Sunday, 7 October 2012

Review: Interesting Times

Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Interesting Times was first published in 1994, is the 17th discworld and fifth Rincewind novel.

A typical sign that the discworld book you are holding in your hands is about Rincewind is when it starts with the gods playing games, and when the Lady is involved.
This time, she sends him to the Counterweight Continent and against the plans of Fate (once again). Together with Twoflower, his daughters, Cohen and other barbarian heroes, he is set against the five noble families fighting for the throne of the dying Emperor. The poor wiz(z)ard! How will he manage to survive between five armies, a cunning Grand Vizier and the expectations of his companions?

I frequently find myself pitying Rincewind. He never asked for the adventures he gets involved in. He certainly doesn't want to meet Death quite so often (although I like seeing him in a discworld novel).
At the end of FaustEric, it wasn't mentioned where he got to, but Interesting Times finds him on his own on a nice, calm island. Sure, he didn't enjoy it all that much, since it didn't have potatoes, but it must have been better than being magicked back to Unseen University and then on to the Counterweight Continent. I wonder what will happen to him on the mysterious continent he ended up on at the end of Interesting Times...

The novel was filled with social criticism even I understood. What's the use of war? Is a revolution for the people really the right thing to do when you don't know what those people want? And is barbarism actually worse than civilization? Terry Pratchett certainly has his very special way of answering these questions and entertain his readers at the same time.
There is only one question I was not able to answer for myself: why is War's daughter called Clancy? Since his sons are Terror and Panic, I didn't quite get that. Does anybody know?

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