Firmin : Adventures of a metropolitan lowlife

Author(s): Sam Savage


Firmin is the runt of a litter of rats born in the basement of Pembroke Books, a ramshackle old bookstore run by the equally shambolic owner Norman Shine. Forced to compete for food, Firmin ends up chewing on the books that surround him. Thanks to his unusual diet, he acquires the miraculous ability to read. He subsequently develops an insatiable hunger for literature and a very unratlike sense of the world and his place in it. He is a debonair soul trapped in a rat's body But a literary rat is a lonely rat and, spurned by his own kind, he thinks he recognises a kindred soul in Norman. Firmin seeks solace in the Lovelies of the local burlesque cinema and in his own imagination. But the days of the bookshop and of the close community around it are numbered. The area has been marked out for urban regeneration and soon the faded glory of the bookshop, the low-life bars, loan agencies and pawn shops will face the bulldozers. Brilliantly original and richly allegorical, Firmin is brimming with charm and wistful longing for a world that treasures its seedy theatres, one-of-a-kind characters, and cluttered bookshops. Blending philosophy and abundant literary references with originality, Savage crafts a small comic gem about the costs and rewards of literary illusions." - Booklist First published 2007.


Available Stock:


Add to Wishlist

Product Information

'Firmin' is one of the most enjoyably surprising books I've read for a long time. It's held together by the character of the narrator himself, a rat of deep humanity and intelligence, and the final impression is one of delicate tragedy. This really is a book like nothing else. PHILIP PULLMAN Ratmania! Number one bestseller in Italy; top ten bestseller in Spain; rights sold in 14 countries "Delicious. Firmin is a book that is written for readers, that is, for people who have the book passion and for whom books are as real as anything else in life" DONNA LEON "A rat's life may be brutish and short, but not necessarily without style." Kirkus Review

"It has that rare quality of by the end seeming like an archetype for a story that's been around all along" JOHN SELF ASYLUM "a thought-provoking meditation on the nature of human existence" -- James Pressley "I enjoyed Sam Savage's book more than any work of light fiction I've read in 2008" -- John Sutherland THE TIMES "Sam Savage has written a great comic allegory, and you can bet movie men are already looking at it with Pixar vision" SAGA "I think both men and women would enjoy this book and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves rats or books" THE BOOKBAG

A native of South Carolina now living in Madison, WIsconsin, Sam Savage received his bachelor and doctoral degrees in Philosophy from Yale University where he taught briefly. He has worked as a bicycle mechanic, carpenter, commercial fisherman and letterpress printer. This is his first novel.

General Fields

  • : 9780297854586
  • : Orion Publishing Co
  • : Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  • : August 2008
  • : United Kingdom
  • : January 2018
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Sam Savage
  • : Hardback
  • : 1
  • : 813.6
  • : 192