The Coachman Rat

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The Coachman Rat
Original print cover
Author David Henry Wilson
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Fairy tale, Fiction
Publisher Baen Books
Media type Print (Hardcover & Paperback)
Pages 171 pp (Hardcover edition)

The Coachman Rat is an alternative account of the classic fairy tale Cinderella.[1] It was published in 1989 and written by esteemed children's author David Henry Wilson.


The narrative follows the life of Robert, the rat that was transformed into the coachman on that fateful night when Amadea (Cinderella) fell in love with Prince Charming. The majority of the novel is an account of the aftermath of that night, as Robert was transformed back into a rat at midnight of that night—yet retained the ability to speak; he then began a quest to find Mara, the "woman of light" (or Fairy Godmother) in order to become permanently human.[2]

Critical reaction[edit]

Kirkus called it "clever" and "well-handled" but "obvious".[3] Pauline Morgan (for the Science Fiction Research Association Newsletter) found it "an allegory for the twentieth century" with the talking rat a curiosity and an outcast.[4] It was also reviewed by Library Journal, which found it a "highly recommended" but somber portrait of "Europe on the verge of the Enlightenment",[1] and by Locus.[5]


  1. ^ a b Cassada, Jackie (1989-10-15). "The Coachman Rat (Book)". Library Journal. 114 (17): 105. 
  2. ^ Koelling, Holly (2007). Best Books for Young Adults. ALA. p. 263. 
  3. ^ "THE COACHMAN RAT By David Henry Wilson". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 28 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Morgan, Pauline (April 1991). "Cinderella's Coachman". SFRA Newsletter (186): 70–71. 
  5. ^ Cushman, Carolyn (Sep 1989). "The Coachman Rat (Review)". Locus.