Tag Archives: terry pratchett

Johnny and the Bomb

The Johnny Maxwell Trilogy by Terry Pratchett consists of three books: Only You Can Save Mankind, which I’ve never read; Johnny and the Dead, which I enjoyed; and Johnny and the Bomb, which almost made my head hurt.

“Twelve-year-old Johnny Maxwell has a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This has never been more true than when he finds himself in his hometown on May 21, 1941, over forty years before his birth!

An accidental time traveler, Johnny knows his history. He knows England is at war, and he knows that on this day German bombs will fall on the town. It happened. It’s history. And as Johnny and his friends quickly discover, tampering with history can have unpredictable–and drastic–effects on the future.

But letting history take its course means letting people die. What if Johnny warns someone and changes history? What will happen to the future? If Johnny uses his knowledge to save innocent lives by being in the right place at the right time, is he doing the right thing?

Mixing nail-biting suspense with outrageous humor, Terry Pratchett explores a classic time-travel paradox in Johnny Maxwell’s third adventure.”

This isn’t one of the Discworld novels, so I wasn’t as much of a fan of it as usual with Terry Pratchett’s books but it was still good. I enjoyed the characters. It was strange because they seemed younger than I expected. I guess that I don’t read many books with 13-16 year-olds as the main characters. It was strange because it’s more English than most of his other books, but still accessible to us lowly Americans.

The time travel portion of the book bothered me. Not the actual time travel, but the discussion of consequences and effects and methods. It wasn’t technical or anything, but any discussion of time travel gets into the complicated region. It requires thinking about things sideways.

Because it involved life or death situations, Johnny and the Bomb was a lot more serious than his other books, and even than the other Johnny Maxwell books. Ending gasp factor is a 3/10 because it’s not suspenseful at all, and isn’t supposed to be.

245 pages.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Fantasy, Young Adult

Eric

Eric is Terry Pratchett’s version of Faust, which I’ve never read. I think it has something to do with making a deal with the devil, or at least is on that track. It once again involves Rincewind, the inept wizard, but this time, (since he was not currently in the human plane of existence at the end of the previous book) he has been summoned like a demon by this scrawny kid named Eric who orders him to grant three wishes. Much to Rincewind’s astonishment, snapping his fingers actually does something and he, Eric, and the Luggage end op traveling from literally the beginning of time, through the Trojan War, into a lost Amazonian civilization, and finally into Hell, in search of eternal life, the most beautiful girl in the world, and worship and riches. Hell needs and gets a makeover courtesy of Rincewind’s accidental meddling.

Conan the (aged) barbarian also features as he attempts to ‘get the girl’ and maintain his reputation. For all his age, he seems to have both of those under control. The Luggage is still my favorite character though.

In the end, and Terry Pratchett makes a special point of this, every one is happy. How nice. 197 pages.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fantasy

Maskerade

I sit here writing this long hang because our power is out for 5 days. It’s 8, so not only is the dusk till dawn curfew in place as per the National Guard, but I’m writing by candlelight. I and my family went through the Alabama tornados on April 2th and are staying, unlike several people in our neighborhood that have left for Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, and some unaffected parts of Alabama. Pray for Alabama. But I digress.

MaskeradeMaskerade

Maskerade by Terry Pratchett is a take off The Phantom of the Opera. The main character is Agnes Nitt, an incredibly fat girl with a skinny person named Perdita X hidden inside. She’s (sorta) in training to be a witch, but doesn’t like it so she runs away to Ankh-Morpork, the most well-known nearby big city. She gets a job at the opera house because she can sing higher and lower than the human ear can register, can throw her voice, and can sing chords. The opera house has recently been bought by a business man who has no clue how to run an opera house. He begins receiving notes from the opera ghost, often with maniacal laughter written out.

Putting it down to some pratical joke or prank, he ignores them. That’s when people start dying-more or less. Enter the other witches, Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax. They want to retrieve Agnes but get caught up in the same mystery as the rest of the opera. Who is the opera ghost?! Needless to say, much hilarity ensues. But at the same time, Terry Pratchett makes a really good point about the masks we wear in our lives. Oh, why can’t we study books like this in school.

Note: I’m writing this in late May because school got crazy. I know the Joplin tornadoes and Oklahoma tornadoes happened, but Alabama still needs help. Consider donating money or blood to the American Red Cross.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fantasy

The Light Fantastic

The Light Fantastic! One of the first Terry Pratchett books I ever read-because it’s one of the first that came out and that’s the order I tried to read them in.

The Light Fantastic

TLF is one of the most sequel-esque books of Discworld because it directly follows The Color of Magic and involves the same characters. The title refers to the 8th color of the rainbow (octarine) that is noted to be a disappointing purple. I always see it as purple-green.

The main character is Rincewind the wizard. Well, he’s supposed to be a wizard, but while studying, he accidentally got one of the 8 spells of the Octavo (the 8 spells that formed the world) stuck in his head, and he can’t learn anything else. At the end of TCOM, he fell of the world while serving as tour guide for the Disc’s first tourist, Twoflower. Twoflower is best described as oblivious. He doesn’t accept that human nature is anything other than kind and welcoming. Twoflower owns The Luggage. Made of sentient pear wood, the Luggage protects its master/owner and holds all his stuff. Twoflower is also oblivious to the Luggage’s violent means of protection (it eats people).

I love this book as I love all of Terry Pratchett’s books because of the humor, characters, and plot. TLF isn’t my favorite book though, because the main character is Rincewind who I personally don’t like. He’s such a coward. And I understand that cowardness is his character’s point, but I’m still not a huge fan. However, the Luggage does feature more prominently in TLF than in many other Terry Pratchett books and the Luggage is my favorite character aside from Commander Vimes. He’s so violently unobtrusive. Those are interesting adjectives to put together. 240 pages.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fantasy

Going Postal

Have I really only read 6 books since February 20th? Well, no, this one I just finished. And Stephanie took Shalako while I was half done. And I’m not putting those two on here…hmmm. I need to read more.

Going Postal by Terry Pratchett. One of my all time favorite authors. This one follows Moist von Lipwig as he, with the help of Lord Vetinari, becomes Ankh-Morpork’s Postmaster General.

I could have sworn I had a different picture open on the computer, but when I went to grab it, it had changed to the red one. So confused.

I love this book! I read it before, a while back, but I bought it yesterday, and didn’t feel like reading Callaghen (my next Louis L’Amour book). It’s a tremendous comedy, but still makes really good points about life. I’m butchering the explanation of it, I always do with these books. Read it. It’s great.

My favorite part is near the beginning. Though Moist isn’t very happy with his new job or the people he has to work with, he spends time to go learn about pins for Stanley. He even spends a good bit of money-just to be able to talk to him. Now, maybe he just wants Stanley on his side, but still. He did something nice completely of his own volition. And then, he goes and asks someone about golems, because he doesn’t want to be acting wrong. It’s very conscientious of him.  Mr. Pump is my favorite character because he has such a personality without actually having a personality. Plus, who can’t love someone who speaks in capital letters. (Not like Death, Just Like This.) Least favorite…Adora Belle Dearheart and the newspaper chick aren’t great. The former smokes too much and the later is annoying with her constant pestering for a statement.

Something I love about Terry Pratchett books is how he puts in bits of other people’s lives. Yes, the book was about Moist and Adora Belle Dearheart (I tried, I really tried to only write her first name. It didn’t work.) and the post office, but the reader also gets a minute glance into the lives of the clacks workers at Tower 181 or into the life of the Igor employed by Gilt. Surely, that much indepthness was not needed to convey those parts of the story, but the reader is left with a sense of a bigger story. There is always a world full of minor characters.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fantasy