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(P) ISIS Publishing Ltd, 1995; Copyright © Terry and Lyn Pratchett, 1994; Cover Illustration © Josh Kirby
"Interesting Times" is one of my favourite Pratchett books, and Nigel Planer does his usual terrific job converting it to audio. The story pokes fun at all things Oriental (or Auriental in the story -- where the gold comes from, you see), or more to the point, it makes fun of Western cliches about the Orient. The scene where Cohen and his horde of elderly barbarians take on the ninjas is perhaps one of the funniest things I've ever read/heard. "That was impressive," says one barbarian, "the way that lad jumped backwards across the room like that." "You shouldn't ought to have stuck your sword out in his way like that, though," another chimes in. "He's learned a valuable lesson!"
Any Pratchett fan will love this book.
The sound quality is atrocious. There are sections of the story that sound like they were recorded in an echo chamber.
To me, Interesting Times is when the Rincewind series starts to get good. Colour of Magic is meh, The Light Fantastic is enjoyable but could be better, Sourcery is a downer, and Eric is colorful, but a little too old-school Pratchett (note Hell's existence has been ignored in every subsequent Discworld novel). Interesting Times is the first Rincewind novel set in the "modern" Discworld, and maintains the light, humorous atmosphere throughout. Lord Hong is an unforgettable villain, Ghengis Cohen a treat to cheer for, and the Silver Horde a non-stop source of amusement. The visit to the ninja's gym is one of my favorite scenes in the series. Highly recommend.
A typically good Discworld book - perhaps slightly more ragged than usual, but full of biting satire and wonderful characters - including the welcome return of some much loved characters from the earlier books.
In particular, an excellent and exciting final act.
As usual, Nigel Planer does an unparalled job of narration, with multiple voices and accents. I can honestly say he is the best narrator of any Audio Book I've ever heard - if only they were all as good as him!
This is an absolutely laugh-out-loud hillarious book. If you don't find the comedy in this book, then your sense of humor is broken!
Cohen the Barbarian Kicks Conan in the loin cloth !
Best Barbarian Ever !
Pratchett once again cuts to the heart of the matter and delivers an excellent social commentary on the issues of integrating a growing city and the role of the press in a free society. The fact that it's as funny as hell is pure cream.
Pratchett looked to be running out steam here. It is one of the last of the Rincewind novels, but still a good read.
Nigel Planer is, as always, terrific at portraying the cast of the Discworld, and the story itself is great. Unfortunately, the overall quality is marred by audio issues - some par for the course with Discworld books, others new.
Similar to other books in the series, there are no chapters, and the Audio book is split into "chapters" of roughly 50 minutes (likely based on the amount held on each CD). Some chapters are crystal clear, others are high/low volume, or muffled. I had to adjust the volume with each new chapter in order to make it a comfortable listen.
By itself, this was nothing new and not a big deal, but this book adds another issue in that the voice of Death and all the footnotes are read in an extremely loud, echo-y, tinny voice. It's difficult to describe, but it's certainly not fun to listen to, especially if you had the volume turned up since it's a muffled chapter.
I understand that they wanted to make it clear that this was a footnote, but this is NOT a good way to do it. I had quite a few times where a relaxing listen was ruined by a metallic robotic voice randomly yelling into my ears.
Hoping this is not the case for future books..
I love all the disc world series. The performance on this one wasn't the best, though. For all the "parentheticals" or asides, the sound was really tinny and hard to understand.
This story was really funny, though a bit racially insensitive at times. There are a lot of Asian stereotypes.
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