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Interesting Times School & Library Binding – Apr 1 1998


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School & Library Binding, Apr 1 1998
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Product Details

  • School & Library Binding: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Turtle Back Books (April 1 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0613572254
  • ISBN-13: 978-0613572255
  • Product Dimensions: 3.1 x 10.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)


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Format: Paperback
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.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. C. Bailey on June 7 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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 Discworld books. However, "Interesting Times" is not his best work. If you are a completist you'll of course want to read it, and either way you are likely to enjoy it. However, if you have not yet read all the others in the series, then getting to this one should possibly not be your top priority.
One reason is that the character of Rincewind had almost exhausted his potential by this time. Successful and likeable an anti-hero though he is, there is only so much a writer can do with one highly eccentric literary character, and (sorry, fans, you can vote against this review all you like) there seems a touch of desperation in putting the running joke of a cowardly, non-magical wizard through his paces once again.
Secondly, TP has not been quite faithful to his own creations. Twoflower, the innocent and bumbling tourist from "The Color of Magic" and "The Light Fantastic" was (please correct me if I'm wrong) the affectionate parody of all those wealthy and gullible American tourists who came to Europe in the '50's and '60's with superior spending power and technology but a dangerous innocence about the way they were being relieved of their cash. It is surely an artistic error to suddenly redefine him as a parody of the supposedly inscrutable Chinese simply because the plot demands a familiar foil for Rincewind.
Don't let me knock this too hard - it's good clean fun as usual - but it's not Pratchett's best.
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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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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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By A Customer on Oct. 29 2001
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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