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Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett
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Interesting Times (1994)

by Terry Pratchett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Discworld (17), Discworld: Rincewind (5)

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6,71660842 (3.97)154

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» See also 154 mentions

English (54)  Spanish (2)  Polish (1)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (59)
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
This was the first Discworld book I ever read, and even though it is not, on revisiting, the best of the series, it will always hold that special place in my heart. ( )
  wirehead | Sep 3, 2018 |
Pratchett gives us the Discworld version of chaos theory and the Terracotta Army. Silly and fun. ( )
  electrascaife | May 22, 2018 |
I'm not a big Rincewind fan, but this is my favorite Rincewind book so far. Much fun. The Horde is a hoot. Good to see Twoflower again, too. 5/5 ( )
  MFenn | Apr 22, 2018 |
There is a curse.

They say:
May you live in interesting times.


The Agatean empire is sliding into chaos. The old Emperor is dying. Five noble families, 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 for a war of succession. A revolutionary movement has begun by the peasants based on the mysterios text What I Did On My Holidays written about a place called Ank-More-Pork. There is also a barbarian invasion by the Silver Horde on it's way. A message has arrived at Unseen University requesting the "Great Wizzard" be sent to the Counterweight Continent immediately. In the interests of international relations the UU senior staff elect to send Rincewind to sort it all out since he has quite a knack for surviving adventures.

Interesting Times is the 17th Discworld novel and the 5th in the Rincewind sub-series. It is a direct sequel to the first two Discworld novels and, while it can be read out of order, I recommend having read those two first in order to have a good background on the major characters. I ended up enjoying this one a lot more than I expected. While there are no truly bad Discworld books, the Rincewind sub-series have been hit or miss for me. This one was a hit.

Many familiar faces make appearances. Rincewind is his cowardly self, trying to run away from pretty much everything. Cohen the Barbarian has renamed himself Ghengis Cohen. He and his Silver Horde are all set to pillage and plunder while Mr. Saveloy tries to show them a more civilized way of conquering. The Luggage is still there, though to a lesser extent. Twoflowers is back and he has daughters! Even Dibbler has his own Agatean counterpart, Disembowl-Myself-Honorably Dibblah.

The Counterweight Continent is the Discworld mashup of ancient China and Japan. Pratchett has fun playing with a lot of stereotypes, such as all Asians know martial arts, the great wall keeping everyone in, ninja and samurai, ancestral ghosts, sumo wrestlers, the caste society. This is also its downside as it makes the Agatean characters feel very one dimensional.

While it lacks the introspective depth of other Discworld novels, this installment is down right funny. It's culturally insensitive, idiotic, full of puns and there are parts that shouldn't be funny at all and yet they are. I would find myself chuckling out loud and just have to read off a line or two to my husband. ( )
1 vote Narilka | Nov 29, 2017 |
Rather a blah read not up to Pratchett's usual excellence. Less than stellar Wizzard (that's how his hat spells it) Rincewind is catapulted to the Contrary Continent, where he finds himself allied with Genghis Cohen and his Horde of Barbarians and the insurgent Red Army (whose revolutionary zeal is compromised by generations of civility) against the evil incarnate represented by the five families (the Tangs, the Fangs, the Hungs, the Sungs, and the McSweeneys) striving to fill the soon-to-be-vacated imperial throne. ( )
  dickmanikowski | Oct 26, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (19 possible)

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

They say:
May You Live in Interesting Times
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

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Book description
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 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.

» see all 6 descriptions

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