Interesting Times (Discworld, #17)
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Interesting Times (Discworld #17)

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  15,279 ratings  ·  246 reviews
After Eric. The Patrician of Ankh-Morpork is sent a letter from the remote Agatean Empire on the Counterweight Continent commanding him to "send us the Great Wizzard", the spelling on the hat of Rincewind. The Hex brings Rincewind, and exchanges him in the auriental Agatean Empire with a live cannon. As usual, The Luggage follows, but having returned to the land of his woo...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published February 24th 2004 by HarperCollins (first published 1994)
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Zach
Aug 16, 2011 Zach rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
I'm going to just say right off the bat that the Rincewind novels are not my favorite. I realize that it is Discworld blasphemy, but hear me out. Out of the entire Discworld main character cast, Rincewind makes the fewest decisions and has no desires other than to flee from trouble. As sort of a Forrest Gump/Scooby Doo hybrid (Forrest Doo? Scooby Gump?), his misadventures consist of finding himself in trouble, trying to escape, and then lucking out in some grand fashion. While it makes for good...more
Lorelei
I rarely think of rereading this particular discworld book - not for any reason I can guess. My kids started reading this one aloud and sucked me right into it, and I am very glad. It is a truely delightful book, although we all tend to moan a bit about the awful things that Terry Pratchett came up with to keep doing to Rincewind.
Chris
There is a saying, often attributed to the Chinese - "May you live in interesting times." Usually when this is invoked, it's done so as a curse, the idea being that interesting times are more likely to cause you trouble than nice boring times, and perhaps that's true. The folks in Baghdad, for example, are certainly living in interesting times right now. The trouble is that not everybody is able to stay alive to enjoy them.

That's one of the problems with life as we know it - we long for things t...more
Jessica
Yay for seeing Twoflower again! And any story with Cohen tends to be funny. I wish Lord Hong had been less one-dimensional though: his whole character revolved around "I can do everything better than everyone else." That gets boring very quickly. I would have loved to see him interact with Vetinari, since he held him in such high regard.
Richard Kirby
The seventeenth novel in Pratchett’s Discworld series, the title of this novel, referring to the Chinese curse ‘May you live in interesting times’, alludes to the setting as the fictional Agatean Empire, an amalgam of different aspects of Chinese and Japanese culture and history. The hapless hero Rincewind is sent there following a request from the Agatean Grand Vizier, the villainous Lord Hong, who aspires to be Emperor.
More by accident than design, Rincewind foils Lord Hong and helps his frien...more
Molly Westerman
Hmm. Well. My husband read this one immediately before I did and said, handing me the book, "I'm interested to know whether you think this is racist, or somehow parodying stereotypes of Asian people?" Having finished it, I too feel uncertain.

This is a really funny book. It's Pratchett, after all, and it's got Ridcully and Ponder Stibbons and Rincewind's talent for surviving (aka running away while screaming ohshitohshitohshit I'm going to die) and Conan and some other extremely elderly barbarian...more
Rebecca Huston
A bitterly funny, satirical look at Asia and its culture, viewed through the eye of Terry Pratchett. Plenty of earlier characters make a comeback, including Rincewind, The Luggage, and Cohen the Barbarian. There's another, but I won't give it away as it would ruin the plot. Let's just say that this was a lot of fun to read, with plenty of laughs, some serious thought, and plenty of twists. Five stars and very much recommended.

For the long review, please go here:
http://www.epinions.com/review/In...more
Michael Clemens
"Discworld's Greatest Hits" might have been an alternate title for this book. Long-suffering Rincewind is pulled back in for the amusement of the gods (and the reader), and has the usual Rincewind-ish adventures: that is to say, fleeing danger whenever possible, and landing in it just as often. Surely fan service for the original two novels, secondary characters are broadly drawn but thinly developed, falling into one of Pratchett's favorite formulas of Terrible Villain Receives His Comeuppance....more
Lance O.
"Mighty battles! Revolution! Death! War! (and his sons Terror and Panic, and daughter Clancy)." Interesting Times is a comedic fantasy novel written by the famed British author, Terry Pratchett. Set in the complex and magical land called the Discworld, Interesting Times can be read by teenagers and adults alike. Young children under ten might not be able to fully understand or grasp some of the themes and concepts in the book. I greatly enjoyed reading this novel. It had a lot of interesting ch...more
Doreen
I love all the Terry Pratchett I've read so far, so I really wanted this to be better than it was. I've heard that the Rincewind books are the weakest of the Discworld novels, and the first few pages were certainly an oddly paced morass of characters coming towards a cohesive plot, but my real problem with the book was the way it excused casual racism, especially in Cohen the Barbarian (who was a pretty awesome character otherwise.) Contrary to Pratchett's assertion, charisma is no excuse for bi...more
Doug
I've been reading Discworld books here or there for twenty years or so now, but for the longest time the Rincewind-centric books never clicked with me. I think the would-be romantic in me just wanted to see him turn and fight, to win the girl, and do the sort of things that teenage boys read fantasy books to see done. Maybe five years or so ago, having read a number of the later Discworld novels, I decided to return to the start and picked up the initial Rincewind Trilogy (sort of a duology with...more
Jonathan Palfrey
This is the only Discworld book set mostly on the Counterweight Continent, occupied by the Agatean Empire, loosely based on the traditional societies of China and/or Japan prior to European influence.

In the story, the Agatean Empire is subject to some upheaval due to the simultaneous but separate arrivals of Rincewind the failed magician and Cohen the Barbarian (accompanied by his small Horde of elderly heroes).

Frankly, I'm not keen on the character of Rincewind. He's fairly inoffensive, but a r...more
Arthur Hall
It just gets better with every reading/listening. Nigel Planer is Rincewind.
Meran

This is Rincewind thread, #5.
What a great satire! I've come to realize that, though the first several books were just rollicking fun, Mr Pratchett is now Poking Fun at modern societies! (Also, these later books are better formed, though the lack of chapters makes it hard to find convenient stopping places.)

A teacher reference was particularly funny.. "But... Well. Surely.. The privation, the terrible hazards, the daily risk of death...", we are thought refers to being a barbarian fighter... Th...more
Zorena
I had wondered when we'd see Rincewind and The Luggage again. While I find Rincewind a bit bland I can't say the same for his Luggage. Unfortunately we see little of our many legged sapient pear wood friend after he's done baiting sharks. It is kind of worth it though, when The Luggage makes an appearance close to the end that's full of surprises.

We do get to see a few other old friends and a host of new ones. The host being Cohen and his ancestor aged barbarians. Whut??? Can you tell I develop...more
Michael R.
I thought I would take another stab at reading a Terry Pratchett novel. While I've never been enamoured with the few novels I've read in the DiscWorld series, I was told by a friend that this was one of the better ones. I've much preferred the Xanth fantasy series in the past.

But I really did like this one the best. One reason was that Rincewind the Wizzard was a main character, my favorite Discworld character. Rincewind is a wizard (much like most of the wizards in Discworld) with seemingly no...more
Will
It must be understood that Ankh-Morpork and its Patrician do NOT have any communications with the Agatean Empire on the mysterious Counterweight Continent of the Discworld. So it follows that a message has NOT arrived by alabatross. And it definitely does NOT say "Send us at once the Great Wizzard."

So none of this has anything to do with the latest predicament that the incompetent wizard Rincewind finds himself in, in the midst of the strife between the rather inept Red Army and the bickering h...more
Mara
Rincewind looked longingly towards the door. It was no distance at all for the experienced coward. He could just trot out of here and they could…they could…

What could they do? They could just take his hat away and stop him ever coming back to the University. Now he came to think about it, they probably wouldn’t be bothered about the nailing bit if he was too much bother to find.

And that was the problem. He wouldn’t be dead, but then neither would he be a wizard. And, he thought, as the wizards s
...more
Meredith
Who could ever imagine a book titled "What I did on my vacation" could start a revolution of thought?

And who is really behind the revolution? Who is the the revolution really for. And what if the figure head starts to care?

That's the A plot, featuring the never-in-the-right-place-yet-right-where-he's-needed Rincewind and the return of the tourist Twoflower.

And while I enjoyed the A plot in all its wackiness, but my favorite part was the B plot, which involved Cohen the Barbarian (whose first n...more
Remo

Nueva entrega de las aventuras del Mundodisco, con Rincewind como protagonista. En esta ocasión, Terry Pratchett [TP] manda a Rincewind a China (bueno, al equivalente de China en el Mundodisco, situada en el Continente Contrapeso). Rincewind deberá ayudar a que tenga lugar una Revolución muy educada, al tiempo que se hace amigo de la Horda, formada por Genghis Cohen y seis ancianos más. Al mismo tiempo, todo se ve trastocado por la Mariposa Del Clima™. Sí, hombre, esa mariposa que bate las alas

...more
Ira Nayman
Terry Pratchett runs hot and cold for me. While I generally enjoy his Discworld novels, I have to admit that I have read one or two that did absolutely nothing for me, that barely made me crack a smile. Interesting Times lay somewhere between these two extremes: I did a lot of laughing, sometimes quite out loud, but there were also elements that didn’t work for me.

Pratchett’s writing style is whimsical, with a lot of dry, deadpan humour, and it works very well in Interesting Times, a novel that...more
Richard Houchin
Discworld books have caused me the highest ratio of laughter to word count than any other writing. Pratchett is immensely clever and precise, and his social commentary is magical...

The way Rincewind, Twoflower, and the barbarian horde interact with each other is just grand to behold. I can clearly see Tom Hanks as Rincewind and Elijah Wood as Twoflower (I know, Twoflower is supposed to be Chinese, but the innocent-as-a-puppy routine with occasional bursts of sadness that Twoflower has reminds m...more
Sarah
Interesting Times was first published in 1994, is the 17th discworld and fifth Rincewind novel.

A typical sign that the discworld book you are holding in your hands is about Rincewind is when it starts with the gods playing games, and when the Lady (who, from what I know, is Summer) is involved. I don't know why Rincewind is one of her pawns, but that he is I learned already.
This time, she sends him to the Counterweight Continent and against the plans of Fate (once again). Together with Twoflower...more
Romina
La serie de Rincewind no es de mis favoritas, sin embargo hay en ella los mismos toques irónicos y sarcásticos que nos encantan en Mundodisco. Esta vez el autor nos muestra su visión sobre la cultura oriental, vista desde los ojos “occidentales” de Rincewind y de la horda de bárbaros, comandada por Cohen pero incentivada por “el profe” Saveloy, que no es bárbaro, sino un maestro que se unió a la horda con sueños románticos de conquista y la intención de llevar la civilización a pueblos que él cr...more
Lance
Rincewind returns along with Twoflower, Cohen the Barbarian and his Siver Horde (all 5 of them). After creating many more characters, Pterry later on had problems with his first main Discworld character, the flawed, inept wizzard (sic) Rincewind. In The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic there was a reason he wasn't a good wizard. After that problem was resolved, his main characteristics were no longer viable. His still being inept to that level doesn't work for me. It seems Pratchett is lo...more
Nicolas
Je n’aime pas dire du mal, mais Terry Pratchett n’écrit pas toujours des chefs-d’oeuvre de la littérature. Une fois posée cette évidence, force est de reconnaître que ce tome des Annales du Disque-Monde quoique très intéressant, n’est pas inoubliable. Non parce que les personnages n’y sont pas à la hauteur.
Avec Cohen le barbare(1) et Rincevent(2), le quota de personnages fascinants est atteint sans problème, d’autant plus que le méchant de l’histoire a un je-ne-sais-quoi de tout-à-fait décap(it...more
Andrew
Terry Pratchett introduced us to Discworld with “The Color of Magic” where we followed the adventures of the decidedly unmagical wizard Rincewind as he took on the role of tour guide for Twoflower, a tourist from the remote and isolated Counterweight Continent. Here, Pratchett turns the table and Rincewind finds himself visiting Twoflower’s homeland. He has been sent there by the wizards of Ankh-Morpork in response to a request from the Agatean Empire, which on the verge of civil war with the im...more
Nathan
Complete Discworld Reread

Pratchett has hit a stride in the Discworld series by now. ‘Interesting Times’ is yet another book where Rincewind runs away from everything he can, the wizards back in the university are hilariously barely competent, we are reminded that the only way to be an old barbarian warrior is to be a very good barbarian warrior.

Not a hard hitting satire of anything specific; rather we are treated to a light romp through a revolution in the making, with some of the worst revoluti...more
Geert Daelemans
Finally Rincewind returns

Let's make one thing clear: the Agatean Empire did 'not' send Lord Vetinari, ruler of the Ankh-Morpork, a message by means of a Pointless Albatross. The message did not read "Send Us Instanly The Great Wizzard". Nevertheless, the guys from Unseen University -the fact that they all wear frocks clearly is more than a fashion statement- decide to send their most promising pupil Rincewind to the Counterweight Continent, 6000 miles away. Only one problem: Rincewind is current...more
Al

"May you live in interesting times" is the worst thing one can wish on a citizen of Discworld — especially on the distinctly unmagical sorcerer Rincewind, who has had far too much perilous excitement in his life. But when a request for a "Great Wizzard" arrives in Ankh-Morpork via carrier albatross from the faraway Counterweight Continent, it's he who's sent as emissary. Chaos threatens to follow the impending demise of the Agatean Empire's current ruler. And, for some incomprehensible reason,

...more
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Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe. Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel,...more
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“It was impossible for him to get bored. He just didn't have the imagination.” 5 likes
“He’d always felt he had a right to exist as a wizard in the same way that you couldn’t do proper maths without the number 0, which wasn’t a number at all but, if it went away, would leave a lot of larger numbers looking bloody stupid.” 5 likes
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