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Las ratas (novel)

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Wikipedia article

'Las ratas' (The Rats) is a novel by Spanish author Miguel Delibes, who was one of the leading figures of post-Civil War Spanish literature. Published in 1962, it won the 'Premio de la crtica' (Critics Prize). The work, a social denunciation of agrarian exploitation, describes life in a small isolated Castilian village, along with the wretched existence of its inhabitants.[https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60665.Las_ratas 'Las Ratas' by Miguel Delibes (Goodreads page, in Spanish)][https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3325.Miguel_Delibes 'Miguel Delibes' - author page at Goodreads (in Spanish)]


The novel's protagonist is El Nini, an eleven-year-old boy. He lives alone with his father, To Ratero (Uncle Ratter - so called because he hunts water rats for food), in a cave far from the village. El Nini is a savant to whom all come for advice about the harvest, the weather, animals and saints. His mother - step-sister to his father - was committed to a psychiatric hospital when El Nini was very young, and the boy's only emotional support now resides in the company of his dog and in his love and knowledge of the surrounding countryside. Under pressure from the civil Governor, the mayor of the village wants to put an end to the caves, but Uncle Ratter refuses to leave the only dwelling he has ever known. A poacher preys on all the animals in his path, while El Nini tries to save their offspring and mitigate the damage. But tragedy comes when a young man from a nearby village starts hunting rats for fun in the same territory as Uncle Ratter, and prey becomes scarce.[https://web.archive.org/web/20080921111442/http://cvc.cervantes.es/actcult/delibes/obra/ratas.htm 'Las ratas' analysis at Centro Virtual Cervantes (archived, in Spanish)]


Further reading

* [https://web.archive.org/web/20120217142350/http://www.planetalector.com/descargas/fichero/1006/ "Las ratas" reading guide (in Spanish)].

* [http://www.ucm.es/info/especulo/delibes/ratas.html '"Las ratas", entre testimonio y smbolo': study by Mara del Pilar Palomo], of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Category:1962 novels

Category:Spanish literature

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