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The Lying Carpet    by David Lucas order for
Lying Carpet
by David Lucas
Order:  USA  Can
Andersen, 2013 (2008)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

No doubt you have heard the expression 'lie like a rug', but this book gives an entirely new meaning to the old cliché. This graphic short story opens in the room of a gloomy mansion where the statue of a young girl shares the space with a large tiger rug spread on the floor.

A dialogue begins between the rug and the statue. 'Faith had sat there for centuries, looking out the Window, looking up at the sky and the tall trees, and she had never said a word.' But, on this particular day, Faith begins to wonder where she is and how long she has been sitting here.

As soon as her long silence is broken the statue realizes there is someone else in the room who also speaks. The carpet, or more accurately the tiger rug, not only explains to Faith where she is but he also fills her in on their present condition. Unfortunately, there is one problem, though. By his own admission, the carpet lies a lot, or, at least, that is what he claims.

Addressing the question of whether he is a fake tiger rug or the real McCoy, the Carpet says, 'I may be a fake. I may have been a tiger. I may be just the ghost of a tiger here to haunt the house of the man who shot me. I prefer to think that they are all true at once.'

Of course, in the next breath he warns the girl that nothing he says is true. Back and forth the conversation goes and, like the statue, we are never sure if what we are hearing is true or not. Was the statue once a little girl who was turned to stone? Will the spell, if indeed there is one, someday be broken? Was this rug once a fierce tiger or is he just a cheap imitation?

Whose house is this? Does his fate control the destiny of these two character? The questions go on and on.

Described as a parable about outgrowing childhood and becoming what one wants to be, this is an evocative tale about truth, falsehood, breaking the restrictions that bind a person in life and creating a new, breathtaking reality. The Lying Carpet is a strange yet wonderful story that you won't soon forget. Both adolescent readers and adults will find this a captivating book that they will want to not only reread but also share with friends.

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