Edmund BurkeThere are rats and then there are RATS A scientist has brought back an oversized rat from a radioactive island, and he begins breeding it with the local London rats These rats are famous in their own right for bringing down London than once with plague in the long, distant past Obviously, we all need bigger rats, right That would be a negatory Rats do what rats do best which is out rabbit rabbits in the area of fornication and reproduction It doesn t take long for an army of gigantic rats to emerge from the sewers and the underground and begin to attack the most plentiful species in Londonrather tasty British people Now a rat, singular, even a big rat, is not a huge problem for a reasonably fit person to handle, especially if they can find something to club the furry beast with Zombies are easy to handle one at a time as well and only become dangerous when you find yourself surrounded by a herd of the decaying creatures The same principle applies to rats small rats or big rats, an army of them is extremely dangerous You might kill one or two, but while you are killing them, another rat has gnawed off your ear, and another is slurping the tendons out of the back of your leg Harris, our hero, a teacher by trade, has been in the front lines of this pestilent rat infestation simply because, geographically, The Rats emerged near where he lives He finds himself helping the government to find ways to best eradicate the creatures, and meanwhile he is in a race to find the scientist who brought this apocalypse to London Another little tidbit, a bloody crumb to add to the mix, is that the bite of these rats is toxic People who are bit die within twenty four hours That makes everything just a bit tricky I remember the first time I saw a rat I was a youngster and was digging through a heap of scrap iron on the farm looking for a bar that would make a passable Arthurian sword when I noticed a snout and beady eyes looking at me The rat leaped out, not at me, though at the time I thought he was coming for my eyes He was fat and larger than I envisioned rats to be He d obviously been living well from his burrow in the scrap, probably stealing chicken feed from the nearby henhouse He was gone in a flash of black fur, slashing the air for balance with his sinister naked tail This is James Herbert s first book He received a lot of harsh criticism for his graphic depictions of mutilations from The Rats attacking people This criticism, which money can t buy gold like this, increased the public s interest in reading the book The paperback sold out in three weeks A career was launched A movie called Deadly Eyes 1982 was made based on the book Dachshunds were dressed up in rat suits, which sounds weird enough to make me want to see the movie He wrote two sequels and became a bestselling horror writer The writing in this book is at times clumsy He was certainly still learning his craft, but he already had a grasp of what people want They want to be scared They want to be shocked If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at If a horror book makes you laugh this much then it s a failure Simple as Sure, The Rats might have been selectively bred to be giant and vicious, but they are still rats they are still little bundles of loveliness with their little ears and cute noses They are not scary Don t demonise rats James, it s not cool I happen to be very fond of rats, and they are often very misrepresented in fiction and media Sure, you might say they are disease carriers and pests, but in reality who pesters who As with all animals in the modern world, their natural environment has been drastically reduced so they flock to our cities and our streets They adapt or try to to the world we have altered and then we blame then for it In the UK there is a similar debate regarding foxes it s not really any different We destroy their environment sometimes building our homes directly in it and get all defensive when they end up on our doorstep We do not accommodate for them and label them as pests Wild animals will always be dangerous and aggressive, if they have no food and are clinging to life, if they are forced into our space then it s not their fault Rather than looking to destroy such animals, humane alternatives should be perused.
I m going on a political rant here about ecology, but the point is rats aren t scary and this book is shit That s all.
5 Rats Lots of rats I ve got the paperback copy with a white background, and a giant rat smiling like a Cheshire cat, on the front cover which looks like it should be down in the sewers with the filthy vermin The denizens of London, become rat fodder when a new species of rat, breeds with the normal sized rats and pandemonium, soon ensues They ve found themselves a new delicacy and now, it s a fight for survival, from an insatiable enemy that wants nothing than to eat your heart out One bite from the unknown mutation rat and most people, die within twenty four hours So if you re lucky enough not to be eaten alive, your mortality is going to take a hit with just one nibble You can catch Weil s disease Leptospirosis or Spirochoetal Jaundice which is introduced into the bloodstream via rat or cattle urine so that s good to know The story is told from multiple POV but mainly from the perspective of a young teacher, Harris, who plays the reluctant hero, getting into all sorts of scrapes with the furry critters, that are intelligent, cunning and seemingly unafraid of us.
The author got his inspiration for The Rats, whilst watching Tod Browning s Dracula Interestingly, each book in the trilogy were written years apart The Rats 1974 , Lair 1979 , Domain 1984 and a graphic novel, The City 1993 and there s a movie adaption, I might check out Deadly Eyes 1982.
In conclusion This was pretty good for a first novel, and I ll read the squeak quel, sometime The Kindle edition has an intriguing introduction foreword by Neil Gaiman about the author, which I read, but didn t commit to buying the book Had the paperback why bother After just watching Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, I think I want The Rats to win over humanity.
Well, this book has definitely been a change from the norm for me, and wow, this was some tremendously freaky shit I spotted this book in a sale, and seeing the hoard of positive reviews in regards to it, my curiosity got the better of me, and I thought I d give it a go.
On reading the premise of this book, I thought it sounded rather twee, and knowing this was kind of old school horror, I thought I d be safe.
I wasn t This was brutal from the first page The descriptions Herbert created really does draw you in to the depressive atmosphere of the book, and however sick it makes you feel, the curiosity completely takes over, and you just have to read on.
I must say, I ve never been a fan of rats, and probably never will, but now I ve read this, the very thought of an obese, mutant rat that relentlessly stops at nothing until it gets it s fill of human blood makes me unsettled as hell This is fear on a fucked up kind of level.
There was a little humour thrown in here about a Catholic woman that was on a quest to ride every man she could in order to achieve that orgasm, and a man called Harris regularly got his groove on whenever he could, but despite this, it didn t take anything away from the fact that this was a horror novel.
As for character development, there wasn t really any, and I thought the ending wasn t great, but, I got what I came for, and this novel has inevitably disturbed my sleep and made my skin crawl Mission completed.
The Rats had had their fill of his body, but were still hungry So they searched Searched for food of the same kind They had tasted their first human blood There s a new breed of rat in London, England, and they re bigger, intelligent and vicious than their predecessors These rats are thirsty for human blood and as they feed, their bloodlust becomes and rampant As The Rats wreck havoc on those living in London, the question becomes how do you eliminate hordes of rats as big as dogs that are capable of chewing through basically anything The premise of this novel sounds pretty corny, doesn t it But if you re after old school horror that will chill you to the bone, then The Rats will bring it to you in spades The pace is pretty relentless with The Rats getting their teeth and claws stuck into humans right from the beginning Herbert s descriptions of the mutilations and deaths are BRUTAL and awesome.
Before I read this I never really found rats to be that scary, but now I m deeply unsettled at the thought of huge mutant rats It s the fact that you can t really escape from them they will gnaw their way through almost anything to get to you And when they do, you are toast These rats travel in packs too, so there really is no getting away.
An aspect of the book that I didn t expect was the humour, although at times I m not sure if the humour was intentional or not There was a chapter in particular about a Catholic woman who was supposedly sex crazed and I was laughing the whole way through she actually asked a priest to say a prayer for her in mass so that she could achieve some type of special orgasm One of the highlights of the book for me Some humour amongst all the torn off limbs and eaten faces.
Overall, The Rats is a quick, fun read I wouldn t say there is much character development, but given that it s a relatively short book, I came for the horror and that s what I got When I bought The Rats I wasn t aware it was part of a trilogy, but now I m definitely interested in reading the other two books 4 stars out of 5 from me Pack up your bags and run, my friend, because oversized Rats are here And they are really hungry.
Welcome to London, the ground zero of a terrible rat infestation Nope, Ratatouille rat infestation was almost cute This is much worse Let me put it this way If you are on the streets, You d have a better chance surviving a Zombie apocalypse than this rat invasion Not only they can devour you in minutes, a bite from these mutant bastards will infect and kill you within 24 hours This is a bloody fun creature feature story The book works because of its old school charm, an overload of blood and gore, thrilling chases and near death experiences Yes, the characters are paper thin like a 70 s cheap horror flick, and the presence of our Protagonist, a high school teacher guy, makes no sense at all Yet, it works HowAnother man sat rigid in his seat, eyes still on the screen as though watching the film, hands clenching the seat arms A rat sat in his lap gnawing a hole into his stomach.
The Rats The godamn rats are scary as hell That s the best thing about the book All the Rat attacks were fun to read, especially the Train, Cinema hall and of course, the school scenes Overall, Rats rule the book A worthy read if you are into macabre.
And in case you find yourself stuck in a world full of killer rats, I suggest you find this guy and join him.
Herbert s writing is brilliant, and the story launches straight into the action, with rats having their fill of human flesh in the first chapter What follows is basically a near 200 page massacre.
The plot is so incredibly simple mutant rats are attacking people and devouring them in horrific ways There s nothing particularly smart about it, but what it lacks in intelligence it makes up for in graphic, gory detail.
I really enjoyed the way Herbert introduces characters, giving you a bit of their backstory so you get attached He describes a clear picture of human behaviour, and covers all manner of human sins that seem to pale in comparison to the grisly horror of man eating rats It s quite interesting to consider how divided we can be as a whole society, considering we are all human, and this book explores that brilliantly by creating the us vs them storyline We see empathy and pity where there is usually none The Rats themselves are absolutely horrifying, making for a perfect, relentless, collective villain Particularly in those moments when one or two stop and stare menacinglyshuddersRats are, of course, right up there as one of the most repulsive creatures and this book easily draws on that natural revulsion and magnifies it The tension rarely eases, and even in the quiet moments you re expecting the worst I liked that it took the time to create deeper characters, because it was a diversion from the carnage that still kept the interest up Brilliantly written.
Side note though, and I m blaming this one on its age the book is incredibly sexist.
If you re a raging feminist, this book is gonna make you mad with all the stereotypes.
If you re a bit squeamish, this is likely to give you nightmares, but I d highly recommend to anyone who appreciates simple, gory horror.
OMFG this is about rats, lots of fucking rats, not just your average normal run of the mill rats but super big fucking rats that have taken a liking to human flesh I listened to this on audio and have to say it s pretty entertaining, in an upper class, hoighty toighty kind of narration, we get to know various characters some very quickly as they get, well, eaten and a few others that are in it for the long run Decent story, enjoyable horror, plenty of cringing and I have to say, where would we be without the hero that decides to go it alone, bravely, stupidly going into the most dangerous of situations To the heart and soul of the rat epidemic, when everyone else is busy with the plan , I know I ll go and try my completely dumb ass, total, best possible fucking way to get myself killed and to do what exactly I ask you Some heroes need stunning with a shovel to curb their stupidity But it was entertaining and The Rats were sweet, I ve got the second in The Rats story and I ll be on it soon.
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