Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett

(Book Review)

Yet- another- book - in- Terry -Pratchett's Discworld series. (What can I say? I'm a fan.)

This book is actually in a slightly different than all the previous books in that it's marketed as a young adult book. And instead of being labelled as a Discworld series book, it is labelled as "A story of Discworld."

What does this semantic juggling mean? Nothing as far as I can tell. This book is firmly within the Discworld universe.
With the exception of a brief cameo by Death (and "The Death of Rats" ) it centers around a new set of characters not previously introduced, but many of the books in the Discworld series are like this.
The writing style of the book doesn't seem any different to me than any of the other Discworld books (although it has been a good half a year or so since the last Discworld book I read, so maybe my memory is getting bit rusty.)

The plot of the book involving a couple kids, a talking cat, and a bunch of intelligent rats may appear to be Disney-esque on the surface, but Pratchett doesn't tone down or clean up his style of irreverent humor.

In fact, the more cynical part of me wonders if the only reason this book is labelled "Young Adult" is because Pratchett's publisher was looking enviously at all the money books like "Harry Potter" have been making lately.

Anyway, marketing and labeling issues aside, this book is pure Pratchett at his usual funny self.
The book is about a group of rats and Maurice, the cat, who become intelligent and gain the power of speech after hanging around a magical dump beyond the wizard's Unseen University. With Maurice as manager, they acquire a kid to pretend to be a pied piper, and go from town to town trying to scam the townspeople out of their money. Until they come to a town where things begin to go a little strange...

As with all Pratchett books, simply describing the plot doesn't do justice to all the quirky humor and personalities he's managed to create within this book. From Maurice, the cynical manipulative cat, to Dangerous Beans, the rat with Utopian dreams, to Hamnpork, the rat who is having trouble adjusting to the change and doesn't understand why widdling on things is bad, to Malicia, the mayor's daughter whose read a few too many fairy tales for her own good.

All in all a very funny book.

Link of the Day
Via Let's Japan: Nova: The Movie. A humorous look at the fall of Nova.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have just finished reading this play/book and I think it is really good probraly the best book I have read I loved it Maurice was so devious and manipulative and it actually makes you think cats can talk I always talk to mine