Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents Discussion Group

Moderators: Jason, Toothy, Tonyblack

Postby Tonyblack » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:43 am

N1v3n wrote:I had the audio book years ago. Think it was Stephen Kirby. He did a great job, one of the rats was Welsh and another sounded like Michael Caine :lol:
I think you mean Stephen Briggs. :wink:

I've got the abridged audiobook read by Tony Robinson - from a charity shop. I've only played it once as Tony Robinson's characterisation sucks! I really, really hate his voice for Maurice. :roll:
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 28677
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Postby N1v3n » Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:35 pm

Tonyblack wrote:I think you mean Stephen Briggs. :wink:


doh! I did indeed get my Stephen's mixed up.
THIS SPACE FOR RENT
User avatar
N1v3n
New member
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 6:46 pm
Location: that London

Postby Fizz » Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:20 am

Jan Van Quirm wrote:
Fizz wrote:Those elements of the world that make Pratchett and Discworld what they are, seemed to be pushed to the side in favour of re-writing a common children's tale and creating more of an adventure story for kids to enjoy.

Cheers.

The thing with 'young' adults (formerly known as children) books is that we're all children still in some measure - why else would Harry Potter be so widely read (spare me the theories about reading ages please - I was reading and getting bored stiff by Swift and Longfellow in the original (with great illustrations luckily) at 5.5 years old :lol: ). With fantasies in particular there's such a fine line between what's suitable for sub-teenage reading and what adults'll swallow (including the simplicity or otherwise of language) that it's almost not worth trying to define anymore aside from the sex and violence aspects and that's more a social/regional thing these days with movies and telly blurring the lines the whole time.

With Terry's young adult writing there's hardly any difference at all in his writing style to all intents and purposes - just that the age ratio for the characters are slanted to young more than old. The Feegles for instance, being wee and free, defy age categorisation and the Elf Queen might as well be Angelica in Rag Rats is terms of being a psychopath :twisted: :wink:


I just felt that he did not emphasize aspects of Discworld as much as he emphasized aspects of the beast fable or the fantastical. Aside from a few subtle references to some buildings, Discworld is absent. In fact in my seminar discussion, only myself and one of my good friends had knowledge of Discworld and we had to explain to everyone the concept. The majority of the class was not concerned with Discworld as a whole. :shock:
"We are the people our parents warned us about." - Jimmy Buffet -

www.whitesnails.com
User avatar
Fizz
Member
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:51 am
Location: Ontario, Canada

Postby Tonyblack » Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:45 am

I think that's the case with a lot of the later books. It's not usually necessary to the story to know the nature of the Discworld other than it is a fantasy place where strange things happen.

It's not even necessary to know about Unseen University other than it's a magical place which dumps its waste without much thought of the consequences.

All we need to know is that the rats ate this stuff and that made them smarter than they were and that Maurice became smart from eating one of the rats. It's set on Discworld, but that's somewhat beside the point. You could have probably set it on Middle Earth or on dozens of other fantasy worlds where magic is common. :D
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 28677
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Postby Fizz » Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:14 pm

It's not even necessary to know about Unseen University other than it's a magical place which dumps its waste without much thought of the consequences.

All we need to know is that the rats ate this stuff and that made them smarter than they were and that Maurice became smart from eating one of the rats. It's set on Discworld, but that's somewhat beside the point. You could have probably set it on Middle Earth or on dozens of other fantasy worlds where magic is common.


We spoke at length about just this issue. Much of the discussion of our course has centered around what constitutes Children's Fantasy Literature.

The fact that this story happens to be set in a fantastical world was missed by most of the class. The one theme that consistently popped up in discussion was Pratchett's use of mythology and fairy tale.

Specifically with references to The Pied Piper of Hamelin and many other nods. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM is also being invoked with this story.

Cheers.
"We are the people our parents warned us about." - Jimmy Buffet -

www.whitesnails.com
User avatar
Fizz
Member
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:51 am
Location: Ontario, Canada

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:15 pm

I think what stands out in this is that we really are all the story-telling apes (is that in The Globe or Darwin's Watch - maybe both :lol: ) even if it's in a passive way by being so open to fantasy almost by default. Age doesn't come into it much either - even if you don't subscribe to any faith in particular, everyone seems able to accept talking animals quite readily along with random references to magic which are almost peripheral to the story and so can be treated as unimportant to the central tale :P by people with little or no knowledge of Pterry's work.

We are the apes who can readily accept the wonderful in it's basic sense, because our minds are wonderful places where chemical and neural magic happens all the time :wink:
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
User avatar
Jan Van Quirm
Member
 
Posts: 10474
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:07 pm
Location: Dunheved, Kernow

Postby Penfold » Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:26 pm

Fizz wrote:The one theme that consistently popped up in discussion was Pratchett's use of mythology and fairy tale.

Specifically with references to The Pied Piper of Hamelin and many other nods. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM is also being invoked with this story.

May I recommend 'The Folklore of Discworld' by Terry Pratchett and Jacqueline Simpson to you. Its not a funny laugh out loud type of book (more like a reference book, really) but it does look at the real myths and legends of our world and how Terry then applies them to the Discworld. I found it all quite fascinating, particularly as it reveals where Terry got many of his ideas from.
The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.
User avatar
Penfold
Member
 
Posts: 7035
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:59 am
Location: Worthing

Postby Fizz » Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:28 pm

I have seen that in the bookstore. But I will not be picking that up until I have a number of Discworld novels under my belt. Reading Colour of Magic right now and so I'm not wanting to spoil any pleasant surprises or jokes. Cheers.
"We are the people our parents warned us about." - Jimmy Buffet -

www.whitesnails.com
User avatar
Fizz
Member
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:51 am
Location: Ontario, Canada

Postby Willem » Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:39 pm

I'm not that fond of the folkore-book myself. Seemed a bit of a money-grabber to me (even worse that Where's My Cow - at least that one looked pretty) Most of the origins I already knew (probably from the L-space annotations). All the book seemed to do was point at something mythical/fantastic and say: look, Sir Terry uses this fantasy being - it's from Norse mythology. Next!
At least the Science of Discworld books are entertaining in their presentation of the facts. When reading those, I get a feeling of an enthousiastic teacher wanting to show me what a wonderful place we live in. With Folklore, it's more like: 'Here's your text, learn the facts, exam tomorrow'. No passion about the subject: dry and shallow.

But that's just my opinion :)
User avatar
Willem
Member
 
Posts: 1805
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:13 pm
Location: Weert, The Netherlands

Postby Doughnut Jimmy » Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:49 pm

I disagree Willem, I enjoyed reading it and although I often knew vaguely where ideas came from the details can be very entertaining, also much easier to read than the science books I thought, but we're all different
"when the gods made sheep they must've left their brains in their other coat"
User avatar
Doughnut Jimmy
Member
 
Posts: 1472
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:51 pm

Emigration

Postby homefoc » Wed Dec 08, 2010 7:06 pm

I Can see a relationship beetwen the trick of make belive that there is a rat plague in order to make them get out from the town, and the reall fact that politics first let emigrants come in to the country, because they were necessary for an economic growth, and now they said to people that emigrants are a plague and they will get them out.
The imprtant thing is not to know but having the phone number of that who knows. (Les lutiers)
homefoc
New member
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:47 pm
Location: Alicante, Spain

Re: Emigration

Postby Tonyblack » Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:19 pm

homefoc wrote:I Can see a relationship beetwen the trick of make belive that there is a rat plague in order to make them get out from the town, and the reall fact that politics first let emigrants come in to the country, because they were necessary for an economic growth, and now they said to people that emigrants are a plague and they will get them out.
I hadn't thought of it on that level. :?

Welcome to the site, homefoc! :D
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 28677
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Postby Pearwood » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:00 am

Just finished reading this this morning. Very enjoyable though I think the segment with Spider was a bit of a misfire. This should have been what everything else was building up to, but it just felt like a distraction from the "Foil the Naughty Ratcatchers" plot.

As for the significance of Dangerous Beans' name I thought it was nothing more than a flatulence joke. :?
User avatar
Pearwood
Member
 
Posts: 53
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:42 pm

Postby DaveC » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:15 am

I thought, despite being a kids book, it was the darkest, most destressing book next to Night Watch.
Adventures of a Film Geek - My Blog

Check out my short film!

"Dude, this thing claims I have mail. Dude, now I'm reading it."
This Is...
User avatar
DaveC
Member
 
Posts: 3777
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:35 am
Location: Portishead, UK

Postby pip » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:31 am

DaveC wrote:I thought, despite being a kids book, it was the darkest, most destressing book next to Night Watch.


The whole trap thing does become relatively deep and Dangerous beans is an amazingly interesting character. There are a few disturbing parts but remember a lot of traditional kids stories have a dark underbelly so why not Terry's. :D
'There is no future for e-books, because they are not books. E-books smell like burned fuel.'
Ray Bradbury (RIP)
User avatar
pip
Member
 
Posts: 9376
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:20 am
Location: KILDARE

PreviousNext

Return to Discworld novels

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests