Our narrator is Firmin. The thirteenth rat in this litter Flo has dropped. Being as Firmin is the runt and Flo has only twelve nipples to offer her young, our friend needs to use his wit to survive his own siblings. Nourishing himself on a steady diet of literature. First eating the pages. Soon reading the pages.
Sam Savage has created an interesting character in Firmin. Yes, he's a rat facing all of the pitfalls a rat encounters in it's short life. Scavanging for food while trying to avoid being seen by humans. But, as a result of his unexpected ability to read, this rat finds himself longing for some human qualities. Adventure, knowledge, romance...human contact.
Firmin has a generous, although, understated wit. He equates the taste of lettuce to Jane Austin. Firmin's narrative is often punctuated with book titles that fall into his mind as he describes various scenes.
This rat is also very dark. Savage's book is not a light read. This is 164 pages of character study touching on philosophy, humanity, mortality and the meaning of life through the eyes of a solitary creature longing for the world of social creatures.
As for we humans. Firmin is a bit of a cautionary tale concerning how, why and when we choose to read. With anything "addictive", when do we cross the threshold of entertainment or knowledge to escaping our everyday dull-drums. At what point should one pull there nose out of the pages of someone else's life (real or imagined) and remember to live ones own.