Monday, July 26, 2004

The Pratchett Review

I've been babbling about Terry Pratchett's Thief of Time as it has lifted me from my book blahs, and now I have finished it. Let me just say, in case you haven't already figured it out, it was a very good read. A perfect summer beach book or travel book or even bathroom book if you are so inclined. How can you not like a book where Death talks all in CAPITAL LETTERS and his horse is named Binky. He also has a raven named Quoth and skeletal rat--the Death of Rats--who takes care os rodent kind and SQUEAKS in capital letters. Chocolate also plays a part in saving the world and nobody can resist chocolate. If you can, what's wrong with you? Pratchett writes light funny stiff and then tosses in an idea that makes you stop and think, something like this:

No other species anywhere in the world had invented boredom. Perhaps it was boredom, not intelligence, that had propelled them [humans] up the evolutionary ladder. Trolls and dwarfs had it, too, that strange ability to look at the universe and think "oh, the same as yesterday, how dull. I wonder what happens if I bang this rock on that head?" And along with this had come the contrary power, to make things normal. The world changed mightily, and within a few days humans considered it was normal. They had the most amazing ability to shut out and forget what didn't fit. they told themselves little stories to explain away the inexplicable, to make things normal. Historians were especially good at it.
Or this little bit of observation
Everyone has a conditional clause in their life, some little unspoken addition to the rules like, "Except when I really need to," or "Unless no one is looking," or, indeed, "Unless the first one was a nougat." Soto had for centuries embraced a belief in the sanctity of all life and the ultimate uselessness of violence, but his personal conditional clause was, "But not the hair. No one touches the hair, okay?"
Pratchett's plots are also intricately woven. So that combined with the humor he is somewhat of a cross between John Irving and Douglas Adams. Thief of Time won't surprise you with a nougat middle. It's all rich, creamy chocolate. Yum!