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eBook Interesting TimesAuthor Terry Pratchett – Pandora-jewelry.co

MIGHTY BATTLES REVOLUTION DEATH WAR AND HIS SONS TERROR AND PANIC, AND DAUGHTER CLANCY The Oldest And Most Inscrutable Empire On The Discworld Is In Turmoil, Brought About By The Revolutionary Treatise What I Did On My Holidays Workers Are Uniting, With Nothing To Lose But Their Water Buffaloes Warlords Are Struggling For Power War And Clancy Are Spreading Throughout The Ancient CitiesAnd All That Stands In The Way Of Terrible Doom For Everyone Is Rincewind The Wizard, Who Can T Even Spell The Word Wizard Cohen The Barbarian Hero, Five Foot Tall In His Surgical Sandals, Who Has Had A Lifetime S Experience Of Not Dyingand A Very Special Butterfly


10 thoughts on “Interesting Times

  1. says:

    Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Bruce Lee, Yun Fat Chow, David Carradine and Michelle Yeoh sit in an Italian pizza place in Queens and discuss Terry Pratchett s 17th Discworld novel Interesting Times.Bruce Lee Ok, first of all, David, why are you even here, you re not Chinese.Carradine Come on, you all know why, I played Kwai Chang Caine on King Fu in the 70s, don t act like you don t Michelle Anyhoo Pratchett, pays homage to Asian culture through his counter continent Roman eclef, The Agatean Empire, which is just China on the Discworld.Jackie But did he really pay homage and respect I think he could have been making fun of us.Yun Fat Chow I thought that too, our great culture is seen as bureaucratic, myopic and superficial Compared to Anhk Morpork, which is practical and highly functional.Jet Li Yes, but this was really a vehicle whereby Rincewind can be seen as a greater hero figure, leading up to The Last Hero a few years later, he and Cohen the Barbarian are the clear protagonists here, and China and the Discworld Agatean Empire are just a literary foil.Michelle Lord Hong was a very effective antagonist, even if a caricature of Asian imperialism and hauteur.Jet Li Yes, I did like Pratchett s description of Hong and I also like that one of the great families was the McSweeneys, that was hilarious.Carradine See The McSweeneys was an indirect allusion to my portrayal.Bruce Lee No No, it wasn t, it was just Pratchett being funny Nothing about you at all.Carradine You seem very sure, you answered very fast, you sure Michelle Stop it, both of you We also got to visit the wizards and the luggage and Death and this was just Discworld magic and fun.Pratchett arriving late Who wants to blow this pasta stand and go get some tacos


  2. says:

    Interesting Timesor,When Cohen Established that Dynasty That Timeor,Rincewind Gets a New Suit.I really enjoyed this Pratchett, being one of the few people who actually think that Rincewind is a likable anti hero, or rather, a good runner But sometimes even good runners get caught in the affairs of Wizzards and revolution Okay, maybe it s Wizards and if I count him, it s only Wizzard, but you get the idea Welcome to China ish, buddy The Emperor would like to meet you Or chop off your legs so you can easily search for that head that you just lost Classic Pratchett And a welcome change from Ankh Morpork.


  3. says:

    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 entertainment, I respond better to characters who actually try to tackle problems, whether it be through scheming Vetinari , trickery the witches , or just good old fashioned detective work the City Watch.That being said, the highlights The dialogue Once again, Pratchett employs rapid fire exchanges to great effect, and his characterization is so solid that formally acknowledging who said what is not necessary You can see this primarily in the dialogue between the Unseen University faculty and also the Silver Horde Whut The jokes As is typical, there is no shortage of puns, jokes, and cultural references here, from the multiple meanings of Auriental words to several different running gags urinating dog Ankh Morpork vs the Agatean Empire While not necessarily laugh out loud funny, there are several passages that draw astute comparisons between life in Ankh Morpork and the Empire, ranging from peasant life vs the ruling elite to the concept of fiat currency These illustrate that Discworld is than just trite satire it provides a commentary on our own history and society.Also of note It s very strange that I ve read two consecutive books that make a reference to the Naglfar, a boat made from the fingernails and toenails of the dead, from Norse mythology.


  4. says:

    It all starts with the gods playing another game Because Fate always wins at least if the other players adhere to the rules Which his new opponent doesn t Resulting in a very interesting butterfly effect In this 17th Discworld novel Rincewind is returned to Unseen University and makes a deal with Ridcully to go to Discworld s oldest Empire to help them with their current revolution in exchange for being allowed to come back for good and being called a wizzard wizard Due to the fact that the old Emperor is about to die, the struggle to determine his successor was about to begin, but there were also workers uniting after reading What I did on My Holidays This was a marvellous way of coming full circle with the first two ever novels in this series In fact, it was so nicely done I almost cried As those following my reviews know, I m not too big a fan of the wizzard and still think he needs a strong supporting cast in order for books with him to be compelling Fortunately, he had just that in this novel in form of good old Conan the Barbarian and his barbarian horde.Conan, Teach and the other barbarians were marvellous From the way the horde was trying to have another gloriously volatile and blood spattering adventure almost guaranteed considering that the Empire has ninjas and samurai to them wanting to learn to be civilized in order to adapt to the modern times which is where Teach came in , not to mention Teach s origin story and why he thought he d fit in nicely with Conan and his bunch view spoiler I happen to agree that being a teacher often prepares you for the most gruesome warfare lol hide spoiler


  5. says:

    7 10 May you live in interesting times is a long established curse on the Counterweight Continent of the Discworld The Agatean Empire is just heading this way as its aging, demented Emperor is about to die and five noble families who have fought one another for centuries The Hongs, the Sungs, the Tangs, the McSweeneys very old established family and the Fangs gather their armies around the capital city of HungHung in preparation of the war of succession High above them in the clouds around Hub, the Gods are having a betting game on the outcome, with Fate and Luck throwing the dices The outcome may turn on the reluctant actions of a Great Wizard from ancient history, one that is prophesized to return and awaken the Red Army of the first Agatean Emperor A Great Wizard, or a great wizzard Now, who on the Discworld is liable to mispell his job description Adventure People talked about the idea as if it was something worthwhile, rather than a mess of bad food, no sleep, and strange people inexplicably trying to stick pointed objects in bits of you Rincewind would have none of this adventure business, preferring to remain on the isolated, deserted tropical island where he landed at the end of his last adventure Eric Not even naked s in search of bed mates could tempt him I wonder what is the connection in Rincewind s mind between hot babes and mashed potatoes He really craved dullness He d really liked his island He d enjoyed Coconut Surprise You cracked it open and, hey, there was coconut inside That was the kind of surprise he liked Unfortunatelly for Rincewind, the Patrician of Ankh Morpork, Lord Vetinari, and the Arch Chancellor of the Unseen University, Mustrum Ridcully, decide it is in the interest of international relations to send the great wizzard on a mission to the Agatean Empire With the help of Hex Hal s deranged AI cousin built with ants and magick by young wizard Ponder Stibbons Rincewind is teleported to the other side of the Discworld and right in the middle of interesting times.Rincewind is probably my least favorite lead character in the Discworld universe He is a bit of a one trick pony a coward who in trying to run away from trouble lands in even deeper s__t, yet manages to save the day by pulling the wrong lever or knocking down the evil overlord just as tries to pull the plug on the world After reading mostly later issues of the series, it was a bit of a shock to go back to the silly jokes, easy puns and pratfalls that marked the early episodes The line Your wife is a big hippo is repeated about twenty times in the text Please don t get me wrong even on an off day, Pratchett is still one of the funniest men ever to put pen to paper, but I got used to the subtle and far reaching satire of his later novels, not to mention the passion over thorny issues and the deep humanism that characterizes the lead characters of these episodes Sam vimes, Tiffany Aching, Moist von Lipwig.With Rincewind doing what he does best being a coward and running away from trouble Luck is my middle name, said Rincewind, indistinctly Mind you, my first name is Bad , the novel is saved by another recurrent character, one that makes the times interesting whenever he shows up This is Ghenghiz Cohen Doer of mighty deeds Slayer of dragons Ravager of cities He once bought an apple Cohen the Barbarian is a hilarious parody of every mighty thewed barbarian that has infested the sword sorcery genre since Robert E Howard Cohen has his own plans for retirement from the heroing business and he is keen on a last heist in the Forbidden City of HungHung, residence of the ailing Agatean emperor To help him overcome the forty thousand strong garrison of the citadel, not to mention the five hundred thousand strong armies of the five lords The Hongs, the Sungs, the Tangs, the McSweeneys and the Fangs surrounding the city, Cohen has put together the Silver Horde Discworld s answer to the Magnificent Seven francise The silver in the Horde s title comes from the white hairs of its geriatric heroes Boy Willie, Mad Hamish Whut Whut Whutzeesayin being the whole range of his conversational skills , Truckle the Uncivil, Caleb the Ripper, Old Vincent, Teach The last one being the brains of the outfit, a former teacher named Ronald Saveloy, who is trying to instill in the Horde some rudiments of civilized behaviour, since your regular barbarian needs brawns not brains Self doubt was not something regularly entertained within the Cohen cranium When you re trying to carry a struggling temple maiden and a sack of looted temple goods in one hand and fight off half a dozen angry priests with the other there is there is little time for reflection Natural selection saw to it that professional heroes who at a crucial moment tended to ask themselves questions like What is my purpose in life very quickly lacked both The plot is interesting with a lot of plots and twists and surprises, some of them scary, some quite spectacular and funny The satire part was weaker than usual, with the attempt to use China as a source of inspiration illustrating certain post colonial insensivities and patronizing atitudes toward the culture calling its ancient traditions a stale society ready to be plucked by the enterprising adventurer merchant and launching a lot of barbed arrows at the revolutionary Red Army and its leftist beliefs The lack of political subtlety is compensated though by the fun of coming across old friends, sometimes in new disguises Disembowel Meself Honorably Dibhala is the Counterweight doppelganger of the infamous Ankh Morpork street seller Cut Me Own Throat Dibbler Here are a few cameos from these old friends It was a beautiful afternoon Lord Vetinari was sitting in the palace gardens, watching the butterflies with an expression of mild annoyance He found something very slightly offensive about the way they just fluttered around enjoying themselves in an unprofitable way Well, we are wizards We re supposed to meddle with things we don t understand If we hung around waitin till we understood things we d never get anything done Mustrum Ridcully Ook How about Organdy Sloggo Still going strong down in Howondaland, last I heard Dead Metal poisoning How Three swords through the stomach Slasher Mungo Presumed dead in Skund Presumed Well, they only found his head Cohen and the Silver Horde discussing old acquaintances in the hero business I saved a last quote from Ridcully as an example that even the least favorite characters have a chance to shine and to embrace the wider humanist worldview of the author Don t go around believing that Great Wizards solve all your problems, because there aren t any and they don t and I should know because I m not one Recommended for fans of the Discworld and series completists.


  6. says:

    The problem with Rincewind books is that I really like Rincewind, and Rincewind books tend to have problematic elements than the other Discworld books, and also the most recycled This is the worst culprit of Pratchett s rather casual racism and also the overuse see any use at all of rape jokes what was with that So I really struggled with whether to give this two or three stars I felt if I gave it two stars, it would indicate that I didn t like this book at all Which isn t true There were lots of great things about this book, except it was tainted by the pervasive use of Asian stereotyping and the rehashing of the typical Rincewind plot So I added the extra star because of a return of an old character I really liked, the development of that character, and a few new ones mainly Pretty Butterfly So really this is a 2.75 rating that just feels right, I know I know rather than a 3 But it is my least favorite of the series so far.


  7. says:

    Rincewind in China22 August 2015 When my friend leant me this book he simply said Rincewind at which I rolled my eyes I must say that Rincewind is certainly not my favourite Discworld character, even though some of the books in which he has starred have been quite good However I wasn t really expecting anything all that much to come from this book, even though it is one of the Discworld novels and I am slowly making my way through each of them and it was also a bit of a time out from some of the heavier novels that I have read It turned out that it was a good thing that I didn t expect all that much from this book because if you aren t expecting all that much then it is really easy to exceed those expectations In fact I really enjoyed this book, and even Rincewind was quite cool, especially when you appreciate the nature of his character namely that his main rule of survival is to run away as fast as possible, and that a boring life is a good life because a boring life means that your lifespan is inevitably going to be much longer This time Pratchett takes us to China, or at least Discworld s equivalent of China the Agatean Empire This was a little odd because with the first book the suggestion was that the Agatean Empire was in fact Japan in which Pratchett was poking fun at the stereotypical Japanese Tourist Twoflower However, it now turns out that it is China and that people weren t supposed to actually leave the country and visit the world on the other side of the wall In fact the powers that be discourage that simply by telling everybody that there is nothing behind the wall except demons and ghosts Thus therein lies the problem Not only did Twoflower leave but when he returned he wrote a book called What I did on my Holidays Sure, it sound s like some primary school essay, but I am sure that primary school essays have managed to morph themselves into revolutionary documents Actually, there have been countless numbers of books that have morphed themselves into revolutionary documents, despite the author having no intention beyond simply writing a fascinating story The other issue is that the emperor is dying, which means that there is an opening for a new emperor Sure, the Emperor should have an heir, but that doesn t seem to be the case here, and even if he did having an heir does not necessarily mean that that heir is going to become emperor, namely because there is some other guy who wants that title Lord Hong As one can expect from a farcical comedy, nothing seems to go right for poor Hong Sure, he manages to kill the emperor, but before he can take the title as his own he suddenly discovers that somebody has beaten him to the punch Cohen the Barbarian, or as we find out Genghiz Cohen If there is one thing that I absolutely loved about this book it has to be the Silver Horde which is a play on the Golden Horde, otherwise known as the Mongals Here we have a handful of old men, who happen to be barbarians, sneaking into the city to steal the throne of the empire Sure, most people expect old men to be weak and frail, but that would be a huge mistake when approaching the Silver Horde In fact at one point the end up beating up a room full of ninja I also quite liked the idea of the wall We all think that the Great Wall of China was built to keep the Mongal Hordes out and good job it did to NOT , however Pratchett suggests that that is not the case it is designed to keep the people inside We can t have plebs leaving the country, learning new ideas, such as rebellion, and then bringing it back and corrupting people they ve already had a problem with one person doing that Anyway, as Cohen says, how is a wall going to stop a horde of barbarians They ain t going to get there, see the wall, and decide that it is all too hard and go home again No, they are going to take wood from all the trees lying around and then build ladders so they can climb over it This whole thing about keeping the people in made me think about China back when it was written Back then you hardly had any Chinese travelling abroad these days you have heaps I was sort of wandering whether Pratchett was having a dig at some of these closed countries, though prior to the 19th Century China was a pretty closed country and many of the peasants were intentionally kept ignorant so as not to upset the balance apparently the Chinese Script was invented to make it really hard for the general populace to become literate Still, I m not sure if you are meant to think too deeply with a Terry Pratchett book though then again it is satire, so I am probably wrong , but then again it is something that I do enjoy doing.


  8. says:

    One of the worst curses you can fling at a Discworld character is May you live in interesting times, hence the title of the book.But aside from it s promising title, the 17th Discworld book was a bit of a letdown after the fitting soulful musings of Soul Music, but it almost made up for it in sheer volume of jokes and witticisms alone I wanted to quote something practically every other page The perfect Discworld book is funny, biting, and deep hitting This one was mostly just amusing, although it did have some in world continuity to fall back on that gave it a little extra oomph.Although it can be read on its own, Interesting Times is a Rincewind book, and in many ways it s actually a direct sequel to the very first Discworld books, The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic We first met Rincewind and the flat disc of a world he lives on carried around space by four giant elephants perched on the back of an even giant turtle when he is shanghaied into playing guide to a hapless tourist named Twoflower from the faraway Counterweight Continent The two of them have many ridiculous adventures together, which mostly consist of Twoflower being delighted by everything, including and most especially when his life is in danger, and Rincewind being inept and terrified by it all, but somehow stumbling through and saving the day anyway Interesting Times turns the tables and finds Rincewind an unexpected tourist on the Counterweight Continent, only it seems he s been called there because Revolution is brewing, and Twoflower s tales of his adventures in Ankh Morpork and beyond which he wrote up and titled What I Did on My Summer Holidays have lent him the moniker The Great Wizard The people want him to help them overthrow their cruel Empire, a task for which he is monumentally unfit.There s also some stuff with The Luggage and a group of old, old men like, SERIOUSLY old led by Cohen the Barbarian who are also in the country to do nefarious things to the Empire The joke with them is mostly that they re so old you d think they d be incompetent but they are still the most deadly people in the room, even the one in the wheel chair, and there s this whole thing about them trying to learn to be civilized It mostly all works.The ending felt a little too coincidental for me, and again, it was mostly all surface level humor although still very funny , so it s definitely not one of my favorites in this series, but still a good read What this book lacks in plotting and such it makes up for in enthusiasm and jokes about really old mangy men 3.5 stars


  9. says:

    Part of the Pratchett reread with the SpecFic Buddy Reads group in 2018 Rincewind gets recruited by Mustrum Ridcully and the faculty of Unseen University to go to the Counterweight Continent and the country of the Agatean Empire, Discworld s version of China with quite a few Japanese bits The Agatean Empire is experiencing a period of unrest with the Emperor about to die and the county s warlords gathering to determine who the next Emperor will be There is, of course, a Grand Vizier called Lord Hong, who s up to his neck in plotting There s also the Red Army, a group of rebels inspired by the book What I Did On My Holidays whose unknown author refers to events in far off Ankh Morpork and his travels with the Great Wizzard Oh, and the whole place is about to be invaded by the Silver Horde of barbarians led by Genghis Cohen.There s some important milestones here, particularly with the naming of Hex and its introduction as a sentient magical machine It s also great to have Rincewind and the events of the very early Discworld novels integrated with the mostly separate Unseen University faculty cast that was established and continued from Reaper Man But for me the highlight of the book was the Silver Horde and the return of Cohen the Barbarian, complete with his fantastic group of geriatric warriors.


  10. says:

    With the first couple Discworld books, Pratchett was still looking for his own place in the world and trying to figure out what kind of stories he wanted to write about at all They ended up rather different, far less honed, less cohesive, and plain weirder than the later books but they still had their own special charm in them, something to like about them.Interesting Times is the best of both worlds it s a throwback to those first two books, while at the same time fitting the refined and developed structure of the later books It finds just the right tone between hilarious and dramatic, hitting both without either of them getting in each other s way And Cohen and Twoflower were both some of my favourite characters in the books.It s not the absolute best in my books, Discworld wise, but it ranks pretty high up there.