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56 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A ratty view of people
On the Discworld, even wizards produce leftovers. Their discarded garbage, however, is laced with traces of magic. Out on the tip, the rats forage in the scraps - apple cores, candle stubs [good carbohydrate source], dogends. Like any trace mineral, the magic builds up until the rats have changed, gaining new talents. Among those talents are speaking and reading. Speaking...
Published on 31 Jan. 2006 by Stephen A. Haines

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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not quite what I was expecting!
I've always been a fan of Terry Pratchett, mostly because his books are always entertaining and thought-provoking. However, this one was a bit of a surprise!
I found it a bit hard to get into - it took a lot longer than his usual two or three pages to grab my attention, mostly because I didn't quite understand what was happening, and once I got into the book, I...
Published on 1 Feb. 2003 by Kiera Bruce


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for children, 30 Oct. 2002
By A Customer
Pratchett has a way of keeping things fantastic and funny in his stories but allows himself to sneak in some gruesome scenes and poignant moments - all vital ingredients for a good childrens book.
It seems to me that whatever criticisms he has received for this particular book, they stem from fans who are disappointed in not seeing a more elaborate Discworld book. We must keep the intended audience in mind and judge it from that criterion, and by that standard the book is fantastic.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of his best - absolutely brilliant., 12 Nov. 2001
Even though this story is a discworld novel it can be read as a stand alone book. There are only a couple of references that may seem a little obscure to the uninitiated. But that should not detract from the enjoyment the book will bring.
I finished the book on Friday 09 Nov at 19:00. I was sat in a train packed with commuters. I was getting very funny looks from people as I could not stop myself from laughing out loud - we are not talking a quiet chuckle here. Buy it now!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story but sensitive children beware!, 8 July 2003
By 
Terry Pratchett writes adult novels but this is aimed at children. Just as his adult Discworld novels are among the finest books written today, so this is an extraordinarly entertaining book for children.
The idea that the Pied Piper might be just a front man for a bunch of intelligent rats and a talking cat makes for inspired comedy, but more sensitive children may find some of this story disturbing. Rats are cannibals, and Pratchett doesn't spare the reader too much of the gruesome things that they can do to each other. My 6 year old daughter enjoyed this story at bedtime, but you might have to wait a few years before you can share the pleasure of reading this story to your children, given its content.
It's a mark of Pratchett's storytelling genius that he can sneak up on the reader in the middle of a funny novel with a genuinely perceptive insight into the human condition. That he can make you think about your humanity in the midst of a story about rats shows how underrated in the literary world he is. Go and read all the Terry Pratchett books you can.
And don't eat the green wobbly bit!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Amazing Maurice & His Educated Rodents, 6 July 2003
Quite possibly the best book I have ever read. This had me laughing out loud and weeping inconsoleably on the same page.
A spin on the Pied Piper of Hamlin and I believe the Terry Pratchett's version should now become gospel. A very believeable scam is going on which is run with military precision. Maurice is a grumpy old cat who for a small fee offers a boy's services to rid a town of rats. What isn't known to the towns inhabitants is that Maurice brought the rats with him in the first place. But they have now met their match with some "evil" forces at work. The story seems to go in several different directions and cleverly arrives at the most fantastic conclusion with all riddles solved.
I do not know how he does it but the characters are so very very real and their names are pure genius. A group of talking rats who get their names from the packaging disguarded at the rubbish dump where they dine. A quick read and not taxing but perfect. Very cliched but this is a real page turner. I have lent it to the whole family ranging from 16yrs to 74 and it's a book for everyone.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for Rat Lovers, 24 Oct. 2006
By 
C. Menzies - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The great thing about this book is that it's a book with rats in, and the rats actually behave like rats. If you know what (pet) rats are like, then you can see that Terry Pratchett has done their imagined dialogue and social arrangements to perfection. They really are this funny.

Best line: person to rat - 'shall I carry you to the table?' rat to person - 'shall I bite your finger off?'

A wonderful evocation of rats and a funny book. Buy it for anyone, particularly rat keepers, or those you want to persuade to like your rats.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best DiscWorld novel since Pyramids?, 9 Dec. 2002
I'm a HUGE fan of Pratchett, but I can't help thinking his books have lost the sparkle of the earlier novels. Which is OK, because that's probably just because the Disc has gone from being strange and unfamiliar, to being a place we are quite comfortable in and familiar with.
But "The Amazing Maurice" changes all that. This is the best new DiscWorld novel in a long time. Why on Earth his publishers are choosing to promote this as a children's book I don't know. EVERY pratchett fan should read this. Actually, EVERYONE should read this, full stop!
The stars of this book are the rats themselves. Not only does each rat have a well-crafted and unique personality, the conservative Hamnpork, the pragmatical Darktan, the idealist Dangerous Beans, the gregarious Sardines, and so on, but they do that dialogue thing that regular Pratchett fans know and love, where they all talk at once, and no one really listens. These rats are really just a microcosm of the Faculty at Unseen University itself.
But it's the idealism of Dangerous Beans that really sets this apart, and his dreams of creating a rat island utopia. The "laws" that he and Peaches set down are straight out of Animal Farm - "No rat shall kill another rat", "We must co-operate or we shall die," and most chillingly of all, "We are not like other rats."
Dangerous Beans believes that if the rats do not aspire to be more than rats, then they are doomed to be no more than rats.
Later on in the story, a despodent Dangerous Beans bemoans "Underneath, we are just rats."
Peaches agrees - "Yes, but it's what's on top that matters."
Comedy AND Philosophy. Who could want for more?
Children will love this. Adults will LOVE this.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazed by Amazing Maurice, 16 Aug. 2004
The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents is a disc world novel, about a cat with a clever plan. Maurice with his group of intelligent rats and a 'stupid looking kid' called Keith, who can play a pipe, go from town to town, pretending that there is a plague of rats. Keith plays his pipe to lead the rats out of town. In the town of Bad Blintz things don't go according to plan.
The rats get caught out by an over imaginative girl called Malicia, who tries to make everything in life a story. There are rat catchers who also have a plan, to steal food and blame it on the rats. All things go wrong, thanks to the mysterious power of the rat king, who has the ability to control rats, cats and humans. The rat king can dominate their wills and make them slaves.
The story also features Death and the Grim Squeaker (a special death of rats). In the end Death comes for Maurice and Dangerous Beans (an intelligent rat with the idea for a dream island for the rats, with no cats or humans). Maurice sacrifices two of his nine lives to save himself and Dangerous Beans. The story ends with the death of the rat king, the rats and the mayor of Bad Blintz, join together to make a perfect town, Keith becomes a rat piper, and a new story begins with Maurice.
The weird thing is the rats didn't know how they became intelligent. In the end they realise that they ate rubbish contaminated with magic from the Unseen University of Magic. Maurice ate a rat and also became intelligent an able to speak. I think the moral to this story is you are what you eat.
Robin Luddington, aged 10
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Pratchett masterpiece!, 15 July 2004
By 
Kurt A. Johnson (Marseilles, IL USA) - See all my reviews
This is the first "young adult reader" in Terry Pratchett's series on the Discworld--a flat world, supported on the back of four massive elephants riding on the back of a planet-sized turtle, anything hilarious can happen here, and eventually does. Maurice (a cat whose intelligence was augmented by magic), a group of intelligent rats, and Keith (a less intelligent human) have been running a scam. When they come to a new town, the rats form themselves into a "plague of rats," and Keith comes along and plays the Pied Piper, with the town footing the bill for the rats' removal. But the rats have discovered ethics, and Maurice has agreed to making the next town the last...as fate would have it, this one's going to be a real adventure!
Terry Pratchett is a master storyteller, and this book lives up to his reputation. I'm not sure what sets this book aside as "young reader." The story is packed with adventure and suspense, and is just as gripping as any of his other books. I deeply enjoyed this book, and highly recommend it to you!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pratchett at his best, 13 July 2003
By 
Black Tent "zareeba" (Stockton-on-Tees, UK) - See all my reviews
When is a morality tale not a morality tale? Answer: when it's written by that master of fable, Terry Pratchett. Yet again he treats us to a darkly humorous fantasy that can be read on many levels. Maurice, the unscupulous entrepreneurial cat, the innocent (but far from stupid) boy who acts as his Pied Piper, and the lovably dotty rats who make Maurice's scam possible, are among Pratchett's richest creations. You'll laugh a lot, but you'll also be reminded of the darker side of life. Brilliant!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rattie heaven, 1 May 2003
This is not your typical Discworld novel. But then, it isn't supposed to be. If you are expecting Nanny Ogg, Grimes et al then you might be disappointed. BUT READ ON - in this book Pratchett introduces another aspect of life on A'Tuin. It doesn't rely too much on "in jokes", so will not disappoint those buying it as a one-off, or as a book for older kids. What you will get is a cracking read. Pratchett fans will appreciate the humour and parody, but where this book really scores for me is in the depiction of the rats. The characters in here are perfect. Okay, I am a sad rattie-lover but if you are not then you are going to have to trust me, it is a great read anyway (and afterwards you just might want to hear the patter of tiny paws). BUY this book, READ it! Or better still, buy this book and read it to your rats!
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