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Ratus Norvegicus
May 7, 2009 5:27 AM   Subscribe

For millions of years man and rats had been natural enemies. But now for the first time - suddenly, shockingly, horribly - the balance of power had shifted. The Rats by James Herbert.

Celebrating James Herbert by Ingrid Pitt. How we met; James Herbert & Ingrid Pitt. How we met; James Herbert & Gordon Giltrap.
posted by fearfulsymmetry (33 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Related?
posted by sandking at 5:38 AM on May 7, 2009


I had no idea Ingrid Pitt had been in a concentration camp. Also, I read The Rats when I was a kid & remember liking it, though my favourite Herbert novel was the one where everyone went crazy and people were walking into the sea.
posted by stinkycheese at 5:41 AM on May 7, 2009


And then in a moment of true brilliance our hero of the story forged an alliance with the cats and dogs of the world. For a meager 4 cans of tuna each week per cat and the chance to lick all the plates clean after dinner for the dogs, man's true best friends would gladly handle this problem... The End.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 5:43 AM on May 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Pitt relates:

"So in 1982 (The Rats) became a film. Somehow the narrative got lost between pen and sprocket and the film didn't live up to the book. Robert Clouse (Game Of Death, Enter The Dragon) directed and Sam Groom tried his best to put his body between the rats and musophobic Sara Botsford. Perhaps changing the location from the war-scarred East End of London to Toronto and bringing it up to date wasn't the cleverest move, especially when the rats were dressed up daschunds and cats. In spite of the lack of critical acclaim, The Rats was released as a video game in 1985."

Dressing a cat up as a rat seems inherently wrong.
posted by stinkycheese at 5:50 AM on May 7, 2009


The solution is clear-- more cats. When they get out of control, dogs. When we're up to our well sniffed scrotum in dogs, that's when we release the young, sadistic boys with rifles. Finally, a draft and a senseless war in the Middle East solves everything.
posted by stavrogin at 5:52 AM on May 7, 2009 [7 favorites]


Humans haven't even been around for millions of years.

Also, I think the solution is robots.
posted by delmoi at 6:15 AM on May 7, 2009


Eh, just call them fish.
posted by The Whelk at 6:16 AM on May 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


How Springfieldian, stavrogin. I was going to suggest Britain them to do their bidding, ala Willard.
posted by condour75 at 6:18 AM on May 7, 2009


ur, Britain train them.
posted by condour75 at 6:19 AM on May 7, 2009


Yeah, so, these rats - have they developed a resistance to .22 caliber bullets?
posted by kcds at 6:25 AM on May 7, 2009


What if a rat became as big as a horse? And what if it, and its rat brethren, took over and ate parliament?
posted by JoanArkham at 6:26 AM on May 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dressing a cat up as a rat seems inherently wrong.

We could feed the cats to the rats and get the cat skins for nothing.

/ irrelevant
posted by scratch at 6:28 AM on May 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I blame Banksy for any rodent uprising in the UK. Seriously, that jackass put big ideas in their little, conniving heads.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:44 AM on May 7, 2009


Rat King!

(that is all)
posted by FatherDagon at 7:27 AM on May 7, 2009


I can't quite believe I forgot to give a mention to Black Fang in the FPP... the ultimate rat horror book from the ultimate horror writer.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:28 AM on May 7, 2009


I want to hear Michael Jackson sing "Ben".
posted by Senator at 7:49 AM on May 7, 2009


I seem to recall a similarily-themed paperback novel where brief periods of rat rampage were interspersed among lengthy passages describing filthy naughty sweaty sex in caves.
posted by CynicalKnight at 8:04 AM on May 7, 2009


I read The Rats when I was a kid & remember liking it, though my favourite Herbert novel was the one where everyone went crazy and people were walking into the sea.

That would be The Fog (no, not that one...OR that one...).
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:06 AM on May 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I rather like rats.
posted by binturong at 8:57 AM on May 7, 2009


What? No Stranglers reference?
posted by j.effingham.bellweather at 9:05 AM on May 7, 2009


Master of his Domain.
posted by Artw at 9:07 AM on May 7, 2009


That would be The Fog

As distinct from The Dark.
posted by Artw at 9:09 AM on May 7, 2009


"I'm walking here! I'm walking here!"
posted by orme at 9:12 AM on May 7, 2009


We could just get rid of the people....that would solve the rat problem.

I'm going to go ahead and preemptively invoke Godwin's law here.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 9:15 AM on May 7, 2009


The Rats in the Walls, bitches.
posted by Caduceus at 9:18 AM on May 7, 2009


When Three Skeleton Key was first broadcast on November 15, 1949, it presented a few challenges for the special effects artists. How to portray an enormous swarm of cannibal rats on radio!
posted by JoanArkham at 9:27 AM on May 7, 2009


sigh... the scary thing is... this also means the robot apocalypse is upon us...we've been using their brains! (obligitory link to /.)

Rat robots now resistant to poison? We've lost their one potential achilles heel!
posted by Nanukthedog at 10:05 AM on May 7, 2009


Looking for rodent sound effects? Listen to The Old Sea Hag tell you about "The Mice From Outer Space"!
posted by stinkycheese at 10:31 AM on May 7, 2009


They could have defeated the rats by tickling them.
posted by binturong at 10:47 AM on May 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


"50 Million Years After Man, the rats expanded to ocupy the niches left by the dwindling carnivores. The gnawing incisors developed long, stabbing points and were equipped with blades that could cut into and grip their prey. The gap between the incsiors and the back teeth became smaller and grinding molars became shearing teeth that worked with a scissor action. The Falanx is the commonest species of predator rat in the temperate latitudes. Here, two Falanxes are hunting their principal prey, the common rabbuck."
posted by D.C. at 11:55 AM on May 7, 2009


Don't we know their genome inside and out? Someone should invent a virus that only kills rats. There's no way that could go wrong!
posted by Kevin Street at 12:08 PM on May 7, 2009


My mother went to school with James Herbert, in the East End of London. The Herberts, like my mother's own family, were quite poor. Mum remembers Jimmy as the baby of the family, a dreamer and doodler who was always at the top of their class in school. She spent many hours at their home and their house was decrepit, like most in the vicinity. Their neighborhood was not just poor, but also very old, and rats, sometimes of immense size, were a common sight in the area. So it is quite plausible that Mr. Herbert had some rather interesting encounters in his youth that inspired his novel.
posted by alltomorrowsparties at 8:54 PM on May 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


alltomorrowsparties, That's interesting because I remember Herbert in interviews talking about seeing rats all the time as a kid; it's nice to have confirmed.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:25 AM on May 8, 2009


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