Dr. Rat is the only one on the side of the researchers.

It’s easy to read Dr. Rat as a blistering polemic against the mistreatment of animals by man, mainly through now disgraced animal research. And maybe this book helped the cause, but it also is darkly hilarious and a wonderful story, both Kotzwinkle trademarks. ( )
  Hagelstein | Nov 10, 2019 |
Very clever & funny - includes a bit of wisdom, too. Recommended for fans of Vivian Vande Velde and maybe Sharon Shinn. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Once again, here's a book that I might have enjoyed more if I'd read it when I first came across it years ago. Picking it up now, I found it off-putting. In part that's the point of the book, the main character being a rat in a lab that conducts seemingly pointless, always fatal experiments on its subjects. The other narrative thread in the book seems to point toward some kind of animal revolution or spiritual liberation. I found it difficult to enjoy the dark humor, because the cruelty of what was happening was too heavy for that, the result being that what was intended as ironic humor only made the early scenes more horrific. A drier telling of the lab's practices would have been less immediately alienating, although I realize that may in part have been the point.

In any event, I'm reporting on my impressions of the book's early chapters. I opted not to complete my experience with this book and left it on the bus for someone else to discover. Maybe it will resonate more with them than it did with me. ( )
1 stem phredfrancis | Feb 8, 2014 |
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As the grant-supported, knowledgeable survivor of the most refined scientific experiments, Doctor Rat, Ph.D., dedicates himself to defending mankind against the worldwide rebellions, uprisings, and insurgencies of his fellow animals.

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