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A Hat Full of Sky Paperback – 5 May 2005
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"Pratchett's ear for dialogue is superb . . . His deep feeling for landscape, animals, kindness and courage make his adventures deeply satisfying as well as clever" (The Times)
"Oodles of dry wit, imagination and shrewdly observed characters" (Independent on Sunday)
"A great Pratchett strength is the sense that if the jokes . . . were dropped there would still be a good, engaging fantasy thriller here" (Independent)
"Fantastically inventive and humorous fantasy adventure. Fans will be sky high" (The Sunday Times)
"Funny, typically humorous . . . A must for any Terry Pratchett fan . . . With its witty and slightly confusing plot-twists and hilarious dialogue, this is, without doubt, another great children's book" (Bristol Evening Post)
Eleven-year-old Tiffany Aching wants to be a real witch. But a real witch doesn't casually step out of her body, leaving it empty. Tiffany does - and there's something just waiting for a handy body to take over. Something ancient and horrible, which can't die. Now Tiffany's got to learn to be a real witch really quickly, with the help of arch-witch Mistress Weatherwax and the truly amazing Miss Level. Oh, yes. And the Nac Mac Feegle - the rowdlest, toughest, smelliest bunch of fairles ever to be thrown out of Fairyland for being drunk at two in the afternoon. They'll fight anything-See all Product description
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The plot: Sam Vimes goes down to his wife's country estate, finds out some goblins have been abducted, solves the case. Token appearances by characters from previous books. Vimes obsesses about social class, his ghastly son obsesses about faeces. Everyone - especially Vimes - talks in weirdly Dickensian circumlocutions; and there must be a prize for the number of times the word 'copper' is used.
I've read and loved the whole Discworld canon, but this entry was turgid, repetitive, clumsy and hopelessly over-written. Poor Terry must have been very ill by this stage, but why on earth didn't the publishers edit it? How could they let it go out in this state? How could they let lovely Sam Vimes turn into a sanctimonious bore? The bones of a good story can be seen through the flab, and a bit of sharp editing could have made a half decent book of it.
If you have never read a Discworld book, please don't start with this one. The wit, grace, humour, observation, humanity, sharp satire and sheer linguistic genius we associate with Pratchett are absent from this leaden travesty.
If you enjoy the way Pratchett uses humour to examine serious issues and mixes fact with fantasy you'll love this read.
People who know these things talk of Pratchett's anger but to me he is an author who finds novel ways to make his readers question why should things be this way.
Imaginative, endearing characters trying to understand disasters, religion, and cultural differences in an entertaining way. I did find the read a little uneven at times but overall a thought provoking and enjoyable read.
He was so good at this stuff, bridging the gap between kids and adults. I am missing the old feller already, bless him.
Read them in order.
The themes of the book are quite robust and do give the impression that they will last throughout the series of books, I am looking forward to the development of the different issues Mr Pratchett explores.
The pages appear to be just scanned pages from the book. Which makes the pages hard to read without blowing up the screen and scrolling about, so the overall effect is lost.
Anyway, the usual well crafted storyline, and some examples of what I consider a Pratchett trademark, the throwaway one-liner joke which you realise afterwards has taken the last three pages to set up. If you think it might not be for you if you don't like football, don't worry - the theme of the book is football, but what it's really about is another slice of life in the bustling world that is Ankh-Morpork and Unseen University.