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Interesting Times [Paperback]

Terry Pratchett
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 12.99
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Book Description

May 1 1996 Discworld (Book 17)
MIGHTY BATTLES!  REVOLUTION!  DEATH!  WAR!  (AND HIS SONS TERROR AND PANIC, AND DAUGHTER CLANCY)

The oldest and most inscrutable empire on the Discworld is in turmoil, brought about by the revolutionary treatise WHAT I DID ON MY HOLIDAYS.  Workers are uniting, with nothing to lose but their water bufffaloes.  War (and Clancy) are spreading throughout the ancienct cities.

And all that stands in the way of terrible doom for everyone is:

Rincewind the Wizard, who can't even spell the word 'wizard'...

Cohen the barbarian hero, five foot tall in his surgical sandals, who has had a lifetime's experience of not dying...

...and a very SPECIAL butterfly.

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From Amazon

Marvelous Discworld, which revolves on the backs of four great elephants and a big turtle, spins into Interesting Times, the 17th outing in Terry Pratchett's rollicking fantasy series. The gods are playing games again, and this time the mysterious Lady opposes Fate in a match of "Destinies of Nations Hanging by a Thread." --Blaise Selby --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From Library Journal

When the Agatean Empire requests the Great Wizzard, Lord Vetinari of Ankh-Morpork sends a pathetically inept wizard named Rincewind 6000 miles away to the Counterweight Continent to intercede. The latest novel in the satirical fantasy "Discworld" series; for fantasy collections with the series.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of His Best June 11 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've only read about seven of the Discworld books, so I'm hardly an expert, but I know enough to feel qualified to write this review. I feel that this is better than any of the other books of his I have read. While his books are all wildly original, this one wins on the points of comparison.
First off, the settings of Ankh-Morpork and the Counterweight Continent are both well done. Pratchett taps into the same vein of humor underrunning the image of Imperial China that Barry Hughart did in "Bridge of Birds". He also introduces a very interesting linguistic idea, playing off the use of tone in spoken Chinese to create a language with few words but many, many different pronunciations. The other plot ideas, such as the Mandelbrot Butterfly etc., are well done, but the language was such a well-thought yet off-the-wall idea that it beat everything else.
The characters are well done also. Old barbarians are a comic image, but Pratchett is able to really use his old barbarians to advance the plot rather than having them hang around solely for laughs. The Gods play off each other well, and Rincewind's cowardice and fleeing make the places he lands in all the more interesting. The ending wraps everything up well without being too perfect, and Death is funnier than ever.
Hitting nary a wrong note, this book is worth getting out of the library, or buying if you are a Discworld fan. I would recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy, and also "Thief of Time", by the same author.
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4.0 out of 5 stars My first Discworld May 27 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
While I've known Terry Pratchett's name for some time now (his collaboration with Neil Gaiman in Good Omens is fantastic) I'd never read one of his books before. I was familiar with the world from an old graphic novel of one of his books (I think Color of Magic) so I didn't feel obligated to start at the beginning.
Interesting Times follows the character of Rincewind on a journey through the Counterweight Continent, the discworld version of the Orient. Rincewind is an interesting character and Pratchett plays him well as a rather powerless wizard who just happens to get by through a sheer amount of luck, and the quickness of his fleeing legs. A pessimistic character, I liked him through the beginning of the book, though by the end his uneagerness to help anyone grew a bit tiresome (though unconciously he tends to help out a great deal.) Rincewind shares the stage, however, with a group of aging barbarians called the Silver Horde who steal the show really. The best bits of the book are the ones involving the Horde. Their lessons on how to be civilized and inability to change their habits.
While I can't rate this in comparison to other Discworld books, I found it highly entertaining, and though, probably not the best place to start the series off. Read some other Pratchett books to aquaint yourself with the world, and work your way up to Interesting Times. It's worth the time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The non-linear intro to the Disc. Oct. 29 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was my first Discworld book, read about a year and a half ago. Pratchett binging ever since. I think I've read ten or twelve now. I do know there have only been two non-Pratchett books and a small hiatus to re-read the Hitchhiker's Guide when Mr. Adams passed on.
The only reason Interesting Times doesn't get 5 stars is because "Small Gods" was a rather seminal book to me, and overshadows this one, if only because of the topic it covers. (Using hilarity to outline a church concept which had me smacking my forehead and cracking the back of my head on the headboard.)
Anyway, I read this and had no idea who Twoflower was, or Cohen, or CMOT Dibbler, or any of the other usual suspects, and still enjoyed it immensely. The follow-up effort "Last Continent" left me wanting, but my girlfriend loved it.
I still think the quote on the back of one of his newer books seems to say it best... it says something along the lines of 'you'd expect Mr. Pratchett to recycle material or become formulaic in the Discworld series after XX books, but each time he goes back to the mine he returns with a motherload.'
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
It is the between time when empires fall and new ones emerges that the faces of human stupidity is shown, and no matter how much thing change, the more they remain the same. This is the "Interesting Times" to wit Terry Pratchett has themed the book.
In this book Pratchett explore the concept of "good intentions sometime causes bad thing to happen" where he dealt with the idea through the Red Army in the book. This book also feature heavily Ghenghis Cohen, one of the interesting character who is mentioned from time to times. Cohen if enigmatic, and anyone who read Interesting Times will surely like him.
The backdrop theme of this book concern a lot about Asian culture and why the fall of the Chinese was inevertable, as illustrated quite well in this book.
Pratchett also detailed a great deal about Asian culture. Given all the details and complexity of this book, in addition to the cowardous character of Rinewind and the enigmatic Ghenghis Cohen, this book is a must have. This is one of my favorite book of all time, it is one of the most well storied book by Pratchett with complex themes and the character of Rinewind and Cohen finally fully developed.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars No surprises, but giggles sprinkled liberally
Rincewind returns in this instalment of Pratchett's Discworld, as do a cast of other heroic(?) characters. Good fun. Well written. No surprises, but giggles sprinkled liberally.
Published 9 months ago by Lorina Stephens
3.0 out of 5 stars ENTERTAINING - BUT NOT ONE OF HIS BEST
I like Pratchett's writing, and would be among the first to say that (unless you had your sense of humour surgically removed at birth) it is hard to go wrong buying any of his... Read more
Published on June 7 2002 by J. C. Bailey
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best!
For those of you who don't know, the Discworld series is proken up into little subcycles. This is possibly the best in the ongoing Rincewind cycle. Possibly. Read more
Published on Aug. 29 2001 by RenegadeLegacy
5.0 out of 5 stars Pratchett's View Of 'East-Asia-in-a-Bag'...
For those of you that aren't familiar with Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, they're broken up into what are, essentially subseries. Read more
Published on March 18 2001 by Carl Malmstrom
5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST pratcett book there is!
I'm telling you, I've read all the rincewind books and this is by FAR the best discworld book you'll read, possibly along with Sourcery and The fifth elephant, maybe just maybe the... Read more
Published on Nov. 4 2000 by Laura
5.0 out of 5 stars BLOODY marvelouse
This is a verry intertaining book, chalked full of "Interesting Times". After I had read hogfather,another great novel with death posing as the Hogfather (discworld's... Read more
Published on Aug. 19 2000 by vlad tepes draculea III
4.0 out of 5 stars Warning, Don't read this one on the train
This book may have finally goten my husband to read a Pratchett novel. Whilst looking over my sholder in the dentist's office he caught the names Cohen the Barbarian and Ghengiz... Read more
Published on June 3 2000 by Zeta Thompson
3.0 out of 5 stars A Lot Fun- From a Non-Fantasy Reader
If you look at my other reviews you will see my taste tends to stay away from this genre. However a friend of mine suggested that I pick up a couple of Terry Pratchett books. Read more
Published on June 1 2000 by Jason Birkby
2.0 out of 5 stars the first TP to disappoint me
They can't all be great, I guess. Interesting Times let me down. It's disjointed and repetitive, thus boring. Read more
Published on April 7 2000 by ltp1
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