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The Light Fantastic (Discworld) Mass Market Paperback – January 29, 2013
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"UNADULTERATED FUN.... WITTY, FREQUENTLY HILARIOUS".
-- San Francisco Chronicle
"He is a satirist of enormous talent... Incredibly funny, compulsively readable."
"A true original among contemporary writers."
From the Back Cover
It's just one of those days when nothing seemsto go right—a most inopportune time for thefirst tourist ever to set foot (and carnivorous Luggage) on the Discworld to be extending his already eventful vacation. (Not that he currently has much choice in the matter.) But with a monstrous red star on a direct collision course, the future for the residents of this flat planet carried by four elephants riding on the shell of a giant turtle swimming through space appears uncertain at best. Fortunately, there is one individual who can save Discworld from total destruction. Unfortunately, that hero happens to be the singularly inept wizard Rincewind, who was last seen falling off the edge of the world.
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Their madcap series of completely accidental adventures continues, this time in an attempt to save Discworld from a star speeding on a collision course. Along the way, we discover the origins of looting, and dentures, and what happens to legendary heels when they grow old and lose their teeth.
While the madcap adventure is just as humorous in this volume as it was in the first, the overarching narrative is less compelling. I got the impression Pratchett had a bunch of good jokes which the editor cut from the first volume, so he came up with a sequel to use them up! As a result, the jokes really don't hang together as a coherent plot this time.
Despite its shortcomings, it is still,laugh out loud funny, and definitely a valuable addition to the Discworld universe.
“The Light Fantastic” is good fantasy. It delivers in the departments of humor, escapism and sheer entertainment. It also has the singular misfortune of being the sequel to one of the best works of comic fantasy ever written. Pratchett was well-known for his ability to craft stories that could be likened to catching lightning in a bottle. Not even a master such as he could always do that back to back, however.
A venerable hero. A horny virgin sacrifice. An errant spell. These characters and more join the existing ensemble of failed wizard, optimistic tourist and surly luggage. Together, they may just save the world. Or not. Either way, just another day on the Disc.
7/10, one thumb up. “The Light Fantastic” will not disappoint, but it is a victim of it’s predecessors success. Of note: this edition (for Kindle) contains no chapter markers, either in the body of text or in the table of contents. There are occasional spaces that function as chapter breaks, but none of them are labelled or otherwise noted as such.
“Death shrugged. It was a gesture he was particularly well built for.”
“It wasn’t that he was bloodthirsty, power-hungry or especially wicked. These things were not necessarily drawbacks in a wizard. The wizards were, on the whole, no more wicked than, say, the committee of the average Rotary Club, and each had risen to preeminence in his chosen profession not so much by skill at magic but by never neglecting to capitalize on the weaknesses of opponents.”
“The Disc, being flat, has no real horizon. Any adventurous sailors who got funny ideas from staring at eggs and oranges for too long and set out for the antipodes soon learned that the reason why distant ships sometimes looked as though they were disappearing over the edge of the world was that they were disappearing over the edge of the world.”
“There was a loud snap as Rincewind shut the book. He stood up, and looked around.
What happened next was this: