Review: The Carpet People

The Carpet People, Terry PratchettNo one knows what existed before the Carpet — one day there was nothing, and the next it simply was. Many tribes inhabit the Carpet, from Varnisholme in the north to the Hearthlands in the south; they don’t always get along.

But they’re about to have to. Fray is wreaking havoc across the carpet, flattening villages and ruining lives. And in Fray’s wake come the mouls, monstrous creatures determined to overthrow the Carpet People.

When their village is destroyed by Fray, brothers Glurk and Snibril — along with the philosopher Pismire — must lead the villagers to safety. Their journey is long and dangerous, but they just might be able to save the day…with a little help.

In the beginning

Terry Pratchett is best known for his Discworld series (Hogfather is my favorite so far), but The Carpet People is where it all started.

When Pratchett was 17, part of his duties as an employee of the local newspaper included contributing to the weekly Children’s Circle section. It was here that the Carpet People (an early version, anyway) appeared starting in October 1965.

By 1971 there were enough Carpet People stories to make a book, which sold marginally well. After Pratchett became famous for the Discworld series, he revised his first novel into the version it is today.

So much fun

The Carpet People is less than 300 pages long, but it’s got so much packed in. Great themes abound, plus there’s one race whose members know the future (and one who knows much more). The plot is fun and there are plenty of characters to love and hate.

The characters do actually live deep within the fibers of a carpet, and it was fun deciphering Pratchett’s clever references — all the varnish used by the Carpet People comes from the faraway region of achairleg, and Fray itself originates above the world of the Carpet.

This book is not the same one Pratchett would have written as a more experienced author, but I’m glad he didn’t adjust it too much. The Carpet People is perfect for fantasy and Pratchett, and makes a lovely addition to any reader’s list.

(I read this book as part of the Mount TBR Reading Challenge.)

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