on May 7, 2016
Honestly I don't even remember what happened in this book!!!! I've read Colour of Magic, Equal Rites, Night Watch and this one, Light Fantastic, and while I can remember clearly what happened in all the other ones, I cannot recall one bit of the story line in this one!! Not his best out of the Disc World series. I think i vaguely remember enjoying it though? It's hard not to enjoy Terry Pratchett books. It's just hard for me to remember this one for some reason. That doesn't mean it is bad. Just not so memorable.
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.
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.