adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $20.99

Buy for $20.99

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Newbery Medal Winner, 1972

This delightfully imaginative tale is always a popular favorite among children. Mrs. Frisby, a field mouse who lives in a garden, must move her family before the farmer begins plowing. Will the rats of NIMH - a group of highly intelligent laboratory rats - help her find a solution to her dilemma?

©1971 Robert C. O’Brien (P)1993 Recorded Books, LLC

What listeners say about Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,487
  • 4 Stars
    332
  • 3 Stars
    74
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    18
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,224
  • 4 Stars
    302
  • 3 Stars
    81
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    14
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,310
  • 4 Stars
    273
  • 3 Stars
    51
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    11

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A great classic brought to life on audio

I spend a lot of time with my daughter listening to audio books. This is one of our favorites. The narrator reads well with no strange pronunciations or annoying inflections. I love it when the narrator is so good that the listening experience flows without any glitches from something annoying that the listener has to consciously ignore.

The story is a classic from my childhood and it still grasps interest of young readers today.

If you're tempted at all you should get it. In my opinion you won't be sorry.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good family book

We listened to this in the car on a family road trip. Good choice for all ages.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Narration felt a bit slow, but otherwise was good

I was about 9 when the movie version, The Secret of NIMH came out. I remember seeing it in the theater, and I think that was only time I saw it. So I was a bit vague on the details of the story when I picked up the audiobook.

Mrs Frisby is a field mouse widow. Her husband died the previous year, but as a family they are doing fairly well. They have a warm winter house in the garden field where food is abundant, even if it is monotonous. Spring is coming soon and the family will move to their summer house by the creek.

However, when one of Mrs Frisby’s children gets pneumonia, things suddenly become dangerous. The family cannot move because of a very sick child. But they have to move because the field will be plowed soon and if they stay they will all likely die.

After Mrs Frisby saves a young crow from being attacked by the farm cat, and he hears her problem, he suggests that she ask for wisdom from the wise Owl, who suggests she ask for help from the Rats.

The Rats are set apart from most other animals around the farm. They are secretive and while Mrs Frisby’s husband knew them, Mrs Frisby does not.

It takes a while, but eventually we learn that the Rats have escaped from a medical research lab (NIMH) where they were injected with an experimental drug that has not only made them very intelligent (they can all read and write and have learned much about the world since their escape), but also they seem to have stopped aging, or at least only age very slowly. The Rats agree to help Mrs Frisby.

The story was good, but slow. And the slowness of the story was accented by the slowness of the audiobook narrator and very long pauses. It is a good children’s story. There are a couple of plot holes that as an adult, I think should have been fixed, but that does not detract from the overall story.

Once I was done, I thought the movie and the books were not that close in storyline. So I went back and looked for comparisons. The movie was mystical. In the end it was magic that solved the problem (which was a different problem in the book). The book was mechanistic. The Rats were engineers and philosophers. The book was about what it means to be independent and create a new society.

Most reviews seemed to think the movie was better because it created mystery, danger and suspense. But I think the addition of magic, really changes this from an animals perspective of vast intelligence (similar to Flowers for Algernon) to one of magical understanding, which really doesn’t make sense in context of escaped lab rats.

The book came out in 1971, but feels like an older book. I think many kids will like it, especially if they like books about animals. But the slowness will put some off.

As an adult I appreciate the fact that the book is about a parent that is sacrificing to save her children instead of the standard children’s book that is about children needing to take care of themselves because the adults around them are unable to protect them.

originally posted on my blog Bookwi.se

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Terrible narration. Book not as good as I recalled

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH is a modern-day children's classic. I always loved the animated movie "The Secret of NIMH" based on this book. But the book is not as good as I remembered. Robert O'Brien's story meanders in parts and, for a children's story, the long part where Nicodemus is recalling the rats' time in the labs at NIMH and their escape can really drag. Nicodemus' thoughts about prairie dogs and their potential evolution and the evolution of monkees to men (implied but not explicity stated) is clumsy and well above the heads of most likely readers and seems out of place. The story still has some charm though. Mrs. Frisby is a likeable field mouse and Justin is a noble rat. Their duels against the terrifying cat, Dragon, are entertaining.

The main point, however, is that Barbara Caruso's narration is TERRIBLE. According to the notes at the end of the recording, this was recorded in 1993. It is clearly from an audio CD that was then downloaded to audible. This book would be much better with a new narrator. Caruso's narration is uneven at best. The narrative portion of the story is tolerable, but the dialogue is downright awful. Caruso goes from volume 10 to 1 with almost every single sentence. It makes for very difficult listening. My children even commented, "Why can't she read the story like our teacher at school?" It is a good question and deserves an answer in the form of someone else performing the narration in a new version of this story.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

uneven sound

Would you try another book from Robert O’Brien and/or Barbara Caruso?

We would most certainly try another book, but only if the audio was sorted. Ms. Caruso raises and drops her voice which makes listening to it frustrating. Lots of up/down of the volume.

Any additional comments?

My children, especially the 5-year-old, loved it.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great kid's book and narration!

I loved the book as a kid, and it was nice to listen to it again as an adult. For me, the narrator makes all of the difference for an audiobook, and Barbara did a great job with this book!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

go to the rats

My sons bed time story. It stays with me. 20 years later, Mothers find ways.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

RAT RACE

WE ALL HELP EACH OTHER AGAINST THE CAT
This is very entertaining and is so well written that I truly felt like I spent time with Mrs. Frisby in the field. It is descriptive enough that you can easily picture where everything is happening without being overly descriptive.

WE NEED A PLAN
The book is kind of two halves. The first half is more about Mrs. Frisby and what she goes through to save one of her sick children. Every parent can empathize with her as she faces several dangers. The second half is more about the rats. There is a fairly long tale (tail) about their time spend in a research lab. I thought that part could have been shortened up. Other than that, the rats are pretty cool. They also may encourage some children to do research and spend time reading and studying. They accomplish this without preaching.

IT IS EASY TO UNLOCK A DOOR WHEN YOU HAVE THE KEY
What kept this from getting the fifth star from me was the serendipity. Twice Mrs. Frisby just happens to hear the humans talking about drastic things they were going to do and when they were going to do them. These were life and death situations and she just happen to be there at the right time. In both cases she is also given a time table and plenty of warning, helping her and the rats to make plans.

The narrator was good, not great. She did not detract from the story, nor did she add to it.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

wow

I apparently forgot how incredibly good this book was. it was so wonderful to rediscover this and enjoy it. wow. I adore this. deeper than I remember and just so much GOODNESS

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Better than the movie!

Really a lot better than I could have imagined. Though I visualized the animated verions in this audio book.

1 person found this helpful