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The Carpet People is a novel by Terry Pratchett which was originally published in 1971, but was later re-written by the author when his work became more widespread and well-known. In the Author's Note of the revised edition, published in 1992 Terry Pratchett wrote: "This book had two authors, and they were both the same person."
The Carpet People contains much of the humour and some of the concepts which later became a major part of the Discworld series, as well as parodies of everyday objects from our world. Before creating the Discworld, Terry Pratchett wrote about two different flat worlds, in this novel, and Strata.
The story follows the journey of a tribe called the Munrungs, across a world known as the Carpet. Its resemblance to carpets does not end there; instead of trees, the landscape is a forest of hairs, and is littered with large grains of dust. The sky is only referred to as above and below the surface is underlay, riddled with caves, and ultimately the Floor.
The Munrungs cross the carpet to find a new home after their village is destroyed by the powerful and mysterious natural force Fray. The origins of Fray are never explained in the book, but it is described in a way to suggest sweeping or vacuuming, and is referred to as sweeping on the back cover of the current UK edition.
The tribe is led by Glurk, who is advised by Pismire, a philosopher and the tribal Shaman. Glurk's younger brother Snibril, however, is the book's protagonist, and is described by Pismire having the kind of enquiring mind which is "dangerous". Snibril also has the unique ability to detect Fray a few minutes before it strikes - this ability manifests itself as an extremely painful migraine.
The only source of metal on the carpet is mined from a dropped penny; wood is taken from discarded matchsticks, while the Clairvoyant Wights, obtain varnish by scraping it from a chair leg (the chair leg is known to the Carpet People as "Achairleg").
The story ends following an epic battle against the Mouls - a race of Fray-worshipping creatures. At this point Snibril makes the decision to leave the tribe and to explore the furthest reaches of the carpet.
In Terry Pratchett's novel Eric, it is mentioned that cabinet of demon's president has carpets inhabited by tribes of liliputs, possibly suggesting a link between The Carpet People and Discworld universes, although it is likely just to be an in-joke by Pratchett.
- Килимените хора (Bulgarian)
- Kobercové (Czech)
- Tæppefolket (Danish)
- Vaibarahvas (Estonian)
- Le Peuple du Tapis (French)
- Die Teppichvölker (German)
- Οι Χαλιμάντζαροι (Greek)
- אנשי השטיח (Hebrew)
- Il Popolo Del Tappeto (Italian)
- Dywan (Polish)
- Koberčania (Slovak)