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    Review of INTERESTING TIMES by Terry Pratchett (see the official website)

    HarperPrism, 1994

    The world's worst magician, Rincewind, is on a desert island. He'd be happy if he had potatoes, but he's content. Content, that is, until the wizards of the Unseen University in Ankh-Morpork send him to the Counterweight Continent where his presence has been urgently demanded. The Counterweight Continent is in the midst of a crisis. With the Emperor dying, powerful lords scheme to replace him. If the Red Army could take the blame for the Emperor's death, things could get interesting for Lord Hong, who wants to rule not only the Continent, but the rest of the world as well. And Rincewind is a perfect tool--he thinks.

    Rincewind may be the worlds worst wizard, but he knows how to run. Only it seems that he keeps running into more trouble. The Emperor's soldiers want him dead, but even the pathetic Red Army thinks he's mostly worthless. Meanwhile, Cohen the Barbarian, with six equally geriatric barbarians and a schoolteacher to keep him company have invaded the Continent. Rape is an increasingly distant concept to the 80-something barbarians, but pillage still has meaning.

    Author Terry Pratchett (see more reviews of novels by Pratchett) manages to combine humor, action, and insights into the human condition in a very funny story. Rincewind is something of an everyman--wanting only to stay alive and certain that any good luck he manages to hit can only foretell disaster. Rincewind's famous baggage plays only a minor role--leaving Rincewind unguarded as he attempts to stay alive in a Continent where just about everyone wants him dead.

    INTERESTING TIMES is a fun story--with enough bite to it to make it stick with you. I'm happy to recommend this one.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 2/18/06

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