Witches Abroad (Discworld Series #12)

( 54 )

Overview

Be careful what you wish for...

Once upon a time there was a fairy godmother named Desiderata who had a good heart, a wise head, and poor planning skills?which unforunately left the Princess Emberella in the care of her other (not quite so good and wise) godmother when DEATH came for Desiderata. So now it's up to Magrat Garlick, Granny Weatherwax, and Nanny Ogg to hop on broomsticks and make for far-distant Genua to ensure the servant girl ...

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Witches Abroad (Discworld Series #12)

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Overview

Be careful what you wish for...

Once upon a time there was a fairy godmother named Desiderata who had a good heart, a wise head, and poor planning skills—which unforunately left the Princess Emberella in the care of her other (not quite so good and wise) godmother when DEATH came for Desiderata. So now it's up to Magrat Garlick, Granny Weatherwax, and Nanny Ogg to hop on broomsticks and make for far-distant Genua to ensure the servant girl doesn't marry the Prince.

But the road to Genua is bumpy, and along the way the trio of witches encounters the occasional vampire, werewolf, and falling house (well this is a fairy tale, after all). The trouble really begins once these reluctant foster-godmothers arrive in Genua and must outwit their power-hungry counterpart who'll stop at nothing to achieve a proper "happy ending"—even if it means destroying a kingdom.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
 • "A true original among contemporary writers." —The Times

 • "Pratchett's writing is a constant delight. No one mixes the fantastical and mundane to better comic effect or offers sharper insights into the absurdities of modern endeavour." —Daily Mail

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061020612
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Series: Discworld Series , #12
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 545,033
  • Lexile: 700L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 4.14 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett is one of the world's most popular authors. His acclaimed novels are bestsellers in the United States and the United Kingdom, and have sold more than 85 million copies worldwide. In January 2009, Queen Elizabeth II appointed Pratchett a Knight Bachelor in recognition of his services to literature. Sir Terry lives in England.

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

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 54 )
Rating Distribution

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(34)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 54 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2003

    Awesome book

    Really awesome. I love the witches, Nanny Ogg is so funny. I would reccomend it to anyone who likes an amusing and educational read that's also very quick. I love Discworld. Neem! Everyone should worship the great writing of Terry Pratchett as I do!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2014

    Classic

    Classic Terry P, read it you won't be disappointed, Greebo has a bigger role. Wish more of these were made into movies

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2012

    Love it!

    Granny Weatherwax is my hero!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2011

    I love this book!

    The witches are my favorite and this one, with its upturning of fairy tales, is so much fun! I love how Terry Pratchett expects his readers to be half-way intelligent. Nothing is given away - you must pay attention Dear Reader, and keep up! I have a special fondness for the footnotes - there aren't as many of them in this book as I'd like, but they are still fun.

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  • Posted September 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    If you speak slow enough and loud enough everyone understands English

    This book puts fairy tales in a different perspective. What if your "Happily ever after" isn't the same as mine? What if you and your fairy godmother disagree on prince charming? And why do fairy godmothers come in pairs?
    There's an old tourist tale about a person who believed if you spoke English slow enough and loud enough foreigners (in their own country) would understand you. This poor soul travels across Europe screaming very slowly and ends up believing Europeans are just trying to be difficult. Granny, Nanny and Magrat taught that person all she knew -- still they manage. Terry Pratchett's witches are cultured pearl travelers, i.e. they're irritating in any surrounding, out of place where ever they go, but ultimately they're gems -- Well, except pearls aren't really gems, but these three witches definitely take some hard coating to be palatable, which is why I love them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2007

    Best Discworld Novel to Date

    Like one of the reviewers before me, I am reading all the novels in the order they were published, so this is my thirteenth or so. This is definitely the most polished and broadly appealing of all the books. The humor was fantastic, the timing was great, and the settings were well thought out. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I wish more of Pratchett's novels were this fantastic!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2004

    Best Discworld book so far

    I can't believe as a long time reader that I've just discovered Terry Pratchett in the last six months. I like books that are in series and love fanatsy, so again, it's strange I just found these books. Anyway, I am posting my first online review because I just finished this book and think it's the best of the lot so far. I'm reading these in the order they were published so I am through about a dozen now. I enjoyed this one because of the strong connection to the fairy tales I loved reading growing up, the wonderfully impactful yet often subtle satire, and the ties I felt for characters I've enjoyed in previous books (Granny Weatherwax, you are my hero!) This is the type of book I know I'll enjoy reading again because I know I've missed things I'll pick up next time through. It will be fun all over again. In the meantime, I picked up 'Small Gods' as soon as I put down 'Witches Abroad' and I am off on another Discworld adventure...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2003

    Here be Witches, There be Witches...

    I generally don't like the Discworld witches, but I couldn't put down this GREAT, short epic. You NEED to read this book!

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    Posted November 13, 2010

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    Posted June 29, 2009

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