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Pyramids by Terry Pratchett

Pyramids (original 1989; edition 1990)

by Terry Pratchett

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7,66977440 (3.8)158
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Info:Corgi (1990), Edition: paperback / softback, Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:Fiction, Fantasy, Magic, Humour, 2012, 4 Star, Pyramids, Assassins, Gods

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Pyramids by Terry Pratchett (1989)



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English (72)  Polish (1)  Danish (1)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (76)
Showing 1-5 of 72 (next | show all)
Happily, I've read enough about ancient Egypt and Greece to appreciate much of this story. If I were more conversant in math, I'm sure even more would have been clear to me. We meet a son of a Pharaoh, who is sent to Ankh-Morpork to the Assassin's Guild. On the night of his final trial, he is called back to the Old Kingdom of Djelibeybi to take his father's place. Things then get interesting in the kingdom. This is a good stand alone story from Discworld, lots of laughs, grimaces at questionable puns and fun all around. ( )
  MrsLee | Sep 18, 2015 |
I have a love/hate r'ship with the Discworld books.
I enjoy every encounter I have with Rincewind, the Luggage, and the Librarian.
Carrot is mildly interesting
Bits of concepts throughout the series are clever.
Pretty much the rest of the characters, and books, annoy and/or frustrate me. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
Pyramids is a stand alone and the seventh book in the Discworld series. It’s also always been one of my least favorites. I would recommend starting with Guards! Guards!, Going Postal, The Wee Free Men or Small Gods instead.

Teppic was sent off to be trained as an assassin in Ank-Morpork, but now his father’s dead and he’s the pharaoh of a small river kingdom obsessed with pyramids and the past, Djelibeybi. Obviously, this kingdom is inspired by ancient Egypt.

The bit piece characters here were funnier than in some of the previous books, but I think the most interesting character to me is Dios, the high priest for as long as anyone can remember and the voice of Tradition. Teppic himself is alright if rather bland, which is a rather good description of Pyramids compared to the rest of the series. Don’t get me wrong. It’s still funny and it’s certainly better than the first two books, but there’s nothing that makes it stand out.

The main female character (and the only significant one), Ptraci, has the awkward problem of not being needed until the last ten pages. She thus does hardly anything and is even non apparent for large portions of the book. Basically, she fails the sexy lamp test* for everything but the last few pages where she’s needed to give the protagonist a resolution (although not a romantic one). So, all in all not great.

What’s interesting is that I noticed some ideas that would latter be refined in the superior Small Gods. I wonder if Pyramids is what gave him the idea for the later book?

I’d recommend this one to people who are already fans of Discworld.

*Defined as “Can you replace the character with a sexy lamp and still have the story work?”

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
  pwaites | Mar 22, 2015 |
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Pros: Interesting characters, unique take on Egyptian pyramids, and just all around good fun.

Cons: I’m not a math person at all, so a bit of the plot was rather murky for me. If this is your first Discworld book, you may feel like you’re missing bits here and there.

What’s not to love about a Discworld book? Terry Pratchett is an absolute genius when it comes to gently poking fun at the world around us. Pyramids has some great lines for Egyptophiles, but also comments on religion, duty, and change. For a book that is so much fun to read, it’s surprisingly thoughtful.

One of the things that I really love about Sir Pratchett’s books is how easy it is for a newcomer to the series to just jump in and begin enjoying Discworld. Starting from the beginning of the series is by no means a requirement, although it does help you understand a bit more of the world as you move through each book.

The characters are also a joy to watch in action. Seeing Teppic trying to come to terms not only with his new identity, godhood and responsibilities as King is fascinating to watch but at the same time very easy to relate to; in some ways it reminds me a bit of a coming-of-age story without the teenage angst. Ptraci the handmaiden is also a bit of an irregular fit in her position, but watching the two grow into their roles as they rub up against each other is a lot of fun to watch.

The secondary characters are just as interesting and fun; just wait until you meet the greatest mathematician on the Disc. Or, for that matter, the administrator of Teppic’s final exam before he returns to Djelibeybi. Every character is a character, and that makes the story an absolute joy to read.

Sir Pratchett has clearly done his homework when it comes to pyramids, and I have to tell you he has the absolute best take on pyramid power that I’ve ever seen. I’m one of those that can get annoyed at the more crackpot origin theories (to put it mildly) but Sir Pratchett has taken them to a new, yet oddly compelling, place. This is one theory I almost wish was true.

That being said, for the pyramids to work the way that they do, mathematics are involved, as well as a good bit of quantum. Neither is really my personal strong point, so one of the plot twists always feels a bit improbable to me because I lack the knowledge to understand the explanations given. As soon as I get past that part of the book, though, it’s all back to fun reading again.

I’d highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a lighter take on ancient Egypt, especially if they don’t mind a few fantasy elements. It’s funny, highly quotable, and downright addictive. I had the worst time not quoting more than I did, but I had to rein myself in because many of the later quotes were spoilers. To be completely honest, I recommend Terry Pratchett to everyone. The man is a genius. Go read one of his books, even if it’s not this one. ( )
  ReneBlock | Feb 14, 2015 |
I've been reading this series in order and I've been enjoying them all. This was no exception. The son of the god king decides to go to Ankh-Morpork and enroll in the school of assassin's to give himself something to do. Shortly after graduating in one piece, his father dies and his godhood is passed on. This draws Teppic back home like a load stone to iron.

After becoming king he asks a lot of questions that the priesthood doesn't want to answer and of course things start causing trouble. Starting with the building of the pyramid for his father. Whose ghost is hanging around trying to get everyone's attention to not put him in one.

Very humourous and lots of poking fun at traditions that are there only because they have always been there, and have no real reason to exist anymore. ( )
  readafew | Jan 14, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (54 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pratchett, Terryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ittekot, VenugopalanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kirby, JoshCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paolini, Pier FrancescoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, Darrell K.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Nothing but stars, scattered across the blackness as though the Creator had smashed the windscreen of his car and hadn't bothered to sweep up the pieces.
All assassins had a full-length mirror in their rooms, because it would be a terrible insult to anyone to kill them when you were badly dressed.
The ancestors pressed forward, muttering. When you've been dead for hundreds of years, you're not inclined to feel generous to those people who assured you that you were going to have a lovely time.
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Book description
Pteppic geht nach Ankh-Morpork um Assassine zu werden. Dann wird er Pharao und baut eine Pyramide. Doch dabei gibt es Ärger und er muss feststellen, dass es sehr schwierig ist eine Pyramide zu töten.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061020656, Mass Market Paperback)

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 aheadstrong handmaiden -- at the heart of his realm.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:59 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Unlike most teenaged boys, Teppic isn't chasing girls and working at the mall. Instead he's just inherited the throne of the desert kingdom of Djelibeybi-a job that's come a bit earlier than he expected (a turn of fate his recently departed father wasn't too happy about either). 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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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