Firmin

Firmin

Book - 2009
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Random House, Inc.
In the basement of a Boston bookstore, Firmin is born in a shredded copy Finnegans Wake, nurtured on a diet of Zane Grey, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and Jane Eyre (which tastes a lot like lettuce). While his twelve siblings gnaw these books obliviously, for Firmin the words, thoughts, deeds, and hopes—all the literature he consumes—soon consume him. Emboldened by reading, intoxicated by curiosity, foraging for food, Firmin ventures out of his bookstore sanctuary, carrying with him all the yearnings and failings of humanity itself. It’s a lot to ask of a rat—especially when his home is on the verge of annihilation.

A novel that is by turns hilarious, tragic, and hopeful, Firmin is a masterpiece of literary imagination. For here, a tender soul, a vagabond and philosopher, struggles with mortality and meaning—in a tale for anyone who has ever feasted on a book…and then had to turn the final page.



Baker & Taylor
Chronicles the life of Firmin the rat who lives among the humans in Boston's Scollay Square during the 1960s, and his decline as the wrecking ball takes down the neighborhood to make room for urban renewal.

Baker
& Taylor

Chronicles the life of Firmin the rat who lives among the humans in Boston's Scollay Square during the 1960s; his ability to read; his rescue by a solitary sci-fi writer, Jerry Magoon; and his decline as the wrecking ball takes down the neighborhood to make room for urban renewal. Reprint. 30,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Delta Trade Paperbacks, 2009
ISBN: 9780385342650
0385342659
Branch Call Number: Fiction Savage
Characteristics: 165 p. : ill. ; 20 cm

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crankylibrarian Nov 27, 2011

A truly bizarre, yet moving little novel. A rat named Firmin, (rhymes, with "vermin", get it?), born to an obese and alcoholic mother on the floor of a derelict Boston book shop, develops a hyper intellectual sensibility, thanks to all the literature he consumes, (literally). Painfully aware of his limitations and how he is viewed by humans, Firmin nonetheless persists in grandiose daydreams of glory, elegance and love. Though his miserable existence may seem pointless, he never abandons his faith in beauty and literature, and they comfort him right up to the end. "A rat's life is short and painful",he muses, "painful but quickly over, and yet it feels long while it lasts".

In Firmin, Sam Savage eloquently presents the absurdity of the human, as well as rodent condition: a despised little beast chewing on Finnegan's Wake in his final moments, thinking, "Dry and cold was the world, and beautiful the words".

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