Interesting Times Paperback – May 1 1996
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.'
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.
Most recent customer reviews
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 on Dec 7 2013 by Lorina Stephens
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 morePublished on June 7 2002 by J. C. Bailey
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 morePublished on Aug. 29 2001 by RenegadeLegacy
For those of you that aren't familiar with Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, they're broken up into what are, essentially subseries. Read morePublished on March 18 2001 by Carl Malmstrom
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 morePublished on Nov. 4 2000 by Laura
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 morePublished on Aug. 19 2000 by vlad tepes draculea III
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 morePublished on June 3 2000 by Zeta Thompson
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 morePublished on June 1 2000 by Jason Birkby