The Light Fantastic


Terry Pratchett's Discworld Novels:

                        Light Fantastic
The Light Fantastic,
Terry Pratchett

The Light Fantastic Book Review:

Back from the time when it all began, The Light Fantastic is the classic second Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett from 1986. Little did anybody know that it would eventually lead to Pratchett becoming Great Britain's number one best-selling author in the following decade.

While the events of Pratchett's novels take place on an imaginary Discworld, they are really parodies on various cultural phenomena from our own world. The Light Fantastic makes delightful fun of the religious fanaticism that can arise from the belief that the world is coming to an end. Book burning bonfires abound, lynch mobs chase after the unconverted, and frightened hordes flee the cities like rats off a sinking ship.

The main character throughout the book is an aspiring but totally inept wizard named Rincewind, whose main talent is survival-by-running-away from anything that seems even remotely threatening, which includes just about everything.

Everything, that is, except the one thing that causes everyone else to panic: The new Red Star that has been showing up on the sky and keeps growing in intensity and heat. As Rincewind's friend Twoflower so aptly puts it: "If there was anything at all to be frightened about, he'd be frightened. But he's not. The star is just about the only thing I've ever seen him not frightened of. If he's not worried, then take if it from me, there's nothing to worry about."

And naturally, Twoflower is correct in his assessment of the fate of the world by way of observing Rincewind, the Discworld's foremost expert on when to panic.

The adventures of Rincewind and Twoflower take them through a forest of talking trees, a visit with predominantly friendly rock trolls, travelling through the universe in a magic gift shop and through the skies on a druid-levitated rock, narrowly escaping Death after visiting the netherworlds, and saving a sacrificial virgin against her most ardent insistence: Things that are possible on the Discworld and nowhere else.

In the end, it's really all about a powerful magic spell that has lodged itself in Rincewind's brain, waiting for the Red Star to appear before reuniting with seven other spells to be read at the appointed time in order to turn the path of Great A'Tuin away from his (or her) collision course with the Red Star.

Great A'Tuin, of course, is the great sea turtle swimming through the cosmos with four elephants on its back, who in turn hold up the Discworld. Just as a clarification for those of you who still cling to the belief that all worlds in the Universe are spherical and revolve around stars by way of gravity.

The Light Fantastic is British humor at its very best. Even those who normally don't like British humor would likely be hard pressed to not laugh out loud while immersed in this novel.



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1. The Color of Magic

2. The Light Fantastic

3. Equal Rites
4. Mort
5. Sourcery
6. Wyrd Sisters
7. Pyramids
8. Guards! Guards!
9. Eric
10. Moving Pictures
11. Reaper Man
12. Witches Abroad
13. Small Gods
14. Lords and Ladies
15. Men at Arms
16. Soul Music
17. Interesting Times
18. Maskerade
19. Feet of Clay
20. Hogfather
21. Jingo
22. The Last Continent
23. Carpe Jugulum
24. The Fifth Elephant
25. The Truth
26. Thief of Time
27. The Last Hero
28. The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents
29. Night Watch
30. The Wee Free Men
31. Monstrous Regiment
32. A Hat Full of Sky
33. Going Postal
34. Thud!
35. Wintersmith
36. Making Money
37. Unseen Academicals
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