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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Camels Are More Important Than Pyramids, August 24, 2005
This review is from: Pyramids (Discworld Book 7) (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a fairly early Terry Pratchett (number seven I believe) and demonstrate his unique ability to lampoon nearly everything at once. We find ourselves with Teppic the heir to throne of Djelibeybi, who has been sent off to Ankh-Morpark to learn a decent trade. Or rather, a lucrative indecent trade of inhumation (otherwise called assassination). Djelibeybi has been building bigger and bigger pyramids for some 7,000 years and is way behind on its payments. Somebody has to bring home a paycheck.

Teppic has mastered all the requisite skills (tucking equipment everywhere, wearing black clothes, swinging from buildings, etc) and now, in a flash of accidental good luck, he has passed his final exam. At this crucial moment, Teppic's father develops a sudden urge to fly and our young assassin must return to the world's most tradition bound kingdom (no toilets, no mattresses, and no aqueducts). Having spent years in the most corrupt city on Discworld Teppic must wear a very heavy mask, sleep on stone beds, and be a very bored god. And bankrupt the kingdom building his father's pyramid.

Pyramids are the problem. Since each one has to be bigger than the last, they have long since achieved enough mass to bend light and absorb time. This keeps their occupants alive, but the accumulation of present and future time has to be vented off nightly. The reason Teppic's country is so stodgy is that all the present and future is being shot off into space and they only have the past left to live in.

Now Teppic decides that his father's tomb will be an order of magnitude larger than its predecessors, and all quantum breaks out. Even before it is finished is becomes a major time hazard and suddenly, in one great big pffft, it folds Djellibaybi into a Hilbert space and leaves Teppic with a camel sized headache. Needless to say this irritates the heck out of Teppic's father (dead or not), all the mummified kings, and a large number of loose gods.

Pratchett uses this opportunity to mach fun of organized religion, solipsistic scientists, relativity, archaism, relatives, politics, war, and mathematicians with one or two humps and four stomachs. He spares no one, and it is great fun for the reader. His ability to pull a horrible pun out of thin air is unequalled. Pratchett's message has always been that life is too important to take seriously, By all means hunt this up, you'll be mummified laughing.
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Marc Ruby™
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   

Location: Warren, MI USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 65,765