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on January 8, 2016
Another delightful spoofing of all things cosmological, magical, scientific, as well as the just plain ordinary. All very real compared to the insanity of our actual lives.
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on May 19, 2015
Pratchett can do no wrong!
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on May 1, 2015
Imaginative, but the ironic wit was more interesting 20 years ago.
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on February 10, 2015
Second book in the series and introduces one of my favorite characters ..... the luggage!😊 you get hooked on Terry Pratchett, especially if you enjoy Monty python type absurdities of life.
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on September 4, 2014
Unfortunately it didn't ticket my Mothers funny bone. She is in her 80s though so.
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on June 2, 2013
This is my second Pratchett novel. I'm reading them from start to finish, ignoring opinions on good and bad ones, I want to read them all and make my own judgement.

So what is there to say, hmm. Its GREAT!
There isnt really much of a story, similar to 'The Colour Of Magic'
Its basic. But thats not the point, the humor, the weirdness, the fun, the adventure is the point.
From the start to the very end this book keeps you engaged. I find the world of Pratchett is almost like a Monty Python sketch show. Skipping back and forth from the Main story, to little side lines that just act like glue in sealing the comical story all together.

It was a really great read, I really enjoyed it.
Definitely recommend it, though read 'Colour of Magic' first as this is a continuation on from Rincewind's story.
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HALL OF FAMEon January 30, 2007
Having introduced the Discworld to Roundworld readers with "The Colour of Magic", Terry Pratchett enhances our knowledge of it through this volume. New characters, previously unexplored regions of the Disc and deep questions about The Great A'Tuin almost garner answers. Rincewind, the failed wizard, is still acting as a guide to Discworld's first tourist, Twoflower. It's not always clear however, who's doing the leading and who the following. Twoflower, who is thrilled by everything and refuses to feel threatened by anything, absorbs all the novelty introduced to the reader. Through it all, Pratchett's delightful wit and innovative abilities keeps the reader's full attention. Only your laughter will interrupt the flow of narrative.

There's magic to this book, and no little magic in the story. Rincewind, having been catapulted over the Rim marking the edge of the Disc, inexplicably finds himself lodged in a pine tree. The entire universe has been rearranged to let him survive. Why should one timid outcast be so favoured? Twoflower, in a side gesture of cosmological justice, isn't far off. Rejoined, the pair struggle to find a way home to Ankh-Morpork. A sense of urgency over that return has appeared in the sky - and the Disc is likely to be destroyed soon.

Rincewind's role in changing the universe and coping with a "new star" that's appeared soon become apparent. As a student wizard, one of The Eight Great Spells entered his mind. Those spells are the glue holding the cosmos together. To survive, the Spell must keep Rincewind alive - not out of danger, but a survivor of many dire threats. Even Twoflower has noticed Rincewind's special role in life. The tourist has actually counted the number of Rincewind's near-death experiences. Those threats keep the wizard in a state of tense expectation. Rightly so, since there are yet more to come. Including the end of the world.

In their attempt to return, Rincewind and Twoflower encounter some fascinating characters. Perhaps the most engaging is the aging hero, Cohen the Barbarian, the Disc's Greatest Warrior. He, too, is a survivor, having long ago shed the notion of a "fair" fight. Fast with sword and knife, he knows the value of treasure, the delight in rescuing virgins, and the comforts of "soft lavatory paper". Trolls are encountered - those night creatures who live backward in time and who "suffer from philosophy". Yet, the Discworld isn't lodged in some parallel of the Roundworld's Middle Ages. There are computers and hardware consultants serving them. The Ring of Stones on the Vortex Plains "has gone down again" - a phrase every computer user will recognise. Who but Terry Pratchett could so successfully broker a liaison between such disparate concepts? And adapt from a hotly contested work about the meaning of the Stonehenge monoliths? **

There are other elements Pratchett considers in this tale. Death, who can be seen by wizards, joins the party to observe people's reaction to the new star. Death's perplexity is manifest at encountering humans who fear him, yet will subject themselves to a "death of the mind" almost without hesitation or reflection. Pratchett will keep you pondering many paths as you wend your way through this book. It's a delight to read Pratchett at any time, but taking up this book again after a long hiatus proved even more enlightening. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]

** Note: for young folks who find this meaningless today, Gerald Hawkins published "Stonehenge Decoded" in 1965, explaining that chalk- and charcoal-filled pits at Stonehenge provided a "computer" to forecast eclipses.
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on January 26, 2007
"The Light Fantastic" is the second book in Terry Pratchett's hugely popular Discworld Series. He has gone on to win the Carnegie Medal for "The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents" and was awarded the OBE in 1998.

"The Light Fantastic" follows on directly from "The Color of Magic", and focuses on the same two characters : Rincewind and Twoflower. Twoflower, from the Counterweight Continent, is the Discworld's first tourist and had employed Rincewind (a single-spell wizard, a native of Ankh-Morpork and a coward of some renown) as his guide. As "The Color of Magic" closed, both characters were close to Krull - Twoflower was boldly going where no tourist had gone before, while Rincewind was in a rather precarious position. (You could say "The Color of Magic" finished with a cliff-hanger). A standard wizard may have been able to save himself, but the only spell Rincewind knows came from the Octavo - the Creator's spell book, which had been carelessly left behind after the universe's completion. He doesn't know what it does, but it's so powerful that no other spell is brave enough to stay in his head. Fortunately, as the book begins, the spell realises that any harm to Rincewind may be fatal to itself - so, it contributes to Rincewind and Twoflower finding a way out of their current situations.

While "The Color of Magic" saw the two characters generally running away in random directions, there seems to be more of a point to their actions in this book. Rincewind has started suffering from homesickness and wants to return to Ankh-Morpork. His spell is also rather keen on this idea. This, Rincewind suspects, is connected to the strange new red star that has appeared in the sky - he fears it may also involve saving the world. The pair's journey back to Ankh-Morpork involves sacrificial virgins gingerbread cottages, trolls, druids and the Discworld's greatest hero - Cohen the Barbarian.

While I enjoyed this instalment more than the previous one, I'd still recommend reading "The Color of Magic" before "The Light Fantastic". This book continues the story began there, while the pair form a prelude to the seventeenth Discworld book, "Interesting Times". Pratchett's books are always very funny, while Rincewind and the Luggage are strong selling points. Definitely recommended !
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on March 9, 2004
This second novel in the Discworld saga is a continuation of the story begun in the first book, The Colour of Magic. Actually, it begins about five minutes after the end of that book, with Rincewind, the incapable wizard falling through space after having tumbled over the edge of the world. But the spell lodged in his head saves him (as well as Twoflower the tourist) in order to save itself, and Rinceworld is launched unwillingly in an effort to save the world. Great A'Tuin, the celestial turtle on the back of which the Discworld glides slowly through the universe, is headed toward a distant, very red star which will probably bring all Disc life to an end. But it has its reasons. As always, Pratchett introduces a number of new and quite delightful characters, especially Cohen the Barbarian, the greatest hero in history -- as evidenced by his very advanced age. With all that, though, I just couldn't get as caught up in this one as in MORT or SMALL GODS. But even a B-minus novel from Pratchett is better than the best many humorists ever produce!
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon December 29, 2002
The Light Fantastic is the second book in Terry Pratchett's brilliantly funny Discworld series, continuing the tale related in the first book The Colour of Magic. The last we knew, Rincewind and Discworld's first tourist Twoflower had fallen off the rim of the world, which is an especially dangerous happenstance on a world that is totally flat and carried on the backs of four elephants who in turn stand atop the great cosmic turtle Great A'Tuin. While Rincewind is Discworld's most incompetent wizard and all-around unlucky fellow, he manages to evade the clutches of Death (although he does bump into him fairly often) time and again (27 times by Twoflower's count at the midpoint of this novel). Why this is so is, we discover, is because Rincewind carries one of the eight most powerful spells from the magical Octavo. Reality keeps having to reshape itself in order to keep rescuing the wizard. Although Rincewind, the eternally optimistic Twoflower, and the magical Luggage of sapient pearwood are once again on the disc, they face a number of obstacles in getting home to Ankh-Morpork. They are fortunate enough to join forces with Disworld's greatest hero Cohen the Barbarian; Cohen is an old man now, but he doesn't let that stop him from rescuing maidens, stealing treasures, and doing other heroic things. At this particular time, the Discworld itself is in danger, threatened with an imminent collision with a giant red star heading its way. The wizards of Unseen University believe that all eight powerful spells from the Octavo must be read in order to save the Discworld, so the missing Rincewind must be found in order to release the necessary eighth spell locked inside his brain. A series of adventures and misadventures ensue for our motley crew of characters, including a stopover at a vacated witch's house made of candy, a wild ride on a broomstick, a collision with a druid-steered cloud, and a trip to the home of Death himself before Rincewind manages to return home. Whether he can actually make use of the eighth spell and somehow manage to avert the Discworld's total destruction by the onrushing red star is, as is typical for this inept failed wizard, questionable at best.

The Light Fantastic builds upon the story of The Colour of Magic and breathes more life into the unique Discworld of Terry Pratchett's imaginative construction. More areas of the world are revealed to the reader, and we for the first time get a decent look at what goes on in the school of wizardry. Not only do we meet Cohen the Barbarian, we are also introduced to the ape librarian of Unseen University, who will become a significant character in later novels. You should certainly read the previous novel before this one because the two are closely connected in terms of plot, characterization, etc. It will also help you to recognize just how much more vibrant and real Pratchett's Discworld seems by the end of The Light Fantastic. The comedy quotient of both novels is about equal, but the storyline seems much stronger and flows much more naturally in this one. Pratchett was honing his already sharp scythe of quick wit and nascent satire in these first two Discworld novels, building a compellingly unique little world and populating it with unforgettable characters. This is high-brow comedy of the highest order, and we readers are privileged to be able to say we were there from the start with Rincewind, Twoflower, and the Luggage.
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