The Carpet People by Sir Terry Pratchett
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on February 3, 2015
Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, MG/YA
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"In the beginning, there was nothing but endless flatness. Then came the Carpet." That’s the old story everyone knows. But now a new story is in the making. The story of Fray, sweeping a trail of destruction across the Carpet—and of two brothers on an adventure to end all adventures.
First published in 1971, this novel marked the debut of Sir Terry Pratchett. Years later, Sir Terry revised the work. This edition includes the updated text, his original illustrations, and the short story that is the forerunner to The Carpet People.
AN EPIC SAGA OF MINIATURE PROPORTIONS
"Deep among the Carpet fronds, the Munrong tribe has known peace for decades. But now the old order is unraveling and a new story is in the making - a story of Fray, sweeping a trail of destruction; of villainous mouls, hungry for power; and of two noble brothers on the adventure of a lifetime.
This special edition of Sir Terry Pratchett's hilarious and wise first novel features his own illustrations and revised text. Also included is a short story by the seventeen-year-old who would go on to create the phenomenally popular Discworld series and become one of the world's most beloved storytellers.
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 old.
The Carpet People tells the story of the Munrong tribe as they try to locate a new home after their home was destroyed by Fray. I adored the adventures of the Munrongs – Snibril, Pismire, Glurk and Bane were all loads of fun. I could see the glimmers of what would become known as Sir Pratchett’s brilliance: the social commentary rolled up into a huge ball of fun. As Sir Pratchett was barely out of childhood when this was originally written, I would love to see where the changes were made (from originally published manuscript to the final re-publish). I *think* I know where some of them were made.
The Carpet People has a little bit of everything in it for almost everyone but it’s all a harmonious whole. There is destruction, there is travel, scary animals, kidnappings, shared enemies, new friends and new ways of doing things. The thing I loved the most about The Carpet People is the really interesting idea from the blurb: “An Epic Saga of Miniature Proportions!” The Carpet People IS pretty epic: the travel and adventures of the Munrong tribe will effect all life across the Carpet. Forever. I don’t think it can get too much more epic than that!
I really enjoyed The Carpet People and had few (well, one) complaint: there is a pretty significant lack of female characters in The Carpet People. For the most part females are not mentioned at all with two exceptions: the powerful Culaina and a few short sections at the very end. Culiana is the most powerful (and maybe important) person in The Carpet People but she has a relatively small on page role. The remaining women in the novel are regulated to the background for the most part. There are some great lines – especially by Lady Vortex – but the location in the book make me think that the women were an addition by the older Pratchett.
All in all, I would say that The Carpet People is simply adorable. I think it is a great book for young readers but I can see older readers eagerly making this book part of their library.