Wednesday 26 October 2022
Tuesday 25 October 2022
William de Worde produces a newsletter about events in Ankh-Morpork He then has handwritten copies made by a local artist and sent to subscribed customers. On this occasion there is a delay which frustrates him and when dwarfs offer to print copies on a brand new and unheard of "Printing Press" William reluctantly agrees. Incidentally they print more copies than required and insist on taking the excess out and selling. And so the first newspaper for the Discworld is born.
But it's not all journalism... the paper rocks too many boats, it is found it can be used to influence people, as well as show pictures of funny potatoes.
What seems like a possibly gently-paced story quickly becomes life and death, cutthroat business, with possibly a little love interest thrown in too - all the elements of a good Discworld novel.
Plenty of fun and laughs which we expect in a Terry Pratchett book and well worth a read.
I really enjoyed this book although, to be fair, I haven't found a Pratchett that I didn't enjoy.
It can be read in isolation but it might be nice to understand more about Vimes and Vetinari before reading this - they each have their own most excellent stories in the series.
Friday 21 October 2022
Friday 14 October 2022
Maryam and Zahra have been friends since childhood, so long that they can barely remember a time before they knew each other, despite their different backgrounds. Maryam was born into privilege; the granddaughter of a wealthy Karachi businessman, destined to take over the family firm one day. Her family is one with connections - to rich government insiders, to the 'fixer' who sorts out any little problems encountered in the business and factory; if something needs sorting, they know a way. Zahra's family, while comfortably wealthy, is not in the same league; her mother is a teacher, her father a TV cricket commentator, both opponents of Pakistan's dictator, General Zia.
Tuesday 4 October 2022
Review by The Mole
Imp Y Celyn is a strolling musician who finds himself in Ankh-Morpork but when he tries to earn a crust the Musicians Guild steps in and stops him performing. He meets C.M.O.T. Dibbler who decides that Imp Y Celyn, along with a dwarf and a troll, should form a rock band called "The Band With Rocks In" and tour the Discworld. After a performance Imp Y Celyn (who adopts the name Buddy) decides that something is missing from their sound and invites the librarian from the Unseen University to join them on keyboards. Meanwhile it appears that Buddy's name has come to Death's list but Death has taken a holiday and left Susan holding the list. Things never seem to go well for Susan, and what is one more messed up time line?
Presenting a very cynical view of music management Pratchett places Dibbler in a perfect role. And in Buddy he casts the extreme, the artist who sees money as dirty and just wants to eat, sleep, perform, repeat.
Many of the names and songs reference real historic artists and tracks and done in a subtle way that you have to be careful not to miss. Imp Y Celyn for example is Welsh and translates as something close to "bud of the holly".
At first this plot felt so un-Discworld that I seriously thought Pratchett was running out of ideas but he amazed me by crafting into it our favourite characters and staying true to Discworld so well that I loved yet another of the series.