Even without being my favorite of the discworld series, this still made me laugh and marvel at phrasing often enough that it rates 4 stars for me - noEven without being my favorite of the discworld series, this still made me laugh and marvel at phrasing often enough that it rates 4 stars for me - not least for the very original dedication, first drawn to my attention by the ever-observant sgwordy (AKA Rachel).
Quotes that made it into my collection: "(the) horrible sound (was) as though the air was slowly and carefully being torn in half..."
"....it wasn't a very original line but it was handy. It did the job. The reason cliches become become cliches is that they are the hammers and screwdrivers in the toolbox of communication."
Lord Vetinari's life philosophy: "You find life such a problem because you think there are the good people and the bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides."
And continuing with the author's gentle tweaking of the romance genre: "Lady Ramkin's bosom rose and fell like an empire."...more
This was an interesting literary experiment in the way that Julia Quinn's pair of novels telling the same story from dual characters' points of view wThis was an interesting literary experiment in the way that Julia Quinn's pair of novels telling the same story from dual characters' points of view was an literary experiment. I think this was the more successful of the two.
Lisa Lutz (who writes the excellent Spellman series) and her former boyfriend, an unpublished poet, took turns writing alternating chapters of a contemporary whodunit. They couldn't go back and change anything about what the other had written, only make comments and suggestions on reading what the other had produced at his/her last go-round. The comments that the increasingly bickering writers make to each other become the most entertaining part of the book, so much so that I actually didn't see the identity of the killer coming due to looking forward how they'd snipe at and sabotage each other's clues and characters next.
Would I write a book with one of my ex-boyfriends? Absolutely not.
Would I read another by Lutz and another collaborator. Absolutely yes.
So why no more than 3 stars? Because I actively disliked one of the protagonists, and even though I did like the other, suspect that I would be hard-pressed a year or two from now to remember a whole lot about her.
But I sure will remember the banter between the two authors....more
After being intimidated by the vastness of Discworld, I plunged in at random and finally understand why Pratchett is THE go-to author for so many readAfter being intimidated by the vastness of Discworld, I plunged in at random and finally understand why Pratchett is THE go-to author for so many readers when they need a sure laught. This is my second DW novel and I had no trouble figuring out what is going on.
Really enjoyed how the author manages to mock successfully, while still letting basic affection for the mocked subjects (soccer/rugby culture, academia, fashion/cosmetic industry) shine through....more
Pro: my first Discworld novel, and I loved it all - the distinctive characters, the 'British' way characters respond with politeness/completely straigPro: my first Discworld novel, and I loved it all - the distinctive characters, the 'British' way characters respond with politeness/completely straight face to ludicrous statements or situations, the surprisingly deep insight into the positive and less-so aspects of human nature hidden behind the comedic bits, the gift the author has for unique descriptions, the ending that made so much sense and I should have seen coming but didn't, but most of all: how often it made me laugh. It helped a lot that the audiobook was read by a BRILLIANT voice actor who had endless accents and variations at his command. After adding dozens of excellent quotes to my collection, am diving straight back into Discworld.
Con: I started with #33 in a series - it was to be expected that it would take me a little while to find my feet, but I did so quickly and happily immersed myself in the world after that....more
The first two books in the series made me adore Flavia as one of the most original heroines I've ever come across, and this installment does nothing tThe first two books in the series made me adore Flavia as one of the most original heroines I've ever come across, and this installment does nothing to diminish that feeling.
Flavia still goes all numb with bliss at the words "chemical preparations" the way a more average girl would at the words "pink sparkle princesses". The mysteries she tackles this time around are multiple - murderous, religious, familial - and she does it all with flair and smarts. Is she sneaky? Yes. Meddlesome? You bet. Sometimes gratingly precocious? No question. But it is hard not to be forgiving and not a little fond of a girl so neglected by grieving father, so smarting for her deceased mother, so physically and emotionally harassed by her older siblings, that the closest thing she has to a friendship is with her trusty bicycle.
This book misses out on 5 star rating because I didn't understand timing in the climactic scene. Specifically, for those who've read it and may be able to explain: why had the villain placed the character Flavia found at that location? And why then leave? And why at that particular time? Also: how had those two characters learned of that access route? Made no sense to me.
I listened to the audiobook version, with excellent reader. Highly recommend....more
I think this is my favorite Lady Julia mystery so far. From wondering which species she will add to her menagerie next, to catching more glimpses of tI think this is my favorite Lady Julia mystery so far. From wondering which species she will add to her menagerie next, to catching more glimpses of the March clan, to laugh-out-loud bits such as:
"I simply don't know what to do with you," he said. "Four explosions in a month's time are a bit excessive," I conceded. "Five," he corrected. "You forgot the house party at Lord Riverton's estate." "Oh, would you call that an explosion? I should have called it a detonation."
"I found the notion of Spiritualism baffling. It was not so much that I felt it impossible that spirits could revisit this life as I thought it vastly disappointing they should want to. If the afterlife could promise no greater entertainment than visiting a club of clammy-handed strangers, then what pleasure was there to be had in being dead?"
"How tiresome. Which of the maids (has given notice) this time?" "The second chambermaid." "Why the devil do we have so much trouble keeping staff?" "I believe the attempt to burn down the house might have had something to do with it, my lady." I was indignant. "The house is almost never on fire."...more
There is something about the Spellman family - every single member - that appeals to me. As a reader, of course, if any were my real life family membeThere is something about the Spellman family - every single member - that appeals to me. As a reader, of course, if any were my real life family members I would probably need as much therapy as Isabel attends in this installment.
Readers who already like this protagonist won't be disappointed by this third volume, readers who didn't like Book 1 or 2 probably won't be magically converted readers who aren't familiar should probably not start here, but really start with Book 1 instead.
the second time around, I was perhaps a little more frustrated with the "immortal beloved" effect (forreread this a few years after it first appeared
the second time around, I was perhaps a little more frustrated with the "immortal beloved" effect (for those who have not seen that great movie about Beethoven: there occurs a Big Misunderstanding, which negatively affects two characters for years, which could have been resolved with a little more talk and a little less martyr's complex), but still: I adore how utterly different Gigi is than any other historical romance heroine I've come across, how committed she is to pursuing her goals (with the rival woman being such a counterpoint that it was not hard to empathize with Gigi's bafflement at how Camden could tolerate her wishy-washiness) . I loved it that the heroine's feelings for the hero weren't muddied by the far-too-usual-development of female financial woes being solved by union with wealthy male, and that for once it was the male who strove to achieve financial success so as to achieve parity with the heroine. That was awesome. I loved them touring about in original Mercedes Benzs, decorating their homes with impressionist art, how early on Camden figured out to give her a hugely significant gift that could not be bought, and how Gigi had a team of engineers working on her investment projects just like Camden did. Unlike some reviewers, I also liked the secondary romance between mother and aloof gentleman.
Rereading this made me remember how impressed I was that this was the author's debut novel...more