The Rats - James Herbert

I found this book at a large book sale recently, and my edition has a cover that looks like rats ate half of it. Immediately intrigued by this, I just had to buy it.


While I'm not a big fan of rats, they do not really terrify me. Or at least, they didn't use to. The story features an infestation with very large rats that are working together to slaughter humans. This is the stuff of nightmares.


My edition features an introduction by Neil Gaiman, and he does a great job by mentioning the book's greatest weakness even before you've started reading. The main character is a hero cliché and not remarkable in any way. As the story unfolds he happens to be in the wrong place every single time and he's so special for some reason. Also, especially at the beginning, there are some short stories about characters' background that seemed too long and got the flow out of the main story. And, although I do not blame the author for this of course, the book was written forty years ago and I think it hasn't aged that well. It felt slightly outdated to me.


I hear you think, but three and a half stars? You must have enjoyed reading it. I most certainly did. It was a nice read, even with it flaws. I started reading it without any real expectations - I just liked the cover, and that is something that has proven to be tricky - and it was a nice surprise. Not the most memorable read, maybe, but an entertaining one nevertheless.


I wouldn't recommend this if you're terrified of rodents. You will not be able to sleep at night any more!