Review: The Carpet Makers by Andreas Eschbach

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The Carpet MakersPhotobucket

Imagine spending your entire life devoted to the creation of one thing, just one item.

Your every moment spent hunched over, toiling away on it every single day. Every aspect of your life, your wife and children, all are dedicated to this one single endeavor. Your town, your nation, your entire planet geared towards this undertaking.

And when you’re done, when you’ve completed this lifelong task, you give the item to your son to sell. The money he makes from that sale go towards his own lifelong quest to do the same thing you’ve done and create his own lifetime-spent masterpiece.

And this goes on for untold generations. Never changing, never varying, never getting easier. Day in and day out, toiling away the hours and devoting an entire life to a single item.

All in the name of your God-Emperor, for what you create is for his glory and happiness.

The item in question? The one you and your ancestors for generations have each spent entire lifetimes creating? What magnificent masterpiece could ever require such a devotion of each persons entire existence?

A hair carpet.

A carpet. Made of hair.

That right there is the sole reason I read this book. I had to find out the whats and whys and wherefors about hair carpets.

Sadly, the way the story is told left a lot to be desired. Each chapter follows a different viewpoint with barely any one person making a repeat appearance. This gives the reader a wider glimpse at the life of the carpet makers, the layout of their world and the overall status of the universe. However, it also leaves the reader without an entryway for engaging with or caring about the story.

There’s simply no heart here.

No soul to speak of.

You’re given a mystery that you watch unfold from a distance. And in the end you find that you don’t really care because there’s simply been no real investment.

And once you’ve gone through the book and finally get to the ending and reach the big reveal, the one that answers all the questions about hair carpets you may have had, you might just find yourself laughing out loud at the ridiculousness of it all. Marveling at the sheer absurdity. Followed closely by the feeling of “what the hell did I just read?!”

Luckily it’s a short work, easily polished off in a mere matter of hours.

Is it worth it? For me, the ending and the laugh I got out of it made the endeavor worthwhile.

Your mileage may vary.

Three Whole WTF’s

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