Book Review – Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett

WHAT’S PLAYING: Janet Jackson featuring Nelly “Call on Me”

This week’s book is Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett.

Everybody wants more time, but one man is about to stop it for good by constructing the world’s first truly accurate clock. The Auditors—spirits who, like Accountants from Hell, try to keep the Universe in order—have decided their task would be much easier if time would just stop. Then they could sort everything out and it would stay that way. So, they hatch a plan to commission the Perfect Clock. It falls to History Monk Lu-Tze and his apprentice Lobsang Ludd to find the timepiece and stop it before it starts. Because if the Perfect Clock starts ticking, Time as we know it will stop. And that’s when the real trouble will begin.

This is one of the darker, more satirical Discworld novels. I’ve been looking forward to revisiting the Monks of History ever since they first appeared in Small Gods. But, the monks aren’t the only familiar faces. Two of my favorite characters, Death and Susan Sto Helit feature heavily. Nanny Ogg has a cameo as Maiden, Mother, and Crone. Not to mention the supporting cast of heroes, villains, yetis, martial artists. And we mustn’t forget the fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse (who left before they became famous).

A superb send-up of science and philosophy, religion and death, Thief of Time provides the perfect opportunity to kick back and unwind.

 

Favorite Line/Image:  Jeremy was completely baffled as to his next move. He’d never been very good at talking to people, and this, apart from Lady LeJean and a wrangle with Mr. Soak over an unwanted cheese, was the longest conversation he’d had for a year. Perhaps it was because it was hard to think of Igor as coming under the heading of people. Up until now, Jeremy’s definition of “people” had not included anyone with more stitches than a handbag.

“I’m not sure I’ve got any work for you, though,” he said. “I’ve got a new commission, but I’m not sure how…anyway, I’m not insane!”

“That’th not compulthory, thur.”

“I’ve actually got a piece of paper that says I’m not, you know.”

“Well done, thur.”

“Not many people have one of those!”

“Very true, thur.”

 

Bottom Line:  Don’t put off until tomorrow what you could do today. Read Thief of Time.

 

Coming Up Next: My Own Worst Frenemy by Kimberly Reid

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My Book a Week Challenge: Book 1

WHAT’S PLAYING: Alison Krauss “Down to the River to Pray”

I decided to kick off the challenge with one of my favorite books in which three witches make the Godmother an offer she can’t refuse: “Witches Abroad” by Terry Pratchett.

When fairy godmother Desiderata Hollow dies unexpectedly, she leaves Princess Emberella in the care of the other – evil – godmother, Lilith. Now it’s up to Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat Garlick to save a city and make sure that the princess doesn’t marry the handsome (frog) prince.

“Witches Abroad” is about many things: good and evil, free will, balance, but it’s mostly about the power of stories. Of course, any writer can tell you about the power of stories, how they affect us in ways we can’t explain. Make us feel things, change the way we look at the world and each other. This is one of those stories.

This book delves into some of our favorite childhood stories and turns them inside out. Little Red Riding Hood is an obnoxious brat and the big bad wolf is neither big nor bad, just a wolf tragically altered by a demented fairy godmother obsessed with stories and happy endings. As Terry Pratchett put it: “Lilith held a mirror up to life, and chopped all the bits off life that didn’t fit…”

Dive into this book and you’ll find several of your favorite stories waiting for you: including The Hobbit, the Three Little Pigs, the Wizard of Oz, and Sleeping Beauty.

The thing about Terry Pratchett novels is that I always walk away feeling smarter. The writing is superb, full of real-world allusions and tongue-in-cheek humor, all of which is great. I leave them entertained, but also wiser. The way he takes universal truths and couches them in humor is awe-inspiring.

Favorite Line: “Listen, happy endings is fine if they turn out happy…You can’t make happiness…all you can do is make an ending.”

What I Learned: Stories should be like life. Love, laughter, tragedy, horror and humor, all blended together to make life worth living. Any story worth telling should make us think, feel, laugh, cry and cheer. They should show us life as it is and how it should be. Anything else is just words on a page.

Coming next week: “The Enchantress of Florence” by Salman Rushdie