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The Carpet Makers by Andreas Eschbach
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The Carpet Makers (1995)

by Andreas Eschbach

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5343118,880 (4.06)27

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English (26)  French (3)  Spanish (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (31)
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
Grand in scope this story is told at the individual family level. It's one of those stories that takes hold of your imagination in the first few pages and never let's go - even long after you've finished. Excellent read ( )
  DaveCapp | Oct 22, 2014 |
This book is one of the weirdest stories I've ever read. And I should be typing this in German, as I read the German version, also to improve my German. Either way: people making carpets out of human hair and spending their entire lifetimes doing so, all for the emperor, who is God for them. Even more so, because they've never seen him. In addition, for them, it's like paying a debt their father made and so it goes down each generation.

But when the story reaches its end and conclusion, that ending might seem weak and flat compared to the many happenings and descriptions preceding it. But, to me, it's not really the (original!) story itself that was important for A. Eschbach, but the moral behind it all. It shows that small issues can have massive impacts, even for those who have nothing to do with it.

And how the affected ones then hang on to certain beliefs and principles, without knowing how it came to be or if it all should be like this, whether it causes you pain/stress/fear. Until someone sees the light and so can (as good or as bad) convince the others. Maybe.

I'm not telling much about the stories themselves, because it's up to you to read them and find out for yourself how good this book really is.

In fact, as I liked it so much, I've ordered Eschach's other book, which takes place in the same universe, but is also stand-alone: Quest. ( )
  TechThing | Oct 18, 2013 |
This book has to get five stars from me because it's the first book in quite a while that I would've stayed up late into the night to finish, even if I was exhausted. From the first chapter, it weaves a compelling mystery and builds a whole new world. The writing itself is beautiful; the translation is excellent, with no sense of a gap between me and the text, which I often do get with translations. I think I'm going to have to parcel it up and send it on a round of my friends to read.

I'm not actually saying it's flawless. The structure, however, keeps it strong: each chapter is a self-contained story, which adds a link in the chain to eventually get to the heart of the mystery. But once I got there, after all that build-up, it felt unsatisfying -- but that didn't take away from the power and mystery of the rest of the book. And the epilogue was another strong link in the chain, a perfect way to finish the story.

Usually, I'm interested in characters, in any given book. That's not the case here, and I didn't even feel a lack because of it. It's a totally bewildering, bewitching book.. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
Okay, so there's this planet, see, whose entire economy is based on these carpet makers who each spend their entire life making one carpet out of the hair of their wives and daughters. And they send the carpets to this sort of god-emperor in space...but then it turns out that there isn't an emperor any more, and maybe there are other planets making these carpets, and I won't tell you how it all turns out, but it will BLOW YOUR MIND, MAN.
( )
  JenneB | Apr 2, 2013 |
At first this seems like a simple, but unusual, story of a planet whose whole purpose is the creation of carpets made of hair to sell for their Emperor-God. The carpets are made from the hair of the carpet makers wives and daughters and will take their entire life to create just one. As the story unfolds you gradually learn all is not as it seems and something quite sinister is happening.

This was a mesmerising tale which kept me glued to the pages so much I read the whole book in a couple hours. I just had to know what the truth was and I have to say I didn't see it coming. The twist was pulled off superbly.

There were some negatives though. The way the book was told was very disjointed and often jarring and disorientating from one chapter to the next. You'd never know how much time, if any, had passed until later on. I also felt there were a few plot lines that were never resolved. They just disappeared.

Overall though this was a great book. I highly recommend it. ( )
  Shirezu | Mar 31, 2013 |
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Knot after knot, day in, day out, for an entire lifetime, always the same hand movements, always looping the same knots in the fine hair, so fine and tiny that with time, the fingers trembled and the eyes became weak from strain -- and still the progress was hardly noticeable.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765314908, Paperback)

Since the time of pre-history, carpetmakers tie intricate knots to form carpets for the court of the Emperor. These carpets are made from the hairs of wives and daughters; they are so detailed and fragile that each carpetmaker finishes only one single carpet in his entire lifetime.

This art descends from father to son, since the beginning of time itself.

But one day the empire of the God Emperor vanishes, and strangers begin to arrive from the stars to follow the trace of the hair carpets. What these strangers discover is beyond all belief, more than anything they could have ever imagined...

Brought to the attention of Tor Books by Orson Scott Card, this edition of The Carpet Makers contains a special introduction by Orson Scott Card.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:25 -0400)

"Since the time of prehistory, carpet makers have tied intricate knots to form carpets for the court of the Emperor. These carpets are made from the hair of wives and daughters; they are so detailed and fragile that each carpet maker finishes only one single carpet in his entire lifetime." "This art has descended from father to son since the beginning of time itself." "But one day the empire of the God Emperor vanishes, and strangers begin to arrive from the stars to follow the trace of the hair carpets. What these strangers discover is beyond all belief, more than anything they could have ever imagined."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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