The Carpet People
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In the beginning, there was nothing but endless flatness. Then came the Carpet . . .
That’s the old story everyone knows and loves. But now the Carpet is home to many different tribes and peoples, and there’s a new story in the making. The story of Fray, sweeping a trail of destruction across the Carpet. The story of power-hungry mouls—and of two brothers who set out on an adventure to end all adventures when their village is flattened.
It’s a story that will come to a terrible end—if someone doesn't do something about it. If everyone doesn’t do something about it . . .
First published in 1971, this hilarious and wise novel marked the debut of the phenomenal Sir Terry Pratchett. Years later, Sir Terry revised the work, and this special collectable edition includes the updated text, his original color and black-and-white illustrations, and an exclusive story—a forerunner to The Carpet People created by the seventeen-year-old nascent writer who would become one of the world's most beloved storytellers.
The Carpet People
It was the Law that, every tenth year, the people of all the tribes in the Dumii Empire should come and be Counted. They did not go all the way to the great capital city of Ware, but to the little walled town of Tregon Marus.
The Counting was always a great occasion. Tregon Marus would double in size and importance overnight as tribal tents were pitched outside its walls. There was a horse market, and a five-day fair, old friends to be met, and a flood of news to be exchanged.
And there was the Counting itself. New names were added to the crackling scrolls which, the people like to believe, were taken to Ware, even to the Great Palace of the Emperor himself. The Dumii clerks laboriously wrote down how many pigs and goats and tromps everybody had, and one by one the people shuffled on to the next table and paid their taxes in furs and skins. That was the unpopular part. So the queue wound round Tregon Marus, in at the East Gate, through the postern and stables, across the market square, and through the countinghouse. Even the youngest babies were carried past the clerks, for the quill pens to wobble and scratch their names on the parchment. Many a tribesman got a funny name because a clerk didn’t know how to spell, and there’s more of that sort of thing in History than you might expect. On the fifth day the Governor of the town called all the tribal chieftains to an audience in the market square, to hear their grievances. He didn’t always do anything about them, but at least they got heard, and he nodded a lot; and everyone felt better about it at least until they got home. This is politics. That was how it had always happened, time out of mind.
And on the sixth day the people went back to their homes, along the roads the Dumii had built. They went east. Behind them the road went west, until it came to the city of Ware. There it was just one of the many roads that entered the city. Beyond Ware it became the West Road, becoming narrower and more winding until it reached the furthermost western outpost of Rug. Such was the Dumii Empire. It covered almost all of the Carpet from the Woodwall to the wasteland near Varnisholme in the north. In the west it bordered Wildland and the uttermost fringes of the Carpet, and southwards the roads ran as far as the Hearthlands. The painted people of the Wainscot, the warlike Hibbolgs, even the fire-worshippers of Rug, all paid their tribute to the Emperor.
Some of them didn’t like the Dumii much, usually because the Empire discouraged the small wars and cattle raids which, in the outlying regions, were by way of being a recreational activity. The Empire liked peace. It meant that people had enough time to earn money to pay their taxes. On the whole, peace seemed to work.
So the Munrung tribe went east, and passed out of the chronicles of the Empire for another ten years. Sometimes they quarrelled among themselves, but on the whole they lived peacefully and avoided having much to do with history, which tends to get people killed. Then, one year, no more was heard from Tregon Marus …
Mouth-watering attention to names and place names... adding greatly to the story's enjoyment factor.The story itself - part saga, legend and adventure - swings along at a fair old clatter. Terry Pratchett's writing is vivid and immediate. He wastes no time. There is little padding. The swiftness of the storyline is everything....For young readers unaware of Pratchett's oeuvre, The Carpet People is a fine introduction
- Junior Bookshelf
A unique piece of high fantasy...now very witty and politically aware in its revised version with the new ending
Only a writer with a masterstroke of imagination could place an entire empire of goodies and baddies within the fronds of a carpet
- Daily Mai
Press the play button below to listen to a short audio excerpt.