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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Review: 'The Carpet People'

The Carpet People
By Terry Pratchett
November 2013
Clarion Books
ISBN: 978-0-544-21247-3

First published in 1971 as the early work of a young writer, reworked and republished in the 1990s and re-published anew now with the original illustrations restored and the original newspaper columns from the mid-60s that inspired the story, Terry Pratchett's The Carpet People has been described as similar to The Lord of the Rings, but for children and amidst the carpet threads.

It is a sprawling story of one group of people led by a hunter, his smarter younger brother, a philosopher, a general they meet, another king they run into and whole other hordes of creatures. They all live in a carpet. There are occasional references to such real-world items as matchsticks and there is a menace known as the Fray, but it's uncertain whether that is a vacuum cleaner or footsteps.

Actually, with the setpieces of action not always set up clearly, groups of beings not fully introduced and characters who may or may not be important, The Carpet People is a novel that would be difficult for my students to follow.

There are a few great Pratchett bon mots and the idea that one can decide how one's own history be written, but there are hidden among the weft and weave of an overly complicated tale.

©2013 All Rights Reserved CompuServe Book Reviews and reprinted with permission

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