Read Rat Catching: Studies in the art of rat catching by Crispin Hellion Glover Online


An artistic reworking of an 1896 novel entitled Studies in the Art of Rat-Catching....

Title : Rat Catching: Studies in the art of rat catching
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0962229970
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 161 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Rat Catching: Studies in the art of rat catching Reviews

  • Winter Branch
    2019-04-07 06:59

    It is books like this that make me happy that I'm going back over my book collection to review them for this site. I received Crispin Hellion Glover's (yes, its the same guy you know and love from the movies) book Rat Catching as a gift two Christmases ago. To be honest, this really isn't a novel, but a work of art. Glover has contorted and manipulated a book about rats into something twisted and strange. He adds drawings and images of things like plague victims and rabbits and lambs (even a platypus) and many dissected animals. Most of these drawings end up obscuring large portions of the text and that is perfectly ok. Reading over my review I feel that I have made this book sound unappealing and disgusting, but it is not. Instead, it is bizarre and fascinating. This novel gives you something new every time you read it. Oh yeah, it should get a sixth star because its autographed!

  • Sonky
    2019-03-31 04:02

    Bought the book at the Tower Theater in Salt Lake City when Crispin appeared there to perform the book on stage using a slide show and holding a long wooden pointer.We also watched Rueben and Ed.When I met him on that occasion, Mr Glover came across to me as a warm, considerate, and intelligent person--very unlike any of his stage personae--but then, who can tell when an accomplished actor is in character?Unfortunately, I lost the book years ago along with many other prized possessions. Thank you, Kristin, for reviving its memory!

  • Teree
    2019-04-09 06:11

    I purchased autographed copies of his books when I was a teenager. They are worth owning for the imagery, prose and exquisite binding, but mostly because Crispin Glover is a genius. We saw him last year at the Castro Theater and met him afterward. We had a nice thorough conversation with him which was guided mostly by HIM asking US questions. Love him.

  • Curtis Glenn Heath
    2019-04-05 10:01

    I believe this is actually another book about rodent extermination that Crispin simply edited with white-out, rewriting some of the sentences and turning it into a psuedo-narrative. I don't know how to describe it... some might say "genius." I'm still on the fence... but it IS very enjoyable!

  • Patrick
    2019-04-23 04:24

    Fun and disturbing. I like his performance of segments of the book on The Problem Does Not Equal the Solution, the Solution Equals Let It Be. The Clean poem is excellent.

  • Virginia
    2019-03-28 04:16

    creation by removal. this is the double negative of books.

    2019-03-29 03:55

    review of Crispin Hellion Glover's Rat Catching by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - February 15, 2012 Warning to the reader of this review: all 3 of my reviews of Glover's bks begin w/ the same contextualization. Otherwise, they aren't the same review. I'm not very familiar w/ Crispin Hellion Glover's work. I've heard that he has a bit of a 'cult' following, I've heard that he was in some, by my standards, big budget films as an actor. I've seen a few of them: Back to the Future, River's Edge, The People vs Larry Flynt, & Alice in Wonderland - all of wch I've liked. Then he was coming to one of the places where I work to perform & show his own films & I was to be the projectionist. I wondered: 'Will this guy be an arrogant megalomaniac asshole who's difficult to deal w/?' I read his rider. It wasn't too demanding, it was reasonable & professional. Still, it was either the 1st or one of the few riders I'd ever read for work & I started dreading the job. More stress that I don't need. Then I met Glover & he was very friendly & likable. I watched him rehearse a bit w/ his Slide Show made from his bks. When we had a chance to talk, I mentioned Tom Philips' wonderful A Humament bk b/c of its similar techniques to Glover's own. & we talked a bit about Max Ernst's collage novels made from Victorian-era bk illustrations. Glover immediately offered me free copies of all the bks he had w/ him for sale. This astounded me b/c it was unexpectedly generous. It was then that I was sure that Glover's basic spirit is close to mine & that he isn't, indeed, 'Only In It for the Money'. I phoned my girlfriend at home, knowing that she was coming to the show that nite, & asked her to gather materials that I cd give Glover in trade since I decided that his generosity shd be reciprocated in kind. He performed his Big Slide Show wch consists of his standing audience-left to a projection of images from 8 or so of his bks. A sharp red spot is focused in such a way that his head & one gesturing arm are seen illuminated. Glover's delivery of the selected text is dramatic. This was an interesting way to experience the bks. I picked Rat Catching as the 1st one to read b/c it's the earliest of the 3 I have. All of these remind me of Edward Gorey as far as their visual presentation goes & this one reminds me of Gorey as far as its morbidity goes - although Gorey is probably more morbid. The aforementioned Tom Philips is also important to mention again b/c Philips' A Humament is a thorough masterpiece of "treating" (as Philips puts it) a Victorian-era novel by painting over its pages to provide a very revised visual environment & a selective choice of text-left-revealed. Rat Catching, however, is also quite different from Gorey & A Humament. While, like A Humament, it's a 'treatment' of a previously existing bk, it seems to me that the images culled for its collaged interior are often, if not entirely, of origin external to the bk that the text came from. The original, by the by, was called Studies in the Art of Rat Catching & was published in 1896. Glover's main hand-touch seems to've been pen & ink borders & squiggly decoration w/ the same types of lines & blots used to black out unwanted words from the original. So, eg, on the title page, the original author's name is covered over & there's an asymmetrical box enclosing Glover's handwritten name instead. The 1st 2pp of chapter 1 consists of this text: "In the following elementary treatise for the use of public schools, I propose following exactly the same plan as my parson (a good fellow not afraid of a ferret or a rat) does with his sermons - that is, divide it into different heads, and then jumble up all the heads with the body, till it becomes as difficult to follow as a rat's hole in a soft bank; and, to begin with, I am going to talk" At the end of "talk" there're some inked-in ornaments that seem to function as new punctuation - perhaps as an ellipsis. The text appears as if it were the original text & the large blank area that follows it may've originally had an illustration &/or more text. But I have to wonder: DID THE ORIGINAL WRITER REALLY WRITE THIS WAY?! Or did Glover change the text thru some cutting-up to make it read as it does. I don't know. The content of this: "the same plan as my parson (a good fellow not afraid of a ferret or a rat) does with his sermons - that is, divide it into different heads, and then jumble up all the heads with the body, till it becomes as difficult to follow as a rat's hole in a soft bank" seems more than a little odd to me & its oddness seems appropriate to Glover's bk. The very next 2pp have an illustration (not done by Glover) of a monk being surrounded by & overrun by rats. This is placed across the text in a way that blots some of it out. This is unusual for the general lay-out style since most of the illustrations stay w/in rectangular placement parallel to the edges. The illustration is also potentially relevant to the theme of the original bk wch seems to've been mostly about using ferrets & dogs for chasing down rats & killing them. Things begin to drift. By the end of chapter 1 there's a picture of an unfortunate man w/ an apparent open sore covering most of his abdomen. It's a wonder that he's still alive & standing. This is followed by text about the bubonic plague that may or may not've been in the original bk. I suspect not. Rats always get the blame for carrying the plague but, of course, it was the fleas that were on the rats who, in turn, bit humans, that carried the plague. At 1st, the illustrations presumably added by Glover from his own found image file collection, seem more-or-less relevant to the rat theme but then a more general theme, unspecified by text, seems to grow out of it. The text of chapter 3's beginning says: "I am a working man, or rather have been till I got the rheumatics, and as such I naturally stick to my own class and prefer associating with those of my own sort, and therefore I always keep working." This is, perhaps, the 1st hint that there's more to this bk, both the original & Glover's remake, than just rat catching. Glover's 'dark' humor becomes apparent when a picture of a man apparently lifting up or putting down the hindquarters of a lamb is inserted in the story of a "sand-pit man" convicted of crimes. This picture has a hand-lettered caption that reads: "The sand-pit man violated a lamb" w/ the implication being that the man is having sex w/ the lamb. From this point forth, rats go by the wayside & the illustrations border on being a Mütter Museum catalog: there's a lamb w/ its skin removed, & what appears to be a death mask of a man w/ facial growths. There're rabbits - including ones that're being herded into an enclosure for leisurely slaughter. There's a photo of a naked man sitting on a stool w/ a hand-written caption that reads: "Sometimes I feel as though I may fade away Then I remember my work". I interpret that as an authorial statement. Next up are chickens & a section on their killing followed by apparent wild birds being killed by humans. There's some relief in this slaughter w/ illustrations of platypuses who I suspect of having been chosen here b/c of their name & duck-bills & b/c of the "queer platypus" illustration identification. Then come seals & seal pelts. In general, the black & white starkness of it all coupled w/ high-quality glossy paper & hardback binding, give this bk a a solidly grim feel. & as w/ the opening chapter text, the What a Hodge-Podge! of the last 2pp seems to sum up both the original author's presumed sly purpose & that of Glover too: "Oh, dear! oh, dear! What a muddle, what a hodge-podge I have made of this pen work! I sat down thinking that it would be quite easy to write a book on "Rat-catching for the Use of Schools," and I have drifted off the line here, toppled into a story there, and been as wild and erratic in my goings on as even Pepper would be with a dozen rats loose together in a thick hedge. Well, I can't help it I am not much good at books; and it isn't of much consequence, for during the last few days I have heard from half a dozen head-masters of schools that they find the art of rat-catching is so distasteful to their scholars, and so much above their intellect, and so fatiguing an exercise to the youthful mind, that they feel obliged to abandon the study of it and replace it once more by those easier and pleasanter subjects, Latin and Greek. Well, I am very sorry for it, very sorry. I had hoped to have opened up a great career to many young gentlemen, but have failed; and I can only console myself with thinking that one can't make silk purses out of - you know what. Mind, in this quotation I am not thinking of myself and my failure." It seems that the original uncredited author was a bit of a wry character. Of course the full quotation, from Jonathan Swift, is something like "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" - meaning you can't make something fine out of inferior materials - in this case it seems that the students are implied to be the sow's ears. All in all, Glover's reworking seems fluid & playful rather than something made in pursuit of a rigorous intellectual end. However, Glover might see it otherwise. During his Q&A after his performances & screenings, he was prolific in his statements of purpose. I wasn't always convinced. What I was convinced of was that he was a nice guy. Earlier in the day of his 2nd night of presentation, someone rammed my car as it sat parked in front of my house. Given that I live very close to the bone, this caused my stress to skyrocket. As such, I was a nervous wreck by that night. Glover's general niceness went a long way toward rectifying that. Good luck to ya meatey!

  • Shawn Birss
    2019-04-06 11:11

    I found this book this week in a used bookstore, noticing it first for the cover, picking it up for the author. I've found Crispin Glover to be absolutely fascinating for a few years now. I've watched almost anything I can find with him in it, and have studied some of his more outrageous public appearances many times over. I find him to be the very most interesting of any celebrity artist alive today. This was actually the second book I noticed at the bookstore, I confess. The first was WHAT IT IS, AND HOW IT IS DONE, a book with a black cover and interesting cover art. A quick flip through the book put me off very quickly. I expected something distressing from Crispin Glover, but what I found here was more than even I expected. And I enjoy horror in many media. And so, I took my second chance on this book. Having not felt assaulted by a cursory look through it, I took it home. (Oh yeah. And both books were signed by the author. He made an appearance here about a decade ago. I missed it.)What confronted me upon reading this beautiful little volume was more and better than anything I expected or even hoped. To simply have a physical copy of a piece of art by this enigmatic man was enough on its own. But this tiny piece of art, found, cut, pasted, reorganized and reinterpreted, was so much more moving than anything I expected from what is, in essence, a very fancy zine. Original text from a nineteenth century book by the same name is cut, drawn over, and interspersed with photos and diagrams to tell a story of the relationship of humans with animals, and its reflection in our relationship with each other. If animals are worthy of naught but death and torture, why not humans? We are also animal, after all. I believe Glover is offering in this reflective and moving work the opportunity for us to change the story, to instead choose to offer the same respect and honour to other earthlings as we do to those of our own species. The inscription on the first page of my copy, by Crispin Glover, to "Ken", reads "Arf, arf, you're a good dog". Whether this was requested by "Ken", or came straight from Glover, I cannot know. But I found it interesting that the statement put me off when I first read it, yet upon finishing the book I instead found it somehow encouraging. Do not tread swiftly into any work by Crispin Glover. But to any lover of the dark, and art of the macabre, those who seek Memento Mori, I highly recommend this book. Now I want to go back to that bookstore and get that other book with the black cover...Please enjoy the following thoughtful and well crafted review by my partner, Kate, who snagged this book from me as soon as I got it home, and read it before I did:

  • Kate
    2019-04-02 10:05

    Rat Catching starts off as one of those late 19th century pocket-sized handbooks that came over here to the Americas from Britain in some poor immigrant's suitcase who ended up a miner in the mountains. I have found a similar book at a rummage sale in a back-country mining town. It was not on rat-catching but on boot-making, and was sold to me as having been found in a dusty attic of the deceased aforementioned immigrant.Glover came across this handbook somewhere, long lost into the land of forgotten public domain worker tracts, and with a pen and ink, scissors, glue, and various clippings from what seems old library discards, rewired it as his own commentary on our world of rat-catching.The self-aware writer in Rat Catching is a rat-catcher who is sharing his skills with school-children in the hopes that they too will one day follow in this noble profession. By the end, though, the book becomes a sort of memoir by the rat-catcher of our 20th century history that chronicles the natural flow of the creation of a systematic method for the extermination of rats (for the defence of humans against plague) to two, the industrialization of killing chickens, cows, seals, etc for human consumption, to finally three, trench warfare used to kill the utmost humans in the least amount of time (once again, for defence of humans). During the final of these three stages, the question is raised of killing a woman who seems to be in the midst of the soldiers in the opposing trench. The writer seems to feel sorrow at the possibility of harming her simply because she was born female and so doesn't fit into his conditioning of killing soldiers. This book seems to be provoking us humans who read it to question the logic in our culture's development of blind warfare against the animal kingdom while at the same time perfecting methods of blindly killing our fellow humans. Perhaps we used to hunt monkeys and rats and each other while looking at one another's faces and have "evolved" in our skill to the point where the process has become mechanized. We kill one another with drones now. We eradicate one another without seeing the face of the one we are killing. We eat creatures who have lived in terrible conditions and are led, knowingly, to the humans who will murder them. Where have we come?The book ends with the rat-catcher's book being rejected by the schoolmasters who originally commissioned it. It does not hold the interest of the school children and is thus useless. Perhaps there will be no future rat-catchers.

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-04-21 06:14

    This is so much more than just a book, it's also an artwork. Written by Crispin Glover (you might recognize him as the actor who plays eccentric characters in films like Bartleby, Twister and Willard), its many ink drawings are done with a lot of detail and the entire book is vintage in both illustrations and text.

  • Tom Schulte
    2019-04-12 08:16

    Surrealism! What is Surrealism? In my opinion, it is above all a reawakening of the poetic idea in art, the reintroduction of the subject but in a very particular sense, that of the strange and illogical. (Paul Delvaux)this is a surrealist reassembly of the 1896 memoir/guide book/paean to rat-catching Studies in the art of rat-catching of Henry C. Barkley. “As beautiful as the chance encounter of a sewing machine and an umbrella on an operating table.” ― Comte de Lautréamontit recalls to me the thoughts of Delvaux and the Comte. But, there's also a nagging feeling a beautifully quaint and obsessive autobiography is merely presented in marred form... but then i greatly enjoyed the reading. Is all the taxidermy in the original? now, I want to try my hand at reengineering and envisioning anew a curious 19th century tome..

  • Mariel
    2019-03-26 03:59

    All Crispin Glover fans should have this.My other oldest goodreads review! I'm pretty sure I was quoting what my brother said when gifting me this book. I wasn't that big of a Crispin Glover fan back then. I became one after reading this bizarre book. It's not hard to imagine Glover bending over the pages, furiously scribbling doodles of rats and muttering to himself. That's kinda endearing to me. People who would smile over something like that would like this, I think. And my brother. I like that he thought of me for Crispin H. Glover's book.Crispin Glover loves rats. He even appeared in the remake of Willard in 2003. I hate this movie because during a poignant scene (Willard tells his beloved rat, Ben, he doesn't know what he'd do if anything ever happened to him. Something happens to him soon afterwards), I turned to my favorite cockatiel, Macca, and told her I didn't know what I'd ever do if anything ever happened to her. My bitchy older sister killed her within the week.

  • Die Booth
    2019-04-01 08:13

    This isn't so much a book as a piece of art. There's no linear 'story' to it, other than what you interpret for yourself. Clever, original, funny, creepy and fascinating - nothing has inspired me more than this in a long time. I won't say how it was made or what it looks like, just - read it. To over-analyse I think would spoil it. It's just a desirable, beautiful little book... ALMOST.

  • Fishface
    2019-03-24 03:59

    Delicious little book! It reads like a fragmentary manuscript pulled out of an old trunk, with some key pages missing. Wanders all around and through the subject of rat-catching, with fabulous illustrations likely to give nightmares to small children.

  • Marcc
    2019-03-24 09:08

    Inspired me to become president.

  • Max
    2019-04-13 09:05

    Super freaky book.

  • Benjamin
    2019-03-26 10:09

    At turns funny, oblique, or flat-out disturbing. A quick "read," and above all, interesting. If Glover hasn't brought his live show and movie tour through your town, this is the next best thing.

  • Emily Niles
    2019-04-13 06:12

    Been wanting this book forevah!!! It was out of print at one time.... I'll have to search again.He is so damn eccentric indeed