The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents - (Discworld Novel 28) (Discworld series)

By Terry Pratchett

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
anna habben
liked it
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rose linke
"Because, you see, you just think for many rats, but you don't think OF them."

For this sentence alone, this book should be required reading for every idiot liberal arts student in the entire world. It's SO obvious, unless you're an Occupisher. When they come for YOUR neighbor, will YOU say anything? Tolkien is the only other comparable writer to Pratchett's books, but Pratchett does it better; it's more real, more human. We should mourn the fact that journalists like Pratchett are ...well, so few and far between. God bless you, Terry. May we find a cure.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
christine hutch
Pratchett's books are never offensive and always entertaining, even when intended for kids. Why do I have to write 7more words?
(Discworld Novel 35) (Discworld series) :: (Discworld Novel 24) (Discworld series) - The Fifth Elephant :: Monster (German Edition) :: Tragic Hollywood, Beautiful, Glamorous And Dead :: (Discworld Novel 30) (Discworld series) - The Wee Free Men
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
patry
This book is a jem. One of my favorites out of the Discword series .
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
raghda
lots of fun to read--looks like a childrens book but actually very smart--these are spare words for the review now
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
cindy alexejun
Great for kids
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jill trend
This is one of my favorite books. It is a children's book, but funny and interesting. Maurice is clever and funny. Well worth reading.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
amalia
Another classic
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
laura smith
bless terry pratchett...this is one of his best!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
maura dailey
Pratchett, can't go wrong.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
moshe
Quite an intense story, which 'fades' out too much at the end. Great language as usual with Pratchett, and plenty of words to look up in the dictionary.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mr g
A lesson for our time with some of my favorite Discworld characters.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
elese
One of the best reads of Terry Pratchett. Although a little dark - perhaps not something for young teens to read. Enjoyed it immensly as it was a bit of a different take on the Discworld.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
russell john
I hadn't read this one before, I really enjoyed this take on the traditional 'talking cat' fairy tale. Well written and fun.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
audrey harrison
good but a bit involved
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mike bradham
Maybe I'm getting TP jaded, but his earlier works are funnier. This was very good, but pretty much to the point. Need to keep that blend of humor and drama.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jean baxendale
As I have not yet read this particular book I am faithfully giving it 5 stars. The entire series of adventures are so entertaining that I recommend any one to read this book. You would also enjoy "A Hatfull of Sky"
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
marla
Sir Terry Pratchett deconstructing & reconstructing the Pied Piper as only he could. This is more of a young adult novel than an adult novel, but it is certainly well worth the time to sit down and consume it. You don't just read Prachett, you consume it.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
ronda
Even though it takes place in the Discworld, it's not part of the series. It's written at about the 6th grade level, with none of the sarcasm or wit of the Disc books. I'd recommend it as a good book for that age level, even as a light introduction to the Discworld, but it's just a good kid's book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
booktart
Funny series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
naghmeh rastegar
Wonderful
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
talya
Good Pratchett, fun read!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
maria dozeman
nice read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kaley thompson
Great Story!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
abby driedger
An introduction to the wasteland of the UU magical garbage pile!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
misty harvey
Amazing story. One of his greatest
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
guru
He can do no wrong
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
louise a
I doo not know what happened but I was reading two versions of the same story by page two it was obvious that somehow both pages were repeating and it was just horrible. Never before has a kindle download messed up.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
bindiya khanna
Xxxx
Hate this rating thing that forces me to do this!!! Nine more words now and and and and and
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
tsolomon
Comments ONLY pertain to School-Library Binding-

An insulting and wretched edition of a splendid book. For one thing, the cover art is different than that shown. This wouldn't be so bad unless, like me, you're trying to match cover styles for a gift- you see the cover, read 'library binding', and recall what the book at the library looks and feels like, not to mention its physical size. Yep, just what you wanted.

Then this this fragrant little turd shows up. Turns out 'School-Library Binding' doesn't mean a durable, well-made book printed on nice stock and a pleasure to hold and read. It really means, 'cheap nasty mass market paperback with flimsy, glossy hard covers slapped on and no dust jacket'. Who knew?
It's even the same size as a mass market paperback, but the hard cover destroys a paperback's ability to fairly easily tuck into a pocket.

Perhaps I should have read the description a bit more carefully, but I had seen and purchased the version pictured before, so it just never occurred to me. Also, I have yet to see something this awful on a library shelf that doesn't have a paper cover instead of the chintzy cardboard. If you 'look inside!', you do get a warning that this is a different edition. But no visual reference as to what it truly looks like. I had no need look inside, since I knew the book already.

Had I any idea that travesties like this existed, you can bet that I'd have never ordered. This isn't a book-it's a cruel hoax. Mr. Pratchett's incandescent words deserve better. I ordered this embarrassment for a friend's birthday. She also deserves better.

That said, it's a helluva tale. Being Pratchett, though, that's pretty much a given. Zero stars for the edition, ten for the writing.

Speaking of fragrant, it smells bad, too-like bargain basement newsprint. Epic fail as a physical book. It's already packed up for return.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kelly brinks
For many years, I have heard of Terry Pratchett, but have never read any of his work. This came to light in 2015, when Pratchett died, and many fans of his work came forward to express their condolences. At that point, I hadn’t considered reading any of his work, but the outpouring of love for the recently deceased author made me reconsider. Consequently, I added some Pratchett books to my “to read” list and eventually chose The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents for my first foray into the written world of Terry Pratchett. I certainly picked well, as it won the Carnegie Medal in the year it was written.

I was a little worried that I would be lost coming into the Discworld series at anywhere other than the beginning, but since this book was written for children, it made it simple to ease into the universe Pratchett created. What I found most amusing about The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents was how self-aware and tongue-in-cheek it was. Talking animals are by no means a new concept in children’s literature, but Pratchett managed to show how ridiculous this idea was in the real world while also providing a somewhat solid explanation for how it happened.

The one aspect of this book that stood out the most was how British its humor was. I almost felt like I was listening to a Monty Python skit or an Aardman Animation movie as I worked my way through this audiobook. For those who appreciate British humor (or, I guess humour, as they spell it over there), I would highly recommend this book, as it’s certainly witty and made me chuckle on quite a few occasions. This humor overcomes the fact that the plot is a little confusing to follow in places as it jumps between different characters, but overall it’s a solid story.

An instant children’s classic with loads of British humour, I give The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents 4.0 stars out of 5.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
seamus
While this is a great work of literature, the "hardback" edition I purchased was the crappy paperback edition with some hard cardboard covers slapped on. Labeling this edition "hardback" is an act of fraud. Whoever allowed this to happen should be deeply ashamed and drummed out of the publishing business. I ended up returning this and going to Alibris to buy a true hardback edition from a charity that supports local libraries.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
chris lemery
Terry Pratchett wrote this for young adults, but this…er…mature adult also enjoyed it very much indeed.

The Amazing Maurice is a cat who suddenly found that he could think and to talk. He now travels with a group of rats who have been given the same abilities and, with a young boy playing the pipe, travel from town to town doing a sort of Pied Piper act to con the townspeople. However, they begin to develop a conscience about this and then arrive in a town where something sinister is plainly going on…

It's classic Pratchett: gripping, funny, ingenious and quietly full of some important human and moral considerations. The portrait of Maurice's behaviour as a cat is very amusing, there are some great side-swipes at the conventions of fairy tales and so on. And anyway, anyone who doesn't like a story featuring a thoughtful, moral rat called Dangerous Beans is, quite frankly, a wrong 'un.

I've managed somehow to miss out on The Amazing Maurice up to now. I'm very glad to have put that right and can recommend this warmly to readers of all ages.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
eugene
The Amazing Maurice is one of the very few Discworld books I hadn't read before the death of Terry Pratchett, and for some reason I thought it was a relatively minor work. Maybe I was fooled by its labeling as a children's book, or maybe the title made me expect something cuter, or for even younger ages. But I should have known better; anyone who's read the Tiffany Aching books knows that Pratchett makes little distinction in subject material, writing, or theme between his "adult" and his "young adult" books, and The Amazing Maurice is no exception. In theory, The Amazing Maurice is Pratchett's take on the story of the Pied Piper, only with the cat and mice being intelligent, the piper being mostly a front, and the whole operation being a scam. But when the crew decides to pull one last job before getting away and end up in a town where something darker is lurking, everything goes haywire. As you'd expect from Pratchett, The Amazing Maurice is pretty frequently hilarious, playing with the expectations we have about stories, having a gleeful blast with its intelligent creatures, and just generally subverting expectations every chance it gets. But also as you'd expect from Pratchett, it's thematically rich, dealing with the ramifications of bettering yourself, fighting with your own nature, the risks of believing stories and fables, and so much more. And then, when you least expect it, it gets dark, with the creatures dealing with a very different evil than you might expect, and one that explores the book's themes in a rich new direction. In short, it's Pratchett doing what he always does, and taking a theoretically simple story and making it funnier, more complicated, and just plain richer than it has any right being. And while it's not a top-tier Discworld book, it's still a really good one - and it's worth remembering that even a mediocre Discworld book (of which there are maybe 1 or 2, tops) is better than almost anything else you'll read. It may not be Mort or Thief of Time, but it's funny, engaging, thoughtful, charming, hilarious, exciting, thrilling, and just typically great.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
joy pixley
It's classic Pratchett, so there's that. An especially appealing aspect is that though this book is set in Discworld it is pretty much a standalone. That, coupled with tis general kid appeal, makes it an especially attractive choice for a younger reader you want to introduce to Pratchett. Easy in, easy out, and all of the witty and sly touches that make him so appealing.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
gregory booker
Terry Pratchett gives us a rat's-eye view of the Discworld - or at least its cellars - in The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents. Billed as a riff on the Pied Piper story, it's actually much more than a fractured fairy tale - laugh-out-loud funny, philosophical and dark by turns.

What might happen to a group of rats that gain intelligence and self-awareness from eating magical garbage? Perhaps they'd explore the same questions as our human ancestors thousands of years ago. This clan of Discworld rats develops a conscience, a sense of good and evil and notions of an afterlife. Most important of all, they learn to work together - with help from Maurice, a fast-talking cat, and two children: Malicia - obsessed with stories, and Keith - a stupid-looking kid who's more than he seems.

Pratchett managed to explore heavy themes such as the meaning and purpose of existence, the fear of death and how to tell right from wrong without ever sacrificing the excitement or humor of the story. I was enthralled throughout, in no small part to Stephen Briggs' wonderful narration. He brought an extra dimension to Pratchett's already rich characterizations, and his two-bit gangster voice for Maurice was to die for.

I wouldn't have thought it possible, but Maurice may have replaced Greebo in my affections as the most amazing cat in all of Discworld.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
katarina
I'm about to finish reading this book the second time, this time out loud to my sons. And wow, is it hard to get through some of the last scenes without dissolving into tears. Don't let the fact that this is considered a children's or YA book fool you into thinking it's dumbed down. The only real differences between this book and the Tiffany Aching books relative to other Discworld books are that they have chapters and younger leading characters. Otherwise, the stories are just as profound and insightful. In fact, this is one of the darker entries.

It was actually a little too intense for one of my sons. It occupies a space between The Rats of Nimh and Watership Down in terms of rodent on rodent (and occasionally cat on rodent) violence.

The book is fun for kids but more mature readers will enjoy the exploration of morality and theology.

And if a certain scene featuring a cameo by a couple of beloved Discworld characters doesn't reduce you to tears, I don't know what to say. Without giving too much away, people who complain of a certain character's likability at first fail to realize the importance of character growth, and it is that character growth from beginning to end that drives the emotional impact of this scene home. I was crying when I read it aloud, and I'm tearing up now just thinking about it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sammy lee
Of all the reviews I have on the store and on Goodreads, the one I get the most comments on is my review of Warriors #: Into the Wild by Erin Hunter. All of those comments are negative. What I said in my review is that the cats in the book are not cats. They don't think like cats, they don't act like cats, they do things that cats cannot possibly do. The comments that I get are all variations of "It's fiction, dummy," or something more strongly worded.

This book, Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, has a talking cat in it. This cat is still a cat. The talking rats are still rats. They think like rats and they act like rats. Each of the animals struggles with becoming something more than what its species has been, or what they as individuals were, before the Change. They are engaging, funny, and insightful as they struggle with the new concepts of morality and mortatlity. Is it right to eat a dead friend? They've always done it in the past. What has changed? Can they trust the cat, Maurice, to be anything but a cat, even though he always asks his food if it can talk before consuming it?

While you might think a book about talking animals is for children, I don't think that is true. A child might enjoy this book but he/she will not appreciate it to its fullest.

If you want to read something that is light and funny yet deep and satisfying, you can't do better than this.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sunjay
At first glance Maurice is nothing more than a simple stray cat. But behind that shabby black fur lies a mastermind that knows no equals. Sadly enough living in a cat’s body is not exactly the best starting point for concocting evil plans. Luckily Maurice is able talk, as a side effect of something magical that went horribly wrong. This way is able to educate his own Pied Piper. Now, all he needs is an army of trained rodents.

Refreshing is maybe that best adjective to characterize this Discworld episode aimed at younger readers. Whereas Pratchett’s usual style is already playful and silly, he clearly was not feeling limited while addressing that specific demographic. With no holds barred on the area of the fantastic, he weaves a story that captures your deepest childlike imagination, something we can never get too much of, I believe. No, it certainly is not the best plot the author ever designed, but it certainly delivers in keeping the pace of the story alive. Even more than in his other novels he manages to characterize the players in a just a brilliant lines of text, such that it becomes very hard to suppress a snicker while reading. Certainly when Maurice needs to play his best cards not to get discovered by the humans it gives birth to some scenes that might be competing with the best Pratchett has written.

So If you’re feeling playful and are in for a quick read, remember The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents and you will not be disappointed.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kiera
A talking cat, a musical kid and a band of educated rats roll into a town where something is very wrong in Terry Pratchett's hilarious fantasy set in his Discworld universe.

This fractured fairy tale is slyly funny without the overdose of whimsy that Pratchett indulges in with most of the Discworld novels. The rats and Maurice the cat have genuine character arcs, and the brave death of the alpha rat genuinely moves us. There's real heart here and something that both kids and their parents can enjoy.

Once upon a time, there was a group of rats who lived in a garbage pile outside a school for wizards on Discworld. They ate the nubbins of candlesticks and the leftover dregs of green glop that the magicians boiled up and as a result, they suddenly acquired the ability to speak.

So did Maurice, a cat, who befriended the rats and made it a point never to eat one that could talk. (He acquired his power of speech from eating one of the "changelings" but that was before he knew better.) Maurice has come up with a way for him, the rats and the kid they've adopted (a young musician named Keith) to make money. The rats aren't entirely clear on why they need to make money, but Maurice is persuasive.

It takes a bit for us to settle into the construct that Pratchett has created, but before long, we've fallen right into a world where cats and rats can talk after ingesting magical garbage. (Maurice didn't eat garbage directly--he has a rule about eating anything that glows--but he did munch on one of the changeling rats and so changed himself by proxy.) The animals are a little wary of their new status (they are especially freaked out by dreams) and they're still trying to figure out how to negotiate the world as a clan rather than as individual rats. (When the rats get a whiff of the Rat King and revert to their old ways in panic, it several of the more thoughtful rats.

The subtle shifting of power between the rats contending for power is handled with as much shading as any political maneuvering in the real world of men. The scene where Maurice sacrifices one of his lives so that a little rat can live is genuinely moving. (It's also funny because it features Death and a small, rat-sized GRIM SQUEAKER as well.)

It's helpful, but not essential, for people to know the original Pied Piper story, a dark-tinged tale that really shows the Brothers Grim at their grimmest. (In keeping with the skewed nature of Discworld, which is much like our own world, only more magical, the main fairy tale spinners in the realm are women.)

The Rat King and his manipulation of other animals is genuinely scary (and according to the author, such things genuinely exist). The scenes where the rats confront the Rat King and his evil make an excellent finale to a story that then moves off in a different direction to cap off a multi-leveled con job. (Maurice, who engineered the "pied piper con", decides he really doesn't want to settle down to a soft life of cream and naps and follows a young man on a new adventure.)

There's a lot here, from a tale of grand adventure to examples of courage. (You're never too small to be brave. You can accomplish a lot with your friends.) Pratchett has some gentle lessons to impart but he never rams them down our throats.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
aamir
A band of travellers from Ankh-Morpork have arrived in the town of Bad Blintz. The band consists of a boy with a flute named Keith, a tomcat called Maurice and a lot of rats. A lot of very smart rats. However, as the town suffers from a curiously well-timed rat infestation and Keith and Maurice prepare to enact 'the scam', it becomes clear that something else is at work in the sewers and tunnels under the town. Something that takes an interest in the curiously smart rodents...

The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents was Terry Pratchett's first Discworld novel aimed at younger readers, released in 2001. It was, arguably, the novel that finally broke Pratchett in the USA, where it won the Carnegie Medal and won more notice than his previous books (which had been a cult success at best). Subsequent Discworld books began to hit the New York Times bestseller lists, finally giving Pratchett some Stateside success after almost two decades as Britain's biggest-selling author (well, until the arrival of a certain J.K. Rowling).

It's an interesting novel, most notably because Pratchett makes exactly zero concessions to his apparently intended audience. The novel is written in the same manner as his adult books and in fact is actually among the most disturbing Discworld novels, with the revelation of the antagonist in the book being one of Pratchett's more revolting moments. It may have talking rats in it, but the tone is closer to Watership Down (complete with some pretty savage fights and deaths) than to Beatrix Potter. Pratchett seems to do this deliberately, with the rats' belief in a utopian future of animal cooperation stemming from reading a children's book called Mr. Bunnsy Has An Adventure, which becomes a totem of their tribe. Pratchett paints the internal divisions of the rat gang and each character in some detail, with his traditional economic-but-effective storytelling. The book has a darker tone than most of his novels, and whilst there are still a few laughs here, it's a more intense book than many of the Discworld series.

It's also quite snappy, coming in at a breezy 270 pages, avoiding the bloat some of the more recent Discworld books have suffered from. Pratchett sets up his plot and characters, tell his story with impressive depth and characterisation and gets out all in the time that some more traditional fantasy authors are still using to clear their throats.

The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents (****) is Pratchett at his more impressive, telling a darker story than normal but with his trademark wit and skills at character-building. It's also a complete stand-alone, with no connections at all to the rest of the Discworld series and can be read completely independently. It is available now in the UK and USA.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
pramita
This discworld book is funny and engaging and an excellent read. The plot is simple: some rats and a cat have gotten into a wizards' dump and became intelligent, and now they travel from town to town doing a pied piper routine. That is, the intelligent rats go into people's houses and freak them out, and then a boy working with them comes along and plays a pipe and draws them all away, for money. But now the rats are developing a conscience, and they don't want to rip people off anymore. So they all agree to take one more town to the cleaners and then call it quits. But Bad Blintz isn't like other towns. Something strange is going on there, and it will take all the intelligence of the rats, the cat and the boy to figure out what it is and deal with it. They find an ally in the mayor's daughter, Malicia, and must take on several dangerous enemies, and along the way they deal with issues of leadership, religion, faith in each other and faith in the stories they've created for themselves to live by.

This book is intended for younger readers, but I'm a 48 year old man and enjoyed this book just fine. It's written at a high level and will be challenging for younger readers as well as fun for adults. The book is set in Terry Pratchett's discworld, but you don't need to know a thing about the discworld to enjoy the book. Everything you need is explained in the book itself, you don't need to have read a single other discworld book. Settle in, snuggle up and enjoy!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rocki
This ... this is a bit of a go at the Pied Piper story. With a touch of Puss in Boots. And practically every fluffy bunny story every written. Mostly told by Maurice and an assemblage of Changed, and quite educated, rats.
The story is starts off simple. Talking cat, smart rats, stupid-looking kid with whistle. Go into town, plague of rats, pay stupid-looking kid money to drive rats out. Move on to next town. Easy money. That is, until they get to Bad Blintz, an apparently ratless town that doesn't seem to know they're ratless. Then things get a little ... interesting.
There's a definite vein of silliness lurking in the background, even with all the seriousness of killing and talks of death going on. I do love the rat names: Dangerous Beans, Nourishing, Hamnpork, Peaches, Sardines (in fact, I love everything about Sardines) and Darktan. I love how the rats are still rats and not all 'Mr. Bunnsy'. A little reminiscent of the Mrs Frisby and the Rats of N.I.M.H. or Watership Down there (and, the occasional time, The Tale of Desperaux). Only with a nicer ending.
And the ending ... classic Pratchett twist there.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
carolannie
This "children's book" is classic Terry Pratchett!! It's part of the wonderful Discworld series that has an enormous following! I don't know how Pratchett was able to make so many people of different ages and backgrounds fall in love with the characters in his books, but he makes this magic real. He can somehow find humanity in the most desperate of times. The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents is a timeless classic that even people who've never read a Discworld book would appreciate. I, myself, have gifted this book to friends with and without children. It certainly didn't read like a typical children's book. You just get so caught up in the story. One way this book differs from other Discworld books, is that I didn't have to google the definition of unfamiliar words!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
starla harris
I'd love to live in a world where cats and rats talked, although around here they'd probably only say things like, "Not dry food again," or "Don't touch that piece of cheese." However, in the middle school book by Terry Pratchett, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, a cat and a group of rats can not only talk, but they plot, scheme, and foil evildoers.

Pratchett, the author of this children's story (that adults will love too), tells a lively, humorous tale starring Maurice, a scruffy con artist of a cat; Dangerous Beans, a thoughtful albino rat who ponders the meaning of their newfound intelligence; Darktan, a streetwise rat bristling with derring-do; and Peaches, a female rat who is the conscience of the group. Many other rats have walk-on parts. Two humans appear in supporting roles: Keith, a quiet boy who plays musical instruments, and Malicia, the Mayor's daughter, who tries to make everything that happens turn out like a story in a book.

As the story opens, Maurice and the rats arrive at a new town and the cat convinces the rats to pull the same trick they've used in other towns: the rats will invade all the homes and swim in the cream, widdle on the muffins, and generally make nuisances of themselves. Then Maurice will negotiate a fee with the town Mayor for removing the rats. When the fee has been paid, Keith will play a flute and "lure" the rats out of town. But the scheme goes wrong when the Maurice and the others discover that the local rat catchers are up to no good and that deep beneath the town lives a mysterious something that has the power to control minds.

This book for middle school readers has as many twists and turns as the dark, creepy tunnels beneath the town where it is set. The dialogue is witty and I laughed out loud many times. I found some scenes touching as well--who knew I would care what happens to rats? The plot is like a good soup--it keeps thickening; new threats keep popping up to make things worse. Danger and death lurk around every corner and even wily, selfish Maurice the cat rises to heroism.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
shawna
What would happen if a cat and some rats all CHANGED such that they could talk to one another, and think, and plan adventures of questionable legality? What would happen if Terry Pratchett used this premise as a story? The answer to these questions is "The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents," which is witty, hilarious, and thoughtful all at the same time.

The story takes us into the thoughts of Maurice the cat, and the rats he hangs with. Unlike many other stories from the point-of-view of the animals, Pratchett takes the premise itself as an issue for the characters themselves. They all - Maurice and the rats - remember life before the Change, and deal with the effects after it.

"Maurice wasn't like other cats anymore. Other cats were, suddenly, stupid. Maurice started to hang around with the rats instead. They were someone to talk to." Maurice's approach is very pragmatic. The rats, on the other hand, "spent a lot of time worrying about why they were suddenly so clever." The rat Dangerous Beans is the one most preoccupied with that mystery. He is an albino runt with very poor eyesight. And a restless, changed mind.

To propel this unlikely, but fascinating, premise, Pratchett employs the Pied Piper plot. More correctly, Maurice employs that plot, for financial gain. Finding a "stupid kid" with a pennywhistle, Maurice hatches a plan to pay for this odd troupe's way in the world. It's a variant of the protection racket: they'll find a little town with no major rat problem, infest it with their own clever rodents, terrorize the inhabitants, and then bring in the kid with the pipe to save the day. For a handsome fee.

The book begins with the troupe spying out their newest target. We see how they work together to dupe the local bourgeoisie out of some money and power, and get a taste of the thinking of cats and rats as Pratchett imagines it. Then the story takes us to a town with a mystery: no rats at all. Soon our heroes are themselves in danger, and theirs isn't the only scheme going down. Amidst trying to solve this mystery, and keep themselves alive, they all ask some very hard questions - about the nature of their `cleverness,' the future of their cooperative relationship, and the burdens and responsibilities of conscious thought.

I applaud Pratchett for his skill in telling an enjoyable story with characters worth rooting for, and wrestling with questions and issues worth tackling.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jediden23
I have always been told that, as a fan of fantasy and humor, I needed to read Terry Pratchett. And after reading THE AMAZING MAURICE AND HIS EDUCATED RODENTS, I now understand what everyone was talking about. Pratchett's style is simultaneously witty, entertaining, and incisive; he succeeds in this children's book in saying more about society than most adult books ever manage, and he does so while making you laugh out loud.

Set in an obscure corner of Discworld, the fantasy world in which Pratchett has written numerous other books for adults, a cat named Maurice discovers suddenly the ability to talk--and not just to talk, but to think and to reason. Maurice believes himself to be the only animal afflicted with this talent, until he discovers a group of rats living in the city dump who have also miraculously achieved the ability of speech and thought. As Maurice is emphatic about his promise to never eat anything that can talk, he and the talking rats get along rather well. Soon, along with the help of an orphan boy named Keith who was raised by a musician's guild, Maurice sets upon a scheme to make some easy money, and the rats go along in their belief that they may someday find a place where they will be free to live as talking rats without the fear of being hunted by humans.

Maurice's plan is simple. If the rats will go and infest a town, wreaking havoc for the space of a few days, the town leaders will be sure to call a rat piper to remove the rats from the town. Then it's Keith's job to show up, pipe the rats away, and receive a generous fee for his troubles, one that the rats and Maurice will share. Keith, Maurice, and the rats go like this from town to town...until they reach the town of Bad Blintz, and everything stops working as planned.

The story is populated by humorous characters that you can't help but take seriously. Maurice's sly cunning is undermined by the fact that he meticulously questions any rat he comes across before eating it, in order to keep up his first promise to the talking rats. The rats themselves are amusing individuals, self-named after the first things they could read in that city dump where they originated, so that the story is populated by creatures who go by Hamnpork, Darktan, Sardines, and Dangerous Beans. But under these hilarious names, they are at heart a people trying to figure out their own origins and explain the things they don't yet understand about their sudden ability to speak, and what that means for their future.

I would recommend this book to anyone who's not afraid to laugh, and anyone who's not afraid to think hard about the ramifications of being a person--or rat, or cat--capable of speech, thought, and reason.

Reviewed by: Candace Cunard
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
julia pugliese
A stupid looking young boy arrives in the town of Bad Blintz, along with a scruffy looking cat and a troop of rats. This is the Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents. No, Maurice isn't the boy. Maurice is the cat, who talks and is the brains of the operation. Maurice is, to put it bluntly, a con artist. The rodents also talk, courtesy of the garbage pile behind the wizard's university. They are intelligent and self aware, and in fact are evolving their own system of ethics and religion. They do this in between running scams on towns where the rats invade people's homes, eating their food, widdling in the cream, and then the boy pipes them out of town. Oh, by the way, this is a Discworld novel. Knowing that might make all this more understandable.

In Bad Blintz, things don't go the usual way. They can find no regular rats, but food is disappearing at an incredible rate, and the two town rat catchers are coming up with a huge number of rat tails to show what they're catching. And a girl named Malicia Grim sees through the boy and Maurice right off the bat. Soon the merry band is embroiled in a life or death adventure.

The story is adventure, comedy, mystery, a bit of horror and a commentary on society. The plot moves swiftly and I couldn't wait to see what happened next. But the best part was watching the rats (and Maurice) develop emotionally and philosophically. They aren't just animals who can speak about their instincts; they are now self aware and capable of thinking in the abstract. Great stuff!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tina mumm
Although it doesn't involve any of the recurring characters (except of course, Death) this book takes place on the Discworld. If you're not familiar with Terry Pratchett's writing, the Discworld is a British humor parody of the fantasy genre as a whole . . . well, it started out just as that; I don't think that summary does it justice any longer . . . anywho.

This is the story of a cat and a group of rats who through a magical accident became intelligent. Along with the help of a young boy who likes to play music, they work together to run a "rat piper" scam in various towns they travel through. At least, that's how things stand until they reach Bad Blintz. Here they find something truly terrible that transforms all of them. (They also meet a girl named Malicia Grim, a grand-daughter of the Grim sisters, writers of some disturbingly gory fairy tales (much like most fairy tales were before Disney got ahold of them) but I don't know if I want to describe characters in depth right now.))

If read attentively, this is a surprisingly deep book. It's an adventure story with talking animals, yes; but it's also a story about how community and morality are formed, what it means to be a leader, and why widdling on someone's grave isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's a book about the power of stories, the ones we tell ourselves about ourselves and the ones we tell each other about how the world works. Don't get me wrong, the story never gets bogged down in abstract speculation or bland moralizing. Instead it's like a Sunday school teacher in a dunking booth, educational and yet hilarious at the same time.

While I certainly think this book is worthy of awards, I'm amazed that it got a Carnegie Medal for children's books. Pratchett is almost always funny, but this is also a dark and occasionally disturbing book. . . . All that to say, highly recommended.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sky thibedeau
While this is technically a Discworld novel (even Death makes a cameo appearance), it's really an independent story intended for young adult readers. However, Pratchett (like Heinlein) writes books for younger readers that actually appeal to all readers. The thing is, the wizards of Unseen University have a toxic spell-dump behind their institution that often has unpredictable effects on living (and previously nonliving) things. In this case, the rats that live and take their meals there find themselves with suddenly advanced intelligence. They learn to think, to act in concert, to read, to wear selected clothing and use weapons, and to dream of a utopian future. However, Maurice, who has also become intelligent, is a cat with imagination and the soul of a con man, and he organizes a Pied Piper scam with the aid of the rats and a stupid-looking young musician named Keith. And they're making good money, until they choose as their next target the town of Bad Blintz, where a mysterious and very dangerous force is at work among the rats and rat-catchers. As his fans know, Pratchett understands the feline psychology, and Maurice is a hoot: "Cats are good at steering people. A miaow here, a purr there, a little gentle pressure with a claw . . . and Maurice had never had to think about it before. Cats didn't have to think. They just had to know what they wanted. Humans had to do the thinking. That's what they were for." But it turns out he also knows a lot about the social life of rats. (He read "more about rats than is good for me," he says in the Afterword.) Among the rats, there's the practical engineer with a military bent, the old-fashioned boss who distrusts change, the nearly blind intellectual mystic, the politically astute lieutenant (and tap dancer), the loyal young female -- all the characters you would expect in an epic. The dialogue is believable (and not nearly as off the wall as in the "mainstream" Discworld novels), the characterization is spot on (especially Malicia, the mayor's daughter, who considers life just one long fairy tale and packs accordingly), and Pratchett never hesitates to bring in a bit of shocking truth. An excellent book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
amal awad
Let me give you an example of how seriously this author can mess with your mind: I was watching a CNN news clip concerning a New York City Taco Bell restaurant that was infested with rats, and I actually leaned forward to see if I could spot the tap-dancing rat (his name is Sardines).

Pratchett rules!

"The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents" is about a leader (Hamnpork, not to be mistaken for Moses) who dies before he enters the Promised Land (an island without humans). The holy book of his people ("Mr. Bunnsy Has an Adventure") is torn apart and thrown into a sewer. His followers are in disarray. Who can a rat turn to for help?

Well, there's Darktan (picture John Wayne playing a tough-but-tender-hearted-rat-sergeant), who treats his recruits in the trap-disabling squad with a sort of gruff-tough love.

There's also Maurice, the shifty, jiving cat who could be played by Will Smith (with the addition of two chewed-up ears and a case of the mange). Maurice used to hang around the dump behind the Unseen University, where the wizards discarded their trash. He was just a regular alley cat until he ate a rat that had been nibbling candle-ends in the wizard's dump. Now he and the rats can talk and think. Whereas the rats used to eat books, now they read them. Maurice acquires a stupid-looking street musician and together with the rats, they roam from village to village on Discworld, pulling the old Pied Piper scam. The rats invade the targeted village, widdling in the flour, gnawing on the sausages, and (yes) tap-dancing across kitchen floors with a straw hat and cane. The kid with the flute shows up, pipes the rats out of town, and is given a bag of money by the grateful villagers.

Unfortunately for Maurice, his educated rats are acquiring ethics along with intelligence. They decide to hit one more village before retiring to the Promised Island---the village of Bad Blintz in the mountains of Uberwald.

And as all serious Discworld fans know, there are stranger creatures in Uberwald than tap-dancing rats.

I see that this book has been turned into a play, and other subterfuges for educating children, but it's still pretty good Pratchett although a bit preachier than usual. The characters are as weird and wonderful as anything on Discworld and you DON'T want to miss the scene where the stupid-looking kid and his tale-spinning friend confront the real rat catchers. What a perfect revenge!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
c c mackenzie
This is my first Pratchett book, and I have come to the party late, but I don't understand the YA category of this story. Surely all of this wit, phiilosophy and optimism, never mind the laugh out loud absurdity, are wasted on anyone under 30? (I would say 50, but I'm old). These are characters that are so vivid and sharply drawn, I had an animated feature in my head the the whole time I was reading. How does a writer make me care so deeply about what happens to rats named after labels on discarded food cans? And I cared. More than I care about most characters in "grown-up" fiction. And, it's true, I will never look at rats the same again. Part of me almost wishes young people wouldn't read this story, with its cynicism about humans displayed so prominently. After all, we are just rats, I mean humans. Part of me is pleased Mr. Pratchett is so profilic, because there is a lot more to read. But part of me doubts any of those other books could meet the high standard established by this universal, heartfelt, and thoroughly satisfying tale.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alys
Its a Discworld tale aimed at younger readers (ages 9-12) but I dont care. Its a DISCWORLD novel, people! Besides, if kids can enjoy the "regular" Discworld books, why cant an adult enjoy this one?
Terry Pratchett (TP) does not patronise his target audience in this novel. The storyline tackles heavy issues but done in such a way that it wont turn off the younger mindset. Such is TP's creativity that he's able to tell a tale for his younger fans without appearing to be a doddering old man preaching to the kiddies. In fact, his fans of all ages will laugh themselves silly at the ever present humour, though the young 'uns will enjoy it more as the references are more recognisable to them.
The regular Discworld characters do not make an appearance (Death has a cameo, though) but again that does not affect the story for veteran Disc fans...although events that happened in other Disc books are hinted at, which is nice. Besides, this is an "Amazing Maurice" novel, so let the cat and his rats shine.
TP has parodied Shakespeare's plays, Hollywood, politics, murder mysteries and err...Australia in his previous works and this time its the turn of the Brothers Grimm 'Pied Piper' fairy tale. Maurice the cat runs a very profitable scam involving the rodents and a naive kid who can play a pipe but this being a Discworld book, things soon go pear-shaped real quick. There is evil about and it does not like cats.
All in all, TP has once again created lovable characters to populate the Discworld and join the ranks of fan favourites like DEATH, the Patrician, Granny Weatherwax, Commander Vimes and the Librarian (oook!). I hope there will be other books featuring Maurice and/or the rats in either the regular Discworld books or this "Young Readers" set.
My only criticism is the cover. Why oh why do the Discworld novels published in the US cant have great cover art like its UK counterpart??? This novel suffers the same fate as the regular Disc novels published in the US -- boring covers. Go to the store.co.uk to see what I mean.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
frybri81
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 allows them to communicate better while the reading gives them words to use as names. They're an organized group now, and they have an ambition. They want to find a safe place for retirement. They have a mentor, Maurice, a cat who shares their talents, but has an extra one of his own - he's a con cat. And he has a story hidden away.
A street smart feline, Maurice has learned the value of money. He knows how humans use it, and he wants the independence it offers. To gain it, he's organized the rats and adopted Keith, a rather simple human, into his group. Together, they work the towns to create a "plague of rats" then provide a piper, Keith, to lure them away - for cash. Despite disputes over percentages, the team has scored many successful ventures. But Keith, and the rats, are having misgivings over the ethics of the con. They want to quit, and Bad Blintz will be the last place they work the con.
Every venture has its risks. Bad Blintz is clearly not a rich place. The villagers queue up for bread and sausages, which are in short supply. There are rat catchers who carry strings of tails, but the team can't find a live rat anywhere in the maze of cellars and tunnels beneath the town. In resolving this conundrum, team encounters a powerful new force - one that challenges all the skills given them by the wizards' residue magic. Their very survival rests on how they deal with the mystery. Its resolution is consummately Pratchett.
Terry Pratchett's books increasingly delve into philosophical questions, even moral ones. It would be nice to know if he actually intended this book for "children." You'll note above that the publishers call for "Reader Level Ages 9 - 12," but the editorial reviews say "12 and up." The disparity is typical Pratchett. Why the lack of consensus? One guess is that Pratchett thinks the adult mind set is too rigid to discern the point he's making. This book isn't a fantasy about "talking animals," it's a spur to stimulate thinking about the relationship of humanity to the rest of the animal kingdom. We're part of that kingdom, but we deal with our relations in ignorance. Children, and a few adults, are best suited to begin revising that approach. With human society devastating the habitats of so many creatures, a new way of thinking about them is required. Pratchett's conclusion shows that the process won't be simple and we have to start thinking now about how to do it. Who better to start with than children? They still have the capacity to learn.
It's almost superfluous to discuss Pratchett's writing. He's a master of language and a skilled manipulater of ideas. If you are new to his work, this is a fine place to start. If you're an established fan, there's nothing here to disappoint you. Add this book to your library and buy another for someone. Anyone. They'll surely be grateful.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tania hutley
Terry Pratchett's Discworld series has topped British bestseller lists for years and has a sizable fanbase in the United States as well. Now, with rodent adventure "The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents," Pratchett expands Discworld from adult fantasy to young adult fantasy as well.

A boy, a cat, and a troupe of rats arrive at the town of Bad Blintz. But while Keith is normal, feline Maurice and his "educated rodents" are not -- they speak, think, and are self-aware (they ate wizards' garbage). And they have a nice racket going, where the rats pretend to infest a town (they gnaw things and "widdle" on the flour), and Keith poses as a piper to lead them away. But something is wrong with Bad Blintz -- there are no native rats, yet the rat-catchers claim that there's an outright plague of them, and are producing rat-tails to prove it. (They bear a remarkable resemblance to shoelaces)

With the help of a too-imaginative-for-her-own good girl named Malicia, Keith and Maurice begin to investigate why all the rats are gone, and what the rat-catchers are up to. But when they discover the conspiracy, Maurice starts hearing the voice of something down in the sewers -- something evil, something powerful, something that can command hundreds of rats...

Pratchett is reknowned for his new spins on old material. Much as he gave a new spin to MacBeth in "Wyrd Sisters," here he gives a new spin to the "Pied Piper" legend, with some interesting philosophy and his trademarked humor as well. Does the idea of talking animals and preteens make you cringe? Don't -- Pratchett handles it with rare style.

There's plenty of humor in this book, from the names of the rats (Dangerous Beans, Additives, Big Savings, Toxie) to Sardines, the tap-dancing rat with a hat to the incident with the laxatives. His dialogue is still brilliant, especially when he deflates tense scenes ("Think of my dear wife and my four lovely children who'll be without their daddy!" "You're not married. You don't have any children!" "I might want some day!").

But Pratchett doesn't forget the deeper currents either -- the sense of evil he builds up is very genuine, and Spider is one of the most unique fantasy villains he's created. Also good is the attitude of the Changed rats: they cherish their greater intelligence, fear their instincts, and gradually we see them overcome some of those ratty instincts. Rather than eating one of their dead, they bury him like humans do.

Keith is a nice character, seeming dim but surprisingly intelligent. Maurice is the character that Pratchett does best -- he seems, initially, to have no good characteristis, but he's a good person underneath. (With a dirty little secret involving one of the rats) The Educated Rodents are all given individual personalities that Pratchett juggles very well. And Dangerous Beans, a little blind rat, has one of the best scenes in which he confronts the mysterious Spider.

"The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents" isn't actually that different from Pratchett's adult fantasies, and older fans of that series will enjoy this one just as much as the kids. Witty, thought-provoking, entertaining.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rachel franz
Once again Terry Pratchett reaches into is back of tricks and pulls out a rat named Dangerous Beans or another rat called Sardines (a dancing rat, mind you), or a street cat called Maurice, or a young woman named Malicia and even a boy named Keith. Keith? Must be a slip up. Let's see, the story all started when some ordinary rats got into the Magic College's trash heap and ate some thing that gave them brains. Well, a lot more brains than they had before.
And then a hungry cat ate one of the rats and suddenly it was getting regular headaches and making a point of not eating anything that talks. Maurice, being a practically minded cat, immediately saw the possibilities, and recruited Keith, who was a bit dumb looking but could play the pipes. Suddenly the troop was on the road, working the old pied piper scam, and making good money at it. Dangerous Beans was their spiritual guide, their thinker of Big Thoughts, the rest take care of undoing traps, spotting poison and widdling on things, etc. In no time, town after town was anteing up to get rid of their rats.
The only drawback was that one couldn't very well work the same trick in the same place twice, so eventually the gang found themselves in the town of Bad Blintz. And this town was just a bit different. For one thing the resident rats had eaten all the food, but there weren't any resident rats to be found. For another thing, the resident rat catchers seemed to be making rat tails out of shoestrings. And there is something really, really bad in the cellars beneath the city. Worst of all, Malicia the mayor's daughter also lives in Bad Blintz.
If the above description gives you a clear idea of what 'The Amazing Maurice...' is about I've done my job poorly. Suffice it to say that a group of rats that do a much better job of being people than people do find themselves in a battle to save the town and, perhaps, life as we know it. Once again Pratchett has created a morality tale out of sarcasm and parody. One that can surprise us by touching our hearts unexpectedly. In Discworld, where nothing works quite like it should, things still manage to work out well (well, most of the time... for some people).
This tale is funny and likeable. While intended for young adults it works just as well for old youngsters like me. Even the strange references to Mr. Bunnsey and Ratty Rupert are fun. Just don't eat that green wobbly bit.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jane deaux
Maurice (a talking cat), Keith the stupid-looking kid, and a clan of intelligent talking rats have a good thing going. Keith can play the penny-whistle and the rats can manage a rat infestation better than anyone. The Pied Piper had nothing on their scam. At least until the rats' increasing intelligence starts to come with the price of a conscience. They finally agree on one last job--but the existing rat catchers in Bad Blintz (author Terry Pratchett always picks good town names) have their own plots going and their schemes look like bad news for Maurice and the clan.
Pratchett has created a tongue-in-cheek fairy tale set in his Discworld. The rats and Maurice struggle with the dawning of conscience--Maurice always gives his victims a chance to talk before he eats them, with their place in the world, and with the powerful rat-king who wants to use their power for war against the humans.
Human characters, especially Keith and Malicia, play supporting roles but the real stars in this novel. Malicia's (often successful) attempts to create a story out of life frustrate Keith while providing worthwhile lessons (if you aren't making the story, you're a bit character in someone else's story) for both other characters and the readers. Overall, though, the rats--all given amusing names they selected from reading labels (Dangerous Beans is a favorite) are the most interesting characters and characters with the most compelling character arcs.
I sat down to read THE AMAZING MAURICE AND HIS EDUCATED RODENTS, and didn't get up until I'd finished it--with a lot of laughs in the process. This novel probably won't change your life, but it just might.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
udayan chakrabarti
This was a really cute story. Basically, a bunch of rats, snacking on wizardly refuse, attain sentience. They also hook up with a sentient cat. They can all speak, learn, and chat with each other, and at the Cat's devious notion, dupe a "stupid looking kid" to play the role of a rat-piper, moving from city to city where the rats act up, the Piper comes in and clears the rats out, and they all get paid.

This time, however, they've stumbled into a town where there's something really evil going on, and all the wisecracking cats, tapdancing rats, and stupid-looking kids in the world might just be in over their heads.

Well written, with a bit of whimsy in nearly every chapter, this was my introduction to the Discworld series, and I dare say I'll be back. The wonderful observations from the rats point of view are fantastic (there's a great part where one of the rats is asked something along the lines of: "Do you know what animal swarms into a place, breeds terribly, spoils everything they can't use and wastes everything they can until there's nothing left?" and the rat says, "Sure. Humans.")

The story gets a bit dark in places for a young reader, though a teen would probably get a laugh. And the mythology lover in me adores the play on the Pied Piper of Hamelin - like Orson Scott Card's "Enchantment" did for Sleeping Beauty, Pratchett did here for the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

'Nathan
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
romy
For "The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents", Terry Pratchett's 28th Discworld book, he states in the Author's Note at the end that he did a lot of research into rats before writing this book. It shows.
This also marks Pratchett's first Discworld book for the young adult set. It actually serves as a pretty good introduction to the Discworld, giving us an entirely new set of characters to play with thart aren't bogged down in the already established Discworld cosmology (save the necessary cameo by Death, the famous anthropomorphic personification).
The story is a spin, obviously, on The Pied Piper of Hamlin, but with Pratchett's usual fairy-tale-crashes-head-on-into-real-world take on things. The rats (and cat) talk - and scheme and scam - but do so in a way completely at odds with the standard Disney-like children's book characters. They're really more characters trying to come to terms with being saddled with things they never wanted - like sentience - than anthropomorphic animals. In fact, stories like Peter Cottontail (and the Brothers Grimm) are parodied throughout the book.
In keeping with Pratchett's previously mentioned belief in previous books that kids are just as capable (if not more, in some cases) of dealing with nastiness, death and general unpleasantness, Pratchett doesn't really pull any punches in his narrative. He treats rats as they really are - smelly, foul, incontinent sometime cannibals. That's not to say that, like all of his protagonists, they're not actually good beings - they're just not cute, fluffy and sweet.
However, all this said, it's still a story about humankind - and ratkind - triumphing over it's baser beliefs and practices. It's a great story and which, as with all of Pratchett's best books - deals out humor, suspense and creepiness in equal measure. I recommend it for kids, adults, Discworld fans and those new to the series. It's as good as any Discworld book he's done so far and it doesn't need the established background to tell a great story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kambrielle
Pratchett's Discworld series seems like it is endless. What is it now, more than 35 books?
So the man is allowed to have some books that are lesser than the others...P>Okay, now to the book.
This book is not a full-fledged member of the Discworld series. It takes place on the Discworld, but does not contain any previously-seen characters, and these chracters will most likely not appear again.
Not that there is anything wrong with that, it's just that you Death/Rincewind/Wyrd Sisters/Watch fans won't find your favorite characters in this book. This is typical Pratchett - write some books that feature previous characters, and write some with brand new characters that are most likely a one-off. It keeps him fresh and interesting.
This was a very good book, and a lot of fun to read. I don't think that it's Pratchett's best, but it's very good, and there are more than a few authors who could stand to do this well.
The plot is strong and well thought out. The characters are not always likeable, as Pratchett is often wont to do. The plot twists and turns in a variety of unexpected ways, and there is really no way to predict what comes next.
It's a worthwhile book, and I do heartily recommend it to any fantasy fan, and most sci-fi fans as well.
Enjoy!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
florafox
"The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents" was my first Terry Pratchett read, but not the last. In a spoof of the Pied Piper, Pratchett describes Maurice, a highly intelligent cat by way of the wizards' trash, and his group of rats. Along with a pipe-playing boy called Keith, Maurice and his gang scheme money out of towns by getting rid of their rat infestion.

There is something hilarious and yet serious about the entire book. The rats themselves have to be the funniest- with names like "Dangerous Beans", "Hamnpork", and "Darktan", it isn't hard to get a laugh out of them as they explore the world with their new intelligence. They take a stab at philosophy, wondering what happens when you die and what is the point of dreams. In the end they prove stubborn for rights in the town, as well as courageous in their own way.

Maurice himself is the most well-done character. Streetwise and cunning, he manipulates the rats into winning him the money that he does not, in fact, know what he's going to do with. In the end he's sweet and heroic- but he's still got that fierce spark in him.

I loved reading this, and it has to be my favorite spoof ever. It was my introduction to Terry Pratchett's world, and in my opinion his most well-done book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
medda
Whether he's writing for adults or children, Terry Pratchett just has a knack for writing something that works. I've read most of his Discworld novels, and some of his non-Discworld novels, and I've loved every single one of them.

This one was particularly memorable.

This is the story of what happens when rats and cats get influenced by magic, and become "changelings" that can talk and think like humans. Behind every mastermind rat plague is Maurice, a cat who has figured out how to turn the rat plagues to his benefit. Include a kid who acts as the rat piper, and a girl who is convinced the whole thing is a "story" and you have a great tale.

Whether or not you like animals, or you are an adult or a child, you are bound to enjoy this one. It is aimed at children, but all the adults will have a good chuckle too.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
l layale
Terry Pratchett's Discworld series has topped British bestseller lists for years and has a sizable fanbase in the United States as well. Now with "The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents" Pratchett expands Discworld from adult fantasy to young adult fantasy as well.
A boy, a cat, and a troupe of rats arrive at the town of Bad Blintz. But while Keith is normal, feline Maurice and his "educated rodents" are not -- they speak, think, and are self-aware (they ate wizards' garbage). And they have a nice racket going, where the rats pretend to infest a town (they gnaw things and "widdle" on the flour), and Keith poses as a piper to lead them away. But something is wrong with Bad Blintz -- there are no native rats, yet the rat-catchers claim that there's an outright plague of them, and are producing rat-tails to prove it. (They bear a remarkable resemblance to shoelaces)
With the help of a too-imaginative-for-her-own good girl, Malicia, Keith and Maurice begin to investigate why all the rats are gone, and what the rat-catchers are up to. But when they discover the conspiracy, Maurice starts hearing the voice of something down in the sewers -- something evil, something powerful, something that can command hundreds of rats...
So help me, I'm an idiot where funny titles are concerned, and "Amazing Maurice" is further proof that they often c. Much as he gave a new spin to MacBeth in "Wyrd Sisters," here he gives a new spin to the "Pied Piper" legend, with some interesting philosophy and his trademarked humor as well. Does the idea of talking animals and preteens make you cringe? Don't -- Pratchett handles it with rare style.
There's plenty of humor in this book, from the names of the rats (Dangerous Beans, Additives, Big Savings, Toxie) to Sardines, the tap-dancing rat with a hat to the incident with the laxatives. His dialogue is still brilliant. ("Think of my dear wife and my four lovely children who'll be without their daddy!" "You're not married. You don't have any children!" "I might want some day!")
But Pratchett doesn't forget the deeper currents either -- the sense of evil he builds up is very genuine, and Spider is one of the most unique fantasy villains he's created. Also good is the attitude of the Changed rats: they cherish their greater intelligence, fear their instincts, and gradually we see them overcome some of those ratty instincts (rather than eating one of their dead, they bury him like humans do).
Keith is a nice character, seeming dim but surprisingly intelligent; Malicia is a pain in the butt, and only seems to gain any brains near the end. Maurice is the character that Pratchett does best -- he seems, initially, to have no good characteristis, but he's a good person underneath. (With a dirty little secret involving one of the rats) The Educated Rodents are all given individual personalities that Pratchett juggles very well. And Dangerous Beans, a little blind rat, has one of the best scenes in which he confronts the mysterious Spider.
"The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents" isn't actually that different from Pratchett's adult fantasies, and older fans of that series will enjoy this one just as much as the kids. Witty, thought-provoking, entertaining.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
illuminatori
The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents is a very witty version of The Pied Piper. Maurice, a talking cat, his stupid looking kid (that's what Maurice refers to him as), and a group of very smart talking rats with names such as Dangerous Beans, Sardines, and Hamnpork, go into towns and trick them into thinking they have a rat infestation. Once the town believes this, Keith (Maurice's stupid looking kid), comes forth as a rat piper and gets money to draw the rats out of town. When they come into the town of Bad Blintz, they quickly realize this town isn't like the others. Something fishy is going on and they're determined to find out what it is.

This was my first Discworld book by Pratchett. I thought starting out with the children's book in the series would be the best introduction for me. I think it was the right thing for me to do. Pratchett is a really good writer and he is very funny. I was surprised at some of the issues brought up in a funny book about rats. I look forward to continuing the series with the books aimed at adults.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
susan s
A friend gave me this book for my birthday, explaining that it was a book about rats. Was I ever surprised when I opened the cover and started reading. It is not just about rats.
Pratchett has done his work. I believe him when he says that he read loads about rats before beginning this. But not only the rat part is accurate. When he describes rat writing (pictograms, could be hieroglyphic-like), it parallels the history of the development of human writing. The rats in this story provide a kind of microcosm of how human society might have developed; their dreams of utopia do not come from out of the blue. The rats have their version of a holy book, a keeper of the flame, and of course their characters are all very different and sometimes conflict. Baseness, greed, and corruption all figure in the story, and the rats need to discover how to deal with this new threat called EVIL (as the book's back cover will also tell you).
Although the mentally-mutated (smart) rats naturally figure prominently in the story along with a mentally-mutated cat (Maurice), I think that it also works as an allegory. You can read this story either for face value or more deeply. In the latter way, I think that Terry Pratchett critiques current society. It's funny that reading about rats would make one question humanity, but that's what happened to me!
In a way this book is about having dreams and trying to fulfill them, and getting disillusioned along the way but not giving up. However, it has no morality overtones and despite its seriousness, it is also pretty funny (take the tap-dancing rat named Sardines, for instance). The story ends on a happy note too but it isn't overly saccharine. In a way, it's like pop philosophy and a good story rolled into one.
I was also able to read this story without knowing anything at all about Discworld.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
nannette
This is a collection of short reviews by 4 fourth and fifth graders. Their average rating of the book is 4.5 stars.

Don't let the back of the book fool you! Meet Maurice, Dangerous Beans, and many more to find out the secret. The talking animals are not a fairy tale. This is a humorous book, exciting, and you will stick to it until midnight! *** Warning: If you like fairy tales, put down this book immediately! Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents has left a mark. It is hilariously funny and gripping. *** When Maurice the talking cat comes to Bad Blintz with his crew of educated rodents, they don't find what they were expecting. Instead of a golden opportunity, they find a silly girl, a pair of rat-catching fakes, and something far worse. This book was incredibly funny. It was also very clever. This is definitely not a fairy tale, although some characters think it is. Overall, it has the same hilarious charm that all of Terry Pratchett's book share. *** This is a book full of adventure, an adventure story with humor. Don't miss anything, especially the green wobbly bits!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
meredith kline
I travel for a living, and Terry Pratchett's discworld books are always a good standby because a) they are easy to read, b) enjoyable, and c) available in most airport bookstores.

However, my favorite by far is The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents. The story is light and fun, with a deeper lesson for those who want it. It is cleanly written and the story progresses nicely. Subjects such as religion, the afterlife, right vs. wrong, and wisdom vs. intellect are all flirted with, but nothing is jammed down your throat.

The characters are largely stereotypical on the surface, but again there is more to them, if you dig in and pay attention (with the possible exception of the mayor's daughter, who is pivotal to several analogies about life and stories, but otherwise is fairly two-dimensional). The character of Maurice (a cat) is the heart of the story, and will likely be a favorite among readers. Maurice represents a facade of control and power that borders on arrogance... and that most of us are forced to adopt to some extent in our own lives/careers; yet like most people, Maurice is not as in control as he thinks, and his wise alley-cat exterior crumbles in the face of morality and courage, proving that he's a good guy (err, cat) after all.

T.A.M.A.H.E.R. is fun and appropriate for all ages, teaches some good life-lessons about compromise and culture-tolerance, and gets five bright pointy stars from me.

I should also note that the story is short -- a refreshing change from novels (especially "fantasy" novels) that are often stuffed full of sawdust and slag in order to round out 400 terribly written pages. In contrast, Pratchett has written a beautifully concise and well structured story.

[Edit: As I am a huge fan of--and therefore inspired by--Terry Pratchett, I feel I'm justified in pointing out my new book Cluck: Murder Most Fowl. Many of my fellow Pratchett fans have been early readers and have enjoyed it. Apologies for the shameless self-promotion, -edk]
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
franchesca
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!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
paintedwings
The Amazing Maurice (a cat), some educated rats, and a stupid looking boy have been running a con involving plagues of rats and a kid who pipes them away for a price.
Sounds simple, but this is form the imagination of Terry Pratchett. The cat and rats can think and talk (the rats have been eating the garbage behind the wizardry school). The title characters have just arrived in a strange new town. There seems to already be a plague of rats although Maurice and company cannot find any.
If there are no rats, who is stealing all of the food? Where did the rat tails come from that the Rat Catchers have been turning in? What is really behind everything? Can the boy be as stupid as he looks?
All of these questions, and more, are answered in typical Pratchett style in this new tale of the Discworld.
A quick and entertaining read (with uncharacteristic chapters) that catches the reader at the start like a terrier catching a rat, and doesn't let go until it's all over (like a terrier with a rat). A must read for Pratchett fans.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
brent legault
Those of you who are unfamiliar with Terry Pratchett's Discworld are missing out. Badly.

This is the first Discworld book for a younger audience. Pratchett didn't dumb himself down for this one, which is all too common when a writer for grownups decides to take on a younger audience.

If you like this, do yourself a favor and track down some of the others. Otherwise, you are really missing out.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sreeremya
A new Discworld novel (actually probably a novella, by length, but it's bound in cloth with a price to match) by Terry Pratchett, this one skewering the tale of the Pied Piper, with some deep digs at Beatrix Potter... Warped, whacked out, very funny, his usual satirical twist on British customs and culture. So far Pratchett, though ringing the changes on quite a successful formula, has not really been repeating himself and certainly never boring anybody...This novel traces the tale of a cat named Maurice and his troop of rats, all of whom lived a bit too close to the wizardly garbage pile at Unseen University and thus were exposed to magical leakage and somehow developed intelligence. Maurice, being the cat that he is, hooks up with a stupid-looking kid who plays the flute, and they develop a lucrative scam infesting towns and being paid to rid the places of vermin...at which point the troop moves off to the next town. But these rats have plans of their own...and when they meet the story-spinning granddaughter of the famous Grim Sisters, the whole thing gets very messy.
Not a cute little talking animal story. Not really for children. Not a bad read, not at all.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
judy zarifian
I just finished reading "The Amazing Maurice" and enjoyed every wee last smidgen of it. I've been a Pratchett fan since "Small Gods," which was recommended to me by a bookstore employee (bless him, wherever he is). Pratchett books take up an inordinate amount of my shelf space, and I'm always keen to snap up the next one; all the same, some are better than others. (I still can't warm up to the idea of Sam Vimes as a sentimental dad...but that's another story.) "Maurice" is on a par with "Soul Music," "Equal Rites," and "Small Gods," and most like the latter in that the characters are not part of the usual Discworld "categories" (i.e., the Witches, the Wizards, or the Watch).

Why this novel has been categorized in "young adult" fiction, I don't know, but it certainly deserved its Carnegie award. The sentient cat and rats deal with some seriously adult issues as they try to understand their place in the universe and contemplate the fundamental questions of life, death, social order, and whether or not to eat the green wobbly bit. It's definitely a good read for teens or younger readers, as they deal with these questions themselves, but it's also rewarding for adults who refuse to abandon their imaginations. There are elements of "The Rats of NIMH" and "Watership Down," but "Maurice" is definitely its own story.

The characters in this story are wonderfully well-wrought; by the end, Dangerous Beans, Darktan, Hamnpork, Maurice, and others seem like old friends; on the other hand, the Rat King will give you shivers, guaranteed, especially if you go online and check out photos of real rat kings - creepy.

I give "Maurice" my highest compliment: I was very sad to see it end, and wish it could have been much, much longer.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
anna talamo
Maurice is a changeling cat, one who can think and talk. His educated rodents are changeling rats with names like Hamnpork, Big Savings, and Darktan, who became sentient by eating magic-contaminated trash in the University of Wizards’ garbage dump. Maurice ate one of the rats and became sentient as well. The group has teamed up with a “stupid-looking kid” named Keith, an orphan who was raised by a guild of musicians and can play the flute, in a pied piper scam where the rats steal food, frighten ladies, and generally make nuisances of themselves. Then the town advertises for a piper, Keith appears to lead the rats away for a small fee, and they all meet up later to divide the loot. The con is highly successful until the rats develop a conscience, but they reluctantly agree to one final heist in the town of Bad Blintz. Here they encounter Malicia Grim, a pair of dishonest rat-catchers, a dog and rat fighting ring, and a real pied piper.

However, things go horribly wrong as the crew also finds something truly and powerfully evil lurking in the town’s cellars. What will happen to the inhabitants of Bad Blintz? Will the amazing Maurice and his educated rodents survive the fighting? And just what is this great evil force? The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents is Book #28 in the Discworld comic fantasy series, beginning with The Color of Magic in1983, written by the English author Terry Pratchett (1948-2015), set on the fictional Discworld, a flat disc balanced on the backs of four elephants which in turn stand on the back of a giant turtle Great A’Tuin. It is the first “Discworld” novel for children instead of adults, although The Guardian noted that “[t]he main audience for Pratchett’s 48 books, all busily in print, is teenagers.” It differs from most Discworld novels also by its division into chapters. The story has been called a new take on the German fairy tale about the Pied Piper of Hamelin and a parody of the folk tale genre. There are numerous references to the rats’ “widdling” (a term for urinating), as well as drinking beer, farting, and even a veiled scene of obvious adultery.

The rats occasionally have talks about rlllk, which is their word for breeding or mating and embarrasses them somewhat. As to language, in addition to a few common euphemisms such as gosh, mention is made of using “swear words,” and a lot of what is apparent cursing in rat language appears. Also, the “d” word is, unfortunately, found twice. This story will appeal to some youngsters and not to others. Despite the humorous tone of the novel, there are some genuinely frightening moments, too, and many readers, especially those who are younger, may find parts of the story, such as descriptions of how some of the rats die and how others eat their dead, rather intense. At the same time, the rats tackle a number of interesting questions about morality, philosophy, and religion that provide some thought-provoking moments. Generally speaking, I found the tale well-written, the characters likeable, and the plot easy to follow. The book was the 2001 winner of the annual Carnegie Medal from the British librarians, which recognizes the year’s best children’s book published in the United Kingdom.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ren e r
I've decided he's too good and too prolific for me to write a brand new review every single time I read one of his books. Discworld currently has 34 titles and every one of them will probably knock your socks off. His mind bubbles and flashes like a boiling pot of electric eels, and I simply can't get enough of his writing.

A reviewer has compared him to Geoffrey Chaucer. He reminds me more of Douglas Adams, or perhaps S Morgenstern. Great company, isn't it? He's an extremely skillful and imaginative writer, damn funny, clever and observant to boot. He's also very easy to read. A master of characterization, and if there's anything else you like about reading that I didn't mention here, assume I simply forgot. He's awesome.

Another reviewer mentioned Jonathan Swift and PG Wodehouse. Why such hallowed company? Because Pratchett belongs there! Truly, I'm enjoying my quest to read every book in the series. You should do the same, and begin your quest at the library because he's got to be there. He's awesome!

Yet another reviewer said Jerome K Jerome meets Lord of the Rings. Yeah, that works too.

Why do we, as reviewers, compare authors to other authors? Because it's easier than thinking. In the case of Terry Pratchett, it's probably because we'd otherwise wind up quoting the guy. He's so unique that we just don't know how else to cope with his greatness. Even this paragraph sounds like foamy drool raving, doesn't it? That's how all readers react to Pratchett. Reviewers simply don't have the good sense to keep it to themselves.

I could call his writing fantasy, but I could likewise call what Douglas Adams wrote science fiction. In both cases, I wouldn't be wrong, but I'd be neglecting so much and just totally missing the point. A rare few authors transcend a genre to such a degree that you know they're shouting out, loud and proud, a big fat "Bite me!"

I love Terry Pratchett's writing, and I completely understand why some folks refer to him as their favorite author. Or favourite, I should say, since we're being British. He's one of those authors that makes you want to grab whoever's in hearing range and start reading passages aloud. I'm simply thrilled that there's such an extremely talented and prolific author who's been working for years without me being aware of him. Now I have much catching up to do, and I will love it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kevin hanks
This is my 10 and 12 year old girl & boy review:
This is a twist on the pied piper story. Maurice, a self-centered ugly cat, finds a stupid-looking boy who plays the flute & a bunch of rodents, & convinces them to trick towns' people into paying the boy money to get rid of the rats. They get to a town and meet an opinionated funny little girl, and together they figure out the mystery of this town and save everybody. The narrator is very good at expressing the characters in his voice. This is one of the best audiobooks we've enjoyed. A must read/ listen to boys and girls of all ages.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lucille
I bought this book a couple of years ago to read to my little brother and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. There were places i literally had to stop because i couldn't catch my breath for the laughter.

I've been a fan of the discworld idea for a while now, having played games and watched an animated production of Soul Music. But this was the first book i'd fully read. And i have to say that it lives up to the hype.

Following the exploits of a boy, a cat, and a group of rodents who go town to town acting like pied pipers. I couldn't get over how they worked the scam. At this next town they're heading to though they get caught up in a little bit of a muddle and it really doesn't dissapoint.

With insane antics the whole way through. Even at one point having the Cat, Maurice, standing face to face with Death and them both going: "Not You Again!"

Its a sweet piece of insanity that i looked forward to coming back to every time we read a new chapter.

I would definately recommend it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
gerardo
Terry Pratchett has taken the "The Pied Piper of Hamlet" and turned it on its ear. This time the pied piper is a scam and the group is led by a talking cat who is in cahoots with the rats! This book has been portrayed as a children's book, but is still a perfect discworld novel for adults. There are the usual stupid bad guys and characters that just do not seem to get the larger picture. This book examines the develpoment of society from hunter gatherer to working together and the rise of writing. The rats are borrowed from "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH". The book also has a take on the "Rat King" which is unique and fun. This is a good way to start chilren on Terry Pratchett of for their parents to be introduced to a true modern master at work. Highly Recommended.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jaroslav
[For context's sake, I have been reading the Discworld books in publication order. The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents is #28.]

I wasn't convinced I'd like this book. About a fourth of the way through it still hadn't grabbed me, I didn't much care for the premise or the characters, and the story just seemed to drag. Then it picked up quite a bit, the plot gained some depth, the dialogue got more snappy, and generally the book got good. It's still not one of Pratchett's very best (ie, it wasn't ridiculously phenomenal), but I enjoyed it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mesa
I posted a reply to a comment made a while back by a concerned mother, and wanted to repost it in the larger comments section because I feel it's important to get out there. The reviewer noted that the book discusses cruelty, starvation, cannibalism and animal fighting. For the record, Terry Pratchett is NOT OK with any of these terrible things, as is made abundantly clear in the book! He describes these scenes with tangible disgust. And they are there because there are important moral lessons about courage, bravery, altruism and friendship to be learned.

I'm an adult fan of Terry Pratchett's with no children, and while it is a rather dark book, I know that I would have been able to handle it back when I was in 5th grade or so. Then again I was an only child and very mature as my parents treated me as an equal who found out her own capabilities rather than was kept from the darker elements of the world "for her own good." A running theme in Pratchett's work is that children are far more intelligent and able to discern right from wrong than adults give them credit for. I would have loved to have read this book as a child! Don't dismiss it out of hand. It is challenging, but far more rewarding than reading, say, "Mr. Bunnsy".

Finally, although I'm sure I don't have to spell it out after my rants above, I absolutely loved this book. And I do understand why a parent might be concerned about a child getting scared by some of the more sinister elements of T.A.M.A.H.E.R. But the overall messages of tolerance and friendship are so positive that I think every kid should read this as soon as they are mentally and emotionally able. Let your children decide; I bet they'll surprise you.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
riham youssif
...This story is based on the story of the pied piper. It uses a cat called Maurice as the ringleader of a group of rats who can talk and a "stupid looking kid" called Kieth who plays a flute. They plauge a town and then Kieth offers to get rid of the rats. He plays the flute and the rats, knowing what is going on, follow him. Kieth gets paid and Maurice "looks after" the money. This sceme works for several towns but then something unexpected happens...
Mr. Pratchett writes so well and he grips the reader. I loved the names of the charecters in this book like Dangerous Beans and Inbrine. I would reccomend it to all fantasy lovers like myself who are looking for a good book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
grigory ryzhakov
Four stars as a kids' book, three stars as an adult's book. It's an interesting little story about what Maurice, the rats, and the dumb-looking kid will do when they arrive in Bad Blintz and discover that something very nasty indeed is going on involving a famine, ratcatchers, and dark cellars.
You could take a lot away with you from this story if you liked. If you just want an interesting story, it works on that level, too. I'm a little restrained in my praise because as an adult, the story is somewhat predictable and dragging, and because there isn't the depth we've come to expect from a Pratchett novel.
But like I said, this is one for the kids.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
slater smith
A fun Discworld book, with different setting and characters than the standard ones. If you like Discworld, you'll like this. If you haven't tried any Pratchett books, this isn't a bad starting point.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
talli
Well, I loved Terry Pratchett's "The Wee Free Men" so much that I thought I would be disappointed by this one. While I still liked those little blue miscreants better, this book was very entertaining. Maurice is simply a delicious character, and I loved the various rats (who, now that I come to think of it, remind me of the Wee Free Men). Of course they have great names, these rats, and that alone is worth the price of admission, as they say. Few authors can make me laugh out loud, but Pratchett is one of them. If you've never read this author, then this is a good book to start with! As far as I'm concerned, you can't go wrong with magic and talking animals.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alejandro salazar
An Ordinary Cat and some Ordinary Rats suddenly become smart and become known as the Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents. When Maurice meets a stupid-looking boy with a pipe he gets the great idea of going from town to town with the rats so that they make the people there think there is a plague. Then he gets the town to think that the stupid-looking kid is a Pied Piper who can enchant the rats away for a fee. But when they come to a town that has a terrible famin and has rat catchers all over called Bad Blintz they know that something wrong is going on that will interfere with their plan and possibly stop them forever...
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
eric chappell
I couldn't put it down. That's the good news.

It was depressing and full of despair. That's the bad news. I don't tolerate animal cruelty very well as an adult and can't imagine how I would have reacted as a kid. The rats and cats don't have a lot of respect or liking for the human race and by the end neither did I.

\Still, I couldn't put it down and am glad I read it .... as an already-jaundiced adult.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
shahara
Not to give away the WHOLE entire book like some other reviewers... I love Pratchett, this book is so smart and cleverly funny but also horribly dark in spots. You find yourself loving these characters and it's only a short book. If you love books about talking intelligent animals (Watership Down,Rats of Nimh, Firebringer) you'll love this book. The best is the always clever, quick witted Maurice who holds the best and worst characteristics a hero can. I loved this book and have read it multiple times and would suggest it for young and older readers.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
patricie
I freaking love Terry Pratchett. His books make me happy and have thoughts that are fun and interesting. I love his style and "voice".
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
harriet malamut
Children's story my eye. It's an adult book made more palatable to grownups by pretending it's for kids. That doesn't mean it isn't a great story to read to your kids. It is and as a bonus you can enjoy it too. Happy reading.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ally t
The book was good, perhaps great. It was entertaining, but even more thought-provoking. It made one ponder the nature of thought and awareness. It was also profoundly moving.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lorenza beacham
The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents is a great book. There's no denying it. It has a great plot, great characters, and hilarious humor. It has quick and witty jokes and the characters are very beliveable. If you are looking for an original book, this is definitely your best bet.

The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodentsis about a criminal genius talking cat named Maurice and his army of talking rats. There is also a stupid looking kid called Keith and a girl names Malicia who thinks that life is a big story. The Amazing Maurice is working a con where he sends in the rats to plauge the town, then the stupid looking kid comes to the town as a rat piper and the educated rats follow him out of town, conning the towns out of their money. However, when they reach the town of Bad Blintz, a mysterious evil causes problems at every turn. In Bad Blintz, the resident rats have been eating all the food, but when the talking rats show up, they find no rats. There are two sinister but idiotic rat catchers and a strange mysterious voice that controls people. Meanwhile, the rats are struggling to understand exactly how their new minds work.

This book is one of the funniest books I have ever read. The characters' personalitys bounce off each other endlessly, creating many small conflicts that are really funny to read. Even the names in this book are funny. There are rats named Darktan, Hamnpork...and Dangereous Beans.

All in all, I would recomend this book to anyone. It is a great book, and it won the Carnegie Book award for children's literature. The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents should be read by anybody looking for a good book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ashley varney
Unfortunately other than the mention of Uberwald, I can't remember anything specifically Discworldy about this particular book. It is interesting and would definitely appeal to the YA crowd, although it appeals to adults as well. If you're a Discworld completist like me, it is a must, but I would also recommend it on its own merits. There is logic and normal human behavior in it. Also normal cat behavior and rat behavior :-) The mayor's daughter is an idiot.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
j alan
Great fun, this book. What starts out as a simple restructuring of the story "The Pied Piper of Hamlin", turns into a darker, deeper tale. Although written with kids/young adults in mind, Terry Pratchett gives us characters that we care about and a plot that is every bit as complex and interesting as his "grown up" Discworld stories. As a fan of Terry Pratchett, I can highly recommend this book to fellow fans as well as those who have never heard of Mr. Pratchett. If you've never loved a rat, here's your chance!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
cyrus
This is an awesome story. Yes, it does have talking animals. No, that does not make a difference to the quality. Basically, there is a cat called Maurice who can speak, and he gethers a group of speaking rats, and they get a stupi-looking, pie-playing kid, and go from town to town, conning up money. See, the rats (there are probably two or three hundred) go in and gnaw and run around and make sure everyone is worked up about the rats, until the mayor sends for a piper. So the stupi-looking kid comes in and plays them all away. And they get money. But Bad Blintz is odd- it has a rat-caused famine, but there are no rats. The rat catchers bring in hundreds of rat tails, but they aren't real. And beneath the mystery of the sinister rat catcher lies an unconnected evil far greater than anything any of them have encountered. Witty, hilarious, and very well-written, this book is awesome.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kate kelly
Once upon a time their was a talkng cat, a stupid looking boy, and some educated rodents. What a group hugh. Well they have got a scam and I have to say, it's a very good one. This odd group of beings go to small towns to steal money. How? the educated rodents make a plague and stupid looking boy (Kieth)youses his penny wistle to draw them out. Oh yeah, and the talking cat (Maurice) gets the money. Everything is going well until they enter a new town (Bad Blintz) where there are thousands of poisons and thousands of traps. The rats expierience evil, Maurice learns of fear, and Kieth is not as stupid as we thought. A story of accion, fear, evil, traps, death, fantasy, comedy, and fun. Is the the story of fairy tale of the Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents.

I loved this book because of the wonderful characters. My favorite is Malicia, who thinks everyday life is going to end up as a fantastic fairy tale. But she can't help it, it's in her blood. She's the great Grandaughter of the Sister Grimm. I also like her character because I can relate to her in many ways. Many people say that this book was to much for little kids and did not have the charm as the other discworld novels. And I say yes and no. The book has a lot less of it's grown up humour, but so what. Kids of all ages should be able to enter the wonderful delights of the discworld series. I say no because, the book is not as deep as for example The Colour of Magic or The Truth but it is very dark. In humour and in the story.

I gave the book four stars because of everything I said in the last parragraphe. But not five stars because it did not have as much excentric characters as the other discworld novels and the whole stupid looking boy thing was kind of lame. But besides that I recomend this book for kids AND adults.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
oktay
This is not a book for kids who like "once upon a time Mr. Bunnsy went into the Dark Woods" kind of books- but this is a book for kids who like books about stupid-looking boys who play a mean penny whistle, money-minded cats with grand schemes, and talking rats who practically worship a book about Mr. Bunnsy going into the Dark Woods. This is also a book for grown-ups who love to read intelligent books for kids that might get those kids or even those adults thinking a little differently about how they treat rats and, more importantly, each other.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tauna
This is the best book published this year, for sure.
Before you start reading it, I suggest you
o make sure the iron is not plugged in
o make sure the stove is off
o unplug the phone
o disconnect the doorbell
You'll recognize one of the standard childrens's book plots from the first page. (I'll not give it away here.) The nice well developed characters, and talking animals in a slightly unusual setting (if you've never read a Discworld novel before) will make you think this is very well written but sort of standard children's story. That feeling may last a page or two.
That's all Pratchett needs to draw you into the story. You'll be immersed.
Then, it gets a bit scary. It's not good versus bad, but kind versus mean. And mean looks like it is going to win.
You will be surprised, and pleased with the wonderful ending, too.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jillymom
OMG. If haven't read this book yet, you don't know what you've been missing. This is the funniest book on earth! Doesn't it make you laugh to hear that rats with names like Dangerous Beans and Hamnpork are making plans to invade the underground tunnels of some town called Bad Blintz. I can relate to this somewhat, cuz I have a very, well, interesting cat. I can almost imagine her talking to me about making money. READ THIS OR MAURICE WILL BRING HIS RATS TO YOUR TOWN (actually, that would be kind of cool)!!! THIS BOOK ROCKS!!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
stacee
This was the first Terry Pratchett book I have read that seemed to be aimed at a younger audience, though by no means do you need to be a kid to enjoy it. Although loosely a Discworld book, it is really a parody of the Pied Piper in which the piper and the rats are joined with a very cunning cat to scam the population. As with all of Pratchett's books, his wonderful sense of humor and ability to uniquely turn a phrase make this story a joy to read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ramya ramani
I was beginning to feel that the Discworld books were getting a bit tired; the author himself has claimed he wanted to write something else. While set in Discworld, this book does not follow any of the established Discworld storylines. I would go so far as say his children's books (Bromeliad, Good Omens, etc.) are superior to anything Discworld. Even the names of the rats have kept me chuckling for several weeks.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
molly ferguson
Beautiful. Just beautiful. Terry can change his audience, but not his style (or fans). You can hardly read a page without reading another, and at the same time wishing someone could read this. Speaking as a kid, I shan't be taken too seriously, but this is not a book to read and put away. This is a work of art.

This is a copy sent to each of Terry Pratchett's books. Thank you for reading it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
phillip brenneis
My husband and I both got hooked on Terry Pratchet and his Disc World series quite a few years ago. We discovered him accidently in a book of short stories and buy his work all the time. This book had some interesting ideas in it and really gives you a different look at "people". Fun to read and does not disappoint. Loved it!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
barb watson
it begins with Malica telling a story. A story about Maurice, who has all the characteristics if a Confidence Man. He can be charming & witty. Then he'll insult you & threaten you.... we with his CLAWS. A funny, sometimes dark and bloody adventure :)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sachal khan
Loved this book, though I don't generally read Terry Pratchett. The concept of the Pied Piper story redone was hysterical, and the book explored some thoughtful issues. I liked the mixture of humans and human rodents/cats. The twists and turns and derring-do was clever without being unduly gory.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nenad micic
very educated.remind me some basic principles and moral standards as a human being should be.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
pam peterson
This one was a little too juvenile for my taste (I am 70, this year). There isn't enough Pratchett in it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
drew compton
Humorously satirizes the sad state of affairs for the entire world: Revenge upon revenge and misunderstanding between the entire conscious world
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
brad blondes
Pratchett is clever and funny as always. My favorite thing about his young reader books is that he never underestimates his audience's intelligence as so many authors do.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
drew custer
I knew this wasn't meant to be an equal Discworld novel when I first opened it, but nevertheless I was disappointed. This lacks the character and fancy of Pratchett's other books. I kept expecting the plot to take an interesting twist, as Discworld novels often do, but was failed.
Also, I was disturbed by a passage in which a rat-catcher strikes the young heroine - a blow so well described that I feel the fist in my own face... particularly distressing to read in juvenile literature.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nikolay
Mr Prarchett did not dumb down his style when he wrote this story for kids. Any fan of disk world will be well please with this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tony cohen
Wow! Terry Pratchett has done it again! He's managed to creat an excelent book for not only children but all ages. His wonderfull twist on the pied piper was even better than the origanal. This was sertanly the best book I have ever read in my entire life, and Ive read a lot of books. I suggest that you should read it, it would suit all fans of terrys books and great for all ages. This book is not only cunning, but has hints of humor. So definatly read this book and any of Terrys other books... im sure you'll be amazed and never want to put it down!! TAKE MY WORD FOR IT!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jessica schley
A fun and amusing book, full of fascinating characters and witty banter. Reminded me slightly of the Rats of NIMH series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lindsay ejoh
I really liked the book. I liked all of the names of the rats, especially Dangerous Beans and Hamnpork. It was really funny especially because they dragged around the book "Mr. Bunnsy has an Adventure".
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
gwenn ferguson
I typically love Terry Pratchett books, but I found the story line to be a bit dark and somewhat depressing. However, I loved that the rats got their names off of discarded cans in the junk heap, which explains why the characters had names such as "Peaches," "Nourishing" and "Dangerous Beans." I'd love to spend just one day in the mind of Terry Pratchett. It must be very exciting in there! I recommend the book, but it is not light-hearted in any way, shape or form.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
chessie273
Maurice is a very clever talking cat. He travels from town to town in Discworld with a band of taking rats and a boy (who probably talks the least). Together, they run a "Pied Piper" scam. Now they've just arrived in Bad Blinitz, but what they don't now is this town is different from the others they've swindled. They join up with the Mayor's daughter (probably the best character) to try and solve the strange going ons the town is experiencing. Got quite confusing in a couple of bits, which is one of the reasons I gave it a lower rating. Also, I felt like Pratchett's usual originality was sort of stifled in it.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
tim bateson
I'm a diehard Pratchett fan, and so when I bought this book after reading all the novels (up to The Last Hero), I felt distinctly let down. This wasn't a bad book in any way except comparing it to Terry's earlier works of two decades of witty retorts and spliced fables. This book has the same sort of premise, but has a distinct 'lite' feel about it, presumably for the younger audience he seems to be aiming for. The sad truth is this is not a kid's story, and the stripped-down vocabulary does not do justice to Terry's writing skills. All in all, this is, I say again, not a children's book and will not pass muster for the teenagers and the adults: It winds up in a no-man's land in the middle.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
micala
Absolutely amazing book, if you have never heard of or read this book do yourself a solid a read this. This book is better than any drug or anything it'll make you see sound and smell color
Your life will never be the same.... you are welcome stranger.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
penelopewanders
Escape no flea your troubles in life and enter the world of Terry Pratchett every chance you get! Loved it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
candacy white
Fun
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
moustafa hussien
I found this book to be immensely entertaining. Despite relatively clean jokes, this doesn't really seem all that different from the rest of the Discworld series, in terms of reading difficulty. However, I imagine I might say otherwise, were I still in elementary school.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
maria hall
The first story for young readers set in the Discworld, is something... well different. Mixing different tales like the pied piper, The Fantastic Five, Scooby Doo and puss in boots, Maurice and the rats (oh and the stupid kid and the girl) run rampant. If you enjoyed the nomes series, then you'll love this. If you like the Discworld... well this one will be a nice addition to the quickly expanding Discworld set.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ginger dent
I love reading Terry Pratchett's books and bought this one to introduce my son to the series. I enjoyed this book myself, so i bought this copy for my son.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
pinkiefairy
I am surprised this is supposed to be for children. Not that there's anything unsuitable in it. It's just that there's a lot of adult humour in there. I don't like rats at all. But I managed to enjoy the story nonetheless.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jennifer g
If you're familiar with Terry Pratchett's work, this is every bit as good as the best. For those who don't yet know the joys of Discworld, this is a great book to start with. It does take place in the Pratchett universe, but it's much more stand-alone than many of his books. Thoughtful, exciting, and -- above all -- hilarious!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
toledo t j
Endlessly inventive. Who new his YA books would be some of his best writing? Read everything he has written, even at his worst he's better than most.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
selene cuevas
This is a wonderful, dark and hilarious story. It's for children, the same way the original Brothers Grimm stories were for children. It's funny and frightening, and in the best Pratchett tradition, makes you re-think the "fairy tales" you grew up with.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
thomas brevik
I am a fan of Pratchett's humorous fantasy books and have read almost all of his discworld series. I don't know any other author to match him in this field.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
heather erosky
I loved this book - though it seemed to me to be a bit more sad than Pratchett's usual. It deals much with the nature of humans, thought, belief, morals, and right vs. wrong. It's a bit heavy but teaches some good lessons.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
angeline fortin
Not my usual genre...a bit wacky but interesting and an easy read. Ideal for kids or adults who like to read fantasy
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
bailey randolph
I read this when it came out, thinking that perhaps it might be OK to share with my children. Note, please, that it was not marketed or labeled as young adult fiction when I bought it. I found it to be one of the darkest and least funny of the discworld novels, and not at all appropriate for my kids at that time. I didn't think about it again until, to my horror, my sister-in-law gave a copy to my ten-year-old son. My thirteen-year-old might be OK with the cruelty, starvation, cannibalism, animal pit-fighting, and so forth, but not the 10-year-old. This book is deep Pratchet, and as such, not for children. I was appalled to see that it is now being sold as a children's book. I would never offer this book to someone in middle school or younger unless I knew him and his reading level very well.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nora white
I needed to get this quick for my class reading and I was able to! And it will be a book I put on my shelf!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
emily jean
I read The Amazing Maurice while I was on holiday, and I could do little else until it was finished. Cloaked in mystery and full of homour, The Amazing Maurice is a great read, and one of my favourite books
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
nefret
Ok, I have not read any of the Discworld series at this point in time, but the title struck me as a bit of an allusion or, oppositely, an originator for Mr. Bobo's Mouse Circus in Neil Gaimans "Coraline" (great book, for a kids book)...does it interest anyone to know that Gaiman and Pratchett intersected about 1990 or so to write a novel together, "Good Omens" (another kick-nuts book)?
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jane rebecca
The Character development is just not what I expect from Pratchett
Please Rate The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents - (Discworld Novel 28) (Discworld series)
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