Monday, June 20, 2011

The amazing maurice and his educated rodents

There was a period when i was crazy about Terry Pratchett. Hold on - i still love his books. I should rephrase it to, there was a time when i bought and finished reading the whole discworld series. I skipped the young adult books (read only Wee Free Men) though. Somehow on an impulse, i bought this one last week in blossoms on an impulse and I am glad i did.

Pratchett has made fun of the pied piper story and also brought in an element of suspense which he has successfully maintained till the end. The plot seems deceptively simple. A group of mice attain the power of speech and thought all of a sudden. The rats have hilarious names like Nourishing, Dark Tan, Dangerous beans, Peaches, HamnPork etc. They named themselves after the tins found in the garbage dump.They are led on by a cat called Maurice who can speak and is quite cunning. He goes around conning people with the group and a stupid looking boy making money with the pied piper story.

Everything goes well until they enter a town where a lot of strange things go on. This was supposed to be their last con and how this town changes their lives forms the rest of the story. The mayor's daughter Malicia offers comic relief though she gets very trying in some places. The way the rats organize themselves before each coup and how they execute their plan is quite brilliant to say the least.

Each character is well crafted. The guru - dangerous beans , the scribe - peaches, the leader - Hamnpork - them and a lot more of the characters will be remembered for quite sometime. (Come to think of it, i think they are as this book is close to 10 years old now)

The book is definitely not among his best as far as i am concerned ( I like the Death series better) but it is worth some time when you want some light hearted reading.

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