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The Ratastrophe Catastrophe

(The Illmoor Chronicles #1)

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  215 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Diek Wutspah is a normal shepard boy. That is until a dark, evil magic roots itself within him instilling him with the power to charm man and beast with his magic flute. When the ancient town of Illmoor is plagued by an infestation of giant rats, Diek offers to lead the rodents to their doom. But when the dim-witted Duke of Illmoor refuses to reward him, Diek seeks revenge ...more
Paperback, 258 pages
Published (first published November 1st 2003)
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3.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  215 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Book Elf
Jan 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was looking for a light read with an uplifting effect after I read The Troll Mill by Katherine Langrish. I debated if The Illmoor Chronicles will give me this effect but to my utter surprise, it was not uplifting but it was entertaining and funny. There were so many things going on, so many characters but I enjoyed every bit and felt I was in a National Lampoon or something. The story was so crazy! The characters were so hopelessly valiant or not, but it just made me laugh. It was crazy out th ...more
Jay Eckert
This is high fantasy, and I'm extremely picky about high fantasy. The book is about a shepherd boy who is possessed my a dark magic. He uses the magic, or really it uses him. Rats take over Illmoor (hence the name Ratastrophe), and he uses his pied-piper-ish flute to have them follow him out of Illmoor, but when the Duke doesn't pay him, bad things occur.

There are many colorful characters, although there are really too many to keep track of. Diek is the shepherd boy, and he's relatively benign.
May 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children and adults who like terry pratchett
I loved this story, I found the characters captivating and really got absorbed in the world of Illmoor, I also laughed out loud loads of times. Would recommend this to people who like fantasy mixed with a bit of humour.
Apr 25, 2014 rated it liked it
I was both hesitant and excited to read this retelling of a favorite classic. But in the end, I was happy with how it turned out to be something distinctively different from the original, yet still doing justice to the much-loved fable on which it is based.

Dullitch is a fascinating city, richly imagined and elaborated upon. Filled with humans and all sorts of creatures such as trolls, sprites, pixies ogres, dwarves, elves, giants, and gnomes, it ensures an interesting plot that would keep the f
Bruce Gargoyle
Full review at http://thebookshelfgargoyle.wordpress...

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Ten Second Synopsis:
Things go pear-shaped when rats infest the city of Dullitch. Things assume the shape of a butternut pumpkin when Diek Wustapha turns up with a flute and an onboard ancient being of dark magic to help sort out the problem.

I thoroughly enjoyed this new take on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. On reading the blurb I
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
A number of reviews here said it was good but they didn't like the number of characters introduced or it was poorly written but it's saving grace was its British sense of humour.

I'm glad I read the book regardless. I didn't find any issue with the introduction of characters though naming two colleagues Groan and Gordo was confusing. The language was simple, story flowed quite well and I found myself laughing aloud at points throughout the book.

I would recommend this book as a light and enjoyable
Ана Хелс
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Поднасявам ви поредната порция блатно – димящо и ухаещо на съмнителни елементи от не-човешки произход плато от хумористично, поне за някои хора, фентъзийно приключение, което мъъничко напомня на реалните ми умения в кухненския блок, можещи да бъдат определени с една – единствена дума – смехотворни. Та, докато се хилите, любезно прикривайки трудно преодолими позиви за повръщане пред странната жълтеникаво – кафява маса, която аз настоявам, въпреки… ех, обективното положение, да наричам с гордото и ...more
Aug 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thus far, this book has me giggling left and right. I don't know how I'll like the story-line yet, but I'm definitely enjoying the author's writing style.

This ended fairly well and copied the general story of the pied piper. I was disappointed to discover that it's part of a series and did not received all the closure I hoped I would. I guess it just means I need to find the rest of the series!
Jul 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-to-kids
I really enjoyed this story. I found it a cross between Monty Python and the Brothers Grimm. The setting of Illmoor was great, as were the cast of characters. The 7 year old found it a little challenging to follow, but the 10 year old liked the story. I also found it funny, but with too many 'damns' and 'hells'. We will certainly read the next book in the series. Eventually.
Sep 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Brilliantly funny! I really like Stone's writing style, it's very British and darkly hilarious. You start to like even the most despicable creature in the book while reading it. This is fantasy at its best and definitely not only for children.[return]Now I can't wait to start the second part.
Jun 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Funny, witty, and a good story.
Reviewed for CBPR
Jodee Clark
silly version of the pied piper. The names were funny and I think the 10-11 years would find it amusing.
The illustrations were the best part of this book. Otherwise, I didn't really enjoy it. I didn't like any of the characters and the story didn't hold my interest. I skipped ahead to the end. Maybe better for younger readers, but not really for me.
Elisa Kay
I really quite enjoyed this book. The similarities to the Pied Piper were dangerously close to having copied that particular story. This was a light and easy to read novel. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
The Fairy Godmother
Based on The Pied Piper of Hamelin.
Stoneme Mayo
Childrens adventure fantasy along the lines of Terry Pratchets Discworld series.
Amy Mills
Reminds me a bit of very early Terry Pratchett. However, when I first read Pratchett, it was his later work, and then I went back to read his early stuff, which meant I was looking for the signs of greatness that were to come. Lacking that perspective, I have no idea if this author is headed the same route.

It's very (deliberately) silly throughout, with the occasional awesomely funny moment, and the occasional * cringe * moment (animals urinating on people is not particularly funny to me, and le
Pop Bop
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Cheerfully Bland

This isn't high fantasy, or high adventure, or, really, high anything. It is a light, good-humored, occasionally funny, and always cheerful quasi-sendup of fairy tales and stories involving wizards, boy heroes, dark magic, and barbarian/dwarf double act comedian mercenaries.

If you're good with that, and if you aren't the sort who gets really angry every time something isn't quite as good as Terry Pratchett, then this will be an amusing and perfectly fine diversion. There are som
Ryan Adams
I did not know this book was loosely based on the old folk tale of the pied piper till 16 years later, its a fun read for children but if you are in your 30+ and enjoy fantasy, have at it if you want.
Raphael Bastos
Jul 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Eu gostava muito desse livro quando eu era criança. Continua sendo um livro bem engraçadinho, apesar de perceber agora mais velho que a tradução é provavelmente bem ruim (não achei o original pra comparar).
Sarah Wilson
This book was just not for me. Interesting take on the pied piper. I didn’t care for the language/dialect and the characters’ ineptitude drove me nuts.
Philip J Dennis
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book to come back to.
I read this for the first time a number of years ago. The story of how David Lee Stone got into writing as a kid, and how he threw the manuscripts away, only to be unknowingly saved by his mum, is amazing. Read up about that yourself.

This book is a fun read. I have just finished reading it to my 19 month old son. He doesn't follow it, of course, but I'll reach out to him again in the future.

Fun characters, a spin on an old tale and situations that will make you shake your

I honestly didn't finish it... The author seemed to be making a poor attempt at being Terry Pratchett. Didn't like it.
Jan 02, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
eh, actually kinda boring retelling of the pied piper of Hamelin...some entertaining aspects, but overall not top tier at all...
Shawna Millard
rated it liked it
Jul 05, 2009
Sandra Guerfi
rated it liked it
Oct 25, 2013
rated it did not like it
Mar 07, 2016
rated it liked it
Apr 02, 2010
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Other books in the series

The Illmoor Chronicles (6 books)
  • The Yowler Foul-Up (The Illmoor Chronicles, #2)
  • The Shadewell Shenanigans (The Illmoor Chronicles, #3)
  • The Dwellings Debacle (The Illmoor Chronicles, #4)
  • The Vanquish Vendetta (The Illmoor Chronicles, #5)
  • The Coldstone Conflict (The Illmoor Chronicles, #6)