Pratchett, Terry: (25-30) The Truth through The Wee Free Men (re-reads)

Next up in the Discworld re-read, some short comments about books that already have their own entries.

The Truth: I really like the Ankh-Morpork books about industrialization. I find William and Sacharissa entirely pro forma as a romance but I like them and their changes a lot as individuals. And I find the New Firm kind of boring but I like the point made about them in Becca’s booklog post (spoilers).

Thief of Time: Pretty much exactly what Becca says (spoilers), with a side of Mrs War/War being another example of the tedious, loathsome “henpecked husband” pattern.

The Last Hero: I can’t believe I didn’t realize earlier that it’s about fake London having to rescue fake China from its own emperor. Ugh. Anyway: I find myself sympathizing with Vetinari when he says that civilization has no room for “heroes” like Cohen and that’s a good thing, and when I find myself sympathizing with Vetinari I start to wonder if that’s not a sign of something horribly wrong all by itself. (The way that the books have shifted their portrayal of Vetinari is really remarkable, not in a good way, when you think about it.) Anyway, for all the good things about this book, the lovely little details and character interactions, I am always suspicious of nostalgia, so it doesn’t read as well to me now.

The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents: I find Maurice’s harping on not eating talking creatures rather tiresome this time around since it’s blazing obvious from the first mention what happened. And Malicia is notably awful. Otherwise my reaction to this is about the same as last time.

Night Watch: I hadn’t registered before the extent to which this book takes as axiomatic that productive change can come neither from the masses nor the elites, which is really weird and unpleasant. Apparently the joke in early books about Vetinari’s one-man one-vote system (he was the man, he had the vote) really is optimal for Ankh-Morpork. Hoping that you end up with a benevolent and competent dictator because that’s the only way that progress will happen . . . well, I disagree, and let’s leave it at that.

Also, Ned gets seriously short-changed, and it’s nice to meet Vetinari’s aunt.

The Wee Free Men: I still like this a lot for the Tiffany-Granny Aching relationship, which grounds what is surreal even for a Discworld book.

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