Tag Archive: Terry Pratchett

Jul 13

Book Review – Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett

WHAT’S PLAYING: Janet Jackson feat. Nelly “Call on Me”

This week’s book is Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett.

 

Everybody wants more time, but one man is about to stop it for good by constructing the world’s first truly accurate clock. The Auditors—spirits who, like Accountants from Hell, try to keep the Universe in order—have decided their task would be much easier if time would just stop. Then they could sort everything out and it would stay that way. So, they hatch a plan to commission the Perfect Clock. It falls to History Monk Lu-Tze and his apprentice Lobsang Ludd to find the timepiece and stop it before it starts. Because if the Perfect Clock starts ticking, Time as we know it will stop. And that’s when the real trouble will begin.

This is one of the darker, more satirical Discworld novels. I’ve been looking forward to revisiting the Monks of History ever since they first appeared in Small Gods. But, the monks aren’t the only familiar faces. Two of my favorite characters, Death and Susan Sto Helit feature heavily. Nanny Ogg has a cameo as Maiden, Mother, and Crone. Not to mention the supporting cast of heroes, villains, yetis, martial artists. And we mustn’t forget the fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse (who left before they became famous).

A superb send-up of science and philosophy, religion and death, Thief of Time provides the perfect opportunity to kick back and unwind.
 

Favorite Line/Image:  Jeremy was completely baffled as to his next move. He’d never been very good at talking to people, and this, apart from Lady LeJean and a wrangle with Mr. Soak over an unwanted cheese, was the longest conversation he’d had for a year. Perhaps it was because it was hard to think of Igor as coming under the heading of people. Up until now, Jeremy’s definition of “people” had not included anyone with more stitches than a handbag.

“I’m not sure I’ve got any work for you, though,” he said. “I’ve got a new commission, but I’m not sure how…anyway, I’m not insane!”

“That’th not compulthory, thur.”

“I’ve actually got a piece of paper that says I’m not, you know.”

“Well done, thur.”

“Not many people have one of those!”

“Very true, thur.”

 

Bottom Line:  Don’t put off until tomorrow what you could do today. Read Thief of Time.

 

Coming Up Next: My Own Worst Frenemy by Kimberly Reid

 

 

 

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.jacquitalbot.com/2012/07/book-review-thief-of-time-by-terry-pratchett/

Jun 26

Book Review – I am Not a Serial Killer

WHAT’S PLAYING: OneRepublic “Everybody Loves Me”

This week’s first book is I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells.

 

 

This is the story of John Wayne Cleaver, a fifteen-year-old sociopath who lives and works with his mother in their family-owned mortuary. John believes that he is destined to become a serial killer and follows a strict set of rules to ensure he doesn’t give into his darker urges. When a bona fide serial killer turns up and begins slaughtering innocent victims in his hometown, John decides to use his unique skill set to stop him. But catching the killer may mean unleashing his own inner monster. And if he does that, no one will be safe.

 

I have one word to describe this book: compelling. John Wayne Cleaver is one of the most disturbing and refreshing protagonists I’ve ever encountered. His analytical mind is perfectly suited to finding the demonic serial killer terrorizing his town, but even he has a hard time figuring out his true motives. Is he really trying to protect his family and neighbors or is his subconscious simply looking for way to satisfy his own urge to kill? Honestly, I found myself more disturbed by the possibility that John may give into to his murderous instincts than anything else. The struggle to find and destroy the serial killer was almost tame compared to the intensity of John’s internal struggle.

 

I did have a few issues with the book’s structure. John spends the first hundred pages or so trying to identify the killer, so it reads like a mystery. Then, Wells throws in a demonic twist that transforms the book into a supernatural thriller. I must admit that he does a decent job highlighting the conflict between a demon killer with human motivations for his actions and a human boy who is incapable of feeling empathy. Still, the structure didn’t quite work for me. It felt like the author lost control of the story, or ran out of ideas and decided to shift genres in the middle of the book.

 

Still, I Am Not a Serial Killer is a book that works on many levels and a welcome addition to my library.

 

Favorite Line/Image:  “You’re a great guy, Rob,” I said. He looked at me oddly.

“…you’re about as important to me as a cardboard box,” I said. “You’re just a thing—a piece of garbage that no one’s thrown away yet…The thing about boxes, is that you can open them up. Even though they’re completely boring on the outside, there might be something interesting inside. So while you’re saying all of these stupid, boring things, I’m imagining what it would be like to cut you open and see what you’ve got in there….The thing is, Rob, I don’t want to cut you open. That’s not who I want to be. So I made a rule for myself: anytime I want to cut someone open, I say something nice to them instead. That is why I say, Rob Anders of232 Carnation Street, that you are a great guy.”

 

Bottom Line:  An interesting, disturbing read.

 

Coming Up Next: Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett

 

 

 

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.jacquitalbot.com/2012/06/book-review-i-am-not-a-serial-killer/

Apr 23

Unleashing the Book Dragon

WHAT’S PLAYING: Prince “Guitar”

Last week, a couple of friends came over for dinner to celebrate the removal of my braces. Liquor was flowing freely and everyone seemed to be having a good time. That is, until I glanced across the room and saw one my friends reaching for my signed copy of American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

Now, I’m not one for spontaneous action. In fact, I tend to overthink things. But one look at my friend’s greasy, pizza-sauce covered fingers reaching for one of my favorite possessions….

Well, to put it mildly, I went apeshit.

 

 

I don’t know what scared my friend more, the primal roar that emerged from my throat or the sight of me charging across the room with murder in my eyes. Either way, he backed away from the bookshelf with both hands in the air.

Unfortunately, I was moving too fast to stop.

 

 

In my defense, it was signed. By Neil frickin’ Gaiman. Later I found out that he was actually reaching for my signed copy of Snuff by Terry Pratchett.

I damn near threw him off the balcony.

I’ve always been something of a hoarder when it comes to books. I can’t help it. Being surrounded by books makes me feel calm and safe—which is odd since my house is a firetrap in the making. Good books, bad ones, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, all have places in my library.

 

Lately though, I’ve gone from simple hoarder to full on psycho book dragon. For every signed book I have, I have another unsigned “reading” copy. When my book collection outgrows my current living arrangements, I simply move to a bigger place. I keep my signed copies prominently displayed, and have been known to just sit there and stare at them with an intense pleasure that anyone but a true bibliophile would find a little creepy. And—as my unfortunate friend discovered—I will physically attack someone if I feel my books are being threatened.

The good news is that my friend forgave my little outburst and we can laugh about it now.

 

But the next time he decides to reach for one of my books, I won’t be so gentle.

 

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.jacquitalbot.com/2012/04/unleashing-the-book-dragon/

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