Blog Archive

View My Stats
Sunday, October 18, 2020

Reviewing classics: Doctor Rat by William Kotzwinkle



Official Author Website
Order Doctor Rat over here: USA/UK

OFFICIAL AUTHOR INFO: American novelist William Kotzwinkle is a two-time recipient of the National Magazine Award for Fiction, a Book Critics Circle award nominee, a winner of the World Fantasy Award, the Prix Litteraire des Bouquinistes des Quais de Paris, the PETA Award for Children's Fiction, and he wrote the narration for Michael Jackson's E.T. record which won a special children's Grammy.

FORMAT: Originally published in 1976, Doctor Rat won World Fantasy Award for Best Novel in 1977. It's 220 pages long. 

OVERVIEW: I love animals. I've been vegetarian for twenty years, more than half of my life. I can easily enjoy epic battles and stories, in which humans suffer and die. But if you hurt a dog or a cat a rage ignites in me. I can't help it.

This book contains extensive and visceral scenes of animal experimentation and it pulls no punches. Whole species are destroyed. Despite using grotesque aesthetic and containing hilarious moments, it was a difficult read for me.

Kotzwinkle's imaginative fable features Doctor Rat, friend to man, and foe to all other species. Doctor Rat is an insane lab rat who revels in the despair and brutality of animal experiments. He's even composing songs in honor of gruesome experiments.

When animals start to prepare rebellion, Doc wants to squash it.

There's plenty of shifting perspectives in the book. The plot revolves around Doc Rat fighting against the rebellion, but we see parts of the plot told through the eyes of other animals and species. The ones near the end of the novel are heart-breaking and lyrical. Sentimental? Probably yes.

Obviously, there are oversimplifications and shortcuts in this book. Animals are beautiful, humans cruel and sadistic. The balance is off and the perspective is strongly biased. But it does deliver a message that can be interpreted in many ways.

Is it a life-changing book? I don't know. I've made plenty of adjustments to my life years ago and I do my best to minimize my negative impact on the environment. I guess, I still can improve in certain areas.

It's definitely a book that got more than one visceral reaction from me. It's devastating and powerfully written. It's a book that made me want to shout "To hell with Pacifism!" and build a bomb or, even better, hack a Death Star and wipe out all laboratories that experiment with animals from the face of the earth.

It's a brutal and maniacal satire. It's terrifying, heart-wrenching, grotesque, and sad. Usually, I plow through books like Duracell bunny on speed, but in this case, I had to make frequent pauses because it was a bit too much for me. 

0 comments:

Follow by Email

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “Right To The Kill ” by Craig Schaefer!!!
Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “Spit And Song” by Travis M. Riddle!!!
Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “The Arkhel Conundrum” by Sarah Ash!!!
Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “The Company Of Birds” by Nerine Dorman!!!
Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “The True Bastards” by Jonathan French!!!
Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “Rumble In Woodhollow” by Jonathan Pembroke!!!
Order HERE