I am hoping someone can help me locate this short story.

I only remember that a man is boarding up the windows and doors in his London flat , reminiscent of Night of the Living Dead. Meanwhile, his cat sits on the bed, staring intently at a very small hole in the wall, while the man continues working.

Every once in a while, the man checks out a small slat in the wood beams he has nailed up, to check outside. In the darkened alley outside, there are giant rats swarming, 3 feet long or more. Here and there the story drops hints about this invasion of London by giant rats that is going on, and theories about where they are from, as the man continues working.

I never got to finish reading this, but this was a very interesting premise and I’d definitely want to get this book (it was a collection of short stories, but I am not sure of the year…may have been listed as a “horror” collection, although it did have a Sci-fi slant to it)


1 Answer 1


I believe you are asking about The Rats, a novel by James Herbert. The first paperback edition sold out after three weeks. In it, super intelligent, dog sized rats invade London. Here is a brief synopsis, the wikipedia link, and an image of one of several covers.

The Rats

  • Aside from the giant rats (tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RodentsOfUnusualSize) this doesn't fit the description at all well
    – Valorum
    May 9, 2014 at 20:51
  • As the OP did not finish reading the book, I'm surmising he was unclear on the short story aspect of the novel. By today's standards, at 175 pages, this novel is a fairly short story. In it, there were several scenes that documented attempts to keep the rodents out. May 9, 2014 at 20:59
  • Yes, but no scene with a cat until the sequel
    – Valorum
    May 9, 2014 at 21:03
  • I am somewhat familiar with Herbert's book but I think this was purely a traditional short story (possibly inspired from Herbert's novel, but it was in a collection of short stories)
    – user26096
    May 9, 2014 at 23:45

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