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The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents

Terry Pratchett

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (3 Reviews)
Book Details

Publisher : Doubleday

Published : 2001

Copyright : Terry & Lyn Pratchett 2001

ISBN-10 : HB 0-385-60123-9
ISBN-13 : HB 978-0-385-60123-8

Publisher's Write-Up

Imagine a million clever rats. Rats that don't run. Rats that fight...

Maurice, a streetwise tomcat, has the perfect money-making scam. He's found a stupid-looking kid who plays a pipe, and he has his very own plague of rats - rats who are strangely educated, so Maurice can no longer think of them as 'lunch'. And everyone knows the stories about rats and pipers...

But when they reach the stricken town of Bad Blintz, the little con suddenly goes down the drain. For someone there is playing a different tune. A dark, shadowy tune. Something very, very bad is waiting in the cellars.

The educated rats must learn a new word. EVIL. It's not a game any more. It's a rat-eat-rat world down there. And that might only be the start...

Terry Pratchett leads readers from tale to tail in a darkly imaginative and fiendishly entertaining story, the first for young readers set in the Discworld Universe.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Ray (010602) Rating (8/10)
Review by Chrissi (010402) Rating (8/10)

Review by Nigel (010102) Rating (7/10)

Review by Ray
Rating 8/10
Maurice is a likeable rogue, a tomcat who is wise to the times and is on a sure fire winner of an idea. Put this likeable rogue, a stupid looking kid with a talent for music, lots of self aware rats who take their names from tins of food, and a girl who reminds me of Bonny Langford from 'Just William' (older readers may just remember this) together in Pratchett's Discworld and you get a wonderful, satisfying adventure story for kids and adults alike.

The scam is simple. The cat pays the rats to infest a town. The kid comes along and does the 'Piped Piper' trick, the rats leave, the kid, or should I say the cat get paid, everyone is happy. This enviably goes wrong and the cast is thrown into a dark and dangerous underground world that few will make it out of.

The scam of the Cat and rats is a classic one and a good twist of the classic 'Piped Piper' story. He's wrapped the whole story up in classic Pratchett style creating likeable characters and comic relief. The banter between Maurice and the other characters, especially the rats, will have you sniggering every few minutes.

A Discworld book aimed at children. Not that they should have all the fun. This is a good book and will be enjoyed by children and adults alike.
Ray (1st June 2002)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 8/10
This put me in the mind of Roald Dahl, because he was wonderful at making stories that catered to the grossness of children. As adults we forget quite how much children appreciate the sicker side of life, I can still appreciate the Twits - if you never read it as a child, and you read it now you would be surprised at how nasty these people are to each other.

Anyway, back to Maurice, this is the first Discworld book aimed at children, except that is not altogether true. It is a discworld, therefore it will appeal to Discworld lovers, it just happens that it is a story that children will want to read. After all, we all know that story of the Pied Piper, and how he took away the rats of Hameln, but when they refused to pay him he took the children of the town away as well. Maurice is a cat, a sentient being, who associates with rats who are also self-aware. They are accompanied in their travels by a musically gifted, stupid-looking boy called Keith.

They have a scam, where the rats go into the town, make a nuisance of themselves and the town ask a rat piper to take the rats away and pay him money to do it. The rats get some money and Maurice gets the rest (he told the rats that the silver ones were worth more than the gold and he would accept his payment of the golden ones, leaving them with most of the money...)

As you would expect, Pratchett has peopled his world. The rats have names and an organised society with trap disposal teams. They have the full mixture of strange characters that you would expect, with rats who dance as they pee in your food, and rats that are no good at widdling in food, who have to be found alternative posts. The names are wonderful, coming as they do from labels that the rats read before they knew what words meant.

The other thing that brought to mind Roald Dahl was the use of a true form of evil, with no shielding for the children. This is something that JK Rowling has also done in creating Voldemort. These are evil creatures, and the children appreciate this. They may be afraid, but there is a good lesson to be learnt in knowing that evil can be routed.
Chrissi (1st April 2002)

Review by Nigel
Rating 7/10
This is the first Discworld novel aimed at children. I for one couldn't tell the difference to be honest and it seemed like any other Discworld instalment, which is a bit worrying really (for me I mean).

Maurice is a cat who has got together a group of rats and a suitable human piper to basically scam as much money from gullible towns folk as possible by 'curing' their rat problem - the one they didn't have until Maurice turned up!

The thing about Maurice and the rats is that they have become intelligent having been eating off the Wizards rubbish dump. This causes all sorts of ethical problems cats, rats and pipers shouldn't really be having.

A fairly good Discworld read that has introduced some new characters that are likeable and hopefully we will see them again - Gaspode and Maurice would make a formidable team.
Nigel (1st January 2002)

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