ka (angrybabble) wrote,

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Bang Bang, Maxwell's silver hammer came down upon her head

What news? None really. Finally got the chance to play Beatles: Rock Band thanks to Shawn. It is a fine game and I recommend the experience to anyone who enjoys music games, singing, and/or the Beatles. It supports up to three mics and actually displays (and scores) harmony! :D How spiffy is that? Also one can sing "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" (and the rest of Abbey Road but I must shamefully admit to not being familiar with any other songs off said incredibly important album) which is just a good time in any case.

Okay, this will be the last of the book reporting. I hope it'll go quickly as it's mostly Discworld books and, when you get down to it, either you like them or you don't. These are mostly too late in the series for me to comfortably recommend them as a starting point (the series doesn't really need to be rigidly read in order, but most later books have certain prerequisites if you want to get the most out of them). If you do enjoy these novels, then there's very specific information you want to have about them, so it shouldn't take too long. If you don't, I don't really know why we're friends. Anyhow.

The following are all reviews for various Discworld novels I read recently. A new book came out and as usual, having read it, I was consumed with the need to re-read all the rest, so I've been getting them at random from the library as mine are all in storage. As a result this list is in no particular order. Instead of reviews, since of course they're all brilliant, I will list information I feel is relevant to people who read Discworld novels.

* Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett
This is the new novel. I happened to be in a Barnes & Noble when it came out a few weeks ago and I immediately snapped one up. The topic lovingly dissected and then stuffed with Discworld and sewn up again for this book is Soccer (here referred to as football). One will notice by the end the reference to Mr and Mrs Beckham (soccer star gets together with model). As you might gather from the title, the University faculty are the familiar characters in this story. The Dean and Bursar (esp. the latter) are characters who seem like they've been kind of written out for future books, but Ridcully and Ponder are present. Main characters are non-wizard employees of the university, giving us more of an idea of how it runs, and in general it's a good book, though I might have had a better time if I cared about soccer. Discworld inconsistencies: they act like a filled air bladder for a ball is a revolutionary idea, but Carrot's got one in Jingo.

* Night Watch
The title of a Discworld novel usually gives some idea of the content. In this case the prerequisites for reading are all the previous Watch books, especially Guards! Guards! (my favorite Discworld novel, I think) and Men at Arms. Really so that one gets a good grasp on the character of Vimes, since in this book he goes back in time to when he was young and the city was a much nastier place, and thus he is really the only familiar character, though Nobby and other future watchmen get various cameos. Not recommended to anyone who isn't familiar with Vimes as the whole book is kind of about him. (As most Watch books are, but this one moreso than usual because usually we've got the whole crew to worry about and here it's just him.)

* Making Money
This book is about the financial sector and the banks. Ostensibly it's about how Ankh-Morpork finally goes kicking and screaming into, as they say, the century of the fruitbat, by which I mean going from gold to paper money. And who better to trick everyone into thinking this is a good idea than Moist von Lipwig, the Postmaster General? The post office has been running itself so well that he's bored, so the Patrician thinks revitalizing the bank might be just what Moist needs to give his life some excitement. Of course there will be crazy people trying to kill him again but then there always are. Moist is a fun character and this is a really fun book. Prerequisite reading: just Going Postal.

* Going Postal
After reading "Making Money" I had to reread this one and it proved to be just as fun as I recalled. Introducing new character Moist von Lipwig, the book is all about the postal service, as well as how clever and, in some ways, weird it is. Kinda makes you want to collect stamps. Also kinda introduces the clacks systems but not really as I think those popped up in previous books, but here it really gets into them.

* Thud!
It's like Jingo but instead of making us all ashamed of hating foreigners who look and act pretty much like us, it's about making us ashamed of hating the people who are different. Hostilities between dwarfs and trolls are ramping up as the anniversary of a historical battle comes closer, and who is there to stop the insanity other than the Watch? Also introduced here: the fine book "Where's My Cow?" Heavy with lots and lots of meaningful whatnot, the satire here is a bit blacker than usual and while a very entertaining and gripping read, a lot of the humor's a bit too black to really laugh at outright. Prereqs: other Watch books.

* The (Illustrated) Wee Free Men
I read "Wintersmith" when it came out and was like, well, that was a good read, etc etc, but as with all the Witch books I was kind of underwhelmed at the prospect of rereading it. It did make me kind of want to reread the other two Tiffany Aching books though, so I did. This is the first of the lot, The Wee Free Men. I happened to find the illustrated version at my library and really would like to get a copy for myself sometime, as it's pretty fun. This is one of the Discworld novels intended for Young Adults and also to introduce the series to people, so it's really not a bad place to start. It involves the nastiness of fairies and the nature of witches.

* A Hat Full of Sky
The sequel to the Wee Free Men. Having proved herself a witch in the previous book, Tiffany is off to learn some witchery in this one. Of course the obnoxious Scottish (Irish?) fairies she's got following her around come with and lots of fun is to be had. It's worth mentioning that I like both these books better than "Wintersmith" though it's not bad or anything.

* Soul Music
One of my favorite Discworld novels. All about how rock music can get up inside you and change your life (or in some cases, end it). Makes anyone want a leather jacket saying "Born to Rune" on the back. Familiar characters: Death and the Unseen University faculty. New characters who will recur: Susan. I'm not big on Susan as she just keeps refusing to accept things, apparently in the hope that this will make the world a sensible place, but I have to admit that books she appears in are usually excellent (Hogfather is another favorite Discworld novel of mine). Prereqs: Mort, Reaper Man.

* Monstrous Regiment
Name is referring to Sherlock Holmes? Must do research. Anyhow it's a book about a small country perpetually at war with, well, everyone, and the suffering of its people. The very last recruits to the war are off to the front lines. One of them is Polly, who is impersonating a boy in order to look for her missing brother. The book is all about gender politics and, to a lesser extent, regular politics as well. The Watch shows up in it although if you weren't that familiar with them it would probably be okay but at least recommended to read Men at Arms so you know who Angua is.

Okay out of time AGAIN but at least I've got through last month's Discworld novels (I read more this month >_>). Will respond to comments and finish up book list next time! Currently checking out yaoi manga from the library. lol.

Later. "bang bang, Maxwell's silver hammer made sure that she was dead."
Tags: book reviews
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