This is the story of Maurice, a cunning 4-year-old talking cat, and his gang of intelligent rats. Together with Keith, a stupid-looking kid who plays the flute, they travel from town to town, doing the plague-of-rats-and-rat-piper trick to earn some pocket money. It works perfectly well, until the rats develop a conscience. They agree to do it one last time and head for Überwald, or more acurately for the small village of Bad Blintz. There they soon realize that something is amiss. Food in the village is rationed, rat tails are rewarded 50p a piece and strangely, there isn't a single "keekee" (regular rat) around. Teaming up with Malicia Grim, the mayor's silly daughter who thinks she's living in a fairy tale, they are determined to uncover the mystery. The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents easily stands among my favourite Discworld novels. With a story that sometimes reminded me of Mrs Friby and the Rats of NIMH and a humour echoing that of the Bromeliad, where Pratchett observes our silly human world through the eyes of other creatures, and where rats have names such as Hamnpork or Dangerous Beans because they liked the sound of it but didn't understand the meaning, it is as intelligent and sensible, sometimes scary, even sad at times, as it is hilarious. And David Wyatt's illustrations are just too cute!
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