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Postby bikkit » Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:17 pm

That's almost exactly what happens apart rom you missed out the bit about the plumber
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I'm going to need a swat team, ready to mobilize, street maps covering the whole of florida, a pot of coffee, 12 jammy dodgers and A FEZ.
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Postby Tonyblack » Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:26 pm

And the hundredweight of mangoes. :wink:
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Postby bikkit » Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:41 pm

Ooh, and the whale, let's not forget the whale.
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Postby Tonyblack » Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:45 pm

Melicia is a strange character in this book - I wasn't sure I liked her when I first read the book, but I've sort of grown to understand her a biit better over subsequent readings. What do you think of her? :?
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Postby chuckie » Sat Aug 08, 2009 3:13 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby kakaze » Sat Aug 08, 2009 8:08 pm

Tonyblack wrote:Melicia is a strange character in this book - I wasn't sure I liked her when I first read the book, but I've sort of grown to understand her a biit better over subsequent readings. What do you think of her? :?


annoying, like most 12 year old girls I know.

Also, one of those people who are very hard to reason with, or hold a stimulating conversation with, because they never leave their own heads or hear anything other than what reflects their own thoughts.
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Postby swreader » Sun Aug 09, 2009 5:23 am

Malicia admits at the end that she doesn't have two older step-sisters, doesn't have any sisters at all. She must have had a mother--but is there any reference to a mother. It sounds to me as if she's being raised by the housekeeper or someone of the sort who has very imperfect control of her.

She seems to live in a fantasy world (drawing heavily on the inspiration of her her grandmother and great aunt)--and while one may (if one is feeling generous) question whether she's so alone and has no friends among the children because (like Tiffany and Roland in a way) she's set apart because she's the mayor's daughter. Frankly, I think that she's spoiled rotten at the beginning. She lives in the world of her books, and tries to transform everything into a story. But she has changed somewhat for the better by the end of the book--not much, but a bit. I wonder if she'll end up as Keith's wife?
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Postby poohbcarrot » Sun Aug 09, 2009 5:43 am

Malicia is annoying but does have three of my favourite lines in the book.

Her explanation for having a lot of cotton wool in case she "was ever taken prisoner in a giant underwater mechanical squid and needed to block up......"

She "poisons" the rat catchers with laxative and tells them there is an antidote - which is more laxative.

She offers to give Maurice and Keith some food, first asks Maurice what he wants, then asks Maurice, "What about your human?" :lol:
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sun Aug 09, 2009 10:35 am

poohbcarrot wrote: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.

Tony - ah OK so Maurice maybe killed DB but didn't eat him :lol:

thanks pooh - I don't need to read it now then :twisted:

*sits back with popcorn*
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Postby poohbcarrot » Sun Aug 09, 2009 11:24 am

You believed that load of old tosh? :shock:
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Postby Tonyblack » Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:16 am

Malicia is similar in some ways to other obnoxious young girls - I wonder what his daughter was like when she was growing up. :lol:
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:19 am

poohbcarrot wrote:You believed that load of old tosh? :shock:

What do you think smartypants? :wink:

What I do think is that you should maybe write some books of your own to get you off whatever you get off your face on of a night :twisted:
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Postby poohbcarrot » Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:11 pm

Believe it or not, I only drink on a Friday and Saturday night, haven't taken any illegal substance since 4 years ago in Amsterdam, and don't eat much chocolate or ice cream.

Oooh! I think I'll have a poll.
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Postby swreader » Tue Aug 11, 2009 1:58 am

Speaking of names - I find it interesting that Malicia's name fits her personality (or perhaps has shaped it) so well. It's a "literary" name, like those of her grandmother & great-aunt. It suggests a form of malice--which in some ways particularly early in the book--is entirely appropriate.

I find it's always instructive to look very carefully at the introduction of Pratchett's stories. He starts with two quotes--one in the chapter heading, and one from the Pied Piper. And Maurice says it is just a story about people and rats. But, I think, it is not Maurice who gives us the next sentence "And the difficult part of it was deciding who the people were, and who were the rats."

And true to his interest, Pratchett has Malicia Grim say it's a story about stories.

And the interesting thing about that first section (the attempted robbery) is that it introduces us to not only characters and their names, but gives us some indication of their nature. Keith, for example, is consistently referred to by both Malicia and Maurice as the stupid kid. Maurice doesn't even know at the beginning of the book that he has a name.

Some of the names of rats are chosen (if not strictly speaking from items found in the rubbish dump of the UU) to suggest exactly what Keith says the rats did--chose names they liked the sound of before they knew what they meant. And so we get names like "Fresh", "Peaches", "Sardines" and "Hamnpork". But Pratchett is unable to resist an allusive name - like the doubting rat who is called "Tomato". (Doubting Thomas?)

And why does Pratchett make Dangerous Beans such a significantly different rat physically? He's the only white rat in the group, and he's not, I think, a Christ figure--though the struggle with the Rat King is akin to the Temptation of Christ in the Wilderness. And why is he called Dangerous Beans?
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Postby Tonyblack » Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:51 am

I agree there - it's almost always worth looking at the very start of a Pratchett book to get a key to understanding. Terry will often start a book with a few apparently throw-away lines that you read and forget, but they are almost always relevant.

Rats!

They chased the dogs and bit the cats, they ---


This is the first line of the book and an almost direct quote from Robert Browning's The Pied Piper of Hamelin. If you haven't read it before then it's well worth it as the story of the Pied Piper is relevant to this book.

As Sharlene points, Maurice says it's just a book about rats and people. That's true - there are people acting despicably - the rat catchers in particular - stealing from there fellow towns people - letting them starve so that they can make a lot of money. Yes they might be under the influence of the King Rat, but maybe the King Rat is just getting them to do more of what they were already doing. The King Rat was created by these two so it's possible they were up to tricks long before that.

And the rats are trying to be people. They realise that with intelligence come responsibility and they are rejecting the rat ways as being morally and hygienically wrong. Hamnpork, the vicious old leader is losing his power over the rats as they look to intelligence rather than physical strength. Female rats are refusing to mate with him - I imagine that is almost unheard of in a rat society. Normally females would be only too pleased to mate with the dominant male.

But the females value intelligence over brute strength and want that for their offspring.

So yes - it is a book about rats and people - and a cat that tags along with them and (although he won't admit it) comes to care deeply about them.

Then Malicia says it's a story about stories - and from her point of view it is. This is something that Terry explored in Witches Abroad - the way that stories have a habit of repeating themselves. Malicia herself is straight out of an Enid Blyton 'Famous Five' book and she certainly sees life that way.

I see her as a lonely girl - partly he own fault, but a lonely girl who has found an escape in books. Books are exciting and as far as she is concerned life isn't. I can empathise with her somewhat there as I recognise myself as a kid there as well. :)


Edit to change name.
Last edited by Tonyblack on Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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