The Quotable Pratchett: The Light Fantastic

No-one is finally dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away.

With the passing of Sir Terry Pratchett and the publication of The Shepherd’s Crown, I embarked on an epic re-reading of all 41 official Discworld novels, with the goal of finishing by 31 December, 2016.

Famous for its wit and wisdom, the series offers countless quotable quotes on a variety of subjects. The quotes I share should not be considered the whole of Sir Terry’s excellent prose; indeed, there are the tasty appetizers to a succulent, nourishing meal.

About The Light Fantastic

The Light Fantastic Goodreads Cover

The Light Fantastic is both the second Discworld novel and the second novel in the Rince-cycle [those novels dealing with the misadventures of the “Wizzard” Rincewind].

The book finishes the story begun in the first novel, The Colour of Magic, although several characters introduced in these books will reappear in later novels; namely: Rincewind, Twoflower, Cohen the Barbarian, the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork Lord Havelock Vetinari, the Luggage, and – of course – the Librarian.

In short, the Disc is saved, Twoflower returns home, and we are left wondering what will come next for our friends.

The Goodreads Blurb:

In The Light Fantastic only one individual can save the world from a disastrous collision. Unfortunately, the hero happens to be the singularly inept wizard Rincewind, who was last seen falling off the edge of the world…

 And now, on to the quotes:

Discworld Librarian

The Librarian as he appears in The Discworld Companion, illustrated by Paul Kidby

The sun rose slowly, as if it wasn’t sure it was worth all the effort.

It looked the sort of book described in library catalogues as “slightly foxed,” although it would be more honest to admit that it looked as though it had been badgered, wolved and possibly beared as well.

It is said that the opposite of noise is silence. This isn’t true. Silence is only the absence of noise.

Quimby was eventually killed by a disgruntled poet during an experiment conducted in the palace grounds to prove the disputed accuracy of the proverb “The pen is mightier than the sword,” and in his memory it was amended to include the phrase “only if the sword is very small and the pen is very sharp.”

Inside every sane person is a madman struggling to get out . . . No one goes mad quicker than a totally sane person.

In short, he was the sort of man who could use the word “personnel” and mean it.

The lives of gnomes and goblins is nasty, brutish, and short. So are they.

What is it that a man may call the greatest things in life?

Hot water, good dentishtry and soft lavatory paper.

[If] the gods had wanted men to fly, they’d have given them an airline ticket.

Any woman setting out to make a living by the sword isn’t about to go around looking like something off the cover of the more advanced kind of lingerie catalogue for the specialized buyer.

It was the sort of grin people use when they stare at your left ear and tell you in an urgent tone of voice that they are being spied on by secret agents from the next galaxy. It was not a grin to inspire confidence.

They say it’ll hit us on Hogswatchnight and the seas will boil and the countries of the Disc will be broken and kings will be brought down and the cities will be lakes of glass, . . . I’m off to the mountains.

That’ll help, will it?

No, but the view will be better.

. . .

Previous: The Color of Magic     |     Next: Equal Rites

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