Pyramids is Sir Terry Pratchett s 7th Discworld book and the Pratchett Smile O Meter is dancing happily as this is another fun ride with cool Uncle Terry.This is a blisteringly funny satire on religion, faith and loyalty taking place in the blisteringly hot desert of Discworld in the Old Kingdom of Djelibeybi which is of course analogous to Egypt in our world.First published in 1989 and by this time Pratchett s fame and fortune with the Discworld was established and he mixed things up a bit The first of the stand alone Discworld books, this does not feature many of the standard Discworld characters or themes but Pratchett s writing is as expected and this is just as funny and as acerbically satirical as any of his other excellent adventures.Actually, though, this one goes a step further and was almost Vonnegutesque in it s over the top, tongue in cheek attack on blind faith Pratchett asks some tough questions and the answers are than just playful spoofery as he demonstrates the bad and the worse of organized religion and the tyranny of traditionalism.This also delves into some time and quantum elements that are hilariously Pratchett and we meet a very unexpected greatest mathematician in the Discworld.A must read for Pratchett fans. Pyramids Discworld, 7 , Terry PratchettPyramids is a fantasy novel by British writer Terry Pratchett, published in 1989, the seventh book in his Discworld series The main character of Pyramids is Pteppic, the crown prince of the tiny kingdom of Djelibeybi, the Discworld counterpart to Ancient Egypt Young Pteppic has been in training at the Assassins Guild in Ankh Morpork for several years The day after passing his final exam he mystically senses that his father has died and that he must return home 2017 07 1395 469 9786002911834 20. I think I may have enjoyed this one a bit the second time around, but not enough to change my rating Indeed, I had a lot fun with all the quantum irregularities surrounding the Pyramids out in the boonies of Discworld.There s a lot of great ribbing for conspiracy theorists who go on and on about the dimensions of the real pyramids and the mystical importance, even going so far as to make these monuments at least here into time recyclers It s very funny and Death isn t pleased Fortunately for Death, however, what he doesn t know won t kill him.It was also rather funny seeing a handmaid who d never serviced a king and an assassin who d never killed anyone fumble around their conversations with one another.But really, I think I had the most fun with the camels They were a very nice touch I always thought there was something of a math genius in all of them Quantum accounting aside, I thought this was a very interesting and funny novel, giving us a nice background for the Assassin s guild while not precisely overburdening us at all with characters we ll grow to love later That being said, I had a good time and probably a bit than the other one off Discworld novels that came before it. The desert kingdom of Djelibeybi is THE country to get yourself the ultimate eternal resting place Boasting a history of thousands of years, its kings and queens had ample time to pepper the shore of the river Djel with pyramids of various sizes Of course, such an endeavor is not exactly cheap and unsurprisingly, the entire kingdom is neck deep in debt.It is now up to 12 year old crown prince Pteppic to save the country He was signed up at the prestigious Assassin s Guild in far off Ankh Morpork, to become a certified assassin provided of course, he can survive the grueling training.Pyramids had a lot of potential as a concept, and to his credit, sir Terry Pratchett really tried to cover as much of Egyptian history and customs as possible and therein lies the problem.The first part my favorite mainly covers Pteppic s assassin training We learn a lot about the customs of the Assassins Guild, about the type of people who d enlist for training, not to mention the extremely difficult graduation exam So an excellent treat for anyone wishing for Discworld world building.The second part focuses on Pteppic s life back in Djelibeybi, as he tries to adapt again to life at home, sans the modern comforts of Ankh Morpork such as plumbing I was torn between humor and genuine sadness when he finds out just how powerless a king is in his country.The third and final part details the supernatural adventures of Pteppic and Ptracy, while trying to save the kingdom, from all its legends and beliefs This was the place where my patience became rather thin, and my close to non existent attention span began to take a hike Sore 3 5 stars A very good starting point, but lost in a much too convoluted storyline.For those of you hoping to encounter one of your favorite Discworld characters, choose another book unless you re happy with a minor guest appearance from Death In theory, there should be something for almost everyone in this book Cramming ancient Mythology, History and Mathematics in less 350 pages, is not the best way to go about it, though. When I think about the Discworld series I instinctively want to give them all 5 stars, they via Sir Pratchett provide such a huge amount of entertainment, fire such delights of imagination and offer much food for thought on any number of subjects both Big and small and yet as I run through the audio books in an attempts to stem the flowing tide of flabby bits about my middle I find myself unable to truthfully say that every entry is worthy of that ultimate rating Pyramids is one such title, it is a fabulously funny book, loaded with memorable moments, classic Pratchett characters and his trademark dismantling of every day absurdities in our own reality via his fantastical world, in this instance religion, and yet it doesn t quite cause me to explode with enthusiasm for it as Mort or Wyrd Sisters did previously and I expect Guards Guards to do next What s lacking I hear you scream and the answer is that I honestly couldn t tell you, if I knew that I d probably be a poor struggling book editor publisher instead of a comfortable house husband with a lifetime of renovations with a cold beer in my hand to look forward to The teenage years of Teppic is our first real look at the inner workings of that most illustrious of Ankh Morpork guilds, the Assassins and Pratchett pretty much nails it first time, creating a believable and fascinating world within the city within the world and if anything there isn t ENOUGH attention paid to it The Kingdom of Djelibeybi potentially a silly joke but one that seems to work and make me smile every time, especially in audio book with its ancient customs and giant pyramids is a minefield of clever puns, and religious satire and the overall plot is one that is both completely obvious from the outset and yet the path to enlightenment is littered with detours through crocodile infested rivers and camel laden deserts so that you can easily forget that you know how things will end.Considering the humble beginnings of this series Pratchett has very quickly spread his wings and in doing so the scope of the Disc has opened up enormously in just a few short novels It s really quite remarkable the changes in style and content and already by book seven there s nobody else quite like him or likely ever will be again. Terry Pratchett takes the mick out of ancient Egyptians, hilarity followsOverviewPyramids gets a solid 4 star rating I rarely have a physical reaction when I m reading but I was chuckling on the train to this one hopefully not too loudly This has turned me from a fan to a Pratchett fanboy StructurePyramids uses a fairly straight forward structure It s linear and focuses, mainly, on Teppic our main character The paragraphs are nice and short in the main It also includes the nice little footnotes that Pratchett uses in most of his works All in all, a very easy book to read CharactersTeppic is one of the better characters I ve come across in the Discworld There are funny moments littered throughout and I did end up feeling sorry for him throughout this book And that s the holy grail when writing characters isn t it, make me feel for them Pratchett certainly does so here There isn t a huge amount of character development, Teppic s arc is good, but considering the type of book this is there is no need to have a hugely meaningful and introspective dive into the character The side characters are all well formed I loved Teppicymon when he was a ghost commenting how silly all the pyramid nonsense was WritingThis is where Pratchett thrives, in his writing If you laid out any two or three sentences and asked me to identify it s owner, it would be easy to spot Pratchett s work It s simply beautiful Here s a few of my favourites Mere animals couldn t possibly manage to act like this You need to be a human being to be really stupid In layman s terms, the doctor sniffed, he s as dead as a doornail What are the complications The doctor looked shifty He s still breathing, he said Well, what can you do about it said Arthur Nothing He s dead All the medical tests prove it So, er bury him, keep him nice and cool, and tell him to come and see me next week In daylight, for preference He also gets brownie points for using the word inhume to describe assassination ComplaintsI didn t spot any errors within My only minor complaint came with the end where it got a little confused and jumped to different povs almost from paragraph to paragraph which meant I found myself having to back track just to keep up As I said though, fairly minor. It S Bad Enough Being New On The Job, But Teppic Hasn T A Clue As To What A Pharaoh Is Supposed To Do After All, He S Been Trained At Ankh Morpork S Famed Assassins School, Across The Sea From The Kingdom Of The Sun First, There S The Monumental Task Of Building A Suitable Resting Place For Dad A Pyramid To End All Pyramids Then There Are The Myriad Administrative Duties, Such As Dealing With Mad Priests, Sacred Crocodiles, And Marching Mummies And To Top It All Off, The Adolescent Pharaoh Discovers Deceit, Betrayal Not To Mention A Headstrong Handmaiden At The Heart Of His Realm This seventh Discworld novel is, for once, divided into three parts.The first part, The Book of Going Forth, tells the story of the main character Pteppic I m reminded of the German word Teppich, which means carpet He is the son of the ruler of the desert country of Djelibeybi the Discworld equivalent of Egypt but because his mother insisted on a foreign education before her death, he spent most of his years at Ankh Morpork s Assassin s Guild.The second part, The Book of the Dead, takes the reader and Pteppic back to Pteppic s home country after his father s death, where he become s the new king pharaoh We learn about Djelibeybi s culture and beliefs.The third and final part, The Book of the New Son, details Pteppic s and Ptraci s quest to undo the problems from the gigantic pyramid and putting everything back in order The story itself was not as laugh out loud funny as the ones about the witches or Death, but the very sarcastic and ironic view on Egyptology culture and mythology of Ancient Egypt was immense fun nonetheless I suppose because I always liked anything to do with Ancient Egypt so much Naturally, since this is Terry Pratchett, he also talks about all manner of other topics from religion and the power of belief to tradition vs reform, antique and modern concepts, the role of women in all of that although only lightly here and education in all its forms.What stands out here is the amount of clever puns and twists on well known stories from our world The puns are not only used to explain phenomena on the Discworld but are even used as names of characters like IIb which spells as to be and is the name of the eldest son of Ptaclusp, who is of course destined to become his father s successor his younger brother is called IIa So while the book has a straight forward story, as usual for Pratchett s Discworld, it s about what the story is used to explore in the author s trademark humour, which isn t for everyone but I love it. And the gods go crazy24 November 2012 I am really glad that I decided to reread a the Discworld novels to give them a better commentary as I have found that I have been quite enjoying them, and in many ways they have been getting better and better However, this is the second to last one that I read and it seems that I may have originally read them in order of publication, since the last one I read was Guards, Guards, and that is sitting next to me waiting to be reread very soon Pratchett seems to have tried another experiment in this one where he has created a number of new characters and a new setting, though like the other Discworld novels Anhk Morpork does play a role In this story we travel to the kingdom of Djelibeybi pronounced Jellybaby which sits on the river Djel It is very clear that this kingdom is based on Ancient Egypt, and it is nestled between the nations of Tsort and Ephebe which is supposed to be Greece, right down to their drunken symposiums The thing about Djelibeybi is that it is a kingdom where tradition rules, to the point that it is impossible for the king to actually break with tradition However, the king is not actually the ruler but rather the priests, and in particular the priest Dios I really don t want to give too much away but Dios is actually one of Pratchett s most memorable characters The reason being is that despite being the antagonist of the novel, he does not come across as being either bad or misguided He simply does things the way that things have always been done He is a man of tradition, and tradition must be followed As mentioned, he is the actual ruler of the kingdom, though he never actually says that, simply because he is the one who advises the king, and interprets what he says In fact it is very clear that the subjects never actually listen to the king, but rather to him, so that when the king tries to change tradition, Dios will always interpret the words as sticking with tradition I shall set him free, says the king, as which Dios interprets as being throw him to the crocodiles The problem arose when the previous king decided that he wanted his son to have a good education, and normally that would simply mean being taught by the priest, specifically Dios Instead the king sent his son, the protagonist of the piece, to the Assassin s Guild in Ankh Morpork As it turns out, the Assassin s Guild actually provides probably the best well rounded education on Discworld, and the comments about the assassins are actually quite good as well An assassin does not murder for any other reason than money, and it is not that life is cheap, on the contrary, it is actually very expensive, especially if you get an assassin to kill somebody Interesting concept though, because in reality that is true It doesn t cost you much, in fact, it doesn t cost you anything, to be dead You simply lie there and rot However, to live, it costs you quite a lot of money 35.00 AU per day, which includes rent and bills, public transport, groceries, health insurance, and a mobile phone Moreso, it costs you an awful lot of money to actually stay alive and to keep on living Hmm, I could actually do the sums, and work out how much it actually costs to live for one day, but I won t Anyway, if you like maths, and like the idea of maths being turn on its head, you will like this book as well As it turns out camels are the greatest mathematicians in the world which I disagree with because it actually turns out that it is cats who are the world s greatest mathematicians I remember having a dream back in 1994, before I had read this book, where I came to the realisation that my sister s cat, Twinkle, understood imaginary numbers and calculus, however had no reason to actually use it One of the interesting things about this book is the concept of belief, and it is something that I come across again and again in my Christian walk Simply because you believe something does not make it true I may believe that a plane will get me from Melbourne to Hong Kong, but no amount of belief is going to actually stop the engine from blowing up over the South China Sea This idea is explored in this story, particularly with the idea that the kings of Djelibeybi believed that after death they would travel to the netherworld This was a really strong belief that turned out to be wrong Instead, they spent eternity as ghosts stuck in their pyramids The absurdity of belief comes to the fore when the entire kingdom collapses in on itself Basically it has been said by the gods namely Dios that the late king would be buried in the greatest and biggest pyramid ever built, however pyramids have a habit of storing time, and the stored time must discharged regularly Unfortuantely this pyramid was so big that it ended up throwing everything out of whack, causing Djelibeybi to be sucked into its own dimension where all of the belief became reality As such, the gods, who only existed in the mind of Dios, became real, to the point that the five sun gods ended up playing soccer with the sun to produce a very amusing sporting commentary , and the gods, who had no real personality or character, simply went around destroying the kingdom because they had nothing else to do I guess this is one of this things that I at least got out of this book how we tend to prefer to listen to another person s interpretation of faith than actually finding out for ourselves I have even experienced it where a priest will actually twist the words of a religious book around so that it says the complete opposite It is not so much the priests that are the problem, but rather us, who are allowing ourselves to listen to the priests and not actually think for ourselves Granted, many priests do not allow their interpretations to be questioned, and have studied their respective texts for so long that they are experts in interpreting it in their own way However, the Bible was written in Koine Greek for a reason, and that was so that it could be read and understood by the common person of the day, rather than having it interpreted through a priestly cache That was why Jesus was such a revolutionary, because his teachings took the power out of the hands of the priests and gave it back to where it rightfully belonged, and that was with God However it is a shame that we as humans always seem to allow the priests to step in between us and God, to continue to twist his words around to suit their own selfish purposes. People needed to believe in gods, if only because it was so hard to believe in people Here s one for the history buffs Anyone who s familiar with the Trojan War or has an interest in Ancient Egypt and Greece would probably get a kick out of this So many good references In case that doesn t interest you, there are also some assassins and some camels who are very good at math.I didn t enjoy this one as much as I had expected to I think it just felt too long for a Pratchett novel and there were too many tangents Still, three stars on a Discworld novel is equivalent to what I would rate four stars on something else He sets his own bar pretty high.