SWIM, RAT, SWIM by Jack Couffer


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Worthless if wealthy Lyle Laramore invites three chance acquaintances to join him, and his mistress, Bess, aboard his luxury yacht; San, a fisherman; Vince, a life-guard, and Rena, a schoolteacher. But the weekend cruise is extended indefinitely when the engine does not start up and they are stranded along with one uninvited guest- a rat. The rat is not only a constant presence and threat- but also the symbol of evil. Vince is bitten and left with a festering wound, and later in a fight with Laramore accidentally kills him. In the storm which follows some days later Bess is washed overboard- although Rena suspects that Vince is responsible for her death. San finally succeeds in starting up the engine-but there is an explosion, and a fire. Without bearings, they drift for days and weeks. Finally only San and Rena are left and eventually picked up by another ship, unsure if their return to land will not jeopardize the hardwon peace they have found together.... The horribilia of many of the scenes here in which the rat is an unbeatable opponent, eating their soda crackers, gnawing on a corpse, give this a vicious, feral fascination, hard to avoid if hard to take.

Publisher: Lippincott