THE RATS WHO LIVED IN THE DELICATESSEN by Harold Berson

THE RATS WHO LIVED IN THE DELICATESSEN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The ravaging of the delicatessen where a spiffy nabob rat named Stan has lived in comfort until he starts taking in hungry neighbors gives Berson a chance to immerse himself in elegant chaos. The ragged newcomers (especially the first, who looks a bit like Ray Bolger in costume) attack the piles of goodies with elan until their eating orgy (several rats have passed out in the food trays) degenerates into a free-for-all battle over whether to accept yet another arrival--and attracts a cat who drives all the revelers away so that ""now there is only a cat that lives in the delicatessen."" The jacket copy suggests that there is a lesson about amicable sharing in the outcome; one could just as easily conclude that it's better to be a fat cat than a philanthropic rat; however, Berson's sunny Bacchanalia, a much more appealing notion of decadence than the sort produced by Steven Kellogg, seems to be an essentially undidactic comment on the human condition. A sophisticated treat for some, though one that children who demand justice may have a tough time keeping down.

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 1976
Publisher: Crown