Cover art for the illustrated novel called Rats that will eat you - click to read the book.

Rats That Will Eat You

should be saddled with the following trigger warnings:
child abuse, gnomes, gentrification, heroics, rape, animatronics, Oakland, sodomy, giraffes, robots, prostitutes, robot fucking, racism, retribution, child heroism, adult cowardice, native stereotypes, and San Francisco.

“Some people take LSD to rewire their brains. I read Adam Kaplan. Rats That Will Eat You is terrifyingly hilarious. It will create memories you’ll think you’ve been repressing your entire life. Dark, beautiful, and truly original, Adam Kaplan is a wordsmith and an ideological pervert. He’s also one of the best writers you’ll ever read.”

–Anthony Szpak
Author of Nick the Saint

“If Warren Ellis were ever to re-imagine The Hardy Boys, he might write something that resembled, Rats That Will Eat You. A modern day hunt for treasure set in San Francisco, the characters are primarily made up of the residents of a juvenile detention facility. It is equal parts hilarious and shocking, but while the plot is larger-than-life, the characters and their struggles, are very grounded in reality. Adam Kaplan has worked for years with at-risk youth, and there is a real sense of affection for the characters in his novel. He populates his book with people whose lives have no guardrails and makes you root for his foul-mouthed, modern Oliver Twists. And honestly, there are enough truly disturbing images that will ensure an inability to ever look the author in the eye! “

–Beth Whitehead
Crisis Line worker, friend,
and probably future apologist for,
Adam Kaplan

“Adam Kaplan is one of the few living writers that influences the way I write and the way I’d like to write. I’ve read Rats many, many times, and my favorite time to read Rats nowadays is when I’m sad. Reading about the adventures of these desperate-yet-exuberant characters makes me very happy for some reason. Adam’s incredible sentences, which each live on their own as lines of poetry, also make me very happy. Rats in general forces me to put my own shit into perspective, and though this phrase gets undeservedly thrown out to the point of cliche at times, I think reading Rats for the first time was, for me, a wholly cathartic experience where you feel like you’re being given this incredible gift.”

–Philip Kim

Shadowmark Productions®
Copyright 2004
Written by Adam Kaplan
Illustrated by Michael P. Iannece
All Rights Reserved


In the Naughty Aughties,
when “Rats That Will Eat You” was written,
the idea of using offensive language to highlight social inequities

had even broken through to mainstream commercial art.
It is an approach that follows in the footsteps of Lenny Bruce,
Richard Pryor, and other socially-minded comedians who

employed language to disarm ideologies that denigrate
– reclaiming otherwise offensive words.
We, at Shadowmark Productions, view the creation of art as antithetical to racism, homophobia, sexism,
– classism in all its forms –
and do not suffer ideologies that dehumanize.
There is no room in our audience for bigots of any kind.
Thank you for reading.