We let me off the hook last time for posting this on the correct day, right? Right.
I’d like to give a shout-out to my amazing friend Sarah for recommending this to me, or rather, sending me a copy, and letting me know this was her favorite book. I’m truly grateful. This book is hilarious and magical.
I’m currently reading “Interesting Times” by Terry Pratchett (he’s actually Sir Terry Pratchett, because he was knighted), and I’m on page 174. It’s actually the 17th novel in his Discworld series, and, shamefully, this is the first of the series I’ve started reading. However, I recently acquired something close to half of the 41-book-strong Discworld series, so someday I’ll be able to start from the beginning and come back to the point where this story takes place. Haha.
The title is actually inspired by a curse mentioned throughout the novel:
May you live in interesting times.
I personally would love to be bewitched by this particular curse, which is why I find the main character so interesting and hilarious. Rincewind, our main character, wants to live an uninteresting life. An uninteresting life means lower risk of dying. And that’s a very nice proposal to a coward like Rincewind.
He’s the owner of the blue hat you see on the cover of the book above (I know there are several covers for this book over the years, but this is the cover of the one I own, and I’m partial to it), and yes, wizard is intentionally spelled “Wizzard”. But, you must know, he is absolutely rubbish at being a wizard. This leads me to share with you one of my favorite quotes from this book so far (and it’s very difficult to award such a title, because there are so many interesting quotes in here):
He was no good at anything else. Wizardry was the only refuge. Well, actually he was no good at wizardry either, but at least he was definitively no good at it. He’d always felt he had a right to exist as a wizard in the same way that you couldn’t do proper maths without the number 0, which wasn’t a number at all but, if it went away, would leave a lot of larger numbers looking bloody stupid.
And poor Rincewind here gets caught up in an adventure where he is thrown into an unknown country and hailed as “the Great Wizzard”, despite the fact that he could not preform a drop of magic to save his life. Which prompts Rincewind to run away from every situation he encounters, his cowardice almost endearing and certainly entertaining. As Rincewind sees it:
The world had too many heroes and didn’t need another one. Whereas the world had only one Rincewind and he owed it to the world to keep this one alive for as long as possible.
There are barbarians, cannons, assassins, great walls, Luggage (yes, capital “L”, it’s actually a character, believe it or not), rebels, a dying emperor, and a Quantum Weather Butterfly. Yes. You heard me right.
The writing style reminds me quite a lot of “Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams. It’s definitely unique, and sometimes quite random and absurd in an extremely comical way. Take, for example, when a character was walking through a garden, and we received some backstory on how the garden was constructed for no particular reason:
They had been laid out, and a truer phrase was never used, by the renowned or at least notorious landscape gardener and all round inventor “Bloody Stupid” Johnson, whose absent-mindedness and blindness to elementary mathematics made every step a walk with danger. His genius…well, as far as Ridcully understood it, his genius was exactly the opposite of whatever kind of genius it was that built earthworks that tapped the secret yet beneficent forces of the leylines.
No one was quite certain what forces Bloody Stupid’s designs tapped, but the chiming sundial frequently exploded, the crazy paving had committed suicide and the cast-iron furniture was known to have melted on three occasions.
It’s these kind of random detours that really make this book. There’s genius amidst all the madness. And the further you go along, the more interesting the main plot becomes. Yes, there is a plot to this book. And it’s actually quite good.
I can’t wait to read how it ends. And I’m now guaranteed to dive into the Discworld series. Guaranteed.
Hope all of you have been living in interesting times this past week!