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The Carpet People Paperback – April 29, 2004


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From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8-Imagine a vast continent right below your feet. Terry Pratchett's The Carpet People takes listeners to a world filled with emperors, kings, and hardworking folk. Best known for his fantasy series Discworld, Pratchett has rewritten his first book, published when he was 17. In this thoroughly British import, the domain of The Carpet People is bordered by places such as "Wainscot" to "Hearthland." The minuscule "true human beings" who live in the carpet must contend with power hungry Muols overtaking the kingdoms that abound among the carpet fibers. Another constant concern is Fray, a whirlwind of destruction that sounds a lot like someone vacuuming. An amusing cast of characters is led by brothers, Glurk and Sbibril. They are leaders of the Munrungs clan and are looking for new homes after an attack by Fray. This fantasy has lots of encounters with danger and intervals with strangers who have mysterious powers. Richard Mitchley does an outstanding job of imbuing each of the characters with a vivid persona, a difficult task since there are so many characters. This audiobook is attractively and durably packaged in a vinyl book style case with information about both the book and the narrator. The cassettes are clearly marked, and there are listener prompts when each side ends. Though the long list of characters and places make The Carpet People more challenging in an audio format, it will fit very comfortably in both school and public libraries collections.
Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"For readers who are attracted to epic but not quite ready for the weightiness of Tolkien, this is a perfect entree; for those who have loved or will love Pratchett, it's simply a must read." Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "Only a writer with a masterstroke of imagination could place an entire empire of goodies and baddies within the fronds of a carpet" Daily Mail "The perfect starting place for young readers ... seasoned Pratchett fans will just revel in his wit, his subversion of tropes and his sense of humanity." Kirkus "A unique piece of high fantasy ... Now very witty and politically aware in its revised version with the new ending" Vector "The story is inventive in its carefully worked-out central conceit, often very funny, and dotted with some genuinely scary bits." Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi Childrens; New Ed edition (April 29, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552551058
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552551052
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #585,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was fifteen, 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, including his first Discworld novel, The Color of Magic, in 1983. In 1987 he turned to writing full time, and has not looked back since. To date there are a total of 36 books in the Discworld series, of which four (so far) are written for children. The first of these children's books, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal. A non-Discworld book, Good Omens, his 1990 collaboration with Neil Gaiman, has been a longtime bestseller, and was reissued in hardcover by William Morrow in early 2006 (it is also available as a mass market paperback (Harper Torch, 2006) and trade paperback (Harper Paperbacks, 2006). Terry's latest book, Nation, a non-Discworld standalone YA novel was published in October of 2008 and was an instant New York Times and London Times bestseller. Regarded as one of the most significant contemporary English-language satirists, Pratchett has won numerous literary awards, was named an Officer of the British Empire "for services to literature" in 1998, and has received four honorary doctorates from the Universities of Warwick, Portsmouth, Bath, and Bristol. His acclaimed novels have sold more than 55 million copies (give or take a few million) and have been translated into 36 languages. Terry Pratchett lives in England with his family, and spends too much time at his word processor.  Some of Terry's accolades include: The Carnegie Medal, Locus Awards, the Mythopoetic Award, ALA Notable Books for Children, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, Book Sense 76 Pick, Prometheus Award and the British Fantasy Award.

Customer Reviews

For children and adults!
Flo
Pratchett builds a story of the conflict of respected traditions countered by innovation and invention.
Stephen A. Haines
In this, the version published in Great Britain, the type font is larger than in the U.S. version.
Dottie A

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 10, 1997
Format: Hardcover
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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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Shanshad VINE VOICE on March 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME on January 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The story behind this story is nearly the best story of all: "This book had two authors, one aged seventeen, one aged forty-three. Both of them were Terry Pratchett." Having penned this tale and had it lapse into obscurity, Pratchett is impelled by his editors to revive it years later. Rightly so. For the dedicated PTerry fan, this example of his early writing is an illuminating read. Many views expressed in the Discworld books are readily perceived here. For someone new to Pratchett, it's a great introduction to the scope of his ideas and his writing skills. For any reader, it's simply a delight to enjoy.

The story is a fine example of Pratchett's ability to view the world from a fresh perspective. If there's a fantasy novel lacking a dark forest and mysterious creatures, i've missed it. Pratchett, never a formula writer, simply shrinks the scope. His forested world is a thickly napped rug. Instead of pines or oaks, it's nylon and wool "hairs". The creatures are there, the snargs, the hymetors and others - including silverfish, who live under the world. There are also people - the Munrungs, the Deftmenes and - the Dumii. They interact, sometimes violently. Deep down in the pile, these people and their communities are invisible to humans. Something, however, sends terror through the forest peoples - Fray. This immensely destructive force topples cities and obliterates villages.

Pratchett builds a story of the conflict of respected traditions countered by innovation and invention. There is an Empire, to which taxes are due. That means clerks, organisation, regulations. While the Munrungs have always met the demands for revenue, others have opposed the imposition, hence, the Empire. Could two such peoples find a common cause?
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