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Witches Abroad (1991)

by Terry Pratchett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Discworld: Witches (3), Discworld (12)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,521128688 (4.07)231
Be careful what you wish for... Once upon a time there was a fairy godmother named Desiderata who had a good heart, a wise head, and poor planning skills-which unforunately left the Princess Emberella in the care of her other (not quite so good and wise) godmother when DEATH came for Desiderata. So now it's up to Magrat Garlick, Granny Weatherwax, and Nanny Ogg to hop on broomsticks and make for far-distant Genua to ensure the servant girl doesn't marry the Prince. But the road to Genua is bumpy, and along the way the trio of witches encounters the occasional vampire, werewolf, and falling house (well this is a fairy tale, after all). The trouble really begins once these reluctant foster-godmothers arrive in Genua and must outwit their power-hungry counterpart who'll stop at nothing to achieve a proper "happy ending"-even if it means destroying a kingdom.… (more)
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» See also 231 mentions

English (116)  German (3)  Italian (2)  Dutch (1)  Polish (1)  Spanish (1)  Swedish (1)  Norwegian (1)  French (1)  All languages (127)
Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
Discworld 12
  SueJBeard | Jan 8, 2023 |
My favorite of the Witches series. Nanny Ogg, Granny Weatherwax and Magrat must travel to far-off Genua after Magrat inherits a fairy Godmother's wand. Many fairy tales are seriously twisted during the journey
Re-read 12/21/2022. . ( )
  catseyegreen | Dec 24, 2022 |
This is the one. This is the book that introduced me to Discworld and to Terry Pratchett. This is also the book that made me fall in love with Granny Weatherwax.

I first picked up Witches Abroad when I was 12. I found it in a forgotten pile, with other discworld books, at my local bookstore. I knew nothing of Terry Pratchett, and not much about the fantasy genre either. I just liked witches and wanted a book in English to improve my reading skills. So basically I bought it based on the oldest of criteria there is between bookworms. I liked the cover.

Ten years passed from the moment I bought it, until I actually read it. At first the vocabulary was way too advanced for me. I struggled to reach page 40. Then I lost it, found it again, began re-reading the first 30 or so pages and then promptly lost it once more. By then I was almost 20 years old and the book had become a sort of personal legend. The thing I'd never achieve. So, true to my little obsessive compulsions, I went ahead and bought it again. Two more years passed for me to find the courage to read it. By then it had become an object of power, a symbol of what I would never achieve, the temple of procrastination. A legend in my bookshelf.

Imagine my surprise when I realized it was also a DAMN GOOD BOOK!

Mixing fairytales and the witches of discworld was an ingenious idea. I honestly find it hard to describe how much, or why, I liked this book so passionately.

If you are considering reading a discworld book, be it your first discworld novel ever or your first witch-based storyline, I suggest you start with Witches Abroad. It is the 3rd Discworld novel that features the witches (the previous 2 being Equal Rites and Wyrd Sisters.) It is also the last witches book that can be read out of order. ( )
  Silenostar | Dec 7, 2022 |
Pratchett, Terry. Witches Abroad. 1991. Discworld No. 12. Narrated by Indira Varma, Peter Serafinowicz, and Bill Nighy. Penguin Audio (Audible), 2022.
Listening to the new Audible recording of Witches Abroad, I was struck by how much of my sense of character was determined by performance. Magrat Garlick and Nanny Ogg were much as I had imagined them while reading, but Indira Varma’s reading gave Granny Weatherwax dimensions of vulnerability I had not noticed. She seemed a bit afraid that she could not escape the story into which her sister was weaving her. The power of narrative to change the world is something an inveterate realist like Granny won’t abide, even though she herself is a master of putting narratives in someone’s head. Bill Nighy’s footnotes were a bit too laid back and did not have the archness I was hoping for from him, but the recording, like the book, gets five stars from me. ( )
  Tom-e | Aug 24, 2022 |
This book has a very interesting premise. This is a story where the villain is a fairy godmother that is forcing people into stories and forcing them to get the happy endings she envisioned.
The witches are so far my favorite characters from the Discworld, besides Death. Especially Granny Weatherwax. I loved Nanny's letters to her son and Margret's kindness and rebellious attitude that started by wearing trousers. As usual the characters have specific traits and reading this books feels like watching a clever and imaginative cartoon.
There are a lot of references to well known stories in this book. Mostly fairy tales, but also classics like "The Wizard of Oz" and "The Count of Monte Cristo". Since the witches are traveling there is also funny commentary about visiting "another country". It was great!
As usual, this book has the perfect length for the jokes to land and I had such a fun time reading it.
Hopefully, I will at least read all the witches books this year. ( )
  elderlingfae | Aug 11, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
Perhaps because the novel's picaresque structure seems commodious rather than contrived, one reads with less of an obtrusive sense of stage machinery being wheeled into place. Still, Pratchett's taste for complicated climactic scenes remains, so that his novels, rather than coming to a point as much comedy does, tend to blow apart like a firecracker.
 

» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kirby, JoshCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Planer, NigelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, Darrell K.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
Dedicated to all those people - and why not? - who, after the publication of Wyrd Sisters, deluged the author with their version of the words of 'The Hedgehog Song'.
Deary deary me...
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This is Discworld, which travels through space on the back of four elephants which themselves stand on the shell of Great A'Tuin, the sky turtle.
Quotations
Nanny Ogg quite liked cooking, provided there were other people around to do things like chop up the vegetables and wash the dishes afterwards.
Genua had once controlled the river mouth and taxed its traffic in a way that couldn't be called piracy because it was done by the city government.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Be careful what you wish for... Once upon a time there was a fairy godmother named Desiderata who had a good heart, a wise head, and poor planning skills-which unforunately left the Princess Emberella in the care of her other (not quite so good and wise) godmother when DEATH came for Desiderata. So now it's up to Magrat Garlick, Granny Weatherwax, and Nanny Ogg to hop on broomsticks and make for far-distant Genua to ensure the servant girl doesn't marry the Prince. But the road to Genua is bumpy, and along the way the trio of witches encounters the occasional vampire, werewolf, and falling house (well this is a fairy tale, after all). The trouble really begins once these reluctant foster-godmothers arrive in Genua and must outwit their power-hungry counterpart who'll stop at nothing to achieve a proper "happy ending"-even if it means destroying a kingdom.

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Book description
It seemed an easy job…After all, how difficult could it be to make sure that a servant girl doesn't marry a prince?

But for the witches Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick, travelling to the distant city of Genua, things are never that simple...

Servant girls have to marry the prince. That's what life is all about. You can't fight a Happy Ending.

At least - up until now…
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