Monday, August 27, 2007

The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents (2001)

The Amazing MauriceReview: The wikipedia entry about the Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents is that the book had won Carnegie Medal Winner 2001 and is a deconstruction to a familiar story about talking animals and of course, the Pied Piper legend.

As with his other works - Terry Pratchett is the best-selling author in UK before Rowling, and still the author whose works are most often snatched from the book-shelf - the story of the Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents sets in a Discworld. And as with his other works, it was funny. Even though there were references to death and dangers, but it still one hell of book full of funnies.

The premise of the book made a mocking reference to Pied Piper. You know, that guy who get rid of vermins from a town with his piper only to be let down by a Town Council and in turns had let all the children out of town. In this story, however, the Pied Piper was for a brief-periods of early chapters known as a stupid-looking kid. He was led by Maurice, a talking - and thinking - cat, who also led a pack or talking - also thinking, AND educating themselves, as they read books, and invented letters - rats into a scheme in resemblance of that the original Pied Piper. Owh, Mr. Pratchett describes how does the rats - and Maurice, which was so funny i couldn't able to resist my laugh whenever he struggles with his conscience regarding on how he got his ability to talk - received their gift. So, no cheating there. The shceme that had invented by Maurice was simple. He instructs the rats who led by a rough old-fashioned old warrior, Hamnpork to made the town believes that there was a plague happening to their town. And that's where the stupid-looking kid came in as he played his piper and the rats would then followed him out of town, to count their money.

The rats so organized they had the Trap disarming squad led by Darktan, a philosopher Peaches and Dangerous Beans, and a straw-hat wearer, tap-dancing rat whose responsibility is to led the citizens into believing that there's a rat-plague in their town, Sardines.

However, on their very last job, they came into a town known as Bad Blintz. And in this town, Maurice, his educated Rodents, stupid-looking kid, and local Major's daughter, Malicia, who was a great grand-daughter of famous story-tellers the Grimm Sisters, faced not only what would probably their last job, but also their last breath. I had thought that this book is strictly for children, but i was so surprised to read that Mr.Pratchett put his characters into a dire dangers, and even death (well, they're mostly rats, but still, death is death). But like i said earlier, this is one funny book to read. And it only made me even firmer to seek another Discworld series from Terry Pratchett into my collection (there were forty-more titles out there, and i've got only three of them as of now).

My favourite moment is when Maurice had a conversation with Death. "Yessssirr, no problem sir, as you said, sir."

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