This thread is for discussing Pyramids in some depth. If you haven’t read the book then read on at your own risk – or, better still, go and read the book and join in the fun.
For those of us that are going to join in the discussion, here are a few guidelines:
Please feel free to make comparisons to other Discworld books, making sure you identify the book and the passage you are referring to. Others may not be as familiar with the book you are referencing, so think before you post.
Sometimes we’ll need to agree to disagree – only Terry knows for sure what he was thinking when he wrote the books and individuals members may have widely different interpretations – so try to keep the discussion friendly.
We may be discussing a book that you don’t much care for – don’t be put off joining in the discussion. If you didn’t care for the book, then that in itself is a good topic for discussion.
Please note: there is no time limit to this discussion. Please feel free to add to it at any time - especially if you've just read the book.
Please endeavour to keep the discussion on topic. If necessary I will step in and steer it back to the original topic – so no digressions please!
Pyramids by Terry Pratchett
Originally published 1989
When young Prince Teppicymon is sent for an education at the Assassins’ School in Ankh-Morpork, his education includes more than just how to kill people. He learns about mattresses and plumbing, but he also learns how much his own country has remained unchanged for thousands of years. When his father dies and he returns, determined to make changes, he runs up against Dios the High Priest, who has ideas of his own.
Then, when an accident of Geometry makes the Kingdom disappear into a different dimention, it is up to King Teppic to make it return and to stop the war between Tsort and Ephebe at the same time.
Introduction by poohcarrot
As a Monty-Python-loving atheist who likes nothing better than pottering round the ruins of ancient and lost civilisations, and who is not averse to the occasional joint (see my bio on the Twerps Peerage thread), how would it be possible for me NOT like this book?
Apart from giving us further insights into the workings of Ankh-Morpork, Pyramids parodies the ancient civilisations of Greece and Egypt, while at the same time slamming religion and posing a theological mind-bomb of a question of awesome proportions. This is all done in a brilliantly illogical Pythonesque style of humour.
Slapstick humour? Hardly! I mean, to understand just one of the jokes on the very first page, it requires knowledge of astro-physics! And the parody of Zeno's Hercules/tortoise paradox is nothing short of genius.
I personally rate Pyramids as TP's funniest book. And along with Small Gods and Nation, as one of TP's three most anti-religion novels to date.
To me, anyone who doesn't like Pyramids simply just doesn't get it. Maybe the humour is too British, too erudite, or simply too oblique? Maybe references to British confectionery, the British Driving Test, Tom Brown's Schooldays and an old British kids TV programme are lost on non-Brits? Maybe people just don't understand the jokes about Oedipus, the Old Testament, Greek philosophers, Egyptian Gods, the founding of Rome, the evolution of stars, or Einstein's theory of relativity? Maybe it's because the humour isn't slapstick and actually needs some thought? I honestly don't know.
To cap it all off from my point of view, Pyramids also condones the use of cannabis. What more could I want?
But this is all just my opinion. What do you think?
(Pyramids trivia question. Who pretends to be a gargoyle?)
Want to write the introduction for the next discussion (Wyrd Sister)? PM me and let me know if you’d like to – first come first served.