Pyramids Discussion *Spoilers*

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Postby poohcarrot » Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:44 pm

Dotsie wrote:Which was the UA one? Can't remember it. Have to read that one again.


Dotsie wrote:
poohcarrot wrote:"If there is any kind of supreme being (I told myself), it is up to all of us to become his moral superior."

I noticed this too (not surprisingly). Loved it! I will in fact use it at the first opportunity.

:roll:
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Postby Tina a.k.a.SusanSto.Helit » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:39 am

I enjoyed it immensely. I read it about 4 times. There are so many ways that it points out stagnation, society, schooling, (in a hugely funky Harry Potter way :lol: ) relationships, religions, families, war, imho it covers pretty much the entire world in one fell swoop.

I loved the Re-Annual wine, the 100 meter non-chalant walk, the doctor's opinion that Pteppic was dead, which says a lot about medicine in general even today..., the bread sprouting amongst everything else he walked or loitered by :lol: too funny. The immovability of Dios' way that things should be was altogether too real for me with the issues we face when trying to change governmental paths around the world. The World's Greatest Mathematician rocked my world, You Bastard had a starring role in Ephebe! Terminally pruning an olive tree, and stunning seagulls with the pits, while Ptraci fed leaves to the rescued tortise was hilarious!!

The Armies of the two countries standing so close to each other and knowing that mutual annihilation was the probable outcome is so very realistic. This was near the time of the fall of the Berlin wall also. Both commanders were understandably reluctant to start things up. Newbie soldiers are scared and pumped to start, veterans of war already know all the icky details and realize that avoiding it is the best choice possible.

I found it to be a True and Real slice of life, and non-life. The mummies bitching about how horrible it was to be in pyramids was precious. I liked the cultural language shift bit where the oldest had to be translated through several generations.
Aha! So, Bob's yer uncle... very clever.
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Postby poohcarrot » Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:49 am

Tonyblack wrote: One of my biggest problems has always been that I was enjoying the Assassins' Guild bits so much that I was kind of disappointed when we were wrenched back to Djelibeybi.

This was Terry's seventh book in the Discworld series and we'd only had tantalising glimpses of Ankh-Morpork. The city obviously made a big impression on young Teppic and I, as a reader, wanted to see more. Thankfully, Terry obliged in the next book, Guards! Guards!


Tony

Pyramids and Guards Guards were both published in 1989 approx 6 months apart.
Are you saying that if they had been published the other way round, you would have enjoyed Pyramids more?
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Postby Tonyblack » Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:38 am

No, I'm saying that I'd have enjoyed the book more if they'd spent more time at the Assassins' Guild. It just felt as if an interesting idea had been cut off and the book had gone in an almost totally different direction.

Yes, I know the book is about Pyramids and the parody of Ancient Egypt/Greece, but it was also a parody of English public schools and in particular 'Tom Brown's Schooldays'.

I guess I felt a bit like Teppic - having to return to such a boring place after being in such an interesting one. :)

But if I had read Guards! Guards! first I would have been disappointed with Pyramids because I think G!G! is a more enjoyable book.
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Postby Dotsie » Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:15 am

poohcarrot wrote:
Dotsie wrote:Which was the UA one? Can't remember it. Have to read that one again.


Dotsie wrote:
poohcarrot wrote:"If there is any kind of supreme being (I told myself), it is up to all of us to become his moral superior."

I noticed this too (not surprisingly). Loved it! I will in fact use it at the first opportunity.

:roll:


This is Vetinari's opinion. And I thought it was funny. Then I forgot it (rolly eye boy) :D
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Postby CrysaniaMajere » Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:21 am

I liked the bit where they were in the city and I laughed for the sphinx, but apart from that I remember only a laugh here and there, not very much, I think I missed most of the jokes. I hadn't reread it for this discussion because I remember it quite boring (don't kill me!!) So I thought : I won't reread it now, I'll wait for the discussion, to see what they say, and THEN I'll reread it knowing more about it :P
poohcarrot wrote:Exactly the same theme of Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister (which finished in 1988 probably while TP was writing this book). Every time I re-read Pyramids I think of Dios as Sir Humphry Appleby and King Teppic as Jim Hacker. :D


:?: What is that Yes Minister thing? A show? Who are Appleby and Hacker?
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Postby poohcarrot » Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:37 am

Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister were UK TV comedy shows that ran from 1980-1988. The show was ranked 9th most popular TV show ever in 2000.

Hacker becomes a Minister (then Prime Minister) in a new Government. He has wonderful ideas on how to change the country, but in all his time he never achieves anything because Sir Humphrey (Head of the Civil Service) manges to foil all his attempts to change things. It's the Civil Service that actually controls everything and they all want things to remain as they are.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yes_Minister
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Postby CrysaniaMajere » Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:43 am

Thanks, I'll read that page. I had never heard of it :(
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Postby Tonyblack » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:03 am

CrysaniaMajere wrote:Thanks, I'll read that page. I had never heard of it :(
The funny thing is, in just about every country it's been shown in, the viewers thought it was a parody of their government. :lol:
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Postby Sjoerd3000 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:39 am

Not so long ago there was even a Dutch version made and broadcasted (september 2009) called Sorry Minister. It wasn't as good as the original, though :wink:
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Postby poohcarrot » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:52 pm

Pyramids and religion Part I

One thing that Pyramids does that Small Gods doesn't, is attack religious fanatacism. In Small Gods there are no religious fanatics because nobody actually believes in Om.

In Pyramids it starts innocuously enough with this (page 42 paperback)

Pyramids wrote: After that the masters intervened and explained that religion, while a fine thing, could be taken too far.


Then 15 pages later (page 57) TP drops this baby which is even truer today than the day it was written;

Pyramids wrote:Look into the face of a man who will kill you for a belief and your nostrils will snuff up the scent of abomination. Hear a speech declaring a holy war and, I assure you, your ears should catch the clink of evil's scales and the dragging of its monstrous tail over the purity of the language.


And then to add lemon juice to the wound (page 160)

Pyramids wrote:"I spoke blasphemy against our king (God).
I dropped a rock on my foot. Now my tongue is to be taken out."
"A priest heard you, did he?"
"No. I told a priest. Such words should not go unpunished," said the man virtuously.
We're really good at it, Teppic thought. Mere animals couldn't possibly manage to act like this. You need to be a human being to be really stupid.
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Postby raisindot » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:59 pm

poohcarrot wrote:Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister were UK TV comedy shows that ran from 1980-1988. The show was ranked 9th most popular TV show ever in 2000.

Hacker becomes a Minister (then Prime Minister) in a new Government. He has wonderful ideas on how to change the country, but in all his time he never achieves anything because Sir Humphrey (Head of the Civil Service) manges to foil all his attempts to change things. It's the Civil Service that actually controls everything and they all want things to remain as they are.


Ah, yes, YM/YPM, my favorite Brit comedy series of all time. I even have the hard to find books. It made me a rabid fan of Nigel Hawthorne, who I was later fortunate enough to see on stage in "The Madness of King George."

But as wily as Sir Humphrey was on the show, Hacker is just as responsible for his own failures by giving up his populist principles and becoming a easily manipulated, spineless jellyfish to climb the "greasy pole" of politics.

The humor is very British and not always easy for Americans unfamiliar with the British parliamentary system to understand, since in the executive branch there is no "single" civil service equivalent to Sir Humphrey's role as permanent secretary.

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Postby Tonyblack » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:22 pm

poohcarrot wrote:Pyramids and religion Part I

One thing that Pyramids does that Small Gods doesn't, is attack religious fanatacism. In Small Gods there are no religious fanatics because nobody actually believes in Om.

In Pyramids it starts innocuously enough with this (page 42 paperback)

Pyramids wrote: After that the masters intervened and explained that religion, while a fine thing, could be taken too far.


Then 15 pages later (page 57) TP drops this baby which is even truer today than the day it was written;

Pyramids wrote:Look into the face of a man who will kill you for a belief and your nostrils will snuff up the scent of abomination. Hear a speech declaring a holy war and, I assure you, your ears should catch the clink of evil's scales and the dragging of its monstrous tail over the purity of the language.


And then to add lemon juice to the wound (page 160)

Pyramids wrote:"I spoke blasphemy against our king (God).
I dropped a rock on my foot. Now my tongue is to be taken out."
"A priest heard you, did he?"
"No. I told a priest. Such words should not go unpunished," said the man virtuously.
We're really good at it, Teppic thought. Mere animals couldn't possibly manage to act like this. You need to be a human being to be really stupid.


I don't want to get too much into a discussion about Small Gods here as we haven't discussed it yet and many of the members here may not have read it at all. But, what you describe, Pooh is more about fear, indoctrination and religious fervour rather than actual belief in gods. People may not believe in Om in SG, but that doesn't stop them doing terrible things in his name. The religious fanatics are the priests and the people are afraid to do anything but obey the so-called religious doctrine of Om. I'd say there was most certainly religious fanaticism in SG.

The first example you use is about a small boy who has been frightened into religion. His god is more of a bogeyman than anything and that seems to have been driven into him by his mother. I'm not sure I'd call him a fanatic so much as terrified. :lol:
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
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Postby Doughnut Jimmy » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:53 pm

Despite the awesome imagery of your second quote Pooh I'm not sure you can take the opinion of the assasin's guild as much of a moral guide - do you really believe Pratchett is trying to persuade us that it is better to kill for money than for a cause?
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Postby poohcarrot » Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:06 pm

I thought the big joke of SG was that even though it was theoretically a "theocracy", nobody actually believed in Om. :? Thus making Omnia a fascist state akin to Nazi Germany or modern day Iran. You can't be a religious fanatic if you don't believe. You could be a religious fascist though. In Omnia nobody would have turned themselves over to a priest for blaspheming if they dropped a rock on their foot.

Anyway, I'm not talking about people who do bad things in the name of a God they don't believe in. I'm talking about people who do bad things because they truly believe in a God, and truly believe they are carrying out God's wishes. Those people who "take religion too far" (see first quote).

Also, the first example I used wasn't about one small boy who'd been frightened into religion. It was about 5 seperate instances of boys, who while practicing their religion caused trouble. :lol:
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"You kicked a puppy," Lobsang said accusingly.
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