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1 Beaverton Nature Studies- Mammals

Rats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants

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Rats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants Cover

ISBN13: 9781582344775
ISBN10: 1582344779
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Thoreau went to Walden Pond to live simply in the wild and contemplate his own place in the world by observing nature. Robert Sullivan went to a disused, garbage-filled little alley in lower Manhattan to contemplate the city and its lesser-known inhabitants — by observing the rat.

Rats live in the world precisely where humans do; they survive on the effluvia of human society; they eat our garbage. While dispensing gruesomely fascinating rat facts and strangely entertaining rat-stories — everyone has one, it turns out — Sullivan gets to know not just the beast but its friends and foes: the exterminators, the sanitation workers, the agitators and activists who have played their part in the centuries-old war between human city dweller and wild city rat. With a notebook and night-vision gear, he sits nightly in the streamlike flow of garbage and searches for fabled rat-kings, sets out to trap a rat, and eventually travels to the Midwest to learn about rats in Chicago, Milwaukee, and other cities of America. With tales of rat fights in the Gangs of New York era and stories of Harlem rent strike leaders who used rats to win tenants basic rights, Sullivan looks deeper and deeper into the largely unrecorded history of the city and its masses — its herd-of-rats-like mob. Funny, wise, sometimes disgusting but always compulsively readable, Rats earns its unlikely place alongside the great classics of nature writing.

Did you know?

  • 26% of all electric cable breaks and 18% of all phone cable disruptions are caused by rats, 25% of all fires of unknown origin are rat-caused, and rats destroy an estimated 1/3 of the world's food supply each year. The rat has been called the world's most destructive mammal-other than man.
  • Male and female rats may have sex twenty times a day. A female can produce up to twelve litters of twenty rats a year: one pair of rats has the potential for 15,000 descendants in a year.

Review:

"Engaging.a lively, informative compendium of facts, theories, and musings." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Review:

"Fascinating." Vanity Fair

Review:

"An immensely lively, enjoyable, learned, witty and, yes, appealing book... [Sullivan] has set up his shop at the intersection of science and belles-lettres, nature reporting and urbanism, and manages it all beautifully." Phillip Lopate, The Washington Post

Review:

"In this excellent narrative, Sullivan uses the brown rat as the vehicle for a labyrinthine history of the Big Apple....This book is a must pickup for every city dweller, even if you'll feel like you need to wash your hands when you put it down." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Sullivan tells all, writing, in prose worthy of Joseph Mitchell, a sort of Up in the Old Rat Hole: skittering, scurrying, terrific natural history." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[H]ighly enjoyable....Well written and fun to read, this book has only one drawback: a lack of more detailed information on rat biology." Library Journal

Review:

"Robert Sullivan sees the rat as much more than a pest. For him, the rat is the New Yorker par excellence, the plucky immigrant who set foot in Manhattan just about the time of the American Revolution and, by guile and persistence, put down roots and prospered." William Grimes, The New York Times

Review:

"Sullivan never falls in love with his subject the way he did in his book on the Meadowlands — rats are rats, after all — but he does persuade us that rats are 'our mirror species, reversed but similar, thriving or suffering in the very cities where we do the same." The New Yorker

Review:

"Rats is the rare book that both delights and makes your skin crawl. Its vision of urban issues is insightful, entertaining and — yes — a little bit creepy." Mark Kurlansky

Review:

"This is a wonderful book about the despised creatures with whom New Yorkers share their city. Rats have been hunted down here for centuries, but remain unvanquished. As Mr. Sullivan reminds us — in detailed, graceful prose — they are as much a part of the city's history as any part of its human alloy. One thing is certain: after reading this book you will understand much more about that history, and never look at a rat in the same way again." Pete Hamill

Synopsis:

The New York Times bestseller, now available in paperback with an all-new afterword by the author.

Love them or loathe them, rats are here to stay-they are city dwellers as much as (or more than) we are, surviving on the effluvia of our society. In Rats, the critically acclaimed bestseller, Robert Sullivan spends a year investigating a rat-infested alley just a few blocks away from Wall Street. Sullivan gets to know not just the beast but its friends and foes: the exterminators, the sanitation workers, the agitators and activists who have played their part in the centuries-old war between human city dweller and wild city rat. Sullivan looks deep into the largely unrecorded history of the city and its masses — its herds-of-rats-like mob. Funny, wise, sometimes disgusting but always compulsively readable, Rats earns its unlikely place alongside the great classics of nature writing.

Synopsis:

The New York Times bestseller, now available in paperback with an all-new afterword by the author.

Love them or loathe them, rats are here to stay-they are city dwellers as much as (or more than) we are, surviving on the effluvia of our society. In Rats, the critically acclaimed bestseller, Robert Sullivan spends a year investigating a rat-infested alley just a few blocks away from Wall Street. Sullivan gets to know not just the beast but its friends and foes: the exterminators, the sanitation workers, the agitators and activists who have played their part in the centuries-old war between human city dweller and wild city rat. Sullivan looks deep into the largely unrecorded history of the city and its masses-its herds-of-rats-like mob. Funny, wise, sometimes disgusting but always compulsively readable, Rats earns its unlikely place alongside the great classics of nature writing.

About the Author

Robert Sullivan is the author of The Meadowlands and A Whale Hunt, both New York Times Notable Books of the Year, and a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts creative writing fellowship. A contributing editor to Vogue, he is a frequent contributor to the New Yorker. His work has also appeared in Condé Nast Traveler and the New York Times Magazine. He lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

DogFish, January 6, 2013 (view all comments by DogFish)
Who knew rats could be so fascinating? An amazing book that will draw you into the subject even if you never knew you needed to know about rats! The author's extensive research, especially into the lives and behavior of our intimate neighbors, the urban rats, is phenomenal. Recommended whether you're a rat enthusiast or only have a passing interest. Also a great gift for someone with pet rats.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
noodlesalad, January 9, 2010 (view all comments by noodlesalad)
Robert Sullivan actually went and spent thousands of hours in the alleys of Manhattan observing Rats. It makes for a very interesting read- brimming with gasp inducing factoids and constant bursts of humor. Pick this one up for sure.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
lynnw, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by lynnw)

Down and dirty with the rats of NYC and the simian similarities.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781582344775
Author:
Sullivan, Robert
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Subject:
Animals
Subject:
Mammals
Subject:
New york (state)
Subject:
Rats
Subject:
Rats - New York (State) - New York
Subject:
Urban pests - New York (State) - New York
Subject:
Animals - Mammals
Subject:
Animals - General
Subject:
Nature Studies-Mammals
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20050431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.26 x 5.65 x 0.78 in

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Related Subjects


Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Featured Titles
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Mammals » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Mammals » Small Mammals
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Zoology

Rats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781582344775 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Engaging.a lively, informative compendium of facts, theories, and musings."
"Review" by , "Fascinating."
"Review" by , "An immensely lively, enjoyable, learned, witty and, yes, appealing book... [Sullivan] has set up his shop at the intersection of science and belles-lettres, nature reporting and urbanism, and manages it all beautifully."
"Review" by , "In this excellent narrative, Sullivan uses the brown rat as the vehicle for a labyrinthine history of the Big Apple....This book is a must pickup for every city dweller, even if you'll feel like you need to wash your hands when you put it down."
"Review" by , "Sullivan tells all, writing, in prose worthy of Joseph Mitchell, a sort of Up in the Old Rat Hole: skittering, scurrying, terrific natural history."
"Review" by , "[H]ighly enjoyable....Well written and fun to read, this book has only one drawback: a lack of more detailed information on rat biology."
"Review" by , "Robert Sullivan sees the rat as much more than a pest. For him, the rat is the New Yorker par excellence, the plucky immigrant who set foot in Manhattan just about the time of the American Revolution and, by guile and persistence, put down roots and prospered."
"Review" by , "Sullivan never falls in love with his subject the way he did in his book on the Meadowlands — rats are rats, after all — but he does persuade us that rats are 'our mirror species, reversed but similar, thriving or suffering in the very cities where we do the same."
"Review" by , "Rats is the rare book that both delights and makes your skin crawl. Its vision of urban issues is insightful, entertaining and — yes — a little bit creepy."
"Review" by , "This is a wonderful book about the despised creatures with whom New Yorkers share their city. Rats have been hunted down here for centuries, but remain unvanquished. As Mr. Sullivan reminds us — in detailed, graceful prose — they are as much a part of the city's history as any part of its human alloy. One thing is certain: after reading this book you will understand much more about that history, and never look at a rat in the same way again."
"Synopsis" by , The New York Times bestseller, now available in paperback with an all-new afterword by the author.

Love them or loathe them, rats are here to stay-they are city dwellers as much as (or more than) we are, surviving on the effluvia of our society. In Rats, the critically acclaimed bestseller, Robert Sullivan spends a year investigating a rat-infested alley just a few blocks away from Wall Street. Sullivan gets to know not just the beast but its friends and foes: the exterminators, the sanitation workers, the agitators and activists who have played their part in the centuries-old war between human city dweller and wild city rat. Sullivan looks deep into the largely unrecorded history of the city and its masses — its herds-of-rats-like mob. Funny, wise, sometimes disgusting but always compulsively readable, Rats earns its unlikely place alongside the great classics of nature writing.

"Synopsis" by ,
The New York Times bestseller, now available in paperback with an all-new afterword by the author.

Love them or loathe them, rats are here to stay-they are city dwellers as much as (or more than) we are, surviving on the effluvia of our society. In Rats, the critically acclaimed bestseller, Robert Sullivan spends a year investigating a rat-infested alley just a few blocks away from Wall Street. Sullivan gets to know not just the beast but its friends and foes: the exterminators, the sanitation workers, the agitators and activists who have played their part in the centuries-old war between human city dweller and wild city rat. Sullivan looks deep into the largely unrecorded history of the city and its masses-its herds-of-rats-like mob. Funny, wise, sometimes disgusting but always compulsively readable, Rats earns its unlikely place alongside the great classics of nature writing.

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