Friday, April 16, 2010

Maurice and His educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett

Maurice and His educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett.

This humorous novel by Terry Pratchett draws inspiration from an old children’s tale of the pied piper. Except in this story it is the rats calling the shots, or rather a clever old cat named Maurice, who discovered the rats. These rats used to claim a trash heap located right outside scientific laboratory, and they all ate something that changed them. They are no longer rodents eeking out a living, but now they are aware of themselves. In fact they are having moral dilemmas about being employed as con-rats.

Organized by the master-mind Maurice a money-loving, street-wise, cynical cat and joined by a passive human, who just likes to play the pipes in front of a crowd. They plot to harass towns until they call the boy up to pipe them away when the time and price is just right. They land themselves in a town in crisis, suffering from a famine caused by rats.

It would be an understatement to say that their antics are not welcome. This town has so many rat traps and poisons that it is hard even for the experienced rats to stay alive. It takes a group of educated rodents, and a clever cat to discover that this town is already being conned by a pair of rat catchers. In this situation there is nothing left to do but help their fellow rats, and to save the town.

This book was hilarious! I really loved watching the rats grow and develop as their thoughts about the world changed. Maurice is so funny because he is such a grumpy cat, and he really doesn’t know how to react when he starts caring for the rats and develops a conscience. It is fun to watch a little pack of rats develop an identity and work together, as they conquer the rat catcher villains. Overall, this was a really entertaining adventure story that still managed to be funny and insightful. I wish every book I read could be as satisfying on so many levels. Brilliant!

Terry Pratchett's website

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