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The Amazing Maurice & His Educated Rodents Audio [Audiobook] [Audio Cassette]

Terry Pratchett
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Audio, Cassette, Audiobook, July 4 2003 --  
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Book Description

July 4 2003
Maurice, a scruffy tomcat, has a stupid-looking kid for a piper, with his very own plague of rats -- rats who are strangely educated and are in on the piper/rat con game. Until suddenly it’s not a game any more.

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Terry Pratchett returns to children's stories and to his infamous Discworld with Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, a clever spin on the Pied Piper fairytale with a lavish sprinkling of the Practchett magic.

Maurice is a talking cat who leads a band of rather special rats from town to town to fake invasions of vermin. Keith, in cahoots with Maurice, turns up with his flute and leads the rats out of town--a hefty reward in tow. It's a scam that works perfectly... until they arrive in the town of Bad Blintz and their ruse is sussed by the young girl Malicia. Maurice and his mice realise they are about to be caught in the middle of something rather bad.

This is a fresh and funny adventure story that allows Pratchett to make free use of his immense comic talents (the talking rats are easily some of his most hilarious creations). It's also full of cute little ideas: the mice take their names from cans and packets lying in rubbish dumps, so we have heroes called "Big Savings" and "Best Before".

Terry Pratchett has created a wonderful, old-fashioned tale where the subtle morals and lessons never hinder the action. Younger children may initially struggle with Mr Pratchett's unusual style, but once they get to grips with the humour, this will be a laugh-a-minute for both kids and their parents. (Ages 8 and over) --Jon Weir --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

For this outrageously cheeky tale, British writer Pratchett pairs a dynamite plot with memorable characters a group of intelligent rats sporting such monikers as Hamnpork, Big Savings and Darktan (they've been foraging in the University of Wizards' garbage dump and come up with "the kind of name you gave yourself if you learned to read before you understood what all the words actually meant"), plus a "stupid-looking kid" with a flute and a criminal kitty mastermind named Maurice. The motley con artists' pied piper scam is highly successful until the rats develop a conscience. Reluctantly, they agree to one final heist, but in the town of Bad Blintz things go horribly, hilariously wrong. First, they're twigged by Malicia Grim (granddaughter and grand-niece of the Sisters Grim), then they encounter a pair of conniving rat-catchers, a real pied piper and an evil something lurking in the town's cellars. They triumph, of course, and there's even a glimmer of redemption for the deliciously self-centered Maurice, who tackles the "Grim Squeaker" and bargains for the life of his rat comrade Dangerous Beans. In the end, while the others settle down, Maurice hits the road and is last seen approaching another "stupid-looking kid" with a money-making proposition. Could this mean more tales to come? Readers will eagerly hope so. Ages 12-up.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A ratty view of people Jan. 16 2002
By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome April 29 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an awesome book even if you aren't a Pratchett fan. It is one of my favorites! It gives you something to think about in terms of how the food chain could work. Can the lowest creature's diet and experiences affect each creature who eats the next one on the food chain.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too Oct. 30 2008
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Vaguely Discworld Dec 1 2001
This is set in Discworld, but the tone and satire of the other Discworld novels is missing. The book appears to be written for an 8th grade reader, (high Harry Potter to low George Orwell). The story was a little more serious than The Rats of NIMH, but an easier read than Tailchaser's Song. I don't recommend it to adults, nor is it a "junior" introduction to Discworld for the junior high reader. It is a quiet, solid, story. If you are looking for the humor of Discworld, you'll be disappointed
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A cat, some rats, and some stupid looking humans... April 23 2003
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.

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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The not-so-amazing Maurice?
From the first few pages of 'The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents', it was clear to me that this book was filled to the brim with wit and charm. Read more
Published on June 3 2003 by Cody Dobie
5.0 out of 5 stars NOTHING COULD TOP IT!!!!
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. Read more
Published on May 15 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars A "must" for the legions of Terry Pratchett fans!
The latest in Terry Pratchett's wry, bizarre, exciting, and impossible to put down Discworld series, The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents is a humorous yet compelling story... Read more
Published on April 3 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Now Don't Get Your Tails in a Knot!
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... Read more
Published on March 18 2002 by Marc Ruby™
4.0 out of 5 stars Time for a break, Terry?
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.
Published on Jan. 20 2002 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Pratchett Does the Pied Piper
Once upon a time there were rats who ate a little too much from rubbish heap behind the Wizards' university. Read more
Published on Jan. 5 2002 by James D. DeWitt
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment for this Discworld Fan
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. Read more
Published on Jan. 2 2002 by Kari
5.0 out of 5 stars More Than You Ever Wanted To Know About Rats...
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... Read more
Published on Dec 24 2001 by Carl Malmstrom
5.0 out of 5 stars Tongue-in-cheek fairy tale
Maurice (a talking cat), Keith the stupid-looking kid, and a clan of intelligent talking rats have a good thing going. Read more
Published on Dec 12 2001 by booksforabuck
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