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If you like Diskworld I would recomend it. If you are looking for a normal cookbook look somewhere else.
OK, so that's going a bit too far. Please forgive me.
The recipes are all in metric units but that's no real trouble for a resourceful American cook! I have tried several, they came out quite well! The honey mixture for the porridge is delicious. I also liked Rincewind's potato cakes. The gumbo recipe was amazing! Technically, I suppose that I have also had the Librarian's recipe but that is quite probably splitting hairs.
But odds are that you aren't buying this for the recipes. You're buying it for the wit and wisdom of Terry Pratchett. You get that in spades! The way Leonard of Quirm makes a cheese sandwich had me laughing out loud! The sections on etiquette were divine. My personal favorite was about Death but then again, I've always loved that character.
Check it out! You won't regret it!
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After escaping from the doomed Store of Arnold Bros (est. 1905), the nomes find refuge in a disused quarry. And although life's harder Outside than it was in the Store, after a while everything goes well... until they find out that the quarry is going to be reopened.
At the same time, they also learn that Grandson Richard, 39, an heir to the Arnold Bros (est. 1905) fortune, is going to Florida to watch the launch of his first telecom satellite. To Masklin it's an oportunity to send the Thing back into space where it could contact the Ship which will bring them back HOME. And so he sets out, with Gurder and Angalo, on a trip to the airport.
And as the rest of the nomes are waiting for them to come back, their food reserves are inexorably running out and the humans' presence is starting to be a real nuisance. Are they going to flee and hide or are they going to stand up to them?
As expected, Diggers is brilliant and extremely funny. And again, the confrontation between the nomes' and our view of the world is the source of many of the typically "Pratchettian" puns we've all come to love!
This book is as funny as the last one. The nomes are so very human, and yet so very different. Plus, the story kept you at the edge of your seat, right up to the surprise finale. What a wonderful book!
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At least, that's what the store nomes thought, but when they meet the outside nomes, and realise the store in being destroyed, they all have to work together and venture into the unknown outside. It's a brilliant book, and if you can, you should read it.
Masklin and his family are the last ten nomes of their warren, devastated by cold, predators and hunger. Desperately, they set out on a last chance journey and climb up on one of the lorries of the humans.
What they'll soon discover is that this lorry has lead them to the Store of Arnold Bros (est. 1905), the home of thousands of other little nomes who, having never left the Store, think of the Outside as of nothing more than just another fairy tale. The coming of Masklin will be a great upheaval in their quiet lives. And as they learn that the Store is to be demolished, they make plans for their escape.
Although Truckers was originally written for a young audience, it's an enthralling adventure but also a story about understanding other people's ways and helping each other, and no doubt grown-ups will love it too. Because Terry Pratchett's unique sense of humour is lurking round every corner, especially when nomes try to interpret our human world... and what's more to make sense of it!
This book is a laugh-riot. Terry Pratchett succeeds is making the Nomes so different, and yet so human. This book is the first of a trilogy; with the other two entitled Diggers and Wings.
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The wizards of the Unseen University first notice the problem when Windle Poons fails to make it to the afterlife. Instead, he finds himself back in his body, to the embarrassment of the entire faculty. Evadne Cake the medium first notices when her crystal ball starts shouting. Then a compost heap attacks Modo the gardener. Screws keep unscrewing themselves and the entire city of Ankh-Morpork has a massive attack of poltergeistism. And... And... There is just way too much living going on.
Poons, thanks to a note pinned to the inside of his coffin, discovers a support group for the undead. Not a very big one - Reg Shoe the Ghoul, Doreen and Arthur the not-quite-upscale vampires, Lupine the wereman, Schleppel the bogeyman, and a banshee so timid that it leaves notes for people (OOoooEeeeOooEeeeOOOeee). Together and separately the Wizards, the undead, and Mrs. Cake set out to make sense of chaos. Before chaos makes mincemeat of them.
In the meantime, Death is pursuing his retirement. Posing as an itinerant, he takes a job as a farmhand. No matter that he is a 7-foot skeleton, no matter that he harvests hay one blade at a time. People, he discovers, actually like him. An unusual situation for someone whose name used to be Death. It's Bill Door now and proud of it.
This is classic Pratchett work. He is a master at poking us in the eye, tickling our tummies, and warming our hearts, all at the same time. Be prepared for an unending supply of perfectly atrocious puns (an alchemist is nearly killed by a sharp retort) and twisted sentences (people become werewolves by contracting genetics at an early age). Be prepared to learn about the sex life of cities, why there is a Death of Rats but not a Death of Cats, and the folly of automated farm machinery. Above all be prepared to laugh.
There are two basic plots in the book. One is caused by the other, but as the story progresses, there is little correlation between the two. Some people have commented on this as being a flaw, but personally speaking, I don't really see how that matters.
This first plot mainly focuses on Death being fired by the Auditors and Azrael. After this is done, he comes to the Discworld, looking to make a new start. He takes a job with Miss Flitworth at her farm, and things go on from there.
The second plot is based around the death of Windle Poons: and his subsequent return, because of the 'lapse in service' caused by Death's exit. Poons was 130 years old, and his return from the dead makes him 'live' again, ironically enough. For him, death is not like a sleep: it is more like waking up again. The problem is that the rest of the world soon raises objections.
While I have mentioned the fact that Reaper Man is the most moving Discworld book, this is not to say that it isn't funny. In fact, some of the scenes in this installment are nothing short of hilarious, particularly in Poons' side of the story. The attempts of his fellow wizards to 'help' him out, and their military endeavors in the latter part of the book (Yo!) are just sidesplitting.
Death's side of the story is very different. There is some humor here and there, (see the scene with the dyslexic rooster), but for the most part, it has a slight air of melancholy to it: at points, it is almost brooding in nature. The character of Miss Flitworth is rather tragic, and Death's interaction with her makes for some very serious conversation. He learns more about humanity in the process, and it definitely leaves a mark, as can be seen in later Discworld books.
Also of note is the landscape Death's story takes place in: Pratchett does an excellent job here. The images he conjures up in his descriptions are wonderful: one can almost imagine the wind whistling through the stalks of golden corn, gleaming in the sunlight. The imagery is also appropriate: i.e. the harvest and all that implies.
The characters in Reaper Man are some of the best ever featured in a single Discworld book. Of particular note are the people in the Fresh Starters club: each individual is immaculately crafted, and very, very funny. Dibbler turns up, as does Sgt. Colon and Modo the dwarf, whose musings on life in the University are amusing, in their own way. However, the wizards steal the show, as always: their antics in this one had me in fits.
Speaking of great characters, Windle Poons (along with Ronald Saveloy in Interesting Times) is probably the best one book character Pratchett ever created. In many ways, Poons is probably the only time a wizard in the Discworld series actually lives up to the image used so often in fantasy: he is noble, fair and wise, a man who knows what the right thing to do is, and goes out and does it, no matter the cost to himself. His saving of Ankh Morpork at the hands of what the extra life force hatches up is an example of this.
The book rolls along at a good pace, and is of uniformly high quality throughout. However, it's the last 30-40 pages of it that make it the classic it is, for they are deeply moving. The somberness of Death's side of the story draws on to its logical conclusion, and at the very end, permeates Poons' side as well. The portrayal of said emotion is handled well: it is not nauseatingly overdone, nor is it too bleak. It's very matter of fact, leaving the reader to pick up on whatever he/she may. Pratchett also uses some great lines in the book: the very last one, spoken by Azrael, is of particular note.
Reaper Man, like a fair number of Pratchett's books, is a celebration of life. It is death that makes us truly appreciate life for what it is, and this, I believe, is the author's message here. This theme, mixed in with some of the best humor the series has seen, is what makes Reaper Man Pratchett's finest book, and a classic novel in every sense of the word. Highest possible recommendation.
This was the first of the Discworld novels I ever read, and by far and away the funniest! I was reading it on a flight to San Diego, during the in-flight movie - a taut thriller - and laughed so hard that other passengers were removing their headphones and glaring at me, wondering what I found so hysterical in the film.
This book turned me into a confirmed Terry Pratchett enthusiast. His tongue-in-cheek attitude towards his world and his wonderfully twisted take on life has helped inspire my own looney creative efforts, much to the delight of my children.
Read this book. Then read the entire Discworld series. If you have any sense of humor, you can't go wrong with this one!
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Sam Vimes and Carrot Ironfoundersson are my two favorite characters on the whole Disc, after Death. I just have to love this book, mostly because it gave us the characters. It sets the stage for the later books, and the City Watch subseries is the most dedicated to internal consistency and continuity among all the Discworld books. This is an essential book to see the beginning of the rise of the Night Watch and Sam Vimes, and it really sets the character of Carrot. The literal-mindedness of Carrot in this gives one an even deeper appreciation of some of the later jokes surrounding him.
The ending of this book didn't have much spark to it, but overall Johnny and the Dead is an even better read than the first Johnny Maxwell novel Only You Can Save Mankind. It also rings quite distinctly at times of the type of humor showcased by the author in his Discworld novels. There is one bit early on that is just hilarious. Wobbler puts the idea in Johnny's head that dead people basically lurch around like the zombie types in Michael Jackson's Thriller video, and this indirectly leads to the Alderman trying to moonwalk in the cemetery. The dead people as a whole put a lot of life into this book, oddly enough. Among the fascinating, entertaining dead folks we meet are an ardent suffragette, an inventor who is quite proficient at manipulating electronic equipment, a brilliant man named Einstein - Solomon Einstein the taxidermist, and a dyed-in-the-wool Marxist who is quite disappointed at the way things have gone in the world since his death. The vibrant personalities of the dead men and women more often than not clash in a number of very funny ways as they all try to cope with modern life or the lack of it.
This book does stand up fairly well on its own, but the characterization of Johnny and his friends is not detailed enough for you to really get to know them without having read Only You Can Save Mankind already. This is considered juvenile fiction, but as with everything Terry Pratchett writes, men and women of all ages, providing they have at least a nascent sense of humor, will find much to enjoy and laugh about in these pages.
Johnny Maxwell sees dead people. (Yes, like the little boy in "Sixth Sense.") For whatever reason, he sees the dead in their graveyard -- not really ghosts, but not alive either. Among them are a crabby former soldier, a distant relative of Einstein, a sprightly suffragette who died in a freak mishap, and a staunch Communist who STILL doesn't believe in life after death. All in all, they are a fairly harmless bunch.
But a massive, mercenary, progress-obsessed corporation has just bought the graveyard for fivepence, and it will soon be razed for new construction. The only people more dismayed than the living inhabitants of Blackbury are the dead ones. So as the dead break their bonds to "uvlive," Johnny and his friends will try to save the graveyard from... a fate worse than death?
This book is not only more entertaining and humorous than "Mankind," but it is also more polished. Pratchett's style becomes more flowing and easy, and the message he puts in it is not ham-handed or badly-written. It's also extremely light and entertaining most of the time, such as when the dead Communist calls up a radio talk show host and speaks frankly about being "vertically challenged."
Johnny is thoughtful and intelligent, quiet until he has a reason to speak out. His buddies Wobbler, Yo-less and Bigmac also return, with their individual personalities even more individualized: Wobbler is a little odd (wants to see a goat sacrificed), Yo-less is intellectual and more on Johnny's level, and Bigmac loves food. Perhaps the only problem is that if you haven't read "Mankind," you won;t know who the other boys are, but that is the only area in which "Dead" is difficult.
Fans of Terry Pratchett and his Discworld series will enjoy the Johnny Maxwell trilogy, full of laughs, thoughts, and weird occurrances that will have you rolling on the floor.
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Lady Ramkin is still a tad flat (She doesn't come into her own, really, until Jingo) but her relationship with Vimes is very well done, and very . . . there. It wrenches at you. It's one of the best parts of the book. (i think that the Patrician's view on life, as explained to Vimes, is even better, but I'm a real Vetinari fan.)
If you haven't read any other Discworld books yet, START HERE. (or possily at Mort.) t's the best in the series, excepting Jingo, which builds too much on it to be a starting point. My only reget when I read this was that I had read Men at Arms and Feet of Clay before I got my hand! s on it.
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The clash between established experience and youthful endeavor is caught here in Pratchett's matchless style. Granny Weatherwax, Lancre's predominate headologist, is severely challenged by the youngest member of the coven, Magrat Garlick. Magrat's heir to a powerful device and honour - a fairy godmother's wand. Magrat's life is further complicated by an identity crisis. She's not always comfortable in her role in life, and this new responsibility compounds the problem. Nevertheless, she's been given the wand and a charge to prevent a marriage. A formidable task, given that the marriage is to occur in "forn parts".
The witches' journey to Genua is one of the highlights of Pratchett's inventive mind. Esme's participation in a Cripple Mister Onion contest along the way would make the most ardent card player shudder in recognition. The innocent Granny exhibiting "beginner's luck" is priceless.
Pratchett introduces us to the power of the story in the universe. Stories "play themselves", shaping people's actions to their own ends. People who resist their roles in stories do so at their peril. This story, so classic and well established, should be irresistible, but then it hasn't dealt with Esme Weatherwax. The struggle is immense, with mighty powers brought to bear in seeking a resolution. Only time will tell which has the greater power.
Most of Pratchett's stories have the value of being timeless. Among the Discworld tales, this one has a particular ageless quality. It can be read at any time with many levels of pleasure and value. No other book in the witches' Discworld series quite matches this one for confirming the worth of Esme Weatherwax as one of Pratchett's finest character inventions. Yet, whatever you find on Discworld, you must remember its equivalent resides somewhere here on Roundworld. There's that lady just down the street . . .
The ingeniously satirical incorporation of fairy tales by Pratchett makes this book worth its weight in gold, but it is the constant bickering and resulting comedy between the three very different witches that makes this book so entertaining. There is no citizen of the Discworld whom I find as fascinating and entertaining as good old Granny Weatherwax. Her obstinacy and refusal to admit a deficiency of any kind is quite comical in and of itself, but put this beside poor Magrat's idealized notions and unconventional ideas (such as her decision to wear pants and thus, to Granny's horror, let men see where her legs are underneath them) and Nanny's ribald, good-natured humor and zest for life (and alcohol and dirty songs, etc.) and you've got a recipe for high comedy indeed. Nanny's unique cat Greebo also takes on vast importance in this novel, offering us yet another unforgettable travel partner in this strange world of Pratchett's ingenious creation. Granny's character is especially well-developed in this novel, and the new-found insights into her childhood offer quite a telling new insight into her personality. Witches Abroad is among the best of the best of Pratchett's Discworld series.
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Imagine a police procedural in which very few of the policemen are human. Comic book writer Alan Moore currently has a series which takes this to the n-th degree... none of the policemen are human, and no two are alike: TOP TEN. If you want to try a Pratchett novel, try GUARDS, GUARDS! or MEN AT ARMS or FEET OF CLAY. Excellent introductions to his "cosmos" and to his unique style of wit. "DON'T SALUTE!!!" (You'll learn why.)
Especially good was the troll-dwarf issue, the way they had to work together to interview the guilds without making complete fools of themselves and just basically get along. Also, it is funny how intelligent trolls get in low temperatures.
The plot alos makes for a nice mystery story. Pratchett really worked on this one. We start out with a 4-man watch and end up with one over 60 people! The Watch really grows up and will add many laughs to future stories. One of the best: a must read.