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2 Hawthorne Literature- A to Z

This title in other editions



Firmin Cover

ISBN13: 9780385342650
ISBN10: 0385342659
Condition: Standard
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Reading Group Guide

To escape his hard life on the streets of 1960s Boston, Firmin takes refuge amid the stacks in Pembrokes Books, losing himself in literatures faraway worlds one volume at a time. What makes Firmin unique, though, is not his voracious appetite for reading, but that he actually eats some of the books hes read. You see, Firmin is a rat-a gifted, imaginative rat who possesses a wise soul. In this inspired and poignant novel, Firmin takes readers along as he struggles to survive in the heart of Bostons notorious Scollay Square, revealing what it means to be an animal cursed-and blessed-with human instincts.

The award-winning Firmin has been heralded by Publishers Weekly as “an alternately whimsical and earnest paean to the joys of literature,” and the following questions are intended to help direct discussion of this compelling and unconventional tale.

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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

Savage, Sam
Krahn, Fernando
Fantasy - General
Books and reading
Fantasy fiction
General Fiction
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
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
$5.95 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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