Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents Discussion Group

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Postby poohbcarrot » Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:58 pm

Why do we assume it was a "he"? It could have been 8 female rats tied together, or a mixture of males and females.
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Postby Tina a.k.a.SusanSto.Helit » Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:37 pm

Tonyblack wrote:For your information Jan as you haven't read the book - the dump the rats have been feeding on was the one at the back of the University where all the magical experiments are dumped along with the food waste etc.

These are obviously not the same rats that Vetinari was training in Guards! Guards! - or are they? :?


Could have been, Vetinari said they were more intelligent because of the University, but could not read at that time. Hence the "Special Brown Sauce" instead of beer.
Aha! So, Bob's yer uncle... very clever.
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Postby GrayGriffin » Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:15 am

Hmm...maybe. Maybe they followed Maurice because, with Vetinari out of the cells, they needed organization. They needed a leader.
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Postby poohbcarrot » Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:55 am

Just to back up my theory that Maurice is the main character, here is some scientific proof;

There are 241 pages in my US HB copy.
Maurice speaks or is mentioned on 141 pages.
This is approximately 60% of the whole book.

swreader wrote:It doesn't even end with "And they all lived happily ever after."


Yes, it does! The penultimate page is as about as "happily ever after" as you can possibly get. The rats and humans living together in wealthy harmony.
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Postby swreader » Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:00 am

Pooh, you've missed the point of my discussion, but I'm not going to try to do another page long explication. I'm just going to make several important points, and one minor one.

As to your last post, Pratchett very carefully makes my point about "happily ever after." p. 230

"If it was a story and not real life, then humans and rats would have shaken hands and gone on into a bright new future.
But since it was real life, there had to be a contract. A war that had been going on since people first lived in houses could not end with just a happy smile."

As to Maurice's role--he sees himself as a kind of stage manager, a con-man who is totally determined to use everyone (rat or human) to further his own interests. But he only becomes this kind of character after he becomes self-aware--and he becomes self-aware because he ate one of the rats, who is significantly named "Additives". As he says to all of them,

""I was just a cat! I hadn't learned to think yet! I didn't know! Cats eat rats, that's how it goes! It wasn't my fault! ... He'd been eating the stuff on the dump and I ate him, so that's how I got Changed! I admit it! I ate him! It wasn't my faauulltt!"

Additionally, it really isn't Maurice that kills the rat king. When Dangerous Beans confronts the Rat King, Maurice has already lost almost all of his rationality, most of his mind. Dangerous Beans, however, is the one who, in spite of all the terror, analyzes the temptation of the Rat King, and refuses to join him. And in Chapter 11, Pratchett tells us that the final blast of the rat King strips away all that was Maurice, leaving only the brain of a cat. A bright cat, but still...just a cat. There is only one little piece of Maurice left hiding in the back of the cat brain, "the last tiny bit of him that was still Maurice and not a blood-crazed maniac, said, "Now! Bite here!" And of course, by severing the knot binding the rat kings eight parts, the Rat King dies, and the room is full of lots of rats and a bloodthirsty cat, and he almost kills Dangerous Beans before Dangerous Beans screams "Maurice!"

One final thought about the book. I suggest to you that by telling this tale, Pratchett is hoping that his readers (like the people who are described on the last page) will change and a "But a few see the world as a different place."

If you think about racial strife, tribal warfare, the stupid killings that men do, then it is possible to see that this book is about finding a different way to live together so that individuals who don't look much like each other, who perhaps believe in different gods or no gods at all, can work out through a contract a way of living together without destroying the whole round world.
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Postby poohbcarrot » Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:18 am

swreader wrote:the room is full of lots of rats and a bloodthirsty cat, and he almost kills Dangerous Beans before Dangerous Beans screams "Maurice!"


Dangerous Beans dies. How?

Dangerous Beans' shout of "Maurice" brought Maurice back to intelligence again. But, are we sure that Maurice didn't kill him? If he had killed him it would explain why Maurice sacrificed one of his lives to have Dangerous Beans alive again - an overwhelming feeling of remorse.

(PS Spider is made up of 8 male rats because he is the Rat King! :oops: )
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Postby Tonyblack » Sat Aug 08, 2009 9:36 am

poohbcarrot wrote:
swreader wrote:the room is full of lots of rats and a bloodthirsty cat, and he almost kills Dangerous Beans before Dangerous Beans screams "Maurice!"


Dangerous Beans dies. How?

Dangerous Beans' shout of "Maurice" brought Maurice back to intelligence again. But, are we sure that Maurice didn't kill him? If he had killed him it would explain why Maurice sacrificed one of his lives to have Dangerous Beans alive again - an overwhelming feeling of remorse.

(PS Spider is made up of 8 male rats because he is the Rat King! :oops: )
The way I read it was that Maurice did indeed kill Dangerous Beans - the cry brought him back but it was just too late. It's obvious that Dangerous Beans did die or Maurice wouldn't have had to use one of his lives to save him.

As to the book - I'm inclined to agree with Sharlene. The book is called The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, and Pooh you're right when you point out on the previous page all that Maurice does - but Maurice is the cat-alyst (sorry about that :oops: ) for the story. The real story is (in my opinion) mainly about the rats and how they come to terms with their intelligence. Maurice is an integral part of that story, but it's not his story any more than it's Kieth's or Malicia's. :)
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Postby poohbcarrot » Sat Aug 08, 2009 9:54 am

Tonyblack wrote:The real story is (in my opinion) mainly about the rats and how they come to terms with their intelligence. Maurice is an integral part of that story, but it's not his story any more than it's Kieth's or Malicia's. :)


(Tony, nice to see you and your good lady disagreeing about something ie; Maurice killing Dangerous Beans!)

Anyway, surely it's about how the rats and Maurice come to terms with their intelligence.

What do the rats experience in coming to terms with their intelligence that Maurice doesn't?

Religion? No. They both question religion.
Rules about not eating rats?
Learning to live in peace with other species? No.
Disillusionment? No.

In fact, the rats are just a rat-alyst :lol: for the story of Maurice.
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Postby poohbcarrot » Sat Aug 08, 2009 10:14 am

I think of Maurice as a feline version Of Moist Von Lipwig, both conmen who develop a conscience, give their money away to a good cause and use their cunning to triumph over adversity.

Is Going Postal a book about the Post Office or a book about Moist? I would say the latter.
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Postby Tonyblack » Sat Aug 08, 2009 10:15 am

:lol: We often disagree about things - and we very often disagree about Terry's books. But we do enjoy discussing them. :wink:
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Postby poohbcarrot » Sat Aug 08, 2009 10:19 am

swreader (not really) wrote:No, we don't!. We never disagree!
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sat Aug 08, 2009 10:50 am

Tonyblack wrote:For your information Jan as you haven't read the book - the dump the rats have been feeding on was the one at the back of the University where all the magical experiments are dumped along with the food waste etc.

These are obviously not the same rats that Vetinari was training in Guards! Guards! - or are they? :?

Oh THOSE rats! :lol: Someone said that Vetinari says they have been on UU's tip - definitely remember reading that too.

OK further unbiased comments/discussion points -
    1. if the rubbish on the dump is magically toxic, how much more toxic are UU's cesspits/sewers or whatever? :twisted: Definitely a food chain being established here now what with the ants - and also the bed bugs too was it (in Sourcery didn't a mattress run away too?)
    2. actually dogs are known more for killing rats than cats - does this also account for Gaspode too (as he was also known to frequent the UU environs)? :twisted:
    3. as we all know cats are already pretty self-aware and venally intelligent without eating changeling rats so how many does M have to eat before his own change kicks in?
    4. with the possibility of M eating DB (also handily restoring his self-awareness/intelligence :wink: ) does this make M and/or DB resurrected Messiah type characters having both effectively laid down lives to save the changelings? Over to you Pooh...
:lol:
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Postby Tonyblack » Sat Aug 08, 2009 10:56 am

Jan Van Quirm wrote:
Tonyblack wrote:For your information Jan as you haven't read the book - the dump the rats have been feeding on was the one at the back of the University where all the magical experiments are dumped along with the food waste etc.

These are obviously not the same rats that Vetinari was training in Guards! Guards! - or are they? :?

Oh THOSE rats! :lol: Someone said that Vetinari says they have been on UU's tip - definitely remember reading that too.

OK further unbiased comments/discussion points -
    1. if the rubbish on the dump is magically toxic, how much more toxic are UU's cesspits/sewers or whatever? :twisted: Definitely a food chain being established here now what with the ants - and also the bed bugs too was it (in Sourcery didn't a mattress run away too?)
    2. actually dogs are known more for killing rats than cats - does this also account for Gaspode too (as he was also known to frequent the UU environs)? :twisted:
    3. as we all know cats are already pretty self-aware and venally intelligent without eating changeling rats so how many does M have to eat before his own change kicks in?
    4. with the possibility of M eating DB (also handily restoring his self-awareness/intelligence :wink: ) does this make M and/or DB resurrected Messiah type characters having both effectively laid down lives to save the changelings? Over to you Pooh...
:lol:


Hang on there - Yes dogs do kill more rats than cats - as is shown in this book.

Maurice doesn't eat Dangerous Beans. You really need to read the book Jan. :lol:
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Postby bikkit » Sat Aug 08, 2009 12:52 pm

The matress was being carried by the bed bugs ( I think)
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Postby poohbcarrot » Sat Aug 08, 2009 12:59 pm

Jan, here's a brief synopsis of the book;

Keith and Malicia are Dalmatian spotty dogs who live near the evil spider called Bad Blintz, who thinks it's God, and who can control the weather.
The changelings are rats that have eaten some dangerous beans from the UU dump, and go from town to town dressed in clothes, pretending to be dwarves. The "Keekees" are a musical 5 piece combo playing easy listening music, whose real aim is to steal all the food, sell it, then go and live on the island of their dreams with rat-shaped cuckoo clocks. Maurice is a three-legged cat with one ear who's on a mission from Glod, an evil dwarf in league with the evil spider, who wants a state of permanent rain, all music banned and a Dalmatian-skin three piece suite.
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