Search-icon

Firmin

By

Paperback published by Delta (Random House Publishing Group)

27 Ratings. What's Yours?
Histogram_reset_icon
(26 REVIEWS)
ADD TO MY SHELF
About This Book
In the basement of a Boston bookstore, Firmin is born in a shredded copy Finnegans Wake, nurtured on a diet of Zane Grey, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and Jane Eyre (which tastes a lot like lettuce). While his twelve siblings gnaw these books obliviously, for Firmin the words, thoughts, deeds, and hopes—all the literature he consumes—soon consume him. Emboldened by reading, intoxicated by curiosity, foraging for food, Firmin ventures out of his bookstore sanctuary, carrying with him all the yearnings and failings of humanity itself. It’s a lot to ask of a rat—especially when his home is on the verge of annihilation.

A novel that is by turns hilarious, tragic, and hopeful, Firmin is a masterpiece of literary imagination. For here, a tender soul, a vagabond and philosopher, struggles with mortality and meaning—in a tale for anyone who has ever feasted on a book…and then had to turn the final page.

Show less
In the basement of a Boston bookstore, Firmin is born in a shredded copy Finnegans Wake, nurtured on a diet of Zane Grey, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and Jane Eyre (which tastes a lot like lettuce). While his twelve siblings gnaw these books obliviously, for Firmin the words, thoughts, deeds, and hopes—all the literature he consumes—soon consume him. Emboldened by reading, intoxicated by curiosity, foraging for food, Firmin ventures out of his bookstore sanctuary, carrying with him all the yearnings and failings of humanity itself. It’s a lot to ask of a rat—especially when his home is on the verge of annihilation.

A novel that is by turns hilarious, tragic, and hopeful, Firmin is a masterpiece of literary imagination. For here, a tender soul, a vagabond and philosopher, struggles with mortality and meaning—in a tale for anyone who has ever feasted on a book…and then had to turn the final page.

Product Details
Paperback (176 pages)
Published: December 30, 2008
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Delta
ISBN: 9780385342650
Other books bySam Savage
  • The Cry of the Sloth

    The Cry of the Sloth
    Living on a diet of fried Spam, vodka, sardines, cupcakes, and Southern Comfort, Andrew Whittaker is slowly being sucked into the morass of middle age. A negligent landlord, small-time literary journal editor, and aspiring novelist, he is--quite literally--authoring his own downfall. From his letters, diary entries, and fragments of fiction, to grocery lists and posted signs, this novel is a collection of everything Whittaker commits to paper over the course of four critical months. Beginning in July, during the economic hardships of the Nixon era, we witness our hero hounded by tenants and creditors, harassed by a loathsome local arts group, and tormented by his ex-wife. Determined to redeem his failures and eviscerate his enemies, Whittaker hatches a grand plan. But as winter nears, his difficulties accumulate, and the disorder of his life threatens to overwhelm him. As his hold on reality weakens and his schemes grow wilder, his self-image as a placid and slow-moving sloth evolves into that of a bizarre and frantic creature driven mad by solitude. In this tragicomic portrait of a literary life, Sam Savage proves that all the evidence is in the writing, that all the world is, indeed, a stage, and that escape from the mind's prison requires a command performance.

    Glass

    Glass
    Asked by a publisher to write a preface to her late husband’s novel, Edna defiantly sets out to write a separate book “not just about Clarence but also about my life, as one could not pretend to understand Clarence without that.” Simultaneously her neighbor asks her to care for an apartment full of plants and animals. The demands of the living things – a rat, fish, ferns – compete for Edna's attention with long-repressed memories. Day by day pages of seemingly random thoughts fall from her typewriter. Gradually taking shape within the mosaic of memory is the story of a remarkable marriage and of a mind pushed to its limits. Is Edna’s memoir a homage to her late husband or an act of belated revenge? Was she the cultured and hypersensitive victim of a crass and brutally ambitious husband, or was he the caretaker of a neurotic and delusional wife? The reader must decide. The unforgettable characters in Savage's two hit novels Firmin and The Cry of the Sloth garnered critical acclaim, selling a million copies worldwide. In Edna, once again Sam Savage has created a character marked by contradiction--simultaneously appealing and exasperating, comical and tragic.

    Firmin

    Firmin
    Adventures of a Metropolitan Lowlife
    "I had always imagined that my life story...would have a great first line: something like Nabokov's 'Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins;' or if I could not do lyric, then something sweeping like Tolstoy's 'All happy families are alike, but every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.'... When it comes to openers, though, the best in my view has to be the first line of Ford Madox Ford's The Good Soldier: 'This is the saddest story I have ever heard.'" So begins the remarkable tale of Firmin the rat. Born in a bookstore in a blighted 1960's Boston neighborhood, Firmin miraculously learns how to read by digesting his nest of books. Alienated from his family and unable to communicate with the humans he loves, Firmin quickly realizes that a literate rat is a lonely rat. Following a harrowing misunderstanding with his hero, the bookseller, Firmin begins to risk the dangers of Scollay Square, finding solace in the Lovelies of the burlesque cinema. Finally adopted by a down-on-his-luck science fiction writer, the tide begins to turn, but soon they both face homelessness when the wrecking ball of urban renewal arrives. In a series of misadventures, Firmin is ultimately led deep into his own imaginative soul--a place where Ginger Rogers can hold him tight and tattered books, storied neighborhoods, and down-and-out rats can find people who adore them. A native of South Carolina, Sam Savage now lives in Madison, Wisconsin. This is his first novel.

    The Way of the Dog

    The Way of the Dog
    "Sam Savage [creates] some of the most original, unforgettable characters in contemporary fiction. . . . Readers are left with a voice so strong that Savage is able to derive significance from these events by sheer literary force."—Kevin Larimer, Poets & Writers "Savage's skill is in creating complex first-person characters using nothing but their own voice."—Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times "[Savage] creates one of the most intriguing stories—and one of the most vivid characters—that this reader has encountered this year."—The Writer Sam Savage's most intimate, tender novel yet follows Harold Nivenson, a decrepit, aging man who was once a painter and arts patron. The death of Peter Meinenger, his friend turned romantic and intellectual rival, prompts him to ruminate on his own career as a minor artist and collector and make sense of a lifetime of gnawing doubt. Over time, his bitterness toward his family, his gentrifying neighborhood, and the decline of intelligent artistic discourse gives way to a kind of peace within himself, as he emerges from the shadow of the past and finds a reason to live, every day, in "the now." Sam Savage is the best-selling author of Firmin: Adventures of a Metropolitan Lowlife, The Cry of the Sloth, and Glass. A native of South Carolina, Savage holds a PhD in philosophy from Yale University. He resides in Madison, Wisconsin.

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
  • Avevo sempre immaginato che la storia della mia vita,se un giorno l'avessi mai scritta, sarebbe cominciata con un capoverso memorabile: lirico come il "Lolita, luce della mia vita, fuoco...

    — submitted by Flag This Quote For Review
  • I had always imagined that my life story, if and when I wrote it, would have a great first line: something lyric like Nabokov's "Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins"; or if I could...

    — submitted by Flag This Quote For Review
  • Ik had altijd gedacht dat mijn levensverhaal, als en wanneer ik het zou schrijven, een geweldige openingszin zou hebben.

    — submitted by Flag This Quote For Review
  • Lolita, mijn levenslicht, mijn lendenvuur. - Vladimir Nabokov

    — submitted by Flag This Quote For Review
  • Alle gelukkige gezinnen lijken op elkaar, elk ongelukkig gezin is ongelukkig op zijn eigen wijze. - Leo Tolstoj

    — submitted by Flag This Quote For Review
  • Triester verhaal dan dit heb ik nooit gehoord. - Ford Madox Brown

    — submitted by Flag This Quote For Review
  • ... en al het andere te doen waarvan hij had gelezen dat dolende ridders doen, door allerhande smaad te wreken en zich in perikelen en gevaren te begeven waarmee hij, als hij daar goed...

    — submitted by Flag This Quote For Review
  • En dan al de kwieke jonge koppingers die rond ons klonterfonten, zanend om hun room. - James Joyce

    — submitted by Flag This Quote For Review
  • Tussen droom en daad staan wetten in de weg en praktische bezwaren. - Willem Elsschot

    — submitted by Flag This Quote For Review
  • Maar ik verlhaat hen die hier zijn en al wat ik verlhaat. Alleenzaam in mijn alleenigheid. Voor al hun fouten. Ik ga heen. O bitter einde! Ik glip weg voor ze op zijn. Ze zullen het nooit...

    — submitted by Flag This Quote For Review
  • If you are lonely, I think it helps to be a little crazy as long as you don't overdo it.

    — submitted by Flag This Quote For Review
  • Jerry used to say that if you didn't want to live your life over again, then you had wasted it.

    — submitted by Flag This Quote For Review
  • Tornai a ripiegare il brano e lo mangiai.

    — submitted by Flag This Quote For Review
  • I folded the passage up again and I ate it.

    — submitted by Flag This Quote For Review
  • Ik vouwde het papier weer dubbel en at het op.

    — submitted by Flag This Quote For Review
Quote Cannot be Empty

Submitted quotes are usually posted within 48 hours

ThanksYour Quote Will be posted Shortly
Bookish