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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It will gnaw into your mind
Big black rats that gnaw eat and chew.

The first of the Rats trilogy, I tore through this book in a matter of days. The way it is written is very clever indeed, an easy read that is gripping with the advance of the Rats and the increase in frequency of attacks. No punches are pulled and the writing style is tight and compelling. After reading this you WILL want...
Published on 15 July 2011 by Love Halloween!

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Rats by James Herbert
I read this over Halloween and I was actually getting just a little chilled by the experience. Not frightened, certainly, but it made me look at rats in a different way.
In The Rats, Herbert's first published novel, a new breed of rat appears in London, larger and more ferocious with a taste for human flesh. London is attacked by the beasts and it is up to a select...
Published on 3 Nov 2012 by Mark Barlow


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It will gnaw into your mind, 15 July 2011
By 
Love Halloween! "Happy to haunt" (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Rats (Paperback)
Big black rats that gnaw eat and chew.

The first of the Rats trilogy, I tore through this book in a matter of days. The way it is written is very clever indeed, an easy read that is gripping with the advance of the Rats and the increase in frequency of attacks. No punches are pulled and the writing style is tight and compelling. After reading this you WILL want to read the rest of the series. Lair and Domain bring to the fore a truly apocalyptic series about what life would be like if we were not the dominant species anymore, if we were another creatures food source. Rats are very clever and skilled creatures, adaptable and powerful in packs. When the rats you face are bigger than dogs how quickly do you think you would be overwhelmed? How painful would it be to feel long sharp teeth peeling the skin from your body?

I have enjoyed this book many times. As a reader I will often re-visit a story I've enjoyed and it gives me great pleasure to disappear into the Rats trilogy.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blast from the past, 15 Jan 2012
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This review is from: The Rats (Kindle Edition)
There was a time was when a book lasted about 200 pages. Kids books were done and dusted in about 100 and only frustrated home counties horse women got to grips with the doorsteps that Jilly Cooper and Jackie Collins turned out.

James Herbert's first novel, would more likely be seen as a novella now: Short and sweet it was a punchy, in-your-face book that scared the proverbial out of me for more than one reason.

Herbert is the product of an East London upbringing. Born at the tail end of WW2, he grew up playing on bomb sites and derelict buildings, wasteland left to ruin. It is these locations that inspired The Rats.

The book deals with a growing number of rat attacks in London. That's a bit obvious really. Starting with the deaths of a vagrant and pest exterminator. Soon the capital is overrun with these deadly carriers of a new plague, whose bite means certain death. We are quickly introduced to Harris, a teacher in East London. The book then begins to follow him through the escalating attacks including one that devastates the school he works in.

For me the trouble is he bases that school on the one he used to attend - St. Aloysius in Highgate. The trouble being I went there. His description of the attack in familiar rooms, corridors and playgrounds is to me truly chilling, especially as I first read the book whilst I was still studying there.

There are subsequent sequels which are good, solid tales but for me it is his first, pacy adventure that holds the reader most - not the flabby written-for-a-film-deal turgid dross that he has produced recently (The Secret of Crickley Hall...Jeez).

Read this. It is a horror story without the unnecessary dressing and so much the better for it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure class, 11 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Rats (Kindle Edition)
After reading The Rats it is easy to see why James Herbert was one of the world's leading horror novelists.
Right from the off you are thrown into a world where the rats have started their attacks which are explained in great detail.
You followers story of Harris the school teacher. Immersed into the horrible underworld of rat infested London you empathise with the characters, willing them on, even those who only play a bit part in the story. From start to finish this novel had me gripped. For his first novel this is an absolute winner, especially at the offer price of 99p.
Will recommend this to all who love a good horror novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ages like fine wine, and still packs a shocking punch!, 6 Jun 2013
This review is from: The Rats (Paperback)
When I first read James Herbert's "The Rats" at the ripe old age of 13, I had no idea that the book itself was either Herbert's first book or that it was nearly 40 years old! It doesn't feel like a day over 5 years old to read, that's for damn sure!
This book has everything a spatter-punk horror novel should have: visceral sex; stratospheric levels of violence and the ability to get under your skin with the descriptions of the antagonists and the unbelievable acts they commit.
Herbert influenced the writing styles of a generation of horror authors, such as Richard Laymon; Shaun Hutson; Ramsay Campbell and Graham Masterton. This book is as potent and exhilerating to read now as it was 39 years ago. Buy it; read it; treasure it and thank me for it later! :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Rats by James Herbert, 3 Nov 2012
By 
Mark Barlow (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Rats (Kindle Edition)
I read this over Halloween and I was actually getting just a little chilled by the experience. Not frightened, certainly, but it made me look at rats in a different way.
In The Rats, Herbert's first published novel, a new breed of rat appears in London, larger and more ferocious with a taste for human flesh. London is attacked by the beasts and it is up to a select few to try to get rid of them.
I'm not scared of rats but there is something in the way that Herbert writes that makes it chilling. His description of people being bitten by the things, skin being torn from bones, eyes being eaten while the person struggles to survive. It was genuinely chilling in a way that horror fiction doesn't normally affect me. I'm quite anesthetized to that kind of horror but James Herbert who can influence me in that way.
The Rats is a short book that is entertaining and chilling in its descriptions. I enjoyed it immensely.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first Rat cometh, 8 Jun 2012
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This review is from: The Rats (Kindle Edition)
If you love horror, not the unbelievable sort but something that you feel could happen and in my opinion all the more creepy because of that then here is the first book in the RATS trilogy that will definitely send a chill down your spine and leave you wanting to read the next two 'lair' and 'domain'. A must read for lovers of true horror
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book when i was 12., 18 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Rats (Kindle Edition)
I read this when i was about 11 or 12 years old and thought i would download it to my kindle to try to capture the excitement that i remember when i first read it.
Never try to do this...... I remember a frightening, exhilarating not to be put down book.
On re reading it, it just seemed like a mediocre not very scary very short book.
Its either my age and recollections that's the problem or the age of the book that just didn't seem to travel to 2014
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Rats, 8 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The Rats (Kindle Edition)
The rats is a great horror book for young readers eager for blood, guts and other gory topics. The story line is different to usual books but incredibly effective. This is one of my favourite books and I would suggest it to anyone who asks me for a book on the genre of horror. I shall carry on reading many more books by James Herbert and I'm sure I will enjoy them as much as I did this.

The determined character of Harris towards not just the extermination of the mutant rats, but to his strong relationship with Judy makes the reader feel almost passionate about his feelings in life. Also, the death of many people and animals made him feel angry which made his perseverance towards the extermination of the rats stronger. It was so strong that he chose to stay and fight for the safety of his people. This shows great courage which is, in a way, a lesson in life.

The detail in this book caused me to be scared at some points, even giving me nightmares some nights. For the first time I have experienced many jump scares whilst reading this book. I would say this book is easily worth a 5-star rating for the detail and well thought story line. Well done James Herbert. RIP
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mutant rats swarming through London, 29 July 2004
By 
Sally-Anne "mynameissally" (Leicestershire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Rats (Audio CD)
I'm guessing this is one of those tales that sprang up in the 'Jaws' period of unlikely, unnatural, monster animals. You really do have to suspend disbelief and suppress any urge to laugh at the silliness of it all, if you want to enjoy this story. So that's what I did. It's a daft story about huge, mutant black rats that are terrorising London and attacking crowds of people, in cinemas, on trains, in schools and so on - in exactly the way that real rats wouldn't, in fact. Forget the fact that black rats are extremely rare in Britain now, that rats make nice-natured, affectionate and intelligent pets and that they giggle like children if you tickle them (though you'd need bat detecting equipment to be able to hear them). Herbert's rats are whacking great mutants with no sense of humour what so ever. They're hungry and their favourite dish is human, served raw and preferable still wriggling and screaming.
The story is read by Steven Pacey and he is just superb. I can't remember listening to a better story teller. He made the whole thing seem almost believable. His voice changed for each character and I could visualise the people and events because he read it so convincingly. If I'd read the book myself, I'd have to give it only 3 stars but the excellent story teller has to increase its rating to 4 stars.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent debut, 20 April 2004
By 
Jane Aland (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Rats (Paperback)
Looking at any plot synopsis of the Rats would convince you that itshouldn't work - giant mutant rats that attack London sounds like a bad1950's sci-fi B-Movie (they're even created by nuclear testing for god'ssake!) but amazingly Herbert manages to make this fairly corny premisework. The key is probably speed - this is a ferociously fast paced book,and you barely have time to question the logic of what's going on beforethe next rat attack kicks in.
Be sure that there are no great plot twists or surprises here, and thecharacters are sketched only thickly enough to be believable, but for afast-paced action packed horror novel James Herbert's debut is hugelyenjoyable. A promising start to an author who would go onwards andupwards.
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