That's where Maurice comes in. But he's only a cat (though one that talks), so although he has the ideas, he needs rats and someone to play the pipe. Who better than the kid to play the pipe? And Dangerous Beans. And Peaches. And Hamnpork (who doesn't really like what's been happening since The Change; all a rat leader really needs is to be big and stroppy, thinking is just not his thing). And Darktan. And Sardines. And all the others in the Clan.
Then they arrive in Bad Blintz, which is suffering from a plague of rats, and find there are NO rats anywhere (though the two resident rat catchers seem to have plenty of tails to show, at 50 pence per tail).
Someone else has had ideas, and Maurice is not pleased.
©2001 Terry and Lyn Pratchett; (P)2001 Isis Publishing Ltd
I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.
This was an enjoyable novel, a pleasure to listen to. As a Pratchett novel, it is very funny, with just the right amount of thoughtful and disturbing bits, as it plays with genre clich??s and expectations and wittily blurs the differences between "story" and "reality."
Maurice is an amazing cat: self-centered, cocky, scheming, sarcastic, possessed of a good conscience???and sentient. The various rats in "the Clan" are neat, too, Dangerous Beans (the physically weak seer and spiritual leader), Peaches (the irritatingly ethical conscience), Darktan (the experienced and brave trap removal squad leader), Sardines (the entertainer), and so on. The rats' coming to terms with becoming sentient is vividly, humorously, and often poignantly depicted. The animals' stupid looking boy, Keith, has some surprises inside him. The far too imaginative, budding grim fairy tale authoress the Mayor's daughter, Malicia, is an appealing character. And the "evil" villain has a convincing and sad origin. The violent, scheming, arrogant, callous, and cruel side of human nature is tellingly exposed, too. And there are countless guffaw, chuckle, or smile points sprinkled throughout the story.
And Stephen Briggs does a marvelous job reading all the voices of the various characters, giving each one its own accent or pitch or personality and injecting plenty of wit into the already witty novel.
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