O’Brien, Robert C: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Another insomnia book was Robert C. O’Brien’s Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. I saw the audiobook of this in the library and was very excited because I’d really enjoyed the novel as a kid. Unfortunately, the narration’s volume varied in a way that made it unsuitable for car listening, but Chad reminded me that we owned a print version. Mrs. Frisby is a widowed field mouse, whose son, Timothy, is too sick to move from their winter home in a farm’s field before plowing begins. Mrs. Frisby eventually seeks help from the very strange rats that live under a nearby rosebush, who have secrets and perils of their own.

I really enjoyed rediscovering this book and finding that it was as charming as I’d remembered. There’s one minor quibble that didn’t occur to me when I was a kid (the fate of Jenner’s group seems a little too convenient, both thematically and for the plot), but otherwise it sets up an interesting world and follows through on its premises entertainingly. It also has what looks like a gaping sequel hook, something I’d also not realized previously. However, there doesn’t appear to be an actual sequel, though there is another NIMH novel by the author’s daughter. I won’t be reading that, but I enjoyed re-reading the original.

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