Tick of the Clock – Thief of Time

185px-Thief-of-timeYou had to hand it to human beings. They had one of the strangest powers in the universe. Even her grandfather had remarked upon it. No other species anywhere in the world had invented boredom. Perhaps it was boredom, not intelligence, that had propelled them up the evolutionary ladder. Trolls and dwarfs had it, too, that strange ability to look at the universe and think ‘Oh, the same as yesterday, how dull. I wonder what happens if I bang this rock on that head?’

And along with this had come an associated power, to make things normal. The world changed mightily, and within a few days humans considered it was normal.They had the most amazing ability to shut out and forget what didn’t fit. They told themselves little stories to explain away the inexplicable, to make things normal.

I finished Thief of Time 10 minutes ago and had to get down the feeling I have after closing the book. I am somewhat overwhelmed. Given how Night Watch is in two books’ time, the one that many Pratchett fans rate that as his best, I genuinely wonder how he will top this. Continue reading →

The Opera House – Maskerade

maskerade-2‘A catastrophe curve, Mr Bucket, is what opera runs along. Opera happens because of a large number of things amazingly fails to go wrong, Mr Bucket. It works because of hatred and love and nerves. All the time. This isn’t cheese. This is opera. If you wanted a quiet retirement, Mr Bucket, you shouldn’t have bought the Opera House. You should have done something peaceful, like alligator dentistry.’

Something struck me part of the way through Maskerade that perhaps answers the slightly inconsistent nature of the past few Discworld novels. In Maskerade, Granny is bored, agitated and in need of a change. And it hit me that every novel since Lords and Ladies has been similar. Each has featured characters seeking a break from their old routines. Carrot wants to turn the Watch into something worthwhile in Men at Arms. Buddy wishes to save his soul by rock and roll in Soul Music. And Cohen is tired of raping and pillaging and wishes to settle down by running his own empire in Interesting Times. Continue reading →

Strength of Strings – Soul Music

soul-music-2LIFE IS EXTENSIBLE. IT HAPPENS OCCASIONALLY AMONG HUMANS. NOT OFTEN, USUALLY TRAGICALLY, IN A THEATRICAL KIND OF WAY. BUT THIS ISN’T ANOTHER HUMAN. THIS IS MUSIC.

When you read an author’s body of work exclusively, it’s much easier to see the joins. If you were reading the Discworld as it came out, you were usually getting around two Discworld books a year during the early 90s. That is a manic publication schedule but one that would allow a reader some space to breathe and enjoy something else.

I haven’t had that luxury, reading some 28 since early November (I’m reading ahead and currently on Night Watch). This has been fine as I’ve been able to read outside of Pratchett if I wished. I haven’t so far, which gives you an idea of how much I’m enjoying this. Continue reading →