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This is Pratchett's very first book published when he was 17 years old. It sold slowly but it did sell. Twenty years later when he had become famous there was a call for a reprinting and in 1992 he re-read the book and decided it needed some revision before being reprinted. In his author's note at the beginning, he describes the book as being co-authored by his young self and the older man he is now. I've wanted to read this for ages and enjoyed it though it is not exactly a page-turner. I had lots of giggles at Pratchett's signature humour and was entertained by the story even if it fell short. One can definitely see that this book was his spark for greater things in the Bromeliad Trilogy. It features the same kind of gnomish tiny people but here they live in the carpet. There is a whole Empire which is based on the Roman one with two other distinct societies, one which has a King over his small kingdom and the other a nomadic tribe. This is a book for young people and certainly worth reading by Pratchett's fans.
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on March 11, 2002
Many readers are familiar with Terry Pratchett's Discworld series and its delicious range of unforgettable characters, satirical creations and dialogue and thought-provoking themes. Less known are his earlier works, including The Carpet People, which Pratchett first wrote as a teenager and had published, then went back to years later and rewrote the book to reflect his change in viewpoint.
The Carpet People feels more like a children's, or young adult story, although if it can be found, it will often be placed with Pratchett's Discworld titles in the fantasy section. The story is a delightful bit of imagination, entire societies coexisting within the world of the Carpet. These tiny creatures go about adventure on the epic scale, with Pratchett's typical ironic observations and humorous interpretations. Our hero, Snibril has to set out on a quest to save a kingdom from enemies and to stop the destruction of a force known only as The Fray.
This is not one of Pratchett's most seamless works by a long shot. I don't think he intended it to be. A lot of the themes and world-building elements he puts into practice for this work are later fulfilled with much more skill and elegance in his Discworld novels and Bromeliad trilogy. For any Pratchett fan, this book is a delight simply from its standpoint in the evolution of Pratchett's writing.
I gave this book four stars because I do not feel it is Pratchett's best work. It shouldn't be, this story was one of his earliest. This is a wonderful way to introduce younger readers to Pratchett, along with his Bromeliad trilogy. If you are discovering Terry Pratchett with this book, be aware that his writing only gets better from here! ^_^
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on November 25, 2003
The Carpet People is basically Lord of the Rings on a carpet. A much condensed, and funnier, Lord of the Rings on a carpet. The story takes place among the hairs of the Carpet, where the miniscule Munrungs, a peaceful tribe of simple nomads, have just gotten their village destroyed by the terrible Fray - a destructive force that strikes without warning from the above. The survivors, led by the brothers Snibril and Glurk, Pismire the shaman, and the warrior Bane, set out on a journey across the Carpet in search of safety. On their journey, the heroes visit some of the more impressive places on the Carpet, including a dropped penny (the major source of metal on the Carpet), and a matchstick (the major source of wood), and they encounter some interesting Carpet inhabitants (a termagant, some pones, the wights, and Brocando, the king of the Deftmenes, to mention but a few). The story culminates in an epic battle against the evil mouls. The mouls can sense when Fray is about to strike, and have learned to take advantage of the resulting destruction and confusion to attack and enslave the inhabitants of the Carpet. The benevolent Dumii empire, which dominates the Carpet, is thus about to fall.
Pratchett originally wrote this story when he was 17 (and he got it published). But after the Discworld success, fans started clamoring for this early, and largely unknown, work, which meant it was time for a reissue. And time for a rewrite, as, according to Pratchett himself, the story "had a lot of things wrong with it, mostly to do with being written by someone who was seventeen at the time." I haven't read the original story, so I can't compare this version to the earlier one, but judging from what Pratchett says in the author's note, there are some large differences.
The Carpet People is perhaps aimed at a more younger audience, but I still think the story is too brief. Much more could have been made of the setting (this is, after all, a carpet on a floor somewhere we are talking about), and there sometimes seems to be large gaps in the story. The pace is also much too hurried, with a resulting lack of detail. Some of the things alluded to or mentioned in the story are never really explained (although this is characteristic of Pratchett), for example, it's never really clear what the destructive Fray is (I got the impression that it's someone walking across the Carpet, which would mean that time for the Carpet dwellers flow much faster than what it does for us). All this said, The Carpet People is still an interesting and entertaining story, containing trademark Pratchett observations and humour. For fans of the Discworld, this early sample of the master's work is, of course, essential reading. The Carpet People is, after all, Pratchett's first published novel.
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on April 10, 1997
At the timid age of 17, Terry Pratchett wrote a fantasy novel called The Carpet People, and it was published, just in case you haven't been blown away by this already, let me tell you that this is a Very Impressive Accomplishment. In his own words, it sold a bit, and then went out of print, and years later, when people started being impressed by the quality of Pratchett's work instead of by the simple fact that he was being published, they started asking for it. Mr. Pratchett took the book down from wherever he had kept it, and said (I'm quoting this incorrectly) "Wait a minute, I wrote this book when I thought fantasy was about kings and battles, now I think fantasy should be about how not to have kings and battles." So he rewrote the book, and it's been published/reissued.

Plainly speaking, this book is about a bunch of infintesimally small people who live on a carpet, whole societies have evolved, empires have risen and fallen, the most ordinary objects, dropped onto the carpet and forgotten there become magical lands, homes and sources of industry to the molecullar inhabitants of The Carpet. This is the story of Snibril, one of the Munrungs (or in their language The Real Human Beings) and how he and his tribe join the Doomi empire to fight the Moules (or in their language The Real Human Beings) who live in the deepest recesses of the Carpet. It is impossible to describe how TRUE Pratchett's idea's are about war and about making your own choices. If I were a better writer, I could describe how happy this book made me, how magnificent it is. But as I am not, you're just going to have to take my word for it, or read the book.
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on March 24, 2014
Why is the Kindle edition on $8.54 and on it's $9.64? Is delivery via the internet more expensive in Canada?? Seems to me that even with whatever the current exchange rate is the difference is not that high. Shame on you Amazon.
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on July 27, 2001
The story takes place between the tall and multicoloured hairs of a carpet, in a place called the Dumii empire.
Under the omnipresent threat of Fray and after the destruction of their village, a group of carpet people decide to march against the evil mouls and snargs. Along the way, they meet other tribes with other ways of living and other points of view, and they know they'll have to ally with them in order to win the battle.
What sort of disappointed me is that Terry Pratchett almost doesn't take any advantage of the setting of his story, i.e. an actual carpet, at all and in the end you realize it could have happened anywhere. However, he approaches many great themes, like proving that in union, there is strength, and in a way this is a pretty good early sketch for his later masterpiece: the Bromeliad.
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on September 1, 2000
While I enjoyed this book, I liked Pratchetts Bromeliad (diggers/truckers/wings) trilogy far more. This book has good characterisations, and I don't have any quibbles with the plot, but throughout the story I kept thinking: "OK, they all live in a carpet. Um, is this an abandoned house, or will there be vaccuuming?" Likewise, there is a huge penny in the carpet that has been there for years - will someone pick up this penny? I considered that perhaps miniature people had shorter years, but they experience regular length days. These little problems made it hard for me to really get into the storytelling.
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on May 5, 2003
The introduction to this book is the best part. I burst out laughing right in the bookstore.
The Carpet People is Pratchett's first published work but has been extensively rewritten since then. As he puts it, this is now "a collaboration" between the younger author and the older.
I love Pratchett's Discworld series and the only reason I can't give this book more stars is because his other work sets the bar so high. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
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on January 25, 1998
The Carpet People is so well written that each word, each page allow you to see in your mind the exact same places, adventures and people of this story. It is the best book that I've ever read that still, after having read it over 10 years ago, that I still can remember the details clearly.
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on August 22, 1999
Couldn't find the darn thing anywhere so I finally bought it in Germany, of course in German, and I worked hard for three months to read it with the dictionary. I enjoyed it even so, 'nuff said. Congratulations to Amazon for finding an English version ;-)
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