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I Shall Wear Midnight (Discworld Book 38)
I Shall Wear Midnight (Discworld Book 38)
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers
Price: $9.99

54 of 71 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed.., September 29, 2010
I pre-ordered this book -ages- ago and had been extremely excited to get my hot little hands on it. When the book came, I tore open the package, sat down, and consumed it. And now that I have, I write this knowing full well that most people will disagree with my take on it. However, like Unseen Academicals and Monstrous Regiment, I disliked this story from the beginning.

I appreciate that he addressed -real- topics that happen in real life--domestic violence, the power of hate, the ugliness of rumors, and the bittersweet nature of growing into adulthood in general. He knows damned well that kids are more than able to deal with these topics, especially if they are being written about in an intelligent, thoughtful manner. That is one of the things I always have loved about Pratchett and that I always will, especially in his kids books. I reread most of my Discworld books at least once every few years--my absolute favorites I reread at least once a year. A few treasured ones (for me, Feet of Clay is my ultimate Discworld book, with the other Guard books behind it) are reread several times.

But this one felt...forced and stilted to me, from the start. Admittedly, part of that is the style. The beauty of Pratchett has always been in his utterly genius way with words, the way he skillfully takes innocent looking words and strings and slides them together into a prose that almost seems to glow on the page with a sly and intelligent sense of humor that -at the very same time- manages to make very real social commentary about our own world. This book lacked that same flow of words and blazingly fast wit. Before people pile on, I understand the main reason behind the style issue (apparently this book had to be dictated) and (frankly) am rather in awe of the achingly (ha, no pun intended!) brief but sweet glimpses of the turns of phrases that were prime Pratchett that occur occasionally in the book.

That said, the real problem with the story for me, period, was the actual....story. The villain was definitely scary but despite this, I found that I disliked MANY of the new characters in the story. The idea of new characters themselves don't bother me. (Moist Von Lipwig is still one of my favorite Discworld characters and Tiffany? Is fantastic!) But I violently disliked Amber, Preston, Leticia, the Duchess, Derek, and the urban witches. I disliked how several of the characters behaved in the book and the strange way their strange behavior addressed. (Two in particular? Jeanne and Roland.) There was also the resurfacing of an long-gone Discworld character that made no sense, seemed tossed in for no particularly good reason and who, ultimately, contributed very little beyond a bit of 'so this is the backstory'. Tiffany's 'adventure' in Anhk-Morpork made zero sense as I read it and seemed, quite frankly, horribly forced.

As I read the book, I was to surprised to find that I felt angry the entire time and I violently threw the book away once I finished. I will reread it down the road and give it another try after some time passes but I'm not anticipating liking it on a second read (I didn't like Unseen Academicals or Monstrous Regiment on a second read either.) I understand where the more positive reviews are coming from but I have to say, when I finished reading this book, I was extremely disappointed.

Will I buy the next Discworld book? Absolutely, even while knowing I may well dislike it (won't know till I read it). Do I still love Terry Pratchett? Without even a smidge of doubt. Did I enjoy this book? Not even a tiny amount.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 22, 2013 10:41 AM PST

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