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Book Review: The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents

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"One day, when he was naughty, Mr Bunnsy looked into Farmer Fred's field and it was full of fresh green lettuces. Mr Bunnsy, however, was not full of lettuces. This did not seem fair."



-- From Mr Bunnsy Has An Adventure



These words start Terry Pratchett's latest novel, The Amazing Maurice. It is his first novel "for young readers in the Discworld universe". It is also his first novel where most of his main characters are intelligent, talking (though not anthropomorphic) animals.

An anonymous reader submitted this book review of Terry Pratchett's latest, The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents. Click below to read the review.

Rating: Three and a Half Stars (out of Five)

"One day, when he was naughty, Mr Bunnsy looked into Farmer Fred's field and it was full of fresh green lettuces. Mr Bunnsy, however, was not full of lettuces. This did not seem fair."

-- From Mr Bunnsy Has An Adventure

These words start Terry Pratchett's latest novel,
The Amazing Maurice. It is his first novel "for young readers in the Discworld universe". It is also his first novel where most of his main characters are intelligent, talking (though not anthropomorphic) animals.

The Amazing Maurice follows three different groups: Keith, a not-terribly-mysterious orphan-turned-street musician; Maurice, a back-alley cat turned intelligent; and a large number of intelligent rats who venerate the book "Mr Bunnsy Has An Adventure". It is a coming-of-age tale for one rat, Darktan, and a meta-story about stories for Keith.

The book was written for younger audience: The characters and plot are less complex than other Discworld books. It has many more pee -- whoops! I mean widdling -- and poop jokes than the rest of the Discworld books have. The wordplay is more obvious than his other books. Oddly enough, it's the only Discworld book to have chapters.

The book has its good points: He researched rat behavior for the book, and used it carefully throughout. He gleefully skewers bad children's writing with his parody book-inside-a-book. He wrote a truly evil scheme that could have come from children. (At least, from those of us who remember what it's really like to be children.)

However, the bad points are worse: Only one character, Darktan, grows in the story and has depth; most others are rather flat. None have the charm of Captain Carrot, or Nanny Ogg. None are as remarkable contradictions as Rincewind, Cohen or the Great God Om. The plot is not as good of a mystery as the Ankh-Morpork stories.

If you are a true Pratchett fan, you already have this book. If you are looking for an enjoyable, light read, you may enjoy it. However, if you want to get into the Discworld series, I recommend a book with more bite, like Small Gods.

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Hrm! I thought that I had been logged in when I submitted the review. Anyway, the review came from Chip Unicorn.

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For people who don't regularly read his books, Terry also has Gaspode, the talking dog (except everyone knows dogs don't talk, which makes his life both easier and more difficult sometimes) and Death of Rats, who doesn't say anything but SQUEAK but walks about in a black robe with a scythe, so I suppose he counts.

Also anthropomorphic, occasionally, is Greebo the world's most evil minded cat. He occasionally changes into a person. (Usually when the situation calls for a naked man going "Meow" and running around,trying to avoid being swatted by a broom)

Melissa "MelSkunk" Drake

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Of course, there's also Angua of the watch -- a werewolf, and companion to Captain Carrot. (Captain Carrott likes having a companion that he can take out for long walks, no matter her form.)

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