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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 7 June 2000
As the Discworld has grown in strength and Pratchett has added ore and more characters to his milieu, it's nice to read a book that harkens back to the series' origins. Rincewind, the inept wizard, is reluctantly dragged out of retirement to journey to the Counterweight Continent who are asking for The Great Wizzard. Once there, he finds himself dragged into a civil war, a revolution and a theft, led by another old familiar, Cohen the Barbarian...and at the back of all this, the once tourist of Discword, Twoflower. Some people say that this book uses stereotypes too much...but Pratchett has always used those stereotypes, not only because it's funny, but because it says something about the people we are. Rincewind is still as he should be (running away) and pulling back familiar characters into a terrific story is a sure-fire winner.
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HALL OF FAMEon 29 October 2005
With some minor magic, seasoned with a touch of quantum physics and a liberal dose of archeaology, Pratchett sends Rincewind the Wizzard across the Discworld. From Ankh Morpork, he arrives at the Agatean Empire on the Counterweight Continent, cushioned by a snowbank. Those studying Auriental history [knowing where the gold is] will recognize the failed wizzard is entering an alien environment. Luckily, familiar faces emerge. The first is the Discworld's most revered barbarian hero, Ghengiz Cohen - who is accompanied by some geriatric colleagues, the Silver Horde.
Rincewind isn't a tourist in the Agatean Empire, as Twoflower was in Ankh Morpork. He's been sent for in the midst of a political crisis. A dying emperor, five families contending for power, a revolutionary cadre and a mythical army must all be brought together to make this story work. Oh, yes, plus the Horde and Rincewind. Who else but Pratchett could seamlessly weave all these elements together? And keep you smiling with the turning of every page?
Yet, as usual, Pratchett does even more. He can maintain a balance between a reflection of ancient and modern China [sorry, Agatean Empire], bring forth a string of fascinating personalities and turn an impossible situation into reality without missing a beat. At the same time we are given a dose of chaos theory, familiar images of today's world politics and some philosophical images of the universality of human nature. For an added touch, something you won't see in any other "fantasy" novel, Pratchett's astute perception allows him to resurrect the 6 000 terra cotta warriors found in a tomb in China and have them march again.
The combination of Pratchett's wide-ranging knowledge, his ability to depict personalities - even though we'd prefer not to know a few of them - and the keen wit that keeps you delighted as you read is nearly overwhelming. He makes the writing look so easy as he leads you along the convoluted logic of Agatean politics, the irreverence and dedication of the Horde - who manage to ignore calendars, logic and the ongoing desperation of Rincewind's life. Pratchett is a practiced craftsman. Whatever your politics, whatever your philosophy, Pratchett is certain to offer new challenges and fresh ideas. Read, delight, and read again. He is always rewarding. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
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on 17 November 1998
Quite possibly the funniest writer alive, Terry Pratchet stuns us again with this, the sixteenth book in the Discworld trilogy, Interesting Times. His brilliant wit and ability to stretch logic to it's limit and beyond, makes Interesting Times an "interesting" read to say the least.
Once again we find Rincewind battling (or rather trying to avoid and being caught up in) the forces of evil on the disc. We bump into the horde and go into the great city on the Counter Weight continent. We see a great battle and a rather intriguing butterfly.
Tossed and turned on life's great sea of adventure, Rincewind once again tries to live a normal and boring life, but no, he is cursed with that terrible curse that sounds something like... "May you live in interesting times".
A great book and a thoroughly good read. If you're a Pratchet fan you'll love it, if you're new to Pratchet, where've you been?!
Recommended to everyone!
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This is the seventeenth Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett, and once again features the delightfully put-upon Rincewind, the “Great Wizzard” (as the Agateans know him). The title refers to the (probably apocryphal) Chinese proverb/curse “May you live in interesting times”. It’s particularly relevant to this story, as Rincewind, ‘rescued’ by the wizards at the Unseen University from a desert island where he was enjoying a particularly restful period of peace and quiet, is sent by teleportation to the Agatean Empire. There he finds himself caught up in a revolution of sorts, as the Emperor is dying, and the Empire is caught up in political turmoil between the Sung, Fang, Hong, Tang and McSweeney clans. Rincewind finds himself caught between a rock and hard place in the capital of the Agatean Empire, Hunghung – is he a peaceful revolutionary, or a revolutionary peacemaker? Life is not made any easier by the arrival of the Silver Horde lead by Cohen the Barbarian; and where has the Luggage gone?

This is another great Discworld novel; I always enjoy the stories with Rincewind; he’s so hapless and so resigned to be a pawn of fate that his continued survival seems to surprise him even more every time it happens. The Patrician makes a brief appearance in the book, and the wizards of the Unseen University are up to their usual standard of ineptitude. Twoflower makes a welcome return, and the involvement of Cohen and his barbarian horde in the Agatean Empire make for ‘interesting’ reading. Great stuff.
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on 26 April 2016
I think we see with this book, Terry 's growing knowledge of the world and he plays the difference between barbarianism and politics very well. A book I didn't think I would enjoy as Rincewind is my last favourite but I was pleasantly surprised. Rincewind is still the sarcastic coward but you are rewarded by the colourful cast and the return of the ever cheerful Two Flower.
On my list as the best out of the Rincewind stories
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on 15 August 2015
Terry Pratchett's style of writing is always a guaranteed to keep the reader or in this case the listener keen to find out what happens next. This book is no exception. It is an obvious spoof based on a storyline similar to the fu Manchu stories. If there is one drawback with this audiobook it is the Nigel Planer Narration, almost in the Tony Robinson Mould, but spoilt by the overuse of echo to present audio footnotes.
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on 20 July 2015
There are broadly two kinds of dw novels. The first is the kind I love. Conceptually interesting, tackling some of the fundamental ideas and taboos that underpin society, during a hugely enjoyable romp across a wildly fantastic world. Think Mort, Sourcery, maybe Pyramids, and definitely the amazing Small Gods. The second kind is the romp but without the thinking. This was that second kind of book, but just not very well built. Plodding plot and lamely foreshadowed deus ex machina. Sadly this didn't feel worth the time it took to read.
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on 2 January 2014
Again I find a book, and a Pratchett book at that, which has missed being praised. There will be other missed too but for now I will content myself with this last one.

Story? and a half. With humour, Pratchetts most powerful tool, we are given insight into history, megalomania, oppression, misinformation and the abuse of the downtrodden and ignorant, kept that way by a tyrannical leadership who understand all to well what a dangerous and de stabling thing education of the masses can be. With the help of the 'Horde' and few others including our old fav raves 'The Luggage, Rincewind and Cohen a wild and somewhat magical adventure unfolds, telling as it does the history in some part of every power which has ever blighted the earth and in still too many places, still does. Which isn't funny, but here, in this novel, it is. Very. More so with hindsight.

Demi quote. ish.
'The rulers of this land have no need of whips'.
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on 5 May 2015
I'm a Pratchett nut - I don't think that I've read a book of his that I would happily give 5 stars to.... I've read all of them at least twice.... This latest re dressing of the early part of the collection is great for newcomers - or the complete fruitcake like me.

Interesting Times sees Rincewind in the Counterweight.... marvelous....
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HALL OF FAMEon 22 October 2005
With some minor magic, seasoned with a touch of quantum physics and a liberal dose of archeaology, Pratchett sends Rincewind the Wizzard across the Discworld. From Ankh Morpork, he arrives at the Agatean Empire on the Counterweight Continent, cushioned by a snowbank. Those studying Auriental history [knowing where the gold is] will recognize the failed wizzard is entering an alien environment. Luckily, familiar faces emerge. The first is the Discworld's most revered barbarian hero, Ghengiz Cohen - who is accompanied by some geriatric colleagues, the Silver Horde.
Rincewind isn't a tourist in the Agatean Empire, as Twoflower was in Ankh Morpork. He's been sent for in the midst of a political crisis. A dying emperor, five families contending for power, a revolutionary cadre and a mythical army must all be brought together to make this story work. Oh, yes, plus the Horde and Rincewind. Who else but Pratchett could seamlessly weave all these elements together? And keep you smiling with the turning of every page?
Yet, as usual, Pratchett does even more. He can maintain a balance between a reflection of ancient and modern China [sorry, Agatean Empire], bring forth a string of fascinating personalities and turn an impossible situation into reality without missing a beat. At the same time we are given a dose of chaos theory, familiar images of today's world politics and some philosophical images of the universality of human nature. For an added touch, something you won't see in any other "fantasy" novel, Pratchett's astute perception allows him to resurrect the 6 000 terra cotta warriors found in a tomb in China and have them march again.
The combination of Pratchett's wide-ranging knowledge, his ability to depict personalities - even though we'd prefer not to know a few of them - and the keen wit that keeps you delighted as you read is nearly overwhelming. He makes the writing look so easy as he leads you along the convoluted logic of Agatean politics, the irreverence and dedication of the Horde - who manage to ignore calendars, logic and the ongoing desperation of Rincewind's life. Pratchett is a practiced craftsman. Whatever your politics, whatever your philosophy, Pratchett is certain to offer new challenges and fresh ideas. Read, delight, and read again. He is always rewarding. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
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