The Carpet People

Terry Pratchett. Clarion, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-544-21247-3
“In the beginning... there was nothing but endless flatness. Then came the Carpet.” Thus, in 1971, began one of the most celebrated careers in the history of fantasy literature. Later, in 1992, Pratchett revised his first novel, but neither version received an American edition until now. The Munrung live on a carpet with hairs as tall as trees, mining metal from a dropped penny and wood from matchsticks. Occasionally the godlike Fray strikes, a near-apocalyptic event that might correspond to the carpet being cleaned. When the Munrung are attacked by the evil “mouls” (“Creatures. From the Unswept Regions”), Snibril, the ingenious younger brother of Munrung chieftain Glurk, leads his people on a dangerous trek across the carpet to what they hope will be the safety of the rather boring Dumii Empire. Even as revised, this is minor Pratchett, but even minor work by the author of the Discworld series is well worth readers’ time. The story is inventive in its carefully worked-out central conceit, often very funny, and dotted with some genuinely scary bits, as well as Pratchett’s wiry 1971 spot illustrations. Ages 8–up. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/2013
Release date: 11/05/2013
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