DOCTOR RAT by William Kotzwinkle
Kirkus Star


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Kotzwinkle is a truly imaginative impresario of the might-almost-be-true and here he spins a new fable on the cyclometered wheels in the laboratory of Doctor Rat, friend to man and foe to all other species. ""Lord love a duck (family Anitidae)"" and God save the eagles and the chimpanzees--they're all threatened by the Final Solution (5% formalin) as well as every kind of chemical which depilates, defoliates, and destroys. Doctor Rat, ""blessed with hysterical energy"" and no conscience at all, conducts his program with pressure clamps and microwave ovens and goodness knows what. Until the dogs--stray mutts with revolutionary notions who haven't sold out to the creature comforts of Alpo and the leash--begin the furor which will end in total animalocide. Kotzwinkle's gentle satire, blinking with little red eyes, obviously takes place in that larger echochamber of the world we know too well. But it's full of happy distractions such as the whales, useful only for perfume and the occasional girdle, or the poor leader of the elephants (family Elephantidae) whose tusks never descended. How can you not enjoy Doctor Rat--it teases your conscience with educated wit and versatile improvisation, not to mention the casual flick of the tail about to be cut off.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1976
Publisher: Knopf