Mark Reads ‘The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents’: Chapter 2

In the second chapter of The Amazing Maurice, Maurice makes some bad, bad decisions. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld

Oh, no, ABANDON SHIP. Don’t do it! There are just SO MANY red flags present in this chapter alone, but Maurice’s greed prevents him from seeing them as red flags. He views people and situations as opportunities, as chances to make more money through tricks and manipulations.

And I’m already calling it: his hubris is going to backfire. It has to, right? Once the group gets to Bad Blintz, it felt obvious that this wasn’t going to be a normal con. Even though I just started reading this book, I can already tell that this is going to be disastrous, though I don’t quite understand everything going on here. Bad Blintz is a beautiful town that’s been struck by a famine… at least if I’m to believe what I’m being told. But the signs are there: the lines for food. The rationing. The ridiculous inflation that’s made food cost prohibitive for people. And anyone looking to scam money out of people should notice when those people might not have money to be scammed.

But that’s not Maurice’s priority, and he ignores the following things:

  • The limited market, which should have been the very first sign that this city was not as successful of any of the others that they’d worked in. And grated, it’s not so much that he ignored it as he just pushed beyond it.
  • The buildings. The contrast was interesting, though I immediately knew that Pratchett wouldn’t point this out unless it was important. SOMETHING WAS WRONG. EVERYTHING WAS WRONG.
  • The rat-catching. Look, perhaps there is a rat problem, and I could see why Maurice would see this as a good thing. If they had a big enough rat problem that there’d be such a huge reward per rat, then this would be the perfect place to exploit, right??? Except I saw it—again!—as a red flag. What if Maurice wasn’t looking at this the right way? What if these rat catchers viewed a Piper as an unnecessary and competitive element? Seriously, what if they think this is their turf or something???
  • The mayor breaks Maurice’s expectations for what a mayor looks like. LOOK, I’M JUST ASSUMING THE WORST HERE, OKAY.
  • Then there are the ratcatchers themselves, who ARE WAY TOO CLEAN. Their boots were shiny! That’s a red flag, right? Maybe? Look, I don’t trust them, and that’s mostly based on the condescending way they talk to the young boy.

Maurice sees opportunities, and he might be right. Maybe he just looks at this differently than I do. But I see a trap. Whatever is going on in the town of Bad Blintz, it doesn’t seem good. How is it that rat catchers seem to be living it up, but everyone else isn’t? In what world is that possible? AND WHO IS THE YOUNG GIRL WHO TRICKS MAURICE INTO TALKING??? Oh, this was such a great start to this book!

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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