WHAT????? I am so glad that Nymeth warmed me about the cliffhanger ending, otherwise I think I would be in a state of shock right now. I picked up this book for the Once Upon a Time Challenge without knowing very much about the author or the Discworld series other than what I’ve heard from Nymeth, but I’m certainly glad I did. I loved the wild ride this book took me on and will have to rush out to the bookstore to get the sequel, The Light Fantastic (plus any other Discworld books I can find!).
This short novel follows the travels of Rincewind, a failed wizard, and Twoflower, a foreign tourist–two unlikely companions–after they are forced to leave the burning city of Ankh-Morpork. I wish I could explain the plot, but I’m at a loss for words. They encounter dragons that only kinda exist; a woman who is trying to kill her brothers so that she can rule Wyrmberg, an upside-down mountain; the edge of Discworld where a troll made mostly of water captures them; they are continually cheating Death who by the way has a great sense of humor. This is only a place that could exist if gods are playing the characters as pawns on a giant gameboard–wait! that does happen.
Sounds very strange–and not very much up my alley, but I really enjoyed this book. I laughed out loud–a lot, but I also did a lot of thinking. I’m certain that if I read this one again I would pick up on so much more. I have always really enjoyed satirical works–Gulliver’s Travels being one of my favorites–so I felt right at home with Pratchett’s sense of humor and social commentary. I realize that I’m doing a poor job of explaining this book, but how does one adequately describe a world that is shaped like a disc which sits on top of four giant elephants who rotate in a circle around the shell of a giant turtle floating through space. :)
Did I love every part of the book? The chapters were long. Groan. In seriousness, at times I found it difficult to follow the plot. The scenes rapidly change and I had to retrace bits to find what I missed. There were several parts that flew right over my head, such as a strange otherworldly experience when Rincewind and Twoflower find themselves momentarily in an airplane? It took some time to get used to the occassional disjointedness, but it did require a little rereading and close reading on my part.
Would I recommend it? Let’s put it this way–hubby saw me laughing out loud; I read him some of the bits and pieces I thought were too funny to be left alone (namely the bit about “inn-sewer-ants”–my profession and hubby’s family’s profession). When I finished the book with a giant smirk on my face, he proclaimed that we should pick up the follow-up book so that he can read both. And hubby doesn’t read [and generally does not encourage my book-buying habit]. Bottom Line: It’s a fun book, but it certainly isn’t as light as it seems.