Customer Reviews for

The Carpet Makers

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A fabulous outer space tale

    The economy of Planet G-101/2 in the Gheera galaxy is a primogenitary constructed around artisans who stitch carpets one knit at a time from the hair of their spouses. The creation is bone wearying taking a lifetime to complete one carpet that is sold so that the carpet-maker¿s son can live on the proceeds while stitching his carpet for his son, etc. The finished products are transported by royal ships to the off world Star Palace of the most revered and feared immortal Emperor Alexander................... Word reaches G-101/2 that the Emperor Alexander was deposed and probably dead and that his empire crumbled. On Central World in Alexander¿s Star Palace the Council of Rebels are stunned to find no hair-based carpets. They are even further shocked when they audit the records in the royal archives to learn that ten thousand plus planets have been stitching hair based carpets for millenniums with the finished products going to a planet that does not appear on the celestial charts. The Council has no idea where this orb is or why Alexander established such a manufacturing hub and spoke system, but they plan to learn why..................... THE CARPET MAKERS is a fabulous outer space tale that though written ten years ago satires the global economy with the family based cottage industry that is all over the galaxy through generation after generation. The story line contains two intriguing mysteries of where is the planet that apparently has stored a zillion hairy carpets and why this system. Although no character seems fully developed, readers will appreciate the irony and wonder if the new economy saves social security by not allowing anyone to retire while their oldest offspring inherits the job................. Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Understatedly brilliant

    This is the sort of science fiction that's perfect to hand to someone who says they never read science fiction -- sure, it's set in the future, and there are space ships, and we visit a couple of different planets in a vast interstellar empire, but that's ultimately just a slightly-more-exotic-than-usual setting for a story about some very human people whose lives touch because they each in some way illuminate the central mystery.

    Each chapter is told from a different character's perspective, and within the 10-15 pages devoted to that character Eschbach is able to give the reader a strong sense of who that character is and what his/her life is like -- and most of those lives are hard, and filled with tragedies large and small. Whether it is Eschbach's doing or the translator's, the prose is imbued with a sense of distance that makes those tragedies bearable -- and were it not for that sense of distance I would have had to put the book down several times to cry. But the book isn't about those tragedies; each one is presented not for pathos but because it gives the reader (and soon, some of the characters) clues about the purpose behind the hair carpets.

    As we delve deeper into the mystery the plotting becomes more complex and the scope widens -- we begin to sense the vast sweeps of history and the passions behind them. The book does lose a little of its focus in a couple chapters -- three of the perspectives ended up almost totally extraneous to the final resolution. But the resolution itself is horrifying, and all the more potent because of the dryness of the narration. This is a book that lingers long past the final page, and one which feels far richer than 300 pages has a right to be. I am immensely glad that it was translated into English.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted January 21, 2014

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    Posted January 4, 2009

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    Posted March 2, 2014

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