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Equal Rites Paperback – Sep 13 2005

4.2 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (Sept. 13 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060855908
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060855901
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.4 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,422,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


 • The first seven Discworld titles are being reissued with stunning new covers, publication coincides with 21 years of Discworld anniversary and the hardback publication of The Celebrated Discworld Almanak and Going Postal.

 • "If you are unfamiliar with Pratchett's unique blend of philosophical badinage, you are on the threshold of a mind-expanding opportunity." --Financial Times

 • "Persistently amusing, good-hearted and shrewd." --The Sunday Times

 • "Pratchett keeps getting better and better... It's hard to think of any humorist writing in Britain today who can match him." --Time Out --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

"A sequence of unalloyed delight" - Guardian

"Truly funny books are very few and far between. Equal Rites is not only fizzy and hilarious, but is also a wonderful story well told ... This is his best book. Highly recommended" - The Good Book Guide

"A delightful. yarn, logically illogical as only Terry Pratchett can write. He's delightful, an utter nutter and funster-punster" - Anne McCaffrey

"You won't stop grinning except to chuckle or sometimes roar with laughter. The most hilarious fantasy since - come to think of it, since Pratchett"s previous outing" - Kirkus Reviews --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Be warned, new reader: Discworld is not one book, it's 25 at last count, and every one of them is well worth the reading. In other words, don't blame me if you find yourself scrounging for out-of-print books in dimly lit fantasy-book shops.
This book is the third in the series, but the first to leave the bustling city of Ankh-Morpork and explore the rest of the disc. It starts in the high mountaintops of Lancre when a dying wizard passes on his staff of power to a newborn baby. On closer examination, said baby is female, which causes a dangerous paradox. You see, witch magic is for women, all herbs and healing and psychology. Wizard magic, playing power games with the universe, is decidedly masculine -- but now this baby is both a wizard AND a witch.
Despite a somewhat anticlimactic finish, this is a good jumping-on point to get a feel for Pratchett's signature style. That style is at once fantasy and a parody of the fantasy genre, with elements of social satire and cosmic sci-fi thrown in. The description you'll often here is Douglas Adams does fantasy, which is just about right. I'd be inclined to put Pratchett a notch higher for his characterization and ability to keep a plot moving while making jokes (and that he hasn't written a travesty like Mostly Harmless).
Definitely pick up this book, and join the league of the obsessed.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Maybe it's just me, but I missed Rincewind and Twoflower as I read this, hoping they would pop up and find themselves nearly blown to bits or narrowly escape getting eaten by something. Although Granny Weatherwax is a funny character in her own right, and Esk's inability to control herself is sometimes interesting, I just miss the bungling misadventures that came before.
That said, this is still a great book, and any fan of Discworld would do well to read it. It seems at this point that Pratchett was still filling in the gaps and trying to decide on characters and setting, as well as just what exactly the otherworldly beings of magic actually are and can do. This book answers some fundamental questions about why the disc is like it is, and thus moves forward the whole mythology underlying the strange things that happen in the individual books.
Further, the parallels with the modern world do continue in fine style, this time centering on the young girl wishing to become a wizard - a males only profession. One wonders if the young lady entering the Citadel had to endure the presence of a librarian-turned-primate in order to further her study. Regardless, it's fun and interesting.
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