Started by Sandra Craft, January 17, 2021, 09:25:38 PM
Quote from: Davin on February 09, 2021, 05:42:16 PMI have another non-fiction:Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil, by Alain Badiou. Alain Badiou aims to explode the assumptions behind the ethical turn in political and academic agendas which serve to reinforce the ideology of the status quo. He demonstrates particularly how an ethics conceived in terms of negative human rights and tolerance of difference cannot underpin a coherent concept of evil. (166 pages)
Quote from: Sandra Craft on February 17, 2021, 08:24:42 PMMy FB review:This is the sixth of the Discworld novels, and thank goodness they don't need to be read in order because I'm way beyond back-tracking and reading them as a series.This one is particularly delightful to me as it's a mash-up of various Shakespeare plays, with Macbeth and Hamlet in the forefront. The wyrd sisters involved here are the already well-known witches Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, and the still fairly new Magrat, who I'd swear I'd read about earlier but can't remember where. She was the novice of the recently deceased Goodie Whemper, which makes me wonder if Magrat will take on the designation "Goodie" when she's old enough? All the witches of the Discworld seem to have a particular designation -- there are mentions of other witches respectfully called "Grammer", varieties of "Mother", and even a "Sister". I wonder why no witches are called some version of "Auntie", which seems to me an obvious thing to call a witch?But that's not important, just the sort of thing I think about. Anyway, the king of Lancre, the country our witches live in or around, has been knocked off by his ambitious cousin the Duke (egged on by his equally ambitious wife) and is now stuck slumping around the castle as a ghost. In the meantime, the duke has both seized the throne and begun to go insane while trying endless, unsuccessful ways to wash imaginary blood off his hand.At the time of the violent change of power, a loyal servant of the late king spirited away the infant heir and just barely managed to turn him over to Granny before being killed by the Duke's pursuing men. The Duke's men were not up to dealing with witches, however, and this bought Granny enough time to get the kid anonymously adopted by a couple who run a wandering band of players.The three witches, who've taken a solemn witches vow not to interfere in the affairs of government, begin interfering non-stop, starting with making 15 years pass very, very quickly indeed. Eventually the rightful heir (or at least one of the sort of rightful heirs, I'm still not sure what happened there) is put on the throne, the evil people are vanquished and Magrat finds love.This is a delightful romp of a story, with the humor of the writing being the biggest pleasure:Hwel shrugged. Destiny was funny stuff, he knew. You couldn't trust it. Often you couldn't even see it. Just when you knew you had it cornered, it turned out to be something else -- coincidence, maybe, or providence. You barred the door against it, and it was standing behind you. Then just when you thought you had it nailed down it walked away with the hammer.Or this, which I'm going to have to edit a good bit as it covers several pages:"There's a cart coming, Granny."Granny Weatherwax shrugged. "What you youngsters don't realize – ' she began.Witches never bothered with elementary road safety. Such traffic as there was on the roads of Lancre either went around them or, if this was not possible, waited until they moved out of the way. Granny Weatherwax had grown up knowing this for a fact; the only reason she didn't die knowing that it wasn't was that Magrat, with rather better reflexes, dragged her into the ditch.It was an interesting ditch. There were jiggling corkscrew things in it which were direct descendants of things which had been in the primordial soup of creation. Anyone who thought that ditchwater was dull could have spent an instructive half-hour in that ditch with a powerful microscope. It also had nettles in it, and now it had Granny Weatherwax.[there follows a great deal of ranting and raving about the rights of witches and the insolence of certain cart drivers, then . . . ]"Laughed at! Laughed at! On my own roads! In my own country!" screamed Granny. "That just about does it! I'm not taking ten more years of this! I'm not taking another day of it!"The trees around her began to sway and the dust from the road sprang up into writhing shapes that tried to swirl out of her way. Granny Weatherwax extended one long arm and at the end of it unfolded one long finger and from the tip of its curving nail there was a brief flare of octarine fire.Half a mile down the track all four wheels fell off the cart at once.[a deal more ranting and raving, until . . . ]"Hold her a minute, Magrat," said Nanny Ogg and rolled up her sleeve. "It can be like this with the highly trained ones," she said, and brought her palm around in a slap that lifted both witches off their feet. On such a flat, final note the universe might have ended.[fortunately this ends in a calmer Granny and not a massive witch fight.] Much recommended. In fact, I think if I were just going to start reading the Discworld books I would start with this one.
Quote from: xSilverPhinx on February 17, 2021, 10:49:07 PMExcellent review. Makes me want to read the book.