Thomas Baird Smart Rats: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780060203641

Smart Rats: A Novel

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9780060203641: Smart Rats: A Novel

In a terrifying near future in which the wasteland Earth can no longer support all its human population, a seventeen-year-old is endangered by a new edict calling for the relocation of one child from every two-progeny household.

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From School Library Journal:

Laddie Grayson, 17, lives in a grim future world where hungry and miserable humans exist in small pockets of safety between the polluted wastes, at the mercy of a fascist government. His father has no spirit, and his mother is crippled by the same chemical that is driving his younger sister dangerously insane. When the government institutes a program that will remove one child from every two-progeny household, he must go. Those who have tried to run away have been supposedly mutilated by packs of vicious "smart rats" that roam outside the inhabited areas, and their bodies are placed on exhibit by the government. Laddie can either submit and become another victim of the system, or take his fate into his own hands. The setting seems likely an extension of our reality, but the background of this ecological nightmare is never explained, so it remains two-dimensional, with no depth beyond the immediate scene. Adult characters seem unbelievably quelled and whiny, and people do not act in a way consistent with the setting. Tension and interest build, but then readers are let down. A brief change in viewpoint halfway through is not only confusing, but also is dead-ended. What seemed to be shaping up as an adventure story about friendship and survival takes a different turn. Laddie decides he has the right to be judge and executioner, resulting in unexpected violence. Readers are sure to wonder if this violence is supposed to show that while he thinks he is fighting the system, he has become part of it--or if they are to admire him for his actions. This book starts with promise, but because of it's indecisive plot, becomes neither fish nor fowl. --Annette Curtis Klause, Montgomery County Department of Public Libraries, MD
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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ISBN 10: 0060203641 ISBN 13: 9780060203641
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