I Shall Wear Midnight *Spoilers*

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Anyone know if and when the audiobook will be available?

Postby raisindot » Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:42 am

As I said, this isn't my favorite book, but sometimes listening to an audiobook version can make a book seem much better the second time around (as it did for me with UA and Monstrous Regiment).

Mr. Briggs will have an absolute field day with this one. He's got nearly every major DW character to voice here. Getting this would incentivize me to join up with Audible.com again. Just to get this one.

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Postby CJDobs » Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:49 pm

I have to say, I think it’s the best thing Terry’s ever written.

EVER.

Bold statement I know given his amazing back catalogue, but bear with me, and I’ll try and support my incredulous claim. :shock:

Like a lot of people on here, I’ve ‘grown up’ with Pratchett. I consider myself blessed to have discovered a copy of The Colour of Magic towards the end of my high school days in the late 80’s and have been hooked ever since.

The first of Terry’s books that was a new release for me was Wyrd Sisters and I can still recall the excitement (almost nerve shredding) on the day of release as I charged into our local book shop to buy it.

I’d already met Granny Weatherwax in Equal Rites but I’ll be honest and say our first encounter wasn’t a memorable one as I felt that book was poor after the TCOM and TLF ‘zany road trip’ which had massive appeal to an impressionable 15 year old.

Wyrd Sisters however, was a real masterpiece (understatement) and The Witches quickly became my favourite of all the Discworld tales with Granny being far and away the best character - No argument, sorry, she’d wipe the floor with Sam Vimes and even Death tips his scythe to Mistress Weatherwax.

But I digress (quick, quick get to the point!) ‘I shall wear Midnight’ was always going to be a triumph in my eyes because firstly, it’s a Witch tale.

After Carpe Jugulum, I think Terry knew he’d taken Granny to the pinnacle of her power and it would be difficult to find a foe worthy of her whilst making it relevant (though I pray that future Witch tales are in the pipeline - pleasepleasepleaseplease . . . .) Tiffany quickly took on the mantle and gave Terry some vulnerability to play with though it has to be said, as a heroine, Tiffany kicks arse – even on a steep learning curve.

But Granny is still to be revered and no more so than in ISWM. Little more than a cameo, but still a show stealer. There’s a line in the book about the other witches ’lining up’ behind Granny when she confronts Tiffany with the possible consequences of her losing. It made me shudder with respect for her and for the Great pterry himself - Just an awesome passage to read!

Secondly, the compact nature of the book (ok, it was short) reminded me very much of those episodal Discworld books of old like Pyramids, Sourcery, Moving Pictures, where Terry would always ‘get to the point’ quickly to allow space for great character development and gags. The early books as we know were proper ‘custard pie in your face’ slapstick married with cutting observation and wit.

The slapstick maybe missing from ISWM (and possibly we’re thankful for that as we’ve grown older) but the observational wit is sharper than ever. He cuts straight to the point in each chapter and I’ve read many a criticism of this as poor writing, rushed work or even (and this one sucks the root bigtime) an effect of Alzheimers.

To all of this hogwash I say ‘what a load of old B****cks’. I may appear as a defensive fan here but truthfully, I found Unseen Academicals enjoyable (if a little ploddy in parts) whereas ISWM just gets straight to the point allowing Tiffany to BE Tiffany which is what I wanted to read more than anything.

My third and penultimate point – ‘Thank the Lord’ I hear you cry! – is the story itself. It oozes relevance. In a world today where peoples IQ’s can be instantly reduced by uttering phrases like ‘coming over here, taking our jobs’ and mob mentality still rules (sadly) the idea of the cunning man moving amongst the people sowing the seeds of hate is narrativium in its purest form. I loved it and don’t feel any elaboration of him was needed or a more dramatic battle required to end the book as he served his purpose wonderfully.

He was a foil for Tiffany to fence with, he was an attitude for her to come to terms with and an ignorance to overcome.

Bravo Sir Terry, Bravo.


Finally (hurrah, we made it!) The ending of this book is emotional. I mean real, deep down, twist you where it hurts ‘Emotional’.

“Pratchett does Romance shocker!” – at least I now know what the sound of Love is. I just listened ( . . . . . . . ok, technically ‘I read’ but give me some poetic licence here!).

But it doesn’t end with Tiffany and Preston. Oh no, the authors note by Terry tapping into his childhood and the tale of the country hare gives a poignancy to the whole book that left me sat in a warmth you can rarely duplicate (I hadn't wee'd myself either thank you, I'm talking spiritually like . . . like I was lifted to some higher plain and glimpsed something made for more beautiful people than myself . . . sorta thing . . . ) :?

Maybe this book hit me on some massive personal level (though I have never to my knowledge, been a teenage witch – being a big old useless bloke an’ all . . . . .) or maybe it was just that it evoked so many past Discworld experiences whilst I read it and I was nostalgic for my own long journey with Mr Pratchett in my hands, I don’t know.

All I do know is, the world would be a far duller place without ‘I Shall Wear Midnight’ and duller even still without Terry Pratchett.

Best ever? mmmmm Yeh. I'm comfortable saying that and will heartily defend my view on it because this book really hit the spot.

Cheers
Carl :D

p.s If I have one teeny criticism it's that, at no point in the book (and I will probably have to re-read it to be sure) did the Feegles say 'waily, waily. waily' And you cannae no have Feegles wi'oot a bit o' waily'

:roll:
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Postby raisindot » Wed Oct 06, 2010 6:53 pm

CJDobs wrote:If I have one teeny criticism it's that, at no point in the book (and I will probably have to re-read it to be sure) did the Feegles say 'waily, waily. waily' And you cannae no have Feegles wi'oot a bit o' waily'

:roll:


Which shows that a strong editor's hand would have helped, considering that the word is included in the glossary!

:)

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Postby Tonyblack » Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:19 pm

Nice one Carl! Glad you enjoyed it. :D
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
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Postby LifeChild » Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:08 pm

Is anyone else here a nurse or nursing student? Or a midwife/midwifery student? Anyone else read the books and in parts think "Take out the magic aspect and THAT IS MY LIFE!!!"?

I think one of the reasons I love the Tiffany books so much is because, even though my life is nowhere near as exciting and clearly doesn't involve as many mystical foes and magic as hers, the basic witchcraft she is shown learning which, as i'm sure we're all aware, is basically district nursing stuff, feels so familiar! She's a student nurse like me! Heh, i've dealt personally with the poor confused old men and women needing things doing and asking the same questions daily and telling the same stories, and doing all the bandaging and meds and personal care and things, helping even when the people seem disinclined to help themselves, and feeling all glowy inside when it all goes right and everyone is happy and it's just awesome.

It makes me feel good about my chosen profession, weirdly, reading it. There's a phrase I read somewhere, which applies to nursing I think, as well as many jobs, and possibly also Discworld basic witchcraft, I don't know who first said it, but it goes like this -
"We are the willing led by the unknowing doing the impossible for the ungrateful"
although thankfully, most of my patients are lovely, lovely people.
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Postby Tonyblack » Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:20 pm

I think you've summed that up very well, LC. They are the district nurses of Discworld. :D
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Postby LifeChild » Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:36 pm

Hehehe. I live in a house with two student adult/general nurses, two student mental health nurses, a student doctor and a student midwife (so, effectively, it's probably the safest house in the world to have a health crisis in...lol) and i've been telling them about it, and we agreed that the witches are the nurses and the wizards are the doctors. We think the witches/wizards have a similar relationship to each other as many of the doctors/nurses we've observed. Wizards/doctors tootling about with their fancy magic and tests, speaking strange jargon and getting excited about interesting new symptoms and theorising whilst the witches/nurses get on with the holistic care and looking after the person as a whole, knowing about the family situ and doing the hands on stuff etc. Both are totally awesome, but you need a bit of both really to get you better.
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Postby Who's Wee Dug » Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:46 pm

Just googled this and it appears to be a comment made by a member of the army.
Posted by a soldier in his teens who's done a tour of Afghan and going out again soon!!!!! "We are the willing, led by the unknowing, doing the impossible for the ungrateful". Lets let them know how proud we are of our uk armed forces :)
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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Postby LifeChild » Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:08 pm

Ah thankyou! I saw it first on one of those placard things people get to put up in their offices (you know the sort, like the ones that say "You don't have to be mad to work here but it helps!"... :roll: )

People must be made of super strong stuff to be in the army, there are a couple of ex-army peeps on my course and who i've met in the hospitals and from the stories they tell I really don't think I could hack it myself, but i'm grateful there are people out there who can and do!
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Postby One Man Bucket » Sun Oct 10, 2010 3:52 pm

Considering my opinion of Unseen Academicals as adequate I didn't expect much from this book but aside from the first book this is by far the best Tiffany Aching book I've read. That being said, as a series Tiffany Aching was never as good as the Lancre Coven barring Equal Rites.

So is this the last of all Witches book or just Tiffany Aching.
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Postby The Mad Collector » Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:16 pm

It's supposed to be the last of the Tiffany books as Terry said that he cannot see a sensible way to continue developing her character from this point. I'm sure we will see more of the witches.
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Postby Anilori » Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:06 pm

Didn't he also say Granny had become too powerful to continue being an engaging protagonist? (which is why she's been relegated to the sidelines, as Tiffany's mentor, and hardly even appears in ISWM) - or is it some fan analysis I'm misattributing ?

(However, that wouldn't necessarily mean the end for the Witches series, since a great thing in these books are, Terry always finds a way to introduce new and different witches with their own personality and individual spin on the job, the latest being Mrs Proust)

(No, I'm not suggesting Mrs Proust should become the next Granny :arrow: )
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Postby pandasthumb » Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:47 am

Why is Roland's bride a witch? I'm sure there could have been other ways for the CM to be called into the world? And what is going to happen with her? We know that she can't learn to be a witch alone but then I don't see her fitting in to the scenario, I mean Tiffany is THE witch of the chalk. And then if Wosname is a witch on the chalk then shouldn't there be a third one? I find this very disturbing - it bothered me all the way to work this morning.

And as to Granny Weatherwax getting too powerful - I would really like to know who would win in a contest between Granny and the Patrician? :?:
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Postby Exp. Date, the rat » Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:48 am

pandasthumb wrote:Why is Roland's bride a witch? I'm sure there could have been other ways for the CM to be called into the world? And what is going to happen with her? We know that she can't learn to be a witch alone but then I don't see her fitting in to the scenario, I mean Tiffany is THE witch of the chalk. And then if Wosname is a witch on the chalk then shouldn't there be a third one? I find this very disturbing - it bothered me all the way to work this morning.

And as to Granny Weatherwax getting too powerful - I would really like to know who would win in a contest between Granny and the Patrician? :?:


Well if you think about it, Granny is THE witch of Lancre, but there also Nanny, and Agnes/Margrat. So the Chalk could have Tiffany, Letita, and AMBER who would be the thrid witch which would fit. Tiffany as Granny, Letitia and Magrat/Agnes and Amber as Nanny. It seems that Terry is setting up a new trio of Witches since the Lancre ones have just about done it all.

Between Granny and Vetinari it would be Granny. Even though it is headolog against headology he still has magic to eek out the win.
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Postby One Man Bucket » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:14 am

I hope we get a story set in the past in which young Esme appears or a full blown prequal
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