Chris's Reviews > I Shall Wear Midnight

I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett
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Mar 28, 11

bookshelves: fantasy, not-graphic, ya, adventure, humor, life, voice

I have a friend who has read nearly every (if not actually every) Terry Pratchett book, and her reviews for the newer ones all seem to say something like: "There's a lot of detail . . . that's old hat (no pun intended) to longtime Pterry fans like myself," and, "People are people are people, we get it. Really. Next subject please." So in a way she’s said the books are getting repetitive. Yet she’s read nearly every (if not actually every) Terry Pratchett book. And keeps going, giving them all stellar reviews (aside from the little nitpicking just quoted).

That’s my experience with I Shall Wear Midnight. This fourth Tiffany Aching book really isn’t much different than the first three, but I was delighted to read it and wish there would be a fifth. The Feegles are once again excellent comic relief that I never tire of and "witching" is about common sense, character, wisdom, and doing the things no one else wants to do. There’s a plot, but it seems almost secondary as a frame for those other two elements, which I seem able to soak up to no end and would share with anyone willing.

-----

"However, it’s a wee bitty difficult that ye are—no offense meant—a policeman." He jumped back slightly, just in case.

"Granted," said Wee Mad Arthur with satisfaction. "Whereas ye are a bunch of thieving drunken reprobates and scofflaws with no respect for the law whatsoever!"

The Feegles nodded happily, although Rob Anybody said, "Would you no' mind adding the words 'drunk' and 'disorderly'? We would nae want to be sold short here." . . .

Despite himself, Wee Mad Arthur was grinning. "Have you boys got no shame?"

Rob Anybody matched him grin for grin. "I couldna say," he replied, "but if we have, it probably belonged tae somebody else."

-----

"I make it my business. I’m a witch. It’s what we do. When it’s nobody else’s business, it’s
my business," Tiffany said quickly.

"Yes, but we all thought it was going to be about whizzing around on brooms and suchlike, not cutting old ladies' toenails for them."

"But people don’t understand what’s needed," said Tiffany. "It’s not that they are bad; it’s just that they don’t think. Take old Mrs. Stocking, who’s got nothing in the world except her cat and a whole lot of arthritis. People were getting her a bite to eat often enough, that is true, but no one was noticing that her toenails were so long they were tangling up inside her boots and so she’d not been able to take them off for a year! People around here are okay when it comes to food and the occasional bunch of flowers, but they are not around when things get a little on the messy side. Witches notice these things. Oh, there’s a certain amount of whizzing about, that’s true enough, but mostly it’s only to get quickly to somewhere there is a mess."

Her father shook his head. "And you like doing this?"

"Yes."

"Why?"

Tiffany had to think about this, her father’s eyes never leaving her face. "Well, Dad, you know how Granny Aching always used to say, 'Feed them as is hungry, clothe them as is naked, and speak up for them as has no voices'? Well, I reckon there is room in there for 'Grasp for them as can’t bend, reach for them as can’t stretch, wipe for them as can’t twist,' don’t you? And because sometimes you get a good day, that makes up for all the bad days and, just for a moment, you hear the world turning," said Tiffany. "I can’t put it any other way."
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Quotes Chris Liked

Terry Pratchett
“Oh, I feel very angry a lot of the time," said Tiffany, "but I just put it away somewhere until I can do something useful with it.”
Terry Pratchett, I Shall Wear Midnight

Terry Pratchett
“Well, there were plenty of things to do; there always were. There was no end to the wanting.”
Terry Pratchett, I Shall Wear Midnight

Terry Pratchett
“Well, the traveling teachers do come through every few months," said the Baron.

"Yes, sir, I know, sir, and they're useless, sir. They teach facts, not understanding. It's like teaching people about forests by showing them a saw. I want a proper school, sir, to teach reading and writing, and most of all thinking, sir, so people can find what they're good at, because someone doing what they really like is always an asset to any country, and too often people never find out until it's too late.”
Terry Pratchett, I Shall Wear Midnight

Terry Pratchett
“These weren't cheap modern books; these were books bound in leather, and not just leather, but leather from clever cows who had given their lives for literature after a happy existence in the very best pastures.”
Terry Pratchett, I Shall Wear Midnight

Terry Pratchett
“When Mr. Aching had worked for the old Baron, they had, as men of the world, reached a sensible arrangement, which was that Mr. Aching would do whatever the Baron asked him to do. Provided the Baron asked Mr. Aching to do what Mr. Aching wanted to do and it needed to be done.”
Terry Pratchett, I Shall Wear Midnight


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