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This one grew on me. I don't know if I just didn't know enough about the music industry, and people, to really appreciate it, but I hated this one toThis one grew on me. I don't know if I just didn't know enough about the music industry, and people, to really appreciate it, but I hated this one to start with. It seemed boring and silly (in 1994!)
At the same time though, it became associated with one of my best memories of 1995 -- a road trip from Aberystwyth to Cardiff to get the book signed by PTerry himself. Imagine two library geeks, Pratchett fen, best of mates driving through the Welsh countryside. Sunny and silly *g*.
So, the book perhaps had a certain amount of charm lent it by that -- and as time has passed I have liked it better. I grew less angry about the character deaths -- he killed off one of my favourite characters right up front, dammit. I found the puns funny instead of contrived (at the time I spoke enough Welsh to immediately get what Imp y Celyn was), and I moved back to London so the slurs against the Welsh became funnier and less offensive. Perhaps. Or perhaps I noticed that the slurs were in fact mocking those who made such slurs rather than believing in them. Could go either way.
It's still not one of my favourites, but I like it better than I once did. Some of that is even because of the book....more
I'm not much on the annals of Rincewind, but as a ruthless completist, I have a number of books that I have read but am not interested in re-reading.I'm not much on the annals of Rincewind, but as a ruthless completist, I have a number of books that I have read but am not interested in re-reading.
There was an added interest in the pseudo-China, but the more i know about the real country, and of course about the categories which are in fact entirely the invention of Borges*, not the Chinese civil service, the less I enjoyed this rather facile swipe at Eatern oppression -- so much *worse* than western style oppression, darlings.
And of course the title itself -- is an entirely apocryphal proverb of no known Chinese extraction. Symptomatic of the whole.
An okay read, but not Pratchett's best.
* The Analytical Language of John Wilkins, Jorge Luis Borges...more
This is the start of the Nightwatch books, and introduces us to the seamier side of Ankh-Morpork: the gutters, the poor, the beggars and of course, thThis is the start of the Nightwatch books, and introduces us to the seamier side of Ankh-Morpork: the gutters, the poor, the beggars and of course, the Night Watch themselves, much diminished, and led by Vimes, alcoholic and barely coherent when we first meet him in a filthy gutter.
Pratchett takes and inverts the tropes of the hero quest, the dragon, the maiden, the long lost heir. He puts Carrot and Vimes in what should nominally be tension with each other but somehow isn't. Vimes succeeds despite himself - and despite the 'help' of Corporal Nobbs and Sargeant Colon. People who seem deeply unympathetic are unfolded as heroes, real heroes, who do not swashbuckle but get on with sorting out mysteries and saving lives -- whether with a shot in a million (it just might work) or hiving off their own salary to give pensions to police widows and orphans....more