I got this book a couple years ago and have had it waiting in the to-read pile until now. It got my interest because of the author, Sam Savage, and his long and exhausting effort to get a book published. Firmin(published in 2006) was his first published book at the age of 66. I can’t help but have some appreciation for a writer with perseverance because it is an attribute that is often overlooked.
The subject matter of the story did not turn me off either. About a book-loving rat, any literary enthusiast should have an easy time finding something to appreciate about this story. There was a little bit of extra excitement each time one of my favorite books was referenced.
Overall, the writing was good but I was not always in love with the writing style. The way the narrator (also Firmin) addresses the reader on multiple occasions is effective in giving the story it’s humorous style, but I also found it somewhat irritating in parts where he says something along the lines of, “do I hear laughter?” in a moment I did not find funny at all. I did not appreciate the book telling me how I was supposed to feel in that way.
But, honestly, I do not want to go too far in discrediting the book because of that downfall. It was an element of the story that I did not enjoy but the writing is still impressive. The images and language that Savage uses to describe the settings and life of this rodent do a great job of depicting scenes in doing it in an entertaining way. It is a job well done bringing us into the eyes of a rat and showing us a life from that perspective. Albeit, a life of an extraordinary rat, but the life of a rat none the less.
I would definitely recommend this book to someone who is a fan of literature, or to someone who is a writer themselves. It is a testament to what perseverance can do in a writers world, and it is nice to know that Sam Savage has gone on to publish some more books since then. They are added to the lengthy to-read list for me.