Tales of a Rat-Hunting Man

Brian D. Plummer, Author, D. Brian Plummer, Author, Stephen J. Bodio, Introduction by Lyons and Burford Publishers $12.95 (144p) ISBN 978-1-55821-595-5
Plummer places readers in the awkward position of becoming enthralled in what may be the weirdest of pursuits. Certainly rat hunting holds the morbid fascination but, more than that, Plummer's readers will experience a contagious enthusiasm that arises when a writer of substantial talent describes his passion. With unwavering readability and a dark Welsh humor, Plummer provides about equal parts naturalist's journal, hunting guide and history that outlines humanity's uneasy relationship with rats. We learn such handy tidbits as the best hunting places, such as the ""Maggoty Factory"" in Mexborough; the organization of rat communities; and the various techniques for hunting with dogs, ferrets and by hand. We also learn such rat-hunting historical lore as the fact that Jack Black, the official rat catcher to Queen Victoria, ""allowed rats to run up inside his sleeves, down his trousers, in his shirt, and to dart about his shoulders."" First published in Great Britain in 1978, Tales of a Rat-Hunting Man launched Plummer's writing career, which now includes more than 30 books. Not surprisingly, he is frequently labeled an eccentric. But he is well aware of the popular opinion of his life-long hobby: ""Verily, a rat hunter's lot is not a happy one! First he must condition himself to expect his wife to leave him, his friends to point the finger of scorn and his boss to wonder whether he has a future with the firm."" (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/31/1997
Release date: 08/01/1997
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