Rats: A Year With New York's Most Unwanted Inhabitants

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Granta Publications, Nov 1, 2012 - Travel - 256 pages
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Surprisingly funny and compulsively readable, Rats is an unlikely account of a year spent in a garbage-strewn alley in lower Manhattan. Sullivan spends the year with a notebook and night-vision goggles, hunting for fabled rat-kings, trapping a rat of his own, and trying (and failing) to conquer his own fear of rats. He meets the exterminators, garbage men and civic activists who play their part in the centuries-old war between human city-dweller and wild city rat. He travels to a bizarre Midwestern conference on rats that brings together the leading experts on rat history, behaviour, and control (did you know that one pair of rats can produce 15,000 descendants in a year? That rats' teeth are harder than steel?). In the process, he discovers the many ways in which rats' lives mirror those of humans. Sullivan's unusual and absorbing book earns a place alongside the classics of travel writing.

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About the author (2012)

Robert Sullivan is a contributing editor to Vogue and a frequent contributor to The New Yorker. He is the author of The Meadowlands and A Whale Hunt. He lives in New York.

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