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The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents

(Discworld #28)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  35,195 ratings  ·  1,480 reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review
With the debut of his first young-adult novel, science fiction writer Terry Pratchett invites readers ages 12 and up to visit Discworld -- an imaginary land well known to Pratchett's adult following. At the heart of this tale is a slightly twisted take on the old Pied Piper theme, a talking, thinking cat named Maurice, and a supporting cast of
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published November 6th 2001 by HarperCollins (first published November 1st 2001)
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Apr 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For children?

Maybe, but there are some dark issues going on and dealt with from the master himself.

Terry Pratchett’s first Discworld “story” designating it as written for children (followed by the wonderful Tiffany Aching sub-series) but I would submit this is YA territory, no warm fuzzy Disney moments here.

First of all, if there was a film this reminded me of it would be the 1995 Chris Noonan film Babe. In this very good movie, a young piglet confronts the contrast and distinction of animals as
Dan Schwent
Maurice, a talking cat, leads a group of talking mice and a stupid-looking kid into a town called Bad Blintz looking for one last score with their pied piper scam. Only Bad Blintz has troubles of its own...

Terry Pratchett really knows how to write a kids book. I would have devoured this thing when I was a lad. Maurice and the rats are good characters, as is Keith, the aforementioned stupid-looking kid. The origin of Maurice and the rats' intelligence was fairly well done. Hell, it's a fantasy st
Pratchett at his best.

This is his first YA Discworld book although I think that label is put more for marketing purposes. This is one of his darker works and like all good Discworld book there is so much going on beneath the surface. Behind there is story of clash of generations, finding one identity, spirituality and religion and Pratchett's realistic (or pessimistic if you are an optimist ) view of humanity and much more and his signiture cynical humor .

5 stars aren't enoug, that is why we ha

Following the resounding success of my Locus Quest, I faced a dilemma: which reading list to follow it up with? Variety is the spice of life, so I’ve decided to diversify and pursue six different lists simultaneously. This book falls into my FINISHING THE SERIES! list.

I loves me a good series! But I'm terrible for starting a new series before finishing my last - so this reading list is all about trying to close out those series I've got on the go.

I remember being given a copy of Reaper Man w
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the first Discworld novels I've ever read, the German translation back then though. I'm very pleased to report that the reading experience was even better this time - partly because the original is always better, partly because I now understood certain side-stabs and references, which was very rewarding.

It's part of The Folklore of Discworld, a version of the Pied Pauper. Maurice, a cat, along with a number of rats has become intelligent to a point where they've learnt human spee
Mar 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing

Re-Read this recently while traveling. It's interesting to see Pratchett's first run at writing something officially YA.

It's a good read. Smart. Funny. And pleasantly stand-alone. It's easy to see why he won the Carnegie award for it.

But in my opinion, it doesn't hold a candle to his later YA books that feature Tiffany Aching: Wee Free Men, Hat Full of Sky, etc.

The Wee Free Men

Maurice watched them argue again. Humans, eh? Think they're lords of creation. Not like us cats. We know we are. Ever see a cat feed a human? Case proven.

Maurice and his savvy, talking rodents arrive in town, ready once again to pull the old "Pied Piper" scheme. They scare the bejeezus out of the townsfolk, nibble on the comestibles and widdle everywhere. The citizens waste no time hiring Keith to play his magic flute, rats follow him out of the village, everybody splits the money and VOILA! - i
lucky little cat
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who trusts my judgment, plus devotees of cuddly/ironic Muppet Show-caliber humor
Recommended to lucky little cat by: Lyn 's fab review reminded me to reread this one
IF (like me) you've always been impatient with the Rincewind-heavy volumes of Sir Terry's oeuvre, you're in luck.

Civilization begins with the tiniest steps

Maurice is blessedly short on fart jokes* and long on Pratchett's brand of homespun philosophical irony.

Maurice is a madly inventive retelling of The Pied Piper, featuring ragged-eared, fast-talking tomcat Maurice as the brains of the outfit. His cronies the rats can talk too, thanks to their hazardous-magical-waste diet amid the trash-heaps
Rick Riordan
Nov 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Another author I was slow in finding, Pratchett has a wicked and beautifully twisted sense of humor. I would call this book a recrafting of the Pied Piper story, but that really doesn't even begin to describe it. All the characters, human or otherwise, are wonderfully drawn, and the story is well worth your time. Sheesh, this guy is prolific, too. I need to get back to work now!
Nov 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Crispin Glover
Recommended to Mariel by: Michael Jackson
What was up with that bullshit message of Ratatouille? (I hope I'm spelling that correctly. I'm gonna look so dumb! In my defense, I've always been the pickiest of eaters.) That whole "Don't steal from humans!" thing. They were rats! What did they care if humans stuck flags and paper umbrellas in every little thing? They shouldn't. The rat had as much right to saffron as stupid Lugini did.

The rodents in Terry Prachett's Maurice and his Educated Rodents are - D'oh! Sorry, Maurice! The AMAZING Mau
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2019-shelf, humor
Re-read 2019

This may be billed as a YA novel by the redoubtable Pratchett, but I'm just going to shrug. It's fun and funny and I will always look at this novel as a sly reference to Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep, including multiple minds linked together to make a full intelligence. No, not wolves. RATS. Such a lovely image.

But no, this isn't all this is.

Talking rats and one very special talking cat and a stupid-looking boy con their way through Discworld. What more could anyone want? Vil
May 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is Terry Pratchett's first YA Discworld novel and as to be expected it is a lot of fun.It's based on the Pied Piper story with Maurice the talking cat, a band of talking rats (they all ate something strange at the dump) and a stupid looking kid who plays the flute. They go from village to village scamming the villagers into paying for the piper to rid the town of rats who are running amok, widdling on the cheese and swimming in the cream. The rats are very cute with names they've taking fro ...more
Mimi 'Pans' Herondale
I have read this book at least 15 times, I swear! Or even more. It is officially the number one book I have read the most out of every book I have read. Which is amazing, because when I got it, I didn't even expect for me to like it that much. Surprise, surprise. I loved it.

My favorite characters were, Amazing Maurice, Peaches, stupid looking kid/Keith, Darktan, Dangerous Beans, and Sardines.

And the plot. It was an amazing retelling. One of the best. I also don't really like the Pied Piper sto
Jun 18, 2007 rated it it was ok
Well, I have definitely learned a lot about rats. I have mixed feelings about this book. Terry Pratchett is usually SO GOOD at mixing light-hearted silliness with a more macabre subject matter, but this time something felt a little… off. The rats are great at first, a nice blend of ratty grossness and the angst that comes with sudden enlightenment… or puberty. The rat characters are well-developed and as authentic as a bunch of talking rats can be. Maurice the cat is also a wonderful character.

Jakk Makk
Jan 18, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
Talk to the paw, because the whiskers aren't listening. Overdrive has informed me that I listened to the entirety of this. I say, it's debatable.

Here's why Pratchett is a miss with me. I want to experience the story as a character. This requires a deep point of view. But Pratchett always does this (to the tune of Row Your Boat):

Tell, tell, tell, the tale,
tell the fricking tale.
If you want to be shown,
you can go to Hale.

Yes, one minute you are a star whistling through the cosmos, the next, a cat
Was the Pied Piper a true story?

Poor Cinder- oops I mean Malicia...
‘I expect you’re very keen to know all about me,’ said Malicia. ‘I expect you’re just too polite to ask.’

‘Gosh, yes,’ said Maurice.

‘Well, you probably won’t be surprised to know that I’ve got two dreadful step-sisters,’ said Malicia. ‘And I have to do all the chores!’

‘Gosh, really,’ said Maurice, wondering if there were any more fish-heads and, if there were any more fish-heads, whether they were worth all this.

‘Well, most of the
MB (What she read)
12/9/08 first read: I find it amazing how many important concepts Terry Pratchett manages to pack into this little 278 page book!

7/22/13: Reread. Love the way the rats develop their civilization: thinking, writing, teaching, learning, religion, protecting their future, and that of those weaker than themselves. Even hints of suffrage for females. Best of all is Darktan (and others) learning the responsibilities of leadership. As always with Pratchett, simple and fun--but deep down so very very wi
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents is the first young adult Discworld book. It was a short book, and a cute story, but I thought it was pretty substantial in terms of both plot and messages. The plot was certainly more substantial than many of his adult Discworld books. I didn’t think there was quite as much humor, but it had its funny moments.

The basic premise is that some of the rats in Ankh-Morpork, after eating magical rubbish dumped by the residents of the Unseen University, have
Apr 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
A children's take on Discworld - but while that may mean it's simpler, it doesn't mean it's not just as dark. Not ideal for very young children, those prone to nightmares, or those who don't like rats...

For adult fans, it's a pleasant return to some elements of Pratchett's earlier writing (particularly the Bromeliad), with all the polish and sophistication of his later work. Doesn't read as any more child-oriented than many of his early Discworld novels, like Equal Rites or Mort - less sly sexua
Cory Hughart
Oct 22, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a 'young adult' novel? I think Terry must have gotten fed up with the run-of-the-mill children's books and decided to do a sort of parody of them, one where the characters constantly make references to the fact that real life is not like 'Mr. Bunnsy Has an Adventure'.

This is definitely a novel that teens can digest, but there are some parts that are even more grim and depressing than many of Pratchett's 'adult' books. I am reading the Discworld series in order of publication, and I was d
Leona  Carstairs
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: siblings-own, fantasy
This is one of my younger sister's favorite books of all time, but sadly I did not love it as much as she does. It just wasn't my type of book and I did not find it amazing, more like very average. (But not completely terrible).

My biggest problem was that I was bored a lot. I did like Maurice and the rats, but I hated Malicia. SHE WAS SO ANNOYING. Too bad she didn't die or something. I wanted to strangle her.

I think that certain people will like/love this book but it was not for me and I wasn't
Jul 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourites
The Amazing Pratchett and His Gleeful Renditions

"Humans, eh? Think they're lords of creation. Not like us cats. We know we are. Ever see a cat feed a human? Case proven."

"'If you don't turn your life into a story, you just become a part of someone else's story.'
'And what if your story doesn't work?'
'You keep changing it until you find one that does.'"
May 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Been looking forward to this one, the first YA Discworld novel, and probably the best despite not offering the publisher's the chance to print money by turning in to a standalone YA series - that would come later of course. By riffing on the Pied Piper legend/fairy tale Pratchett is playing it safe, using the readers prior knowledge to introduce his own sense of playful storytelling and humour, as well as allowing himself to softly broach his pet subjects of fate vs free will, self-determination ...more
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feared once again that this would be another Pratchett book I'll have to give less than 5 stars. Alas, I was wrong and boy, am I glad. The first 2/5 was a little boring, or maybe it was so because I had to read it in really small chunks because I was travelling a lot over the past three days. But then, it got great. It got deep, complicated, with an unexpected plot twist, and once again Sir Terry taught us that both the greatest sin and beauty of man is humanity. Because, as usual, it was huma ...more
3.5 out of 5

Very metafictive, smart, even wise, and funny. A delightful read!

Also, Stephen Briggs's audiobook narration is brilliant :)
i didn't think this book would go as hard as it did. i don't know why i expected this, having read terry's other books.
Sarah Mcleod
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok so I have a confession to make which is a little embarrassing really. My being 34 years of age, and this is the first Terry Pratchett book I have read. There is said it. Phew, even if I did have to borrow it.
I did like this book, a story of Maurice, a talking cat, and lots of rats, some good rats and some not so good rats. This is well written, with some good characters, but I did have trouble deciding when the book was set. I think that was a brilliant introductory book, and does make me wan
James Beech
Oct 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
I recently reread this book and by "reread" I mean I listened to the audiobook, which is usually what I mean when I say reread (As a side note, Stephen Briggs is a great reader and I was pleasantly surprised to find that he used the same voice for Dark Tan as he does for Sam Vimes). I remember that the first time I read it, I didn't really like it that much, partly because it wasn't about Tiffany Aching and mostly because I was taken aback by the tone of the story. The Amazing Maurice is easily ...more
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Witty, sweet, and full of heart, this might be the best Pratchett I've read so far.
When a kitty mastermind convinces the rats he could otherwise eat to join him and an orphaned musician boy in a con to trick villages into "paying the piper," the ragtag group goes on a tour to convince townsfolk that they need help removing vermin from their town with the rats making appearances and the piper safely playing them out unharmed for gold. All works pretty well until the rats start questioning their
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"The important thing about adventures, thought Mr Bunnsy, was that they shouldn't be so long as to make you miss mealtimes."

"I suppose there is a Big Cat in the Sky, isn't there?"

I am not sure why I did not read this book before now. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I never found the tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin very appealing when I was a child.

In retrospect, I should have known be
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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

Other books in the series

Discworld (1 - 10 of 41 books)
  • The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1; Rincewind, #1)
  • The Light Fantastic (Discworld, #2; Rincewind #2)
  • Equal Rites (Discworld, #3; Witches, #1)
  • Mort (Death, #1; Discworld, #4)
  • Sourcery (Discworld, #5; Rincewind #3)
  • Wyrd Sisters (Discworld, #6; Witches #2)
  • Pyramids (Discworld, #7)
  • Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8; City Watch #1)
  • Eric (Discworld, #9; Rincewind #4)
  • Moving Pictures (Discworld, #10; Industrial Revolution, #1)
“If you don't turn your life into a story, you just become a part of someone else's story.” 666 likes
“A good plan isn't one where someone wins, it's where nobody thinks they've lost.” 349 likes
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