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The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents…

The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents (2001)

by Terry Pratchett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Discworld (28), Discworld: Young Adult (1)

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English (92)  Finnish (1)  Polish (1)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  German (1)  Italian (1)  All (98)
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The piped piper comes to a town in Uberwald, but finds that he’s late to the show that features cats, rats, and stupid-looking kids talking to one another. The twenty-eighth and first young adult entry of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents finds the residents—new and old, human and nonhuman—town of Bad Blintz figuring out the fine line between real life and a story. The aim to bring the same Pratchett humor that adults love to a younger audience is on target.

A mixed troupe of “rat piper” con-artists arrive just outside the town of Bad Blintz lead by a streetwise tomcat, who a clan of talking rats and a stupid-looking kid named Keith on the streets of Ankh-Morpork. But everyone is getting fed up with just going around and doing the same old thing, the rats want to find a home to build their society and the kid would like to play more music. Maurice is just interest in money and hiding the guilty for how he gained the ability to speak, but he found more than he’s bargaining for in Bad Blintz because something weird is going on even his talkative rat associate find disturbing. Soon the troupe find out that they have stumbled into a long running conspiratorial plan hatched from a surprising source.

As always, Pratchett connects his humor around a well-known fairy tale or story then completely turns it on its head when the same circumstances happen on Discworld even as the characters fight their own preconceptions when comparing “stories” to “real life”. The fact that he ably brought his unique style to a young adult market without losing any of the punch from the jokes makes this a very good book. Although some of the sections of the book were somewhat familiar to a long-time Pratchett reader does take a little away from the book, it doesn’t necessarily ruin the book for first time readers.

Terry Pratchett’s first Discworld foray into the young adult genre is classic Pratchett through targeted at a younger audience. I found it as funny as the rest of his series, but some of the plot points were simpler than his usual work for obvious reasons. However this minor fact doesn’t ruin a very good book. ( )
1 vote mattries37315 | Mar 24, 2017 |
The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents is the first young adult Discworld book. It was a short book, and a cute story, but I thought it was pretty substantial in terms of both plot and messages. The plot was certainly more substantial than many of his adult Discworld books. I didn’t think there was quite as much humor, but it had its funny moments.

The basic premise is that some of the rats in Ankh-Morpork, after eating magical rubbish dumped by the residents of the Unseen University, have become intelligent. They can talk in human speech, read, and think rationally. Maurice, a cat, has gained similar abilities. Maurice is, like most cats, opportunistic. He finds himself a “stupid-looking kid” who can play a pipe, and starts up a scam with the rats and the kid in which they all travel to various towns, the rats freak out the residents, and the stupid-looking kid plays the pipe and pretends he’s charming the rats into leaving the town. For a fee, of course. The story begins as they approach a new town where they plan to execute their scam. Things don’t go as planned.

I enjoyed the story pretty well. It had some fun characters, both of the human and non-human variety. I particularly liked Maurice, of course! Even though this may seem like a weird comparison to anybody who has read both books, I kept having flashbacks to Watership Down. The books are very different in most ways, but there were some similarities in tone and even a couple similar events. If I hadn’t read Watership Down so recently, I doubt I would have had the same reaction. ( )
1 vote YouKneeK | Mar 11, 2017 |
Apparently when I was a very young kid a rat tried to nibble on my toes and ever since I have a deep distrust for rats, so to say I was enchanted by this story is not a minor thing in my life. Maurice is a talking cat and there is a rat clan he works with, who also talk, and a boy who is a musician, and they run a pied piper scam, now they're in Bad Blintz and there's something wrong in the town, food is very expensive and the ratcatchers are raking it in. They investigate and are joined by Malicia, the mayor's daughter, what they discover is interesting and clever and just what I needed. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Jan 21, 2017 |
Listening to the audiobook, the most surprising thing was not the talking animals or the weird king rat mythology, or even the truth of the rat piper, but that the British pronunciation of Maurice is "Morris". I couldn't get over it the whole book.

I found the development of rat culture interesting, and the girl who treats life as a story was great. She turned out to have a pretty good adventure, once she let a little common sense into her life. But everything did end up being a story, since this is a book after all. She was always prepared to act as the protagonist with hairpin lockpicks and first aid kits. That seems to be a good way to live your life: as if you are the protagonist of an epic story. And really, that was what everyone in this story had to learn. When rats can think, you have to change the story and have a meeting with them rather than call the rat piper. Sometimes stories change and you have to take the initiative to be the main character! ( )
  jlharmon | Nov 3, 2016 |
Re-re-reread Sep. 2015 Fourth time, I think. Yeah, it's that good.

Okay, 'good' is subjective. The characters are likable, the plot is charming in a storybook kind of way (which is appropriate since it's a pied piper parody), the prose is witty, and I thoroughly enjoy reading it. No doubt I will again. ( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (43 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionscalculated
Briggs, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gall, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Matthews, RobinAuthor photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyatt, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyatt, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zarycky, HilaryCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To D'niece, for the right book at the right time
First words
One day, when he was naughty, Mr. Bunnsy looked over the hedge into Farmer Fred's field and say it was full of fresh green lettuces. Mr. Bunnsy, however, was not full of lettuces. This did not seem fair.
- From Mr. Bunnsy Has an Adventure
You can always trust a cat to be a cat.
Right up until the time he pounced, Maurice looked like a sleek killing machine.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060012358, Mass Market Paperback)

Winner of the 2001 Carnegie Medal

One rat, popping up here and there, squeaking loudly, and taking a bath in the cream, could be a plague all by himself. After a few days of this, it was amazing how glad people were to see the kid with his magical rat pipe. And they were amazing when the rats followed hint out of town.

They'd have been really amazed if they'd ever found out that the rats and the piper met up with a cat somewhere outside of town and solemnly counted out the money.

The Amazing Maurice runs the perfect Pied Piper scam. This streetwise alley cat knows the value of cold, hard cash and can talk his way into and out of anything. But when Maurice and his cohorts decide to con the town of Bad Blinitz, it will take more than fast talking to survive the danger that awaits. For this is a town where food is scarce and rats are hated, where cellars are lined with deadly traps, and where a terrifying evil lurks beneath the hunger-stricken streets....

Set in Terry Pratchett's widely popular Discworld, this masterfully crafted, gripping read is both compelling and funny. When one of the world's most acclaimed fantasy writers turns a classic fairy tale on its head, no one will ever look at the Pied Piper -- or rats -- the same way again!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:16 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A talking cat, intelligent rats, and a strange boy cooperate in a Pied Piper scam until they try to con the wrong town and are confronted by a deadly evil rat king.

» see all 11 descriptions

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