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Interesting Times: A Discworld Novel by…

Interesting Times: A Discworld Novel (original 1994; edition 1995)

by Terry Pratchett

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6,10651671 (3.97)129
Title:Interesting Times: A Discworld Novel
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Info:Corgi (1995), Edition: New edition, Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library

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Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett (1994)

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Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
Rincewind the 'wizzard' is sent to another country, which is the Discworld equivalent of a cross between China and Russia. He arrives as a revolution is underway. Rincewind teams up with the ancient, but invincible barbarians and befriends the 'Red Army'. A series of unlikely happenings follow. Pretty good, if not one of my favourites. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
In the ancient Agatean Empire (which is nothing at all like China), there is a curse that says, “May you live in interesting times.”

In this installment of the Discworld series, Fate dumps Rincewind, the most inept wizard to ever come out of Unseen University, in the Agatean Empire, and the people there believe he is the Great Wizzard who has come to lead the revolution to free them from their oppressive government. I mean, it even says “Wizzard” on his hat, so what else would they think? Rincewind, having had experience with Fate before, only has one goal: to run far, far away from anything and anyone who wants to kill him. Meanwhile, Cohen the Barbarian and his aging Silver Horde have also arrived there with a cunning plan that involves embracing civilization, something the Horde has no practical experience with whatsoever. Madness and mayhem ensue, once again proving that humans are just pawns in a chess game that Fate always wins.

The books focusing on the wizards have always been among my least favorite of this series, but this one started off spectacularly, so I was all set to change my mind about them. The middle of the book, however, really started to drag for me. Pratchett should have done some heavy editing in that section because it went on for too long without really advancing the plot or being entertaining enough to warrant that many pages of mucking about. It picked up again towards the end of the book, though, and it did end on quite a high note. I really struggled with how to rate this book since the quality jumped so much, but I think the only thing to do here is to average it out to four stars. It’s not the best of the series based on what I’ve read so far, but it’s not the worst either. ( )
  AmandaL. | Jan 16, 2016 |
After the horrors of Lords and Ladies and Soul Music, this is something of a return to form for Pratchett. It's essentially a satire on the Chinese political system, and by extension all failed regimes. He attitude towards the great repressed is humane and one of sadness. Also on display is the cleverness missing from some of his other work of this period. ( )
  Lukerik | Nov 24, 2015 |
Discworld’s Counterweight Continent is explored for the first time in the series as author Terry Pratchett sends the inept wizard Rincewind to the walled off landmass where he meets up with some old friends in a reunion of the series’ first two books.

The Discworld’s version of China & Japan is the Agatean Empire, a mysterious place which only the rest of the Discworld can speculate about, sends a message to Ankh-Morpork for the ‘Great Wizzard’. After several uses of magical quantum mechanics transportation and threats Rincewind finds himself in the middle of a battlefield as the five warlord families are preparing for the succession war upon the Emperor’s death. Unfortunately for Rincewind he finds himself the focus of the rebellious Red Army as well as Lord Hong, who is secretly funding the rebels as part of his plan to conquer Ankh-Morpork once he is Emperor. Along with Rincewind return to prominence is Cohen the Barbarian and Twoflower, though the former’s story arc is bigger and best secondary plot of the book while the latter’s two daughters are part of the Red Army’s leadership. And despite his best efforts Rincewind is always in the center of the action as he is unknowingly the favorite ‘pawn’ of The Lady in her game against Fate.

The return of Rincewind and Cohen after so long being written about is a welcoming development in ‘Interesting Times’ and Pratchett seems to enjoy allowing his first protagonist to suffer the excitement of grand adventures, especially after seeing where Rincewind finds himself at the end of the book. ( )
  mattries37315 | Oct 14, 2015 |
This is on the top level of Pratchett books for me. Rincewind is once again rushing away from trouble and ending up right in the middle of it. This time he is in the Counterweight continent, which feels very much like China to me. :) As usual, I love the sharp insight of the author into culture, traditions and politics, tempered by his wit and tongue in cheek writing. Cohen the Barbarian and his Horde play a large part in this story, and the Luggage, though not very present, makes his presence felt. ( )
  MrsLee | Jun 28, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (35 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pratchett, LynAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brandhorst, AndreasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Calvo Perales, JavierTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kirby, JoshCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lindforss, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sabanosh, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stone, MikeAuthor photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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There is a curse.

They say:
May You Live in Interesting Times
First words
This is where the gods play games with the lives of men, on a board which is at one and the same time a simple playing area and the whole world.
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.
I know about people who talk about suffering for the common good. It's never bloody them! When you hear a man shouting "Forward, brave comrades!" you'll see he's the one behind the bloody big rock and the one wearing the only really arrow-proof helmet!
Fate always wins...
At least, when people stick to the rules.
According to the philosopher Ly Tin Wheedle, chaos is found in greatest abundance whenever order is being sought. It always defeats order, because it is better organized.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description

The oldest and most inscrutable empire on the Discworld is in turmoil, brought on by the revolutionary treatise What I did on My Holidays. Workers are uniting, with nothing to lose but their water buffaloes. War (and Clancy) are spreading through the ancient cities.

And 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 feet tall in his surgical sandals, who has had a lifetime's experience of not dying...

…and a very special butterfly.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061056901, Mass Market Paperback)

Marvelous Discworld, which revolves on the backs of four great elephants and a big turtle, spins into Interesting Times, the 17th outing in Terry Pratchett's rollicking fantasy series. The gods are playing games again, and this time the mysterious Lady opposes Fate in a match of "Destinies of Nations Hanging by a Thread." --Blaise Selby

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:02 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

A fantasy featuring the wizard Rincewind on a mission to an empire undergoing a cultural revolution reminiscent of the one in China. The novel's title is a play on the Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times." By the author of Men at Arms.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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