Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett
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My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
First Published: 1988
Read from: June 16 to August 24, 2013
Wyrd Sisters – Monty Python meets Shakespeare
I feel like I didn’t give Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett a decent chance and suspect it is more deserving of a 4 star (I really liked it) rating than the 3 star (I liked it) that I have given it here. I had read a lot of Discworld novels recently, and about half way through other books I have been reading began to take over my interest. So there was a long delay finishing this book (finishing it over a month… wait, 2 months?!… from when I started). I’m afraid that effected my appreciation of it. WHILE reading it however I VERY much enjoyed this book.
Reading Discworld novels is like reading a very yummy snack that while it is NOT junk food, you can only eat so much of it in one sitting. In many respects I think if I had been in the mood and read this book as it was meant to be read, I believe it would have been one of my favorite Discworld novels so far. Very much a cross between Monty Python and Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
As with all the Discworld novels so far, there is a very thoughtful and “deep” center to Pratchett’s zany humor that is not present in so many other fantasy novels that try to be humorous while following the same formula over and over (Anthony’s Xanth series for instance). Needless to say I will be reading the next Discworld novel soon (though I think I’ll read some other stuff properly from beginning to end first).
Here’s some of my favorite quotes…
First just a few funny ones:
The duke had a mind that ticked like a clock and, like a clock, it regularly went cuckoo.
A fun bit of descriptive play on words:
Her face was pale. It might also have been drawn; if so, then it was by a very neurotic artist.
I can actually see some members of Monty Python in the roles of the two guardsmen here:
“Man just went past with a cat on his head,” one of them remarked, after a minute or two’s reflection.
“See who it was?”
“The Fool, I think.” There was a thoughtful pause. The second guard shifted his grip on his halberd.
“It’s a rotten job,” he said. “But I suppose someone’s got to do it.”
Funny but oddly very “deep”, and VERY true:
Only in our dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages.
There was much more to appreciate, especially for anyone who has spent time either involved in theater or who is a fan of Shakespeare. There were a number of deep yet funny quotes about theater and Art as a whole:
This is Art holding a Mirror up to Life. That’s why everything is exactly the wrong way around.
And the Incarnation of Death’s thoughts on seeing a Shakespearean-like play:
Inside this little world they had taken pains to put all the things you might think they would want to escape from — hatred, fear, tyranny, and so forth. Death was intrigued. They thought they wanted to be taken out of themselves, and every art humans dreamt up took them further in. He was fascinated.