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The Carpet People

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  11,881 ratings  ·  548 reviews
In the beginning, there was nothing but endless flatness. Then came the Carpet . . . That’s the old story everyone knows and loves. But now the Carpet is home to many different tribes and peoples, and there’s a new story in the making. The story of Fray, sweeping a trail of destruction across the Carpet. The story of power-hungry mouls—and of two brothers who set out on an ...more
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Clarion Books (first published November 15th 1971)
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Rachel That's what I want to know!
I thought at first it was TP trying to suggest a dialect where "eh" turns into more of a glottal stop.
I'm disappointed…more
That's what I want to know!
I thought at first it was TP trying to suggest a dialect where "eh" turns into more of a glottal stop.
I'm disappointed that this could be a computer glitch rather than an odd choice. (less)

Community Reviews

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3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,881 ratings  ·  548 reviews

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Simon Mcleish
Jul 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
If Terry Pratchett's writing could be said to have an over-arching message, it is this:

1. There are better ways to do things than hitting people over the head.
2. Other people are still people, no matter how different their culture; we should respect them.

His agenda of peaceful toleration is more explicit in this early novel than in most (the first point above is almost a literal quotation from The Carpet People), but has formed the serious content of almost everything he has written.
May 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book. I've loved since I first read it 15 years ago. I love it for the way it tickled my imagination with the wonderful idea of entire civilisations living in the carpet. I love it for the standard fantasy adventure story that it is at its core but told in such a way and such a world that even I didn't yawn at the constant walking from one place to another of it all. I love that after all this time I still get excited by reading it and I love this shiny new illustrated edition comple ...more
Joel Neff
The Carpet People is one of those novels that would read like imitation Terry Pratchett if it were not, in fact, written by Terry Pratchett. By which I mean, this is an early novel and it shows. Much of the trademark humor is present, but the characterization and plot are a little lacking.

Most troubling, though, is the lack of explanation for the carpet metaphor. Without it, the story is a basic story, one that has been told a thousand times, of a group of misfits who learn to work together to o
Nov 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is the book which started me on the steady path to reading science fiction. I was enthralled by the imagination which could capture the life and environment which may exist beneath our feet in a small carpet (or rug as suggested by the book) and the complex geo-politics and racial tensions which exist there. This is the original version of the book written by the then 17 year old Terry Pratchett and not the edition re-written by him when he was 43. This is the one I found in the children’s ...more
Joey Woolfardis
Before Discworld there were The Carpet People...

This was Terry's first novel and, well, you can sort of tell. It is still wonderfully written and there is the trademark humour he has so wonderfully carved out as his own, but it was definitely not his best. There were ideas and characters and the imagination that can all be found somewhere in Discworld, so if you've read those you'll feel like you're tucked up in a familiar duvet. And if you've read those, you'll be so in love with Terry you won'
MrsJoseph *grouchy*

This one was pretty adorable.

I decided to buy a copy of The Carpet People after completing Dragons at Crumbling Castle and the passing of Sir Pratchett (they happened at roughly the same time). Dragons at Crumbling Castle was simply adorable (recommended for young readers!) and I was very interested to see what changes were made when Sir Pratchett revised, fleshed out and (re) published The Carpet People which was initially written when he was 17 years
May 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I've read a number of other people's reviews of The Carpet People and I have to say that I think many of those that criticise it are missing the very valuable about it.

First of all this is not a great example for an introduction into Terry Pratchett. If you're a younger reader then I'd suggest Wee Free Men or the 'Johnny And The...' Series, although font let that put you off starting with The Colour of Magic. That is where I'd suggest any older readers start read a good few of Pratchett's novels
Natalie  D
this book reminded me why I read, fundamentally.
I read for fun, not to analyse or to be critical for goodreads.
And this is one of those books that I can't find anything to complain about, because... well... I wasn't looking too hard. But if I had I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much.
I would have missed the humour and been like this reading it

Rather than being like this
But suffice to say this book was HILARIOUS!
the characters were brilliantly fun, and larger than life and made me roll on the
Dec 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of fantasy
Shelves: fantasy, childrens, reread
I was a young teenager when I first read The Carpet People. I loved it then and I still love it now. It’s a fantastically imaginative, funny tale, and it has some characters in it that are cherished by me to this day.

I’ve heard people complain that the book isn’t up to Terry Prachett’s Discworld standards. Well, in fairness, he was only seventeen when he imagined and wrote the original concept (as I think is quite well known by his fans (?), he rewrote it when he was forty-three, although I'm n
Ok, as you can tell this book was a little disappointing. I was told that this book should start me off and make it easier when I get to start the Discworld series.

I found that, with this book at least that Terry Pratchett's plot didn't make much sense. The simplicity of the writing makes sense, as it is a children's book. Though as a whole I found this book and Terry Pratchett so far to be disappointing.

I wanted to love the book, but unfortunately I didn't. I can only give this a 2 star revie
colleen the convivial curmudgeon
I was a bit trepidatious about this book, mostly because I read the Carpet People short stories in 'Crumbling Castle' and wasn't that wowed. (The second was better than the first but, overall, I wasn't really sure how the story would be sustained as a standalone novel.)

I was heartened, then, when I read the intro and discovered that this was not the story as originally written but, rather, a revised edition... a sort of collaborative effort, as Sir Terry puts it, between his 17 year-old self and
Apr 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: terry pratchett fans, readers of swords, horses, wars, funny lines and carpet lovers.
Recommended to AMythicalBeast by: British Council Library
I'll give it 4.999 for philosophical reasons. Wise people insist that there's always room for improvement.

Heh. Well. Maybe. This book's pretty much perfect.

This your average swords and horses and kingdoms under siege story and yet it isn't your average swords and horses and kingdoms under siege story.

It's all in the delivery. Just like a great actor can bring a staid piece, a done-to-death act alive, Terry Pratchett charms not just with his plot but the characters running around in it, giving
Mary Catelli
Sir Pterry's first published novel, as revised when he was in his forties.

The cutesy worldbuilding of a world among the Carpet does have its problems when you are telling a tale of conquest and empire -- even as revised.

But we have the tribes and Counting, the notion of money, pones that hang out when things look interesting, wights that remember everything that has happened and will happen to them, an under-Carpet passageway, a whiney emperor, and much more.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
The Carpet People is the first story Terry Pratchett published, and he was only seventeen years old. Some years ago, after he had written a lot more books, he took another look at this book and revised it. I read the revised edition.

The Carpet People is the story of a group of tiny people live in the carpet and who have had their village destroyed by the mysterious natural force of Fray (also known as sweeping). They wander quite a bit and have a number of battles and meet another group of peopl
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018
I enjoyed this early (and revised) story from Pratchett, it was a fun adventure, with some of his trademark observations on life and wit worked in throughout. I also enjoyed the story included at the end as he first wrote it in serial form at 17 for the local paper. It’s great to see his early work and developing voice, that we know grows into such a great writer in years to come.
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked Terry Pratchett’s first book way more than I expected. The idea of people living in the carpet is simply delightful. I loved the colorful hairs and dust, the snargs, the pones, the adventures. There are clearly two Pratchett’s at work, and often I can see who wrote what. The story is all over the place but the imagination and the witty observations are vintage Pratchett. And Sir Terry’s own illustrations are a special treat!
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an awfully big, little adventure. It is a fun story about the little, tiny, itsy-bitsy people that live in the forest of Berber fibers of the carpet. I love the idea of playing with scale to create a fantastical world in the confines of ones own home. Reminiscent of Tolkien, a big fantasy doesn't necessarily need to be about physically big characters.
Aug 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
I wasn't massivally looking forward to this. I acquired it before I'd actually read any Pratchett, a time when I figured I would really like him. Turns out I was completely wrong about that and only find his books okay.

The Carpet People was a surprise though as found myself enjoying it, although it's nothing outstanding. Pretty quick read.
Sep 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This delightful story has just recently been rewritten by the author, almost forty years after he first produced parts of it for a column in his local newspaper. After reading this, no one will be able to look down at the floor again, or at the carpet or rug covering it, without wondering what worlds might dwell beneath their very feet. Will the detritus and debris, that accumulates between the threads, alter their lifestyle or create danger for the inhabitants dwelling there? Written for childr ...more
Mar 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was extremely upset recently by the passing of Terry Pratchett. I can't remember when I first picked up a Discworld book but I was in love immediately and have eagerly awaited every single one. I only just realized though that I have only ever read a couple non-Discworld Pratchett books, so I decided now was the time to go back to where it all started, the first book he ever wrote.

As to be expected in a book written by a 17 year old (though Pratchett did some work on it again many years later)
Thanks to reading Terry Pratchett's first novel, I'll never look at vacuuming the rug the same way again. You also have to love a story that contains a character named "Pismire". That's what my grandmother called her grandchildren when she was vexed with them. I carry on that tradition. So the carpet is large, frayed, has underlament and now I know little people live there. You have to laugh at the possibility.
A funny first novel! You can tell Terry was still cutting teeth with this one though, even with the rewrite. However you can see little glimmers of his blossoming wit coming through. Also this book would have worked without Chapters just like his discworld books, but he was probably restricted by the publishers just like he was with the Tiffany Aching series.
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pterry, 2013, fantasy
The Carpet People - According to his own words a collaboration between 17 year old aspiring fantasy writer Terry Pratchett and award winning author of the famous Discworld series Terry Pratchett.
I didn’t realise this book is not part of the Discworld series when I bought it, but not that I mind, I enjoy his standalone books just as much.

The Carpet People is, as the name says, a story about a number of tribes and people who live in the Carpet, a vast land covered in carpet hairs stretching off to
An Odd1
Dec 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
"The Carpet People" 2009 illustrated and re-written by 43-year old Terry Pratchett from age 17 1971 debut version. Only 250 pages create a miniscule magical world, peoples beneath our feet, with beliefs, fears, feats of daring. This gem is the consummate contrast to my previous read, Eragon, another village boy who leads sworn foes to the heart of a mighty empire [spoiler: then leaves). Paolini "coronates" p758 "regnant" p759 Queen, whereas Pratchett toys with whining wastrels.
"And growing on t
Leni Iversen
Terry Pratchett's first novel, written when he was very young indeed and then revised somewhat for a new edition after he had achieved writing fame. The result is, in his own words quoted from memory, a book that is not quite what he originally wrote and not quite what he would have written at the time of revision.

This is predominately a children's book, but more complex in style and content than, say, the Johnny Maxwell series. And not at all complex compared to the Discworld novels. It tells

2.5 stars

The Munrung tribe, forced out of their village by the devastation of Fray, followed by a wave of snarg attacks, try to make their way through the Carpet to the capital. Somehow, despite the efforts of chief Glurk, his clever brother Snibril, and wise Pismire, they get off track. Often.

I can't say The Carpet People is really a good book. It's awkward, choppy, and overall feels like the work of an earnest novice, which it was. It also has quite a few very funny bi
Richard Stueber
Dec 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
This is Terry Pratchett's first novel, a children's novel, first written when he was 17 and published in 1971 with the author's black and white illustrations, then rewritten when he was 43 and published in 1992. Pratchett's own hand-colored art was used in an edition originally published in Great Britain by Doubleday in 2009. I have read he first U. S. edition of this published in 2013.
The story centers on a tribe of very tiny people who live in a carpet in which the carpet hairs seem to them to
Chris Keefe
Jan 08, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a great read for Terry Pratchett completionists, or for people who have enjoyed some of his writing and want a look at the place where it all began. 40-something-year-old Pratchett's editing is visible, and leaves the raw sections written by his younger self standing out in the cold.

On the plus side, this book did a lot to encourage me to write a novel myself. If the seventeen-year-old who piled this crap together became Terry Pratchett, the sky's the limit.
Blue Milker
I can see some hints of the Terry Pratchett to come, in this book, but the more interesting thing is how good this book isn't. If I were a struggling author, reading the early works of people like Pratchett would be a great reminder that no one starts out writing masterpieces.
Kat!e Larson
Aug 27, 2015 rated it liked it
This story was fun. The fantasy setting was a little forced and often confusing, and the commentary on wars and governments was a little heavy-handed, but it was still an enjoyable read. It had the expected Pratchett silliness and characters with ridiculous and fabulous philosophies.
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Born Terence David John Pratchett, Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe.

Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, i
“They called themselves the Munrungs. It meant The People, or The True Human Beings.
It's what most people call themselves, to begin with. And then one day the tribe meets some other People or, if it's not been a good day, The Enemy. If only they'd think up a name like Some More True Human Beings, it'd save a lot of trouble later on”
“You don't have to chase around after creatures, Pismire had said. You watch them for long enough, and then you'll find the place to wait and they'll come to you. There's nearly always a better way of doing something.” 11 likes
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