The Amazing Maurice And His Educated Rodents: Discworld Novel 28

by Terry Pratchett | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0552562920 Global Overview for this book
Registered by erinacea of Friedrichshain, Berlin Germany on 2/2/2018
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by erinacea from Friedrichshain, Berlin Germany on Friday, February 02, 2018
Another DW book I discovered during Mark Reads Discworld reading project.

This is the chronologically first YA Discworld novel (though not the first I've read) but it doesn't need to shy away from comparison with its more "adult" counterparts. In fact, there were a few dark themes and scenes creeping into the horror genre that made me and other commenters react with a horrified, "This is supposed to be a children's book?!"

The plot:
What if the Pied Piper really existed? What if the rats are working together with him in a mutually beneficial deal? What if the entire plague of rats is a scheme orchestrated by a clever cat?

Maurice is selfish, scheming and a skilled manipulator, so if he was human I couldn't stand him, but he's a talking cat and I adore him. Both the rats and Maurice gaining human-like intelligence including the ability to speak English is a essentially rehash of Gaspode's (not in this book) origin story, but since we're comparing a dog, a cat and rats, they all have different personalities simply by being different species. Oh, and the rats also have different character traits beyond that. I mean there are so many of them: Darktan, Hamnpork, Peaches, Dangerous Beans, Sardines <3 ... and that's just the main group.

Keith (piper boy aka. "the stupid looking kid") was a bit boring but I liked Malicia. In real life her insistence that she was the hero like in the stories she read would have been super annoying but as a character she was delightful.
I'd still like to know how old the kids are. For some reason, an unclear age for child protagonists always tends to take me out of the story.
Given the YA target group, I suppose they're somewhere between child and young teenager, so maybe around 11-12ish.

A lot of the other commenters (well, mostly Mark) were freaking out about the realization that Pratchett made them care about rats. That seems so weird to me. I mean I know that rats can transmit diseases but as far as I'm concerned, they're not much different from squirrels: I keep my distance, but they're sure cute to look at.
I guess it's for the same reason that I was not as disgusted about the Spoiler, highlight to make visibile existence/depiction of the rat king. I mean I was horrified about the whole megalomaniac mind control aspect and obviously I was worried about our heroes (mostly Maurice, because it seemed like everyone else was already worried about the rats), but otherwise I mostly felt sorry about its pitiful existence.

This book had some interesting themes that came up as a result of the rats and Maurice gaining a conscience and having to battle with questions with, "Where do we come from?", "Where do we go?", "What kind of person do I want to be?" etc.

Next up: Night Watch (and am I ever looking forward to that one!)

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