Rats That Will Eat You should be saddled with the following trigger warnings:
child abuse, gnomes, gentrification, heroics, rape, animatronics, Oakland, sodomy, giraffes, robots, prostitutes, robot fucking, racism, retribution, child heroism, adult cowardice, native stereotypes, and San Francisco.
Adam Kaplan is one of the few living writers that influences the way I write and the way that I’d like to write. I’ve read Rats many, many times, and my favorite time to read Rats nowadays is when I’m sad. Reading about the adventures of these desperate-yet-exuberant characters makes me very happy for some reason.
Adam’s incredible sentences, which each live on their own as lines of poetry, also make me very happy. Rats in general forces me put my own shit into perspective, and though this phrase gets undeservedly thrown out to the point of cliché at times, I think reading Rats for the first time was, for me, a wholly cathartic experience where you feel like you’re being given this incredible gift.
– Philip Kim
If Warren Ellis were ever to re-imagine “The Hardy Boys”, he might write something that resembled, “Rats That Will Eat You”. A modern day hunt for treasure set in San Francisco, the characters are primarily made up of the residents of a juvenile detention facility. It is equal parts hilarious and shocking, but while the plot is larger-than-life, the characters and their struggles, are very grounded in reality.
Adam Kaplan has worked for years with at-risk youth, and there is a real sense of affection for the characters in his novel. He populates his book with people whose lives have no guardrails and makes you root for his foul-mouthed, modern Oliver Twists. And honestly, there are enough truly disturbing images that will ensure an inability to ever look the author in the eye!
Crisis Line worker, friend,
and probably future apologist for,