Thursday, July 12, 2012

GUEST REVIEW! 'The Carpet People’ by Terry Pratchett

By Nick McCarthy

4 out of 5

Having long been a reader and admirer of the world that Terry Pratchett had created with the Discworld series it was with pleasant surprise that I stumbled across The Carpet People. Written back in 1971 as Pratchett’s debut novel when he was 17 and then later revised by the author again in 1992, The Carpet People shares the same flourishes of Tolkein-esque imagery and wry humour that permeates the Discworld universe.

Described as ‘The Lord of the Rings on a Rug’ by some critics, but at only 250 pages long, 199 depending on whether you buy the illustrated copy, (I suggest you stay clear of so as to allow your own imagination to picture this world), Pratchett nonetheless crafts a miniscule, magical world populated by peoples living right beneath our feet. They have their own beliefs, fears and feats of daring.

The story charts the journey of a tribe called the Munrungs, across a world known as the Carpet. Instead of trees, the landscape is a forest of hairs, and is littered with large grains of dust and vegetation. The sky is known as above and below the surface is underlay, and the Floor. Metal is mined from a drooped penny, wood is taken from a discarded matchstick and varnish, used by the mystical Wights is scraped from ‘Achairleg’! Ending in a typical sword and sandals battle between good and evil, The Carpet People is not just your ordinary fantasy novel.

A work of prose that explores the conflict between traditions and innovations, The Carpet People is written with the same interesting satire, loveable characters, parodies of everyday objects and wordplay that Pratchett is known for. This is an entire world that Pratchett has created with an established civilisation, complete with bureaucrats, taxes and warring states. We get nuggets of history, philosophy, economics even religion.

At times I must admit it did feel like I was reading an imitation Pratchett novel but I had to remind myself that this was coming from the same mind, but one that was only just beginning to hone its skills as a master story teller. The story is occasionally a bit flat, and the carpet, real world allegory is somewhat underdone but on the whole it is an enjoyable read. In short if you liked the Discworld books, you’ll find this equally as enjoyable.




About the Reviewer

Nick McCarthy works at Kingsland Linassi, an award winning, Top 100 UK creative agency in London. When not reading books, Nick enjoys hitting up the gym, watching sci-fi and film photography. Like our Facebook page, follow our Twitter feed and circle us at Google+


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