Interesting Times Discussion **Spoilers**

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Postby lindajamison76 » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:15 am

Spam deleted.

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Postby LilMaibe » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:17 am

Look, ma. A spammer :D Can we keep it? We need something to experiment with?
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Postby Prolekult » Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:28 pm

swreader wrote:I think the problem I now have with IT is that Terry is partially still doing the "spot-the-reference" thing, which gets old after one or two readings. The thing that frustrates me about this book is, I think that he tried to do too many different things and ends up doing none of them very well.

For example, there are themes--"civilization" vs. "barbarian", for example, that deserve more development than I think he gives. The Empire sees itself as the pinnacle of civilization, but, in fact, it is much more corrupt and vicious than the Barbarians. And these Barbarians, on the other hand, don't act in their typical Barbarian fashion (thanks to the instruction of the Teacher). They are more "civilized" innately--i.e. straight-forward and meaning what they say--than the Empire's type of civilization.

The whole concept of the Silver Horde has annoyed me ever since I first read this book. Granted Cohen and Teach are almost the only developed characters among the horde, but the idea that they can still defeat overwhelming forces BECAUSE THEY'VE LEARNED HOW THROUGH EXPERIENCE is pushing the concept of learning by experience farther than it can go. I don't find them funny--but rather a bit sad.

Terry seems to use "The Red Army" to allude both to the Chinese Terracotta Warriors. He may also be drawing on Classical Mythology's legends of raising warriors from Dragon's Teeth. Rincewind certainly does not intend to activate the legendary Red Army (which seems to have very modern robotic elements) or to bring it to crush the people's oppressors. He's only trying to get away. And, he has no idea how to use them in an effective way, or even to get out of the one he's in. So, it turns out that there is indeed some truth to the legend of the Wizzard and the Red Army.

But the individuals who call themselves the Red Army, whose main actions seem to be their pasting up slogans (incredibly polite but not very effective), were to succeed in overthrowing the existing government, Terry makes it obvious they have no idea of what is needed or how to improve the lot of the people they are supposed to be helping. If they are (I think) a parody of the Red Guard of the Cultural Revolution, they are less than effective. After all--when Rincewind asks the farmer who's holding the water buffalo by a string what he'd like if things were to change, it's clear that these people have been so conditioned by their society (which uses something worse than whips) that neither the peasants nor their "liberators" have any idea how to make the country better.

My problem is that I think parts of this are marvellous--but when shoved into one book, it just doesn't work for me.


Well, this post sums up the major criticisms of this book far better than I could.

I did enjoy rereading this one a great deal though. The humour is Pterry at his best and I got a lot of laughs from it (and a new sig :) ). I think this may be one of those cases where too much analysis, however accurate and well reasoned, may end up detracting from the enjoyment of the book.

I wonder what happened to Bethan...
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Postby Teppic » Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:51 pm

A few thoughts now I've finished it, in no particular order....

I loved the concept of Teach showing the Barbarians civilisation and the scene with the Apple seller was very funny. I had no problem with believing the Silver Horde. They, by the end, were sure they were going to die so it's not as though they believed they were capable of defeating an army either.

I would have liked to have found out more about Twoflower. His naivity and eternal optimism became more fascinting when we read about his wife's death and his daughters in the rebel cadre. You wonder whether his personality is a defence mechanism of some sort. Certainly he is demystified to an extent, but I'd have liked to have heard more about his past.

Rincewind, I have found to be less annoying with each book. Colour of Magic he was weasly and not very likeable character, Light Fantastic his relationship with Twoflower shows some complexity and humanity, by Sourcery he seems to have become more believable as a reluctant hero: every bone in his body tells him to run but he still confronts the Sourcerer with his brick in a sock! I think that's admirable. And by Interesting Times he has a very hard time convincing himself things are other people's problems, and seems to take to the rebel cadre and even at points seems to be a mentor to them; albeit a reluctant one. It's sad that the rebel cadre seem to understand civilisation as little as the barbarians, and that's a point I would have liked to have been highlighted more.

Perhaps the biggest problem I had with the story is that the ending is given away very early on!! It was obvious the canon would make a reappearance to suddenly kill off the bad guy (in fact, it seems odd that we could guess how he would die before he'd really been properly introduced!). I kept waiting for the canon to be remagicked back to the Counterweight continent. I think this was a much clumsier version of the Small Gods ending in some ways (though I won't say anymore about that in case some haven't read that particular masterpiece). Both were seeded early on in the book but in Interesting Times you could see it coming early on, whilst in Small Gods it was shocking and more than that, symbolic.

Oh, and another thing to add to Pooh's Japanese list. The underground SNES Rincewind found. The icons on the gloves reminded me of the old Lemmings Game on the PC. You clicked an icon and they all digged and carried on digging till you tell them to stop, you clicked another and they all pickaxed etc.. In another, wonderful way it reminded me of Knightmare...one of the best kids' programmes ever. 8)

Image

Image

I quite liked this book, not one of my faves but certainly not the worst in the series. Having said that, I'm finding the Wizard books harder to get into than the Witch or Watch books...Last Continent next up.
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Postby Prolekult » Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:58 am

Ah, Lemmings, such as classic...I owned that game :) so addictive

Yeah it was a shame Twoflower didn't get more action in this one. And he is such a likeable character I dont like to think of anything bad having happened to him. Still, his daughters are pretty cool.
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Re: Interesting Times Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby nom* » Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:07 am

this book is one of my fave books i can re-read it over and over again.

one thing that i have wondered if anyone else has thought about is the possibility that the horde was based on the seven samurai? which is Japanese, and there a 7 members of the horde including teach, however i don't really know very much about the seven samurai.


'the ever present fear of death'
'oh so you've been a teacher then?' :D
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Re: Interesting Times Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby DaveC » Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:13 pm

nom* wrote:this book is one of my fave books i can re-read it over and over again.

one thing that i have wondered if anyone else has thought about is the possibility that the horde was based on the seven samurai? which is Japanese, and there a 7 members of the horde including teach, however i don't really know very much about the seven samurai.


'the ever present fear of death'
'oh so you've been a teacher then?' :D


Welcome to the site nom! :D

Very interesting idea, i can definately see where you are coming from, even though I'm still yet to to see Seven Samurai and Magnificent Seven...though I have seen Three Amigos. :D
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Re: Interesting Times Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby Tonyblack » Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:29 pm

Welcome to the site, nom*! :D

I have seen both Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven (which is a remake of Seven Samurai), also Battle Beyond the Stars (which is a remake set in space) and, while I can see some connections with Interesting Times, - they are all skilled warriors and there are seven of them - I can't really see any other connection.

In the three movies mentioned above, the 'seven' were hired by poor villagers to protect them from bandits. In Interesting Times the seven are very much working for their own interests. :)
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Re: Interesting Times Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby Doughnut Jimmy » Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:31 pm

I don't think the SIlver Horde would have much truck with most of the Samurai ideals - can't see them committing Seppuku!
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Re: Interesting Times Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby ChristianBecker » Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:01 pm

You can commit a regional specialty dish? :mrgreen:

Welcome, nom.
I agree with the horse doctore - apart from the number (and seven is a magic number that turns up all over the place and in different cultures) the horde don't seem to have anything in common with Samurai.
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Re: Interesting Times Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby Who's Wee Dug » Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:03 pm

Welcome to the forum, nom*. :)
He willnae tak' a drink! I think he's deid! , on the other hand though A Midgie in yir hand is worth twa up yir kilt.
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Re: Interesting Times Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby CrysaniaMajere » Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:37 am

Tonyblack wrote:I have seen both Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven (which is a remake of Seven Samurai), also Battle Beyond the Stars (which is a remake set in space) and, while I can see some connections with Interesting Times, - they are all skilled warriors and there are seven of them - I can't really see any other connection.
In the three movies mentioned above, the 'seven' were hired by poor villagers to protect them from bandits. In Interesting Times the seven are very much working for their own interests. :)


the magnificent seven Barbarian-version.. :lol: I had not think of it, and TP already mentioned them in Lords and Ladies, so maybe he likes it and took the idea of 7 people against an army ;)

Ok I know this is an old discussion, but I'm re-reading IT now and I saw this bit
Oh for a game of chess with someone like Lord Vetinari. No doubt he would carefully watch the board for three hours before he even made his first move...

and I thought : this makes me understand how little he knows Vetinari, because that's not like Vetinari at all, to me. I imagine him giving a casual glance at the board, maybe work at his desk some time in a 'first the work than the play'-style, then casually strode towards the board and make his move barely looking at what he's doing, and then going back to work, maybe keeping talking to someone on something completely different...
did we ever see him playing anything ? (aside from the crosswords, I remember that clearly)

and: 'yes, poor man, he thought himself so clever, didn't he?' is what I imagine Vetinari thinking of Hong :lol:
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Re: Interesting Times Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby =Tamar » Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:18 pm

Terry has definitely used the Magnificent Seven imagery, usually when describing someone holding a hat or equivalent in the 'ai senor, bandits have attacked our village" position. I'm wondering whether Rincewind counts, making it the Magnificent Seven-A.

By the way, as I understand it, Terry doesn't play spot the reference. He just writes. We play spot the reference. When we see one, that means we have understood another layer of meaning.
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Re: Interesting Times Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby =Tamar » Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:24 pm

CrysaniaMajere wrote: I'm re-reading IT now and I saw this bit
Oh for a game of chess with someone like Lord Vetinari. No doubt he would carefully watch the board for three hours before he even made his first move...

and I thought : this makes me understand how little he knows Vetinari, because that's not like Vetinari at all [snip]
did we ever see him {Vetinari} playing anything ? (aside from the crosswords, I remember that clearly)


Yes, we know Vetinari plays Thud because that was his official motive for starting up the Post Office again. The Clacks downtime was interfering with his long-distance Thud game. His other motives were not given but can be inferred.
I agree that Hong totally misunderstood Vetinari. Vetinari thinks much faster than that!
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