A Place to Read

Interesting Times – Terry Pratchett

April 28th would have been Sir Terry Pratchett’s birthday, so it was only natural that I would re-read one of his books. In fact I decided to listen to one on Audible, Interesting Times, read by Nigel Planer.

Interesting Times

‘May You Live in Interesting Times’ is purported to be a Chinese Curse, although there is no real evidence of this. So, as you can imagine, Sir Terry Pratchett ran with this and this book is set mainly in Hung Hung in the Counterweight Continent. In this world we would be looking towards China and Hong Kong. Ok, I thought it would be an appropriate read for these Interesting times that originated in China.

The Blurb

MIGHTY BATTLES! REVOLUTION! DEATH! WAR! (AND HIS SONS TERROR AND PANIC, AND DAUGHTER CLANCY)

The oldest and most inscrutable empire on the Discworld is in turmoil, brought about by the revolutionary treatise What I did on My Holidays. Workers are uniting, with nothing to lose but their water buffaloes. Warlords are struggling for power. War (and Clancy) are spreading throughout the ancient cities.

And all that stands in the way of terrible doom for everyone is:

Rincewind the Wizard, who can’t even spell the word ‘wizard’…

Cohen the barbarian hero, five foot tall in his surgical sandals, who has had a lifetime’s experience of not dying…

…and a very special butterfly.

My Thoughts

As a huge fan I was already familiar with most of the characters. This would be an advantage as they are not introduced and just become part of the story without much back history. When you already know all the back history of the characters then the story takes on a different meaning.

You only have to read Terry’s first two books, The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic to know what the revolutionary treatise ‘What I Did On My Holidays’ would contain, which is probably a very different view to what actually happened. The Great Wizzard* sent to help the revolution is in fact a blundering idiot who just seems to get lucky sometimes. (when he’s not being very unlucky!)

*Wizzard – how Rincewind spells Wizard on his hat which makes him stand out from all the other Wizards.

The plot moves fast and can be a little confusing at times, but it’s also a great page turner and makes you laugh out loud. I remember when reading the book I got a little fed up of Mad Hamish (Who is deaf) saying ‘whaaaaat’ but being read by Nigel Planer it seemed a lot funnier. However, Nigel Planer also pronounced a few things not how I would have expected them to be pronounced, in particular place names. I have always pronounced Ankh Morpork as in Ank, not Arnk. This irritated me a little more than it should have done.

Conclusion

I would say that all of Terry Pratchett books are read alone, but there is a sequence in which the characters are introduced and they become like old friends when they pop up in new stories. If you are new to Terry then I’d consider starting more chronologically. You can find a complete chronological list of Discworld books here.

You can purchase the paperback version of Interesting Times from Waterstones for £8.99

Thanks for reading, do let me know if you have read any Terry Pratchett books and are familiar with the Discworld.

*Disclosure: I use affiliate links in my post which may earn me a little money at no extra cost to you, so thank you if you use them.

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A Place to Read

What I’ve been Reading lately

The title of this post should really be what I’ve been listening to lately, but I do love my audio books. In this post I’ll include links to both Audio and Book versions.

Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon

The Blurb

84-year-old Florence has fallen in her flat at Cherry Tree Home for the Elderly. As she waits to be rescued, she considers the charming new resident who looks exactly like a man she once knew – a man who died sixty years ago. His arrival has stirred distant memories she and Elsie thought they’d laid to rest. Lying prone in the front room, Florence wonders if a terrible secret from her past is about to come to light …

Audible version

Amazon version

My Thoughts

I absolutely loved this book and didn’t want to put it down. The characters are beautifully described and the story gently told. There are twists and turns, some of them easy to work out, but the end still leaves you guessing a little. Can you work out what the third thing about Elsie is?

I love that even old people can have adventures, as well as skeletons in the closet. The story moved at a good pace despite the over use of flowery descriptions. There were so many things I read that I would love to quote…probably too many as I can’t remember any! But it didn’t distract from the story which had everything you need for a good read.

The Hoarder by Jess Kidd

The Blurb

Maud Drennan – underpaid carer and unintentional psychic – is the latest in a long line of dogsbodies for the ancient, belligerent Cathal Flood. Yet despite her best efforts, Maud is drawn into the mysteries concealed in his filthy, once-grand home. She realises that something is changing: Cathal, and the junk-filled rooms, are opening up to her.

With only her agoraphobic landlady and a troop of sarcastic ghostly saints to help, Maud must uncover what lies beneath Cathal’s decades-old hostility, and the strange activities of the house itself. And if someone has hidden a secret there, how far will they go to ensure it remains buried?

Audible Version

Amazon Version

My Thoughts

Another story about an old person with secrets, I guess if anything it makes me feel younger 🙂

This is another great story if a little weird. The main character obviously has some sort of psychic gift, or she’s just a little bonkers. No matter, I found her guardians entertaining.

The story has some great twists and secrets to discover, and it’s another page turner. The old man has a certain charm despite him hiding it well. There were parts that made me laugh, some that made me tense and others that even made a lump in my throat.

Great read if you like something a little different from the normal thriller.

The Ex-Wife by Jess Ryder

The Blurb

Newly married Natasha has the perfect house, a loving husband and a beautiful little girl called Emily. She’d have it all if it wasn’t for Jen, her husband’s ex-wife who just won’t leave them alone …

Then Natasha returns home one day to find her husband and Emily gone without trace. Desperate to get her daughter back, Natasha will do anything even if it means accepting an offer of help from Jen. But can she trust her? And do either of them really know the man they married?


Audible Version

Amazon Version

My Thoughts

This is a fast paced book with lots of twists and turns. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out who’s side you’re on. Then a certain character reveals their true colours which makes you wonder why any of the other characters have survived at all.

I really enjoyed the way the characters developed and the story line was strong. There was a couple of twists I really didn’t expect. The story flips from Now to Then and for a while you are not really sure of the relationship between the characters in the different time scales.

There were one or two things which I felt were a little far fetched but they added to the suspense and gave explanations as to why the characters acted the way they did.

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