Firmin: Adventures of a Metropolitan Lowlife

Sam Savage, Author, Michael Mikolowski, Illustrator
Sam Savage, Author, Michael Mikolowski, Illustrator , illus. by Michael Mikolowski. Coffee House $14.95 (151p) ISBN 978-1-56689-181-3
Reviewed on: 02/06/2006
Release date: 04/01/2006
Paperback - 221 pages - 978-84-322-2824-7
Paperback - 165 pages - 978-0-385-34265-0
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-957-33-2729-5
Hardcover - 184 pages - 978-0-297-85458-6
Hardcover - 192 pages - 978-0-297-85459-3
Open Ebook - 192 pages - 978-0-297-85578-1
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-03997-1
Open Ebook - 176 pages - 978-0-307-80509-6
Paperback - 232 pages - 978-0-7538-2339-2
Ebook - 162 pages - 978-1-56689-263-6
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Savage's sentimental debut concerns the coming-of-age of a well-read rat in 1960s Boston. In the basement of Pembroke Books, a bookstore on Scollay Square, Firmin is the runt of the litter born to Mama Flo, who makes confetti of Moby-Dick and Don Quixote for her offspring's cradle. Soon left to fend for himself, Firmin finds that books are his only friends, and he becomes a hopeless romantic, devouring Great Books—sometimes literally. Aware from his frightful reflection that he is no Fred Astaire (his hero), he watches nebbishy bookstore owner Norman Shine from afar and imagines his love is returned until Norman tries to poison him. Thereafter he becomes the pet of a solitary sci-fi writer, Jerry Magoon, a smart slob and drinker who teaches Firmin about jazz, moviegoing and the writer's life. Alas, their world is threatened by extinction with the renovation of Scollay Square, which forces the closing of the bookstore and Firmin's beloved Rialto Theater. With this alternately whimsical and earnest paean to the joys of literature, Savage embodies writerly self-doubts and yearning in a precocious rat: "I have had a hard time facing up to the blank stupidity of an ordinary, unstoried life." (Apr.)

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