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on August 12, 2015
Loved the casual humour. Really enjoyed his goofy turns of phrase. And just the right length for this kind of story. Nice work.
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on September 4, 2014
Unfortunately didn't tickle my Mother's funny bone. She is in her 80s though.
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on February 5, 2014
Seriously one of my All Time fave books. Love Pratchett! Great condition and perfect reading buddy for any given night.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2005
Everyone at the Unseen University knows that. They're all men, naturally, so they can't imagine any other way for it to be.
Just don't say it out loud around Granny Weatherwax, since she's prob'ly the midwife who delivered that man when he was very young, and the mother wasn't male either. We all get along just fine as long as the women have things their way, and the men have things their way too - the women's way, that is.
No one has the bad taste to comment on this arrangement until Eskarina is born, and a wizard makes a silly mistake. Could happen to anyone really - his dying moments unwittingly infuse the baby girl with wizardly, male magic.
In time, this brings the wrath Mistress Esmeralda Weatherwax down on the fortress of male magic, which is invaded and defeated never even knowing it was engaged. Saves a lot of work and running aroung that way, y'know. But Esme's real problem is that little girl, and her real problem is a little boy, and his real problem is -- unreal.
Neither the womanly witches nor the male mages are quite ready for this little girl with tomboy magic. Nor is she quite ready for herself.
As in Pratchett's other tales, the fun is in the telling. This battle of the sexes, like so many others, is fought to a draw - there will be cultural exchanges, visiting rights and such, and jittery kind of peace. All end up happy enough, but it's still one world with two peoples in it, male and female.
Except maybe for that girl and that boy. Male and female yes, in a child's way, but they have much too much in common.
//wiredweird
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Equal Rites is the third Discworld novel, and in it Pratchett begins to reveal just how diverse a place it is. The inept wizard Rincewind is not to be found in these pages, nor are Twoflower the Tourist and his Luggage. Discworld is home to an incredible number of fascinating characters, and in this novel we are introduced to one of the most remarkable and unforgettable ones--the witch Granny Weatherwax. We also get a closer look at Unseen University and the wizards who call it home. The eighth son of an eighth son is always a wizard, as everyone knows. Unfortunately, the novel's eighth son of an eighth son turns out to be a girl, which is a fact Granny Weatherwax points out immediately. Granny is a traditional witch; she doesn't hold with living in towns and selling love potions and other sundry matters. She teaches young Esk witchcraft, but it eventually becomes apparent that the child is a born wizard. Getting the child to Ankh-Morpork and Unseen University is not easy, but the hardest part of the mission is getting her accepted as a female. There's also a small matter of the terrible beings from Beyond trying to break through to this side.

I enjoyed this novel, but it didn't seem to have the magical aura of most Pratchett books. Young Esk was too willful and erratic, and I never understood why she kept wandering away from Granny Weatherwax on the journey to Ankh-Morpork since Granny was trying to fulfill her dream of becoming a wizard. I also thought the character of Simon, a stuttering but brilliant young wizard, should have been developed more fully; he formed an important part of the story, but I never knew him well enough to strongly like him or dislike him. Esk's frustration and anger at being rejected as a girl are understandable, but some of her reactions seemed a little too childish to me. Toward the end, I sometimes got the impression that I was reading a piece of juvenile fiction--there's nothing wrong with that, and Pratchett has written some excellent novels for a younger audience, but it left me feeling a little empty and let-down. Even Granny Weatherwax, one of my favorite Discworld characters, seemed only a shadow of the Granny I have come to know in later novels. This novel also has some sexual innuendo material in the background, which is something I found a little disconcerting and atypical of Pratchett. It does add to some of the humor, though, especially in the scenes featuring Granny and ArchChancellor Cutangle. Weirdest of all was a direct reference to Steven Spielberg--when I read Pratchett, I am in his world, and I felt as if he kicked me out of his universe momentarily for no good reason.

The humor is the real strength of this novel. Pratchett's ever-present comical metaphors are particularly strong in places, and he is able to exploit cliches in ways no other author can. The descriptions of Granny having to get long running starts in order to get her broom off the ground and of the head wizards getting all excited about increasing their knowledge by increasing their ignorance of brand new concepts are especially hilarious. Comedy saves this particular novel. I would have liked to see much more character development; as it is, Esk and Simon are pretty forgettable characters, and the charm of Granny Weatherwax is really not realized here. I did enjoy getting a closer view inside Unseen University, but the wizards in the book seemed shallow and sort of stereotypical. I saw a lot, but I didn't learn a lot. In the end, though, this is a Discworld novel, so it is definitely better than most anything else you can find on the shelves, but I think it is one of Pratchett's weakest efforts.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2002
The first two books did a great job of holding the attention and Nigel Planer was a *perfect* reader. This book rambles a bit and I didn't bother going back to find out what was happening when I zoned out. Tony Robinson would be better suited for reading Agatha Christie. Nigel Planer managed to present the comical metaphors in a way that often had me laughing out loud; you have to pay attention to know when Tony Robinson reads one.
Not bad but significantly less enjoyable than the first two.
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on April 20, 2002
Increasingly, I respect Terry Pratchett's genius. "Equal Rites", as his other work, reads effortlessly. The plot moves swiftly, with interesting angles (if not twists), and the bizarreness of Discworld is completely logical to fickle human beings.
Dying wizard Drum Billet eagerly passes his magic staff on to a newborn wizard - the eighth son of an eighth son. Unfortunately, in his rush, he failed to notice the child was a girl. Unwittingly, Billet is responsible for the first ever female Wizard in Discworld.
All, including Granny Weatherwax (a witch) try to ignore the event, but neither the magic staff nor little girl Esk will let them.
Esk grows up amidst her brothers, but when she's nearly nine, a frightening incident involving Granny opens the flood gates to her magic abilities. Granny decides it is time to teach Esk to become a witch, in the hope that her wizardness can be squashed.
Of course, this proves impossible, and soon Granny and Esk need to embark on a journey to the Unseen University of Wizards. Esk finds that the chauvinistic wizards are unwilling to entertain the notion of a female wizard. But a nine-year old little girl and a cranky granny can be more than a determined handful ...
The character of Granny reappears in later Discworld books and she is an absolute delight: a stubborn witch with more that the average share of common sense - well, mostly anyway.
The genius of Pratchett is that you don't even notice how quickly you are willing to accept Discworld and its characters. Before you know it, this little cocoon of enchanting surreality is over.
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on April 17, 2002
This is the first Discworld book that I happened to read even though I own about 12 of them. I didn't realize it was out of order until the last page but even then I didn't really care. The story of Esk and her struggle to be a wizard is filled with great subtle humor and puns throughout. Pratchett has given life to a world filled with magic and witches and wizards that compares with those of Terry Brooks. I would agree with other reviews which claim the ending came a little quickly. The story is without a solid ending but being the first book in the series that I have read, that may come later. The journey through the book is well worth the trip.
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on April 5, 2002
I've been reading the Discworld series in order, so naturally I read Equal Rites third. (I think. It's third, right?) I think it was a good book in general, but compared to Pratchett's other wonderful books, it fell very short of its mark. There was very little humor in the book, and I didn't feel that any of the characters were realistic or appealing in any way. Granny Weatherwax is possibly the most unappealing character I've come across in Discworld so far. But for hardcore Pratchett fans, read this book anyway, because frankly, you have to. You've got to read them all. :) But if you're new to Pratchett, stear clear of Equal Rites. It's rather boring.
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on April 5, 2002
This book is a very worthy book in the Discworld series, not least because it is the first appearance of Granny Weatherwax, who along with Nanny Ogg and Magrat, are my favourite of all terry pratchett's characters. The witches books are simply the best.
This one has a great premise...a girl who is destined to be a wizard. Will she become one, or will the chauvinistic "lore" stand in her way? It's not quite as funny as some of the other discworld books, but when it is, it's hilarious.
This is quite a dark book, really, and pterry is often at his best when he is dark. In this case, it is perhaps not so. However, this is still a great, with an inventive and amusing premise, which more than satisfactorily carries the tale to it's conclusion. Lovely. The only thing i dont like about the first few Pratchett books is that they're so short!
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