The Quotable Pratchett: Interesting Times

No one is actually 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, they are the tasty appetizers to a succulent, nourishing meal.

About Interesting Times

Interesting Times coverThis is the 17th Discworld novel and the 5th in the Rince-Cycle.

When the Agatean Empire asks Ankh-Morpork for the Great Wizzard, the wizards of Unseen University use Hex to locate potato-starved Rincewind, who we last saw defeating the Sourcerer.

Sent via magic to the Counterweight Continent, Rincewind soon finds himself in the middle of not-quite-a-civil-war as the Hongs, the Sungs, the Tangs, the McSweeneys (an old, established family) and the Fangs vie for control of the throne over the not-quite-dead-yet emperor.

Add to the mix the Red Army (fighting for the common water buffalo minder and inspired by the revolutionary work What I Did on my Holidays) and the Silver Horde (led by Cohen the Barbarian), and anything could happen.

May you live in interesting times, indeed.

The Goodreads Blurb:

There are many who say that the art of diplomacy is an intricate and complex dance. There are others who maintain that it’s merely a matter of who carries the biggest stick. The oldest and most inscrutable (not to mention heavily fortified) empire on the Discworld is in turmoil, brought about by the revolutionary treatise What I did on My Holidays. Workers are uniting, with nothing to lose but their water buffaloes; warlords are struggling for power – and what the nation wants, to avoid terrible doom for everyone, is a wizard. Rincewind is not the Disc’s premier wizard – in fact, he can’t even spell ‘wizard’ – but no-one specified whether competence was an issue. And they do have a very big stick…

Mighty Battles! Revolution! Death! War! (And his sons Terror and Panic and daughter Clancy).

To the Quotes!

Discworld Librarian

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

There is a curse.

They say: May You Live in Interesting Times

Ah, said Fate again. “And what game will it be?”

“How about . . .” The Lady paused, “. . . Mighty Empires?”

“Oh, I hate that one,” said Offler, breaking the sudden silence. “Everyone dief at the end.”

A foot on the neck is nine points of the law.

Luck is my middle name. Mind you, my first name is Bad.

Rincewind had faced many horrors in his time, but none held quite the same place in the lexicon of dread as those few seconds after someone said, “Turn your papers over now.”

Cohen’s father had taken him to a mountain top, when he was no more than a lad, and explained to him the hero’s creed and told him that there was no greater joy than to die in battle.

Cohen had seen the flaw in this straight away, and a lifetime’s experience had reinforced his beleif that in fact a greater joy was to kill the other bugger in battle and end up sitting on a heap of gold higher than your horse. It was an observation that had served him well.

Whoever pays the piper calls the tune, but whoever holds the knife to the piper’s throat writes the symphony.

When people who can read and write start fighting on behalf of people who can’t, you just end up with another kind of stupidity. If you want to help them, build a big library or something somewhere and leave the door open.

. . .

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