Monday, 13 February 2012

Book 3 of 2012: Thief of Time

Yes, I know, I've not made a post on Book 2 of 2012, that's because I'm part of a book club (organised by the amazing Jen) which sends the books around to the various members and you never know which one you'll get next. This year it's a book and film adaptation 'tree' and I'm not wanting to spoil the upcoming books for anyone who's involved and wants to be surprised. I'll catch up with those ones later.

I'm currently onto my twelfth book of the year, so not doing too badly on my target to read fewer books. I clocked in a massive 145 last year, this year I'm taking my time and going a little steadier on them. Which is nice. Also about 100 of those books last year were pure fantasy, I'm trying to break away from that a little this year (slightly unsuccessfully, I think), but that didn't stop me from selecting Terry Pratchett's Thief of Time as my third book of the year.

Before I started reading this, I was sure I'd already read it. Of course, I was mistaken, this one was entirely new for me. As I've been working through all the Discworld books (in order) I've been coming across lots that I've either read before (but largely forgotten the plots of) or had started but for whatever reason never finished. I've now hit a point where most of the books that I will be reading, will be rereads (because I read them as they came out), which makes me a little bit sad because there's really nothing like reading a Terry Pratchett book for the first time and was nice to know that there were loads that I was yet to discover.

"'Scuse me,' said the raven, 'but how come Miss Ogg became Mrs Ogg? Sounds like a bit of rural arrangement, if you catch my meaning.'
WITCHES ARE MATRILINEAL, said Death. THEY FIND IT MUCH EASIER TO CHANGE MEN THAN TO CHANGE NAMES."
Page 22

I'll admit that this one did get a little bit confusing in places. I invariably get confused at one point or another during a Discworld book, but if I relax and go with the flow, the little tangles work themselves out in the end. The fact that this one was dealing with time travel and [spoiler] two people who were actually one [end of spoiler] kind of meant that getting confused somewhere along the way was to be expected.

I was thrilled to discover that this book featured Susan, Death's granddaughter. I'm a major fan of Susan and I love how she's progressed a little bit in each book (now she's a teacher, rather than a governness). I would have loved to have been in her class at school, I'm sure.

I always find it amusing that the Sky adaptation of Hogfather as totally changed the way I picture her. Michelle Dockery is just how I see Susan now, I can't help it. I know when I read Soul Music for the first time I had a definitely mental picture of what Susan looked like. Unfortunately, I've now completely lost that in place of Michelle Dockery's version of Susan, not that it's a bad change, of course.

"'Algebra? said Madam Frout, perforce staring at her own bosom, which no-one else had ever done. 'But that's too difficult for seven-year-olds!'
'Yes, but I didn't tell them that and so far they haven't found out,' said Susan."
Page 120

It was also good to learn more about The History Monks. There have been mentions of them before, but it was good to finally learn more about them. In true Terry Pratchett style there's a lot of information about them. It helps to make it all seem that little bit more real, or at least, as real as things get on a world carried through space on the backs of four elephants standing on a turtle.
"There is a way of playing certain musical instruments that is called 'circular breathing', devised to allow people to play the didgeridoo or the bagpipes without actually imploding or being sucked down the tube. 'Slicing time' was very much the same, except time was substituted for air, and it was a lot quieter."
Page 174

At the beginning of the book, I was expecting to find the bits with The Auditors a bit tiresome. They always annoy me in Hogfather. I realise that it's kind of the point of them but I was hoping that I'd seen the last of them then. They actually grew on me in Thief of Time though, I kind of felt sorry for them in the end. But it does prove that chocolate is the solution to all of life's problems.

One of the only problems I have when reading Terry Pratchett books is selecting the quotes to write up in my book journal. I allow myself five per book (unless I can make my writing teeny tiny enough to squeeze in a sixth) and sometimes I only manage four, especially if some of the quotes are a bit on the long side. With the Discworld books sometimes I end up with less purely because I can't decide between several different quotes and it seems fairly to not take any of them, rather than elevate one to a higher status than the others. So I decided to include all four of my favourite quotes in this entry, because it was too difficult to choose.
"'Are you actually human?'
"Hah! As human as you are. I won't say I haven't got a few skeletons in the family closet, though.'
There was something about the way she said it...
'That wasn't just a figure of speech, was it?' said Lobsang flatly."
Page 307

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