The Light Fantastic (Discworld Series #2)

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Overview

Rincewind was the most truly inept wizard the flat earth of Discworld had ever known. He was a wizard with only one spell, a spell he would never dare to say, one of the Eight Great Spells from the magical Octavo. So powerful was this magic that every ordinary useful spell refused to stay in the wizard's mind for even one instant.

Then the Red Star appeared in the sky--and everyone finally understood what the Eight Spells were really for...to ward off the menace of this starry ...

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The Light Fantastic (Discworld Series #2)

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Overview

Rincewind was the most truly inept wizard the flat earth of Discworld had ever known. He was a wizard with only one spell, a spell he would never dare to say, one of the Eight Great Spells from the magical Octavo. So powerful was this magic that every ordinary useful spell refused to stay in the wizard's mind for even one instant.

Then the Red Star appeared in the sky--and everyone finally understood what the Eight Spells were really for...to ward off the menace of this starry devastation. But the Octavo only has seven spells left. And suddenly the whole planet--from wizards and warriors to druids and demons--were after Rincewind. Yet even if they found him in time, would this inept magician be able to get the only Spell of his life right? Would this be the end of the only honest-to-gosh flat earth--or some crazy new beginning...?

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"He is a satirist of enormous talent... Incredibly funny, compulsively readable."
The Times

"A true original among contemporary writers."
The Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781856958318
  • Publisher: ISIS Audio Books
  • Publication date: 5/28/1997
  • Series: Discworld Series , #2
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Unabridged, 6 Cassettes
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Terry Pratchett
TERRY PRATCHETT is one of the most popular authors writing today. He lives behind a keyboard in Wiltshire and says he 'doesn't want to get a life, because it feels as though he's trying to lead three already'. He was appointed OBE in 1998. He is the author of the phenomenally successful Discworld series and his trilogy for young readers, The Bromeliad, is scheduled to be adapted into a spectacular animated movie. His first Discworld novel for children, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, was awarded the 2001 Carnegie Medal.

Biography

Welcome to a magical world populated by the usual fantasy fare: elves and ogres, wizards and witches, dwarves and trolls. But wait—is that witch wielding a frying pan rather than a broomstick? Has that wizard just clumsily tumbled off the edge of the world? And what is with the dwarf they call Carrot, who just so happens to stand six-foot six-inches tall? Why, this is not the usual fantasy fare at all—this is Terry Pratchett's delightfully twisted Discworld!

Beloved British writer Pratchett first jump-started his career while working as a journalist for Bucks Free Press during the '60s. As luck would have it, one of his assignments was an interview with Peter Bander van Duren, a representative of a small press called Colin Smythe Limited. Pratchett took advantage of his meeting with Bander van Duren to pitch a weird story about a battle set in the pile of a frayed carpet. Bander van Duren bit, and in 1971 Pratchett's very first novel, The Carpet People, was published, setting the tone for a career characterized by wacky flights of fancy and sly humor.

Pratchett's take on fantasy fiction is quite unlike that of anyone else working in the genre. The kinds of sword-and-dragon tales popularized by fellow Brits like J.R.R. Tolkein and C. S. Lewis have traditionally been characterized by their extreme self-seriousness. However, Pratchett has retooled Middle Earth and Narnia with gleeful goofiness, using his Discworld as a means to poke fun at fantasy. As Pratchett explained to Locus Magazine, "Discworld started as an antidote to bad fantasy, because there was a big explosion of fantasy in the late '70s, an awful lot of it was highly derivative, and people weren't bringing new things to it."

In 1983, Pratchett unveiled Discworld with The Color of Magic. Since then, he has added installments to the absurdly hilarious saga at the average rate of one book per year. Influenced by moderately current affairs, he has often used the series to subtly satirize aspects of the real world; the results have inspired critics to rapturous praise. ("The most breathtaking display of comic invention since PG Wodehouse," raved The Times of London.) He occasionally ventures outside the series with standalone novels like the Johnny Maxwell Trilogy, a sci fi adventure sequence for young readers, or Good Omens, his bestselling collaboration with graphic novelist Neil Gaiman.

Sadly, in 2008 fans received the devastating news that Pratchett had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. He has described his own reaction as "fairly philosophical" and says he plans to continue writing so long as he is able.

Good To Know

Pratchett's bestselling young adult novel Only You Can Save Mankind was adapted for the British stage as a critically acclaimed musical in 2004.

Discworld is not just the subject of a bestselling series of novels. It has also inspired a series of computer games in which players play the role of the hapless wizard Rincewind.

A few fun outtakes from our interview with Pratchett:

"I became a journalist at 17. A few hours later I saw my first dead body, which was somewhat…colourful. That's when I learned you can go on throwing up after you run out of things to throw up."

"The only superstition I have is that I must start a new book on the same day that I finish the last one, even if it's just a few notes in a file. I dread not having work in progress.

"I grow as many of our vegetables as I can, because my granddad was a professional gardener and it's in the blood. Grew really good chilies this year.

"I'm not really good at fun-to-know, human interest stuff. We're not ‘celebrities', whose life itself is a performance. Good or bad or ugly, we are our words. They're what people meet.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Terence David John Pratchett
    2. Hometown:
      Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 28, 1948
    2. Place of Birth:
      Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England
    1. Education:
      Four honorary degrees in literature from the universities of Portsmouth, Bristol, Bath and Warwick

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The sun rose slowly, as if it wasn't sure it was worth all the effort.

Another Disc day dawned, but very gradually, and this is why.

When light encounters a strong magical field it loses all sense of urgency. It slows right down. And on the Discworld the magic was embarrassingly strong, which meant that the soft yellow light of dawn flowed over the sleeping landscape like the caress of a gentle lover or, as some would have it, like golden syrup. It paused to fill up valleys. It piled up against mountain ranges. When it reached Cori Celesti, the ten mile spire of gray stone and green ice that marked the hub of the Disc and was the home of its gods, it built up in heaps until it finally crashed in great lazy tsunami as silent as velvet, across the dark landscape beyond.

It was a sight to be seen on no other world.

Of course, no other world was carried through the starry infinity on the backs of four giant elephants, who were themselves perched on the shell of a giant turtle. His name-or Her name, according to another school of thought-was Great A'Tuin; he-or, as it might be, she-will not take a central role in what follows but it is vital to an understanding of the Disc that he-or she-is there, down below the mines and sea ooze and fake fossil bones put there by a Creator with nothing better to do than upset archaeologists and give them silly ideas.

Great A'Tuin the star turtle, shell frosted with frozen methane, pitted with meteor craters, and scoured with asteroidal dust. Great A'Tuin, with eyes like ancient seas and a brain the size of a continent through which thoughts moved like little glittering glaciers. GreatA'Tuim of the great slow sad flippers and star-polished carapace, laboring through the galactic night under the weight of the Disc. As large as worlds. As old as Time. As patient as a brick.

Actually, the philosophers have got it all wrong. Great A'Tuin is in fact having a great time.

Great A'Tuin is the only creature in the entire universe that knows exactly where it is going.

Of course, philosophers have debated for years about where Great A'Tuin might be going, and have often said how worried they are that they might never find out.

They're due to find out in about two months, And then they're really going to worry ...

Something else that has long worried the more imaginative philosophers on the Disc is the question of Great A'Tuin's sex, and quite a lot of time and trouble has been spent in trying to establish it once and for all.

In fact, as the great dark shape drifts past like an endless tortoiseshell hairbrush, the results of the latest effort are just coming into view.

Tumbling past, totally out of control, is the bronze shell of the Potent Voyager, a sort of neolithic spaceship built and pushed over the edge by the astronomerpriests of Krull, which is conveniently situated on the very rim of the world and proves, whatever people say, that there is such a thing as a free launch.

Inside the ship is Twoflower, the Disc's first tourist. He had recently spent some months exploring it and is now rapidly leaving it for reasons that are rather complicated but have to do with an attempt to escape from Krull.

This attempt has been one thousand percent successful.

But despite all the evidence that he may be the Disc's last tourist as well, he is enjoying the view.

Plunging along some two miles above him is Rincewind the wizard, in what on the Disc passes for a spacesuit. Picture it as a diving suit designed by men who have never seen the sea. Six months ago he was a perfectly ordinary failed wizard. Then he met Twoflower, was employed at an outrageous salary as his guide, and has spent most of the intervening time being shot at, terrorized, chased and hanging from high places with no hope of salvation or, as is now the case, dropping from high places.

He isn't looking at the view because his past life keeps flashing in front of his eyes and getting in the way. He is learning why it is that when you put on a spacesuit it is vitally important not to forget the helmet.

A lot more could be included now to explain why these two are dropping out of the world, and why Twoflower's Luggage, last seen desperately trying to follow him on hundreds of little legs, is no ordinary suitcase, but such questions take time and could be more trouble than they are worth. For example, it is said that someone at a party once asked the famous philosopher Ly Tin Weedle "Why are you here?" and the reply took three years.

What is far more important is an event happening way overhead, far above A'Tuin, the elephants and the rapidly expiring wizard. The very fabric of time and space is about to be put through the wringer.

The air was greasy with the distinctive feel of magic, and acrid with the smoke of candles made of a black wax whose precise origin a wise man wouldn't inquire about.

There was something very strange about this room deep in the cellars of Unseen University, the Disc's premier college of magic. For one thing it seemed to have too many dimensions, not exactly visible, just hovering out of eyeshot. The walls were covered with occult symbols, and most of the floor was taken up by the Eightfold Seal of Stasis, generally agreed in magical circles to have all the stopping power of a well-aimed halfbrick.

The only furnishing in the room was a lectern of dark wood, carved into the shape of a bird-well, to be frank, into the shape of a winged thing it is probably best not to examine too closely-and on the lectern, fastened to it by a heavy chain covered in padlocks, was a book.

A large, but not particularly impressive, book. Other books in the University's libraries had covers inlaid with rare jewels and fascinating wood, or bound with dragon skin. This one was just a rather tatty leather. It looked the sort of book described in library catalogues as "slightly foxed," although it would be more honest to admit that it looked as though it had been badgered, wolved and possibly beared as well.

Metal clasps held it shut. They weren't decorated, they were just very heavy-like the chain, which didn't so much attach the book to the lectern as tether it.

They looked like the work of someone who had a pretty definite aim in mind, and who had spent most of his life making training harness for elephants.

The air thickened and swirled. The pages of the book began to crinkle in a quite horrible, deliberate way, and...

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 88 )
Rating Distribution

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(40)

4 Star

(34)

3 Star

(13)

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(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 89 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The odd man out.

    The Light Fantastic is a bit of an odd man out in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series in that it's the only one that really should be read in order. Most of this fantastic series can be read as a stand alone, in whatever order one feels (odd in and of itself for such a large series). The light Fantastic is the followup to Pratchett's Discworld debut The Color of Magic, in which our erstwhile hero Rincewind continues his journey with the Discworlds first tourist, the indomitable Two Flower. It is every bit as offbeat, witty and strangely poignant as the first, and certainly a good start to one of the most interesting fantasy worlds ever created. Highly recommended.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I'm on a mission to read all the discworld books!

    I love this book. Terry Pratchett is a never ending well of fanatsy and creativity.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 18, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Loved it!

    This book continues on with Rincewind and Twoflower's journey, and you find out how much of a "Wizzard" Rincewind truly is. Rincewind continues on his desperate attempts to keep the idiot Twoflower from getting them all killed, and along the way they meet some new friends and even more enemies.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    It was the 1st fantasy comedy I ever read

    This is a fun, warm, and fuzzy book. Too short for my liking, but hey! Terry is the man. I prefer the disc world series of old to the more complicated stuff he writes these days...

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2003

    GREAT BOOK!

    I would recommend this book to anybody. The Luggage is probably the most creative thing Pratchett has ever menchened. ROCK ON DEATH!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2000

    Not quite the usual

    I have the same probems with this book as with the previous one. It did not have quite the fun value or the length of current installments. Plus editing had some major mistakes. And I really really disliked the Spells' reset button Intervention.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2013

    The sequel you wanted

    If you've read The Color of Magic this is the sequel you want. A great continuation of a great story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2013

    It is Terry Pratchett

    How can you go wrong? Best series ever.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2013

    Loved it!

    Great read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2012

    BATTLE AREANA

    For true warriors we havent thought of a name yet

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  • Posted October 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The Sequel is as Good as the First

    This sequel to Color of Magic ends a great introdcution to the Discworld series, perticularily the tale of Rincewind, the less than apt wizard. There are quite a number of laugh out loud moment, without the allegory found in the later novels. After some time away from this book, I am glad to say that Sir Prattchet holds up after the years have passed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Very Good!!! Highly Recommended!

    The discworld series is wonderful!! It rivals Harry Potter because of how funny they are!! Read all 39 of them!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2000

    Early Edition

    The Light Fantastic is a very good story written by Pratchett in the early days of Discworld. I first read the book when i was twelve, and at the time hadnt understood all the jokes and plot(Considering I hadnt read The Color of Magic), Yet to read both now was very satisfying and feel that the original Discworld novels are the best, even though parts such as the Dragons, and the monster warp reality a little inconsistently.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted April 10, 2011

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