Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett

The Light Fantastic (original 1986; edition 1986)

by Terry Pratchett

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,760107296 (3.76)229
Title:The Light Fantastic
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Info:Corgi (1989), Edition: paperback / softback, Paperback
Collections:Your library, Toronto Library, Toronto Library (Wardrobe)
Tags:Literature, Fiction, Novel, Fantasy, English

Work details

The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett (1986)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 229 mentions

English (99)  Spanish (4)  French (2)  Polish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (107)
Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
The light fantastic sees the return of Rincewind, Twoflower and the luggage and you can really start to see the development of the discworld novels in this book. Where the first book lacks in direction, this one has a much more robust plot with character motivation and things instead of just being a study of the world. Good book. Solid, charming and funny. ( )
  TPauSilver | Mar 22, 2015 |
Pratchett in great form in this one. Several wry/witty quotes I'd run across alone were finally put in context. =) ( )
  Chris_El | Mar 19, 2015 |
The Light Fantastic is part of the Discworld series, which is to say one of forty fantasy novels. Before you start panicking, the series can, for the most part, be read in any order. Generally, I recommend starting with Guards! Guards!, Going Postal, or maybe Small Gods. However, The Light Fantastic is one of those rare Discworld novels where you probably do need to have read a preceding book, in this case The Color of Magic.

The Color of Magic ends with an almost literal cliffhanger, and The Light Fantastic picks up directly where The Color of Magic left off and is a better book in several ways. For one thing, it has much more of a plot and drive. Near the beginning of The Light Fantastic a red star appears in the sky, and the Discworld is moving inevitably towards it. The narrative is focused around Rincewind and Twoflower, but there is a closely related subplot concerning the wizards of the Unseen University, who are trying to retrieve Rincewind (dead or alive) and the spell stuck inside his head.

The characterization of The Light Fantastic is also improved. Rincewind and Twoflower seem more vivid, and the Luggage even seems more alive than in the first book. There are also a number of memoriable secondary characters such as the (latter reappearing) Cohen and the Barbarian, who’s been heroing for a very long time.

I really do love the dynamic of Rincewind and Twoflower and how they are such friends, whatever Rincewind may say to the contrary. Their parting at the end of the book was a sad moment, and I look forward to reaching Interesting Times in my reread, in which the pair are reunited.

I feel like this book was also an improvement on female characters. While it may not have passed the Bechdale test, Bethan is around for much of the action, Ysabell makes an appearance, and the “professional heroine” Herrena gets this hilarious introduction:

“Now, there is a tendency at a point like this to look over one’s shoulder at the cover artist and start going on at length about leather, tight boots and naked blades.
Words like ‘full’, ‘round’ and even ‘pert’ creep into the narrative, until the writer has to go and have a cold shower and a lie down.
Which is all rather silly, because any woman setting out to make a living by the sword isn’t about to go around looking like something off the cover of the more advanced kind of lingerie catalog for the specialized buyer.
Oh well, all right. The point that must be made is that although Herrena the Henna-Haired Harridan would look quite stunning after a good bath, a heavy-duty manicure, and the pick of the leather racks in Woo Hun Ling’s Oriental Exotica and Martial Aids on Heroes Street, she was currently quite sensibly dressed in light chain mail, soft boots, and a short sword.
All right, maybe the boots were leather. But not black.”

As ever, the word play is excellent and frequently laugh out loud funny, as the above sample should show.

I’d recommend this one (and it’s predecessor) for people looking for a light, funny read, but if you’re looking to get into Discworld, please start with one of the books I mentioned in the first paragraph! While The Light Fantastic is fun, the successive books go far beyond it.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
  pwaites | Mar 16, 2015 |
Description: Terry Pratchett's profoundly irreverent, bestselling novels have garnered him a revered position in the halls of parody next to the likes of Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams, and Carl Hiaasen.

In The Light Fantastic, only one individual can save the world from a disastrous collision. Unfortunately, the hero happens to be the singularly inept wizard Rincewind, who was last seen falling off the edge of the world.

Thoughts: When I was ordering my lovely Gollanz editions of a few Discworld books, I made the decision to purchase the first book in a few of the series rather than buying in publishing order. Then, realizing that I had, without knowing it, purchased books 1, 3, and 4, I decided publication order was best after all. Not wanting to order a single book all the way from the UK and not being prepared to order more at the moment, I decided I should just borrow the audiobook.

That was easier said than done. Apparently no one bothers to stock the audiobooks of the early Discworld stories. The only option was to buy it, something I'm typically loathe to do with audiobooks. Luckily I had one last credit on my three month trial of Audible so I took the plunge.

And now I know why no one bothers to stock the audiobook versions of the early Discworld stories. As I said in >9 leahbird: "Listening to The Light Fantastic, all I can say is that audiobooks have come a loooooooooooooooooooooooooong way since 1999." Nigel Planer is not particularly a bad reader. His narrating voice is fine for this story and his voices aren't too bad, even if they aren't all that different from one another.

But the production value! Oh good lord!

The sound quality was not particularly great to start with but then there would be little periods of obviously rerecorded material that sounded exactly as if they were recorded in one of those caves/grottos in pools that you can only get to by swimming underwater through a tunnel. Or maybe underneath an upside down canoe. And Nigel sounds like he's picked up the sniffles from all the time spent in the damp. It was TERRIBLE. I can't imagine what in the original recording could have been bad enough that they thought these rerecordings were the preferable option!

And then there were the annoying little bell chime flourishes at every section break. I think I remember the exact sound from my Teddy Ruxpin (animatronic nightmare fuel) when I was meant to turn the page in the book the creepy thing was "reading" to me, as it blinked it's unseeing plastic eyes. This is possibly the reason I taught myself to read at 4 years old.

Back the the important part: the book itself. I still enjoyed this installment and found certain aspects even better than the first book. Mostly that Rincewind actually seems to have some agency here and isn't just following, chasing, being drug around by Twoflower the whole time. I like that the concept of the spell living in his head is explained and explored more. The problem is that it felt a bit slight, big events happen but in a small, almost casual way. The overall narrative was still good and funny and insightful, there just wasn't a terribly lot of it.

I can also see why some people advise against reading these early books first. I'm certainly not inclined to stop reading since I still found this enjoyable, but I don't doubt that later books are more pulled together.

I look forward to getting back into the actual BOOKS of the Discworld. I do hope in the future that there are audiobooks in the series that are actually from this century and worth listening to as they do make my commute much more entertaining.

Rating: 3.4

Liked: 3.5
Plot: 3.5
Characterization: 4
Writing: 3.5
Audio: 2.5

http://www.librarything.com/topic/188600#5088558 ( )
  leahbird | Mar 10, 2015 |
Still reading my way through the Pratchett oeuvre, still loving every word. The luggage is now probably my favorite Pratchett character of all time. Though this is one of his books where, after I finish it, I realize there probably was something deeper than I managed to pull out of it. So I deducted one star to reflect my dumbness and wounded pride. ( )
  CherieDooryard | Jan 20, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (34 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kirby, JoshCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Planer, NigelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
The sun rose slowly, as if it wasn't sure it was worth all the effort.
It looked like the sort of book described in library catalogues as "slightly foxed", although it would be more honest to admit that it looked as though it had been badgered, wolved and possibly beared as well.
"What is it that a man may call the greatest things in life?"
- "Hot water, good dentishtry and shoft lavatory paper."
You can talk about tramps. You can talk about garlic. You can talk about France. Go on. But if you haven't smelled Ankh-Morpork on a hot day you haven't smelled anything.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
As it moves towards a seemingly inevitable collision with a malevolent red star, the Discworld has only one possible saviour. Unfortunately, this happens to be the singularly inept and cowardly wizard called Rincewind, who was last seen falling off the edge of the world.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061020702, Mass Market Paperback)

Terry Pratchett's profoundly irreverent novels are consistent number one bestsellers in England, where they have garnered him a revered position in the halls of parody next to Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams, and Carl Hiaasen.

In The Light Fantastic only one individual can save the world from a disastrous collision. Unfortunately, the hero happens to be the singularly inept wizard Rincewind, who was last seen falling off the edge of the world...

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:53 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

The one individual who can save the world from a disastrous collision is "the singularly inept wizard Rincewind, who was last seen falling off the edge of the world."--Cover.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
49 avail.
157 wanted
8 pay13 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.76)
1 16
1.5 11
2 137
2.5 38
3 639
3.5 161
4 882
4.5 81
5 495


4 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 96,266,297 books! | Top bar: Always visible