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Wyrd Sisters (A Discworld Novel) [Hardcover]

4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wizard's Staff Has A Knob On The End Jan. 25 2007
Format:Paperback
Terry Pratchett's first novel, "The Carpet People", appeared in 1971. "Wyrd Sisters" is the sixth novel in his hugely popular Discworld series and his second (after "Equal Rites") to feature Granny Weatherwax, the Discworld's greatest witch. It was first published in 1988 and was later made into a cartoon. Pratchett won the 2001 Carnegie Medal for "The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents" and was awarded the OBE in 1998.

Granny Weatherwax is joined in "Wyrd Sisters" by the two other members of her recently formed coven. One, Nanny Ogg, is the raucous head of the Ogg clan based in Lancre town. (She also owns a fearsome, one-eyed tomcat with an unbridled libido called Greebo). The other is Magrat Garlick, who has a few fanciful ideas about magic that Granny doesn't altogether approve of - dancing, occult jewellery, runes and the healing power of colours, for example. The trio are caught up in Lancre's political affairs when Duke Felmet decides it's time for his cousin, King Verence, to 'retire' - and kindly plants a dagger into the King's back. The King's infant son and the Kingdom's crown are delivered into the witches' hands by an escaping servant loyal to the deceased King - who now haunts the castle, desperately longing for the ability to eat. The coven, in turn, christens the royal orphan 'Tomjon' and, for his protection, put him in the care of a travelling theatre. The new king, however, is such a disaster they realise Tomjon must return to the throne as quickly as possible.

Although "Wyrd Sisters" is most obviously a parody of Shakespeare's "Macbeth", you don't have to have read the Scottish play to enjoy the book. Having said that, even a basic awareness of the Bard's work should increase the number of laughs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Although we first met Granny Weatherwax in Equal Rites, Wyrd Sisters gives us the three witches—Granny, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat Garlick—in all of their glory. These are my favorite characters in the Discworld, and loud peals of laughter are always to be found when this remarkable coven of witches gets together. The story itself is a thoroughly Pratchett-like concoction of Shakespeare, fairy tales, satire, and infinitely rich comedy. The king of Lancre, much to his surprise, has been murdered by the Macbethian Duke Felmet, and he is not at all happy about this. No one, in fact, is happy, including the very kingdom itself, which physically shows its rage at having a new king who despises his own royal domain. The witches are also not happy, as the Duke works continually to discredit them among the people—Granny Weatherwax just doesn’t have any truck with that at all. Of course, in a story such as this, there has to be a long-lost child of the murdered king who will eventually come back to right the wrongs done his father and dethrone the regal malefactor—or something along those lines, anyway. Things are never quite that simple on the Discworld.
The antics of the witches are hilarious. Granny Weatherwax is a stalwart personality who never admits she might be wrong or that there is something she is not familiar with. Nanny Ogg is a rather worldly witch who enjoys nothing more than getting blasted and drunkenly singing about hedgehogs or the fact that a wizard’s staff has a knob on the end. Then there is young Magrat, quite plain in appearance, who believes the traditional ways of witchcraft are best and whose sometimes naïve, positive nature often conflicts with the thinking of her older cohorts; you have to love her, really.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Although Terry Pratchett has abandoned non-stop satire in his Discworld books after "The Light Fantastic," "Wyrd Sisters" is as much a satire as it is a character and world-building novel, this time taking some very solid shots at William Shakespeare, "Macbeth," "Hamlet," the popular conception(s) of witches, and even a bit of a riff on fairy tales.
A jealous relative has killed the King of Lancre, who is now stuck (literally) haunting his castle. But his infant son has been delivered into the care of three witches, including the formidable Granny Weatherwax, who refuse to meddle in politics. Well, that's what they say, anyway ...
As a Shakespeare enthusiast, I found the parodies of both plays spot on and very fun -- elements of it hold up very favorably next to "Shakespeare in Love" -- and as a fan of fantasy novels, I was delighted to see how Pratchett handled the problem of needing (REALLY needing) to get a usurper off the throne with an heir to the throne who's not even potty trained.
A word of warning: The hamhanded marketing copy in the back pages of the book promoting the Discworld series gives away the end of this novel. I'm not sure what they were thinking there ...
Although I mostly prefer the Unseen University novels, "Wyrd Sisters" is easily one of my favorite Discworld novels, and indeed, novels in general. Whole-heartedly recommended to fans of Discworld, Shakespeare or fantasy with a sense of humor.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Continuing Story of the Witches Nov. 8 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Wyrd Sisters continues the story of Granny Weatherwax, who we first met in the Discworld novel Equal Rites. In this book, Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg have joined with another witch, Magrat, new to the Discworld novels, to form a coven. Magrat has some odd ideas of what witchcraft involves, such as rituals, candles, and herbs, but the other two humor her. We also get a visit from our old friend Death. We also get introduced to some new characters. The old ruler of the kingdom, Verence, was murdered and is stuck being a ghost, bound to the stones of the castle. Hwel is a playwright given the job of writing a play to make the current evil ruler and his wife look better in the eyes of the people. The witches get involved in the royal intrigue, despite wanting to not get involved in matters outside of the coven. The land is unhappy with the new ruler, and the witches know it. Wyrd Sisters abounds with references to Shakespeare, namely MacBeth. Filled with witty dialogue and amusing parodies, the Discworld novels keep getting better and better.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good Story
I always enjoy Pratchett's stories. Sometimes, you can't help but laugh out loud. I have read other stories by Pratchett that I enjoyed more though.
Published 3 months ago by Daniel Dyck
5.0 out of 5 stars Great satire
The first novel about the witches of Discworld, I loved the story. Pratchetts strengths lie in taking the stories we all know at least by reputation and putting a fun spin on them.
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The sisters are wyrd
I am a big fan of Terry Pratchett, and some of my favourite characters are Nanny Ogg, Granny Weatherwax and Magrat Garlick. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Jude
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best Shakespearean satire ever written
Terry Pratchett has written some fantastic satirical works, and this certainly ranks among the finest. Read more
Published 10 months ago by spinningplate
4.0 out of 5 stars Truly wonderful escapism
We return to Granny Weatherwax in this installment from Discworld, and a hilarious parody of Shakespeare's MacBeth, of princes threatened and exiled, lost and then found, only to... Read more
Published on April 15 2012 by Lorina Stephens
5.0 out of 5 stars i laughed so hard people thought i was nuts!
While I am a big fan of Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters is my all time favorite! I love the twists in the plot as well as it's parallels to THAT Scottish play. Read more
Published on March 16 2004 by "seagrrlz"
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the best...
Well, frankly I didn't like it very much. It had some great moments in it but everything was kind a slowish... Read more
Published on Dec 24 2001 by Martin Hristoforov
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Books Ever Written, Anywhere
Take the essence of Macbeth, give it a twist, sprinkle it with hilarious characters, dialog, and situations, and then throw in several parallel structures. Shake well. Read more
Published on Dec 24 2001 by David A. Lessnau
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny satire
If you've ready any of Pratchett's books you don't need anyone telling you to read another -- they are funny, witty -- not always the same thing -- and cheerful. Read more
Published on Sept. 17 2001 by guy richardson
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