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The Light Fantastic: A Discworld Novel Paperback – September 13, 2005

Book 2 of 40 in the Discworld Series

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The Light Fantastic: A Discworld Novel + The Color of Magic: A Discworld Novel + Equal Rites: A Discworld Novel
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Editorial Reviews


"He is a satirist of enormous talent... Incredibly funny, compulsively readable."
The Times

"A true original among contemporary writers."
The Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

The Funniest And Most Unorthodox Fantasy In This Or Any Other Galaxy

A sequel to The Colour of Magic

"Unalloyed delight" - Guardian

"Marvellous sequel to The Colour of Magic pure fantastic delight" - Time Out

"Dropping off the edge of their world does not seem to have done Rincewind, Twoflower or Luggage any harm ... Excellent" - SFF Books

"Good fun is had by all in one of the most hilarious romps in ages" - Erg --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (September 13, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060855886
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060855888
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (267 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was fifteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe. Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel, The Color of Magic, in 1983. In 1987 he turned to writing full time, and has not looked back since. To date there are a total of 36 books in the Discworld series, of which four (so far) are written for children. The first of these children's books, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal. A non-Discworld book, Good Omens, his 1990 collaboration with Neil Gaiman, has been a longtime bestseller, and was reissued in hardcover by William Morrow in early 2006 (it is also available as a mass market paperback (Harper Torch, 2006) and trade paperback (Harper Paperbacks, 2006). Terry's latest book, Nation, a non-Discworld standalone YA novel was published in October of 2008 and was an instant New York Times and London Times bestseller. Regarded as one of the most significant contemporary English-language satirists, Pratchett has won numerous literary awards, was named an Officer of the British Empire "for services to literature" in 1998, and has received four honorary doctorates from the Universities of Warwick, Portsmouth, Bath, and Bristol. His acclaimed novels have sold more than 55 million copies (give or take a few million) and have been translated into 36 languages. Terry Pratchett lives in England with his family, and spends too much time at his word processor.  Some of Terry's accolades include: The Carnegie Medal, Locus Awards, the Mythopoetic Award, ALA Notable Books for Children, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, Book Sense 76 Pick, Prometheus Award and the British Fantasy Award.

Customer Reviews

After reading the first Discworld book in the series, I knew I had to read more.
Ignatious Valve
You can never go wrong, will never be disappointed, and I guarantee you'll laugh out loud when you read any book by Terry Pratchett.
Charlene Clancy
I very much enjoyed Pratchett's humor, story telling ability and quirky outlook on life.
D. Blankenship

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Eileen on June 29, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Light Fantastic," the second book in the Discworld series, starts where the first book left off, almost to the second. Bumbling wizard college dropout Rincewind, along with his tourist companion Twoflower, get a reprieve from their fall through the void of space. In the meanwhile, Discworld is moving steadily towards collision with an ominous red star that threatens the existence of life, the universe, and everything. Only the eight great magic spells can save the world, and since one of those spells is lodged in Rincewind's mind, he reluctantly must play an important role in the race to save Discworld.
Even funnier than the first in the series, this book introduces Cohen the barbarian, a geriatric anti-Rambo hero who is far fiercer than he looks. The reader is treated to the Keystone Kops antics of the senior wizards as they try to track down Rincewind and save the universe. There is a hilarious scene where Twoflower teaches Death how to play bridge. The story is full of gnomes, dwarves, trolls, and talking trees, as well as a gingerbread cottage. The reader is enlightened on the power of persuasion and the danger of flowery metaphors, and even gets a peek into the mind of the great turtle A'Tuin to learn its current destination.
Slapstick, parody, biting satire, word play, and philosophy are all here to enjoy. The plot is neatly tied up at the end, so at this point you can move forward to another book in the wizardry series, or switch to one of the other Discworld tracks. But in either case, there is much more to explore in the wacky and magical world of Terry Pratchett.
Eileen Rieback
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 17, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Light Fantastic is the second book in Terry Pratchett's brilliantly funny Discworld series, continuing the tale related in the first book The Colour of Magic. The last we knew, Rincewind and Discworld's first tourist Twoflower had fallen off the rim of the world, which is an especially dangerous happenstance on a world that is totally flat and carried on the backs of four elephants who in turn stand atop the great cosmic turtle Great A'Tuin. While Rincewind is Discworld's most incompetent wizard and all-around unlucky fellow, he manages to evade the clutches of Death (although he does bump into him fairly often) time and again (27 times by Twoflower's count at the midpoint of this novel). Why this is so is, we discover, is because Rincewind carries one of the eight most powerful spells from the magical Octavo. Reality keeps having to reshape itself in order to keep rescuing the wizard. Although Rincewind, the eternally optimistic Twoflower, and the magical Luggage of sapient pearwood are once again on the disc, they face a number of obstacles in getting home to Ankh-Morpork. They are fortunate enough to join forces with Disworld's greatest hero Cohen the Barbarian; Cohen is an old man now, but he doesn't let that stop him from rescuing maidens, stealing treasures, and doing other heroic things. At this particular time, the Discworld itself is in danger, threatened with an imminent collision with a giant red star heading its way. The wizards of Unseen University believe that all eight powerful spells from the Octavo must be read in order to save the Discworld, so the missing Rincewind must be found in order to release the necessary eighth spell locked inside his brain.Read more ›
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Leonard Fleisig VINE VOICE on May 20, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Terry Pratchett's Light Fantastic is the second in his acclaimed Discworld series. However, I have not read the series in chronological fashion but in a rather haphazard manner which probably serves as some sort of model for chaos theory. There are disadvantages to such a chaotic approach. I have, for example, covered much of Commander Vimes' career in reverse order. On the other hand, reading the Discworld series in something like a reverse chronological order has its benefits. It is the literary equivalent of an archeological dig in which you start in the present and dig your way back to first causes. In many respects this is my Discworld version of Richard Dawkins' The Ancestor's Tale, as this represents my journey to the dawn of Discworld. Unlike the earth, there is evidence of intelligent design behind the evolution of Discworld. That design falls squarely in the deft comedic and thoughtful writing of Terry Pratchett.

Light Fantastic begins with a real cliffhanger. Actually, Light Fantastic begins where "The Colour of Magic" left off, with our two unlikely heroes, the rather cowardly, lapsed wizard Rincewind and the incredulous tourist Twoflower tumbling in space somewhere off the edge of Discworld. The story is rather simple. Discworld is on a collision course with a giant red star. Discworld can be saved but it requires a combination of eight spells, seven of which are safely ensconced in the Octavo, the book of spells left by Discworld's creator. As to the critical eighth spell, Rincewind appears to have accidentally absorbed the spell into his subconscious during a `visit' with the great book. In order for the world to be saved, Rincewind will have to come to the Octavo or the Octavo will have to come to Rincewind.
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