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Firmin

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Firmin Cover

 

Staff Pick

A rat named Firmin, who lives in a bookstore, spends his days devouring books due to a constant state of starvation. This leads to an unusual mental development, and soon he's reading Joyce, Dickens, Tolstoy, etc. This is an adorable, hilarious read that is particularly fun for bibliophiles.
Recommended by Dianah, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Please note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.

Publisher Comments:

In the basement of a Boston bookstore, Firmin is born in a shredded copy Finnegans Wake, nurtured on a diet of Zane Grey, Lady Chatterleys 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. Its 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.

Review:

"Savage's sentimental debut concerns the coming-of-age of a well-read rat in 1960s Boston. In the basement of Pembroke Books, a bookstore on Scollay Square, Firmin is the runt of the litter born to Mama Flo, who makes confetti of Moby-Dick and Don Quixote for her offspring's cradle. Soon left to fend for himself, Firmin finds that books are his only friends, and he becomes a hopeless romantic, devouring Great Books — sometimes literally. Aware from his frightful reflection that he is no Fred Astaire (his hero), he watches nebbishy bookstore owner Norman Shine from afar and imagines his love is returned until Norman tries to poison him. Thereafter he becomes the pet of a solitary sci-fi writer, Jerry Magoon, a smart slob and drinker who teaches Firmin about jazz, moviegoing and the writer's life. Alas, their world is threatened by extinction with the renovation of Scollay Square, which forces the closing of the bookstore and Firmin's beloved Rialto Theater. With this alternately whimsical and earnest paean to the joys of literature, Savage embodies writerly self-doubts and yearning in a precocious rat: 'I have had a hard time facing up to the blank stupidity of an ordinary, unstoried life.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Blending philosophy and abundant literary references with originality, Savage crafts a small comic gem about the costs and rewards of literary illusions." Booklist

Review:

"This is a cleverly written memoir of the colorful lives and distinct shops of a Boston borough that was sadly replaced by lackluster government offices." Library Journal

Review:

"Firmin, the debut novel by Sam Savage, gives us the funny and strangely touching story of this melancholic and intellectual rat and, in showing us the artist in the rat, makes us understand the rat in every artist." Minneapolis Star Tribune

Review:

"An amusing diversion for bibliophiles and Willard fans; in Savage's debut, a rat's life may be brutish and short, but not necessarily without style." Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

Born in a bookstore in a blighted 1960's Boston neighborhood, Firmin the rat miraculously learns how to read by digesting his nest of books. He quickly realizes that a literate rat is a lonely rat. In a series of misadventures, Firmin is ultimately led deep into his own imaginative soul.

About the Author

Sam Savage is a native of South Carolina now living in Madison, Wisconsin. He received his bachelor and doctoral degree from Yale University where he taught briefly, and has also worked as a bicycle mechanic, carpenter, commercial fisherman, and letterpress printer. This is his first novel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Cedate, March 2, 2009 (view all comments by Cedate)
A wonderfully delightful little book! Readers will quickly fall in love with Firmin, the rat born in a used bookstore, and his insatiable hunger for the written word. Sort of makes you wonder....might your favorite used bookstore have a well-read rodent in its stacks?
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780385342650
Author:
Savage, Sam
Publisher:
Delta
Illustrator:
Krahn, Fernando
Subject:
Fantasy - General
Subject:
Rats
Subject:
Books and reading
Subject:
Fantasy fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20081231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
B, &, W ILLUSTRATIONS
Pages:
176
Dimensions:
8.18x5.44x.36 in. .39 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » General

Firmin Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.00 In Stock
Product details 176 pages Delta - English 9780385342650 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

A rat named Firmin, who lives in a bookstore, spends his days devouring books due to a constant state of starvation. This leads to an unusual mental development, and soon he's reading Joyce, Dickens, Tolstoy, etc. This is an adorable, hilarious read that is particularly fun for bibliophiles.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Savage's sentimental debut concerns the coming-of-age of a well-read rat in 1960s Boston. In the basement of Pembroke Books, a bookstore on Scollay Square, Firmin is the runt of the litter born to Mama Flo, who makes confetti of Moby-Dick and Don Quixote for her offspring's cradle. Soon left to fend for himself, Firmin finds that books are his only friends, and he becomes a hopeless romantic, devouring Great Books — sometimes literally. Aware from his frightful reflection that he is no Fred Astaire (his hero), he watches nebbishy bookstore owner Norman Shine from afar and imagines his love is returned until Norman tries to poison him. Thereafter he becomes the pet of a solitary sci-fi writer, Jerry Magoon, a smart slob and drinker who teaches Firmin about jazz, moviegoing and the writer's life. Alas, their world is threatened by extinction with the renovation of Scollay Square, which forces the closing of the bookstore and Firmin's beloved Rialto Theater. With this alternately whimsical and earnest paean to the joys of literature, Savage embodies writerly self-doubts and yearning in a precocious rat: 'I have had a hard time facing up to the blank stupidity of an ordinary, unstoried life.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Blending philosophy and abundant literary references with originality, Savage crafts a small comic gem about the costs and rewards of literary illusions."
"Review" by , "This is a cleverly written memoir of the colorful lives and distinct shops of a Boston borough that was sadly replaced by lackluster government offices."
"Review" by , "Firmin, the debut novel by Sam Savage, gives us the funny and strangely touching story of this melancholic and intellectual rat and, in showing us the artist in the rat, makes us understand the rat in every artist."
"Review" by , "An amusing diversion for bibliophiles and Willard fans; in Savage's debut, a rat's life may be brutish and short, but not necessarily without style."
"Synopsis" by , Born in a bookstore in a blighted 1960's Boston neighborhood, Firmin the rat miraculously learns how to read by digesting his nest of books. He quickly realizes that a literate rat is a lonely rat. In a series of misadventures, Firmin is ultimately led deep into his own imaginative soul.
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