Wyrd Sisters (Discworld Series #6) (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

( 66 )

Overview

Terry's Pratchett's profoundly irreverent novels are consistent number one bestsellers in England, where they have catapulted him into the highest echelons of parody next to Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams, and Carl Hiaasen.

Meet Granny Weatherwax, the most highly regarded non-leader a coven of non-social witches could ever have. Generally, these loners don't get involved in anything, mush less royal intrigue. but then there are those times they can't help it. As Granny...

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Wyrd Sisters (Discworld Series #6)

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Overview

Terry's Pratchett's profoundly irreverent novels are consistent number one bestsellers in England, where they have catapulted him into the highest echelons of parody next to Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams, and Carl Hiaasen.

Meet Granny Weatherwax, the most highly regarded non-leader a coven of non-social witches could ever have. Generally, these loners don't get involved in anything, mush less royal intrigue. but then there are those times they can't help it. As Granny Weatherwax is about to discover, though, it's a lot harder to stir up trouble in the castle than some theatrical types would have you think. Even when you've got a few unexpected spells up your sleeve.

When murder, mayhem and the sudden arrival of a royal baby disturb the monthly cauldron-stirring of three witches, trouble is bound to be brewed up in the little kingdom of Lancre. Kingdoms wobble and crowns topple in this sixth hilarious Discworld adventure!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780613572972
  • Publisher: Sanval, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/1/2001
  • Series: Discworld Series , #6
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: THIS EDITION IS INTENDED FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY
  • Pages: 265
  • Product dimensions: 4.30 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett's novels have sold more than sixty-five million (give or take a few million) copies worldwide. In January 2009, Queen Elizabeth II made Pratchett a knight in recognition of his "services to literature." Sir Terry lives in England with his wife.

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 wind howled. Lightning stabbed at the earth erratically, like an inefficient assassin. Thunder rolled back and forth across the dark, rain-lashed hills.

The night was as black as the inside of a cat. It was the kind of night, you could believe, on which gods moved men as though they were pawns on the chessboard of fate. In the middle of this elemental storm a fire gleamed among the dripping furze bushes like the madness in a weasel's eye. It illuminated three hunched figures. As the cauldron bubbled an eldritch voice shrieked: "When shall we three meet again?"

There was a pause.

Finally another voice said, in far more ordinary tones: "Well, I can do next Tuesday."

Through the fathomless deeps of space swims the star turtle Great A'Tuin, bearing on its back the four giant elephants who carry on their shoulders the mass of the Discworld. A tiny sun and moon spin around them, on a complicated orbit to induce seasons, so probably nowhere else in the multiverse is it sometimes necessary for an elephant to cock a leg to allow the sun to go past.

Exactly why this should be may never be known. Possibly the Creator of the universe got bored with all the usual business of axial inclination, albedos and rotational velocities, and decided to have a bit of fun for once.

It would be a pretty good bet that the gods of a world like this probably do not play chess and indeed this is the case. In fact no gods anywhere play chess. They haven't got the imagination. Gods prefer simple, vicious games, where you Do Not Achieve Transcendence but Go Straight To Oblivion; a key to the understanding of all religion is that agod's idea of amusement is Snakes and Ladders with greased rungs.

Magic glues the Discworld together — magic generated by the turning of the world itself, magic wound like silk out of the underlying structure of existence to suture the wounds of reality.

A lot of it ends up in the Ramtop Mountains, which stretch from the frozen lands near the Hub all the way, via a lengthy archipelago, to the warm seas which flow endlessly into space over the Rim.

Raw magic crackles invisibly from peak to peak and earths itself in the mountains. It is the Ramtops that supply the world with most of its witches and wizards. In the Ramtops the leaves on the trees move even when there is no breeze. Rocks go for a stroll of an evening.

Even the land, at times, seems alive ...

At times, so does the sky.

The storm was really giving it everything it had. This was its big chance. It had spent years hanging around the provinces, putting in some useful work as a squall, building up experience, making contacts, occasionally leaping out on unsuspecting shepherds or blasting quite small oak trees. Now an opening in the weather had given it an opportunity to strut its hour, and it was building up its role in the hope of being spotted by one of the big climates.

It was a good storm. There was quite effective projection and passion there, and critics agreed that if it would only learn to control its thunder it would be, in years to come, a storm to watch.

The woods roared their applause and were full of mists and flying leaves.

On nights such as these the gods, as has already been pointed out, play games other than chess with the fates of mortals and the thrones of kings. It is important to remember that they always cheat, right up to the end ...

And a coach came hurtling along the rough forest track, jerking violently as the wheels bounced off tree roots. The driver lashed at the team, the desperate crack of his whip providing a rather neat counterpoint to the crash of the tempest overhead.

Behind — only a little way behind, and getting closer-were three hooded riders.

On nights such as this, evil deeds are done. And good deeds, of course. But mostly evil, on the whole.

On nights such as this, witches are abroad.

Well, not actually abroad. They don't like the food and you can't trust the water and the shamans always hog the deckchairs. But there was a full moon breasting the ragged clouds and the rushing air was full of whispers and the very broad hint of magic.

In their clearing above the forest the witches spoke thus:

"I'm babysitting on Tuesday," said the one with no hat but a thatch of white curls so thick she might have been wearing a helmet. "For our Jason's youngest. I can manage Friday. Hurry up with the tea, luv. I'm that parched."

The junior member of the trio gave a sigh, and ladled some boiling water out of the cauldron into the teapot.

The third witch patted her hand in a kindly fashion.

"You said it quite well," she said. "Just a bit more work on the screeching. Ain't that right, Nanny Ogg?"

"Very useful screeching, I thought," said Nanny Ogg hurriedly. "And I can see Goodie Whemper, maysherestinpeace, gave you a lot of help with the squint."

"It's a good squint:' said Granny Weatherwax.

The junior witch, whose name was Magrat Garlick, relaxed considerably. She held Granny Weatherwax in awe. It was known throughout the Ramtop Mountains that Miss Weatherwax did not approve of anything very much. If she said it was a good squint, then Magrat's eyes were probably staring up her own nostrils.

Unlike wizards, who like nothing better than a complicated hierarchy, witches don't go in much for the structured approach to career progression. It's up to each individual witch to take on a girl to hand the area over to when she dies. Witches are not by nature gregarious, at least with other witches, and they certainly don't have leaders...

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 66 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 67 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2004

    Is Terry Prachett a Woman?

    A student introduced the English department at my university to Terry Prachett's books and I'm beginning to suspect that 'he' is really a woman because he knows way too much about older women. This is a hilarious book in which I seem to recognize myself in both Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, not to mention my penchant for trying to save baby birds and crying when they die, like Magrat Garlick. I have read about 12 Discworld books over Christmas break and have just ordered 7 more. I lent my copy of Wyrd Sisters to a fellow faculty member whose area is Renaissance drama, and he called me to inform me that I am en evil woman because he will now have to buy all twenty- something books too. Terry Prachett's books are emphatically NOT for adolescents only. The allusions to literature, folklore, fairy tales, and mythology make them little primers in general literary knowledge. This book is based on MacBeth with some folklore and social comment thrown in, but the characters of the three wyrd sisters are truly wonderful. Buy this book. Buy the series. These are at least as good as the Harry Potter series and I never thought I'd say that about any books.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2012

    Cool!

    This book was a lot of fun to read! Great characters and the plot moved along well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Fun!

    I loved this. I've read some of the Discworld series, still in the early stages, but I adore the witches. They're kind, but also a bit tricky and eccentric, and loads of fun. Who else to be the guardians of justice than 3 slighted witches who could've inspired Shakespeare? Add in a wronged and murdered king, not one but two lost sons, a hostile takeover, a kingdom unhappy, a rag tag theater group, Death in the wings, and a host of other fun characters and you get a wild ride only to be found in this famous series. I can't count the times I chuckled aloud or got deep into the plot completely losing track of time. You never really know where a discworld story is going to go, and that's half the fun! Talk about surprises along the way. I was so amused by the ending. Another great read. Can't wait to see what comes next.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2012

    My fav author EVER

    This is just one of the over 30 books of Pratchetts, and I have read (and own) most. There is not a single bad Discworld novel! I could not have made it through some seriously hard times without Discworld to run to. Read them all! You will not be sorry!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2012

    .

    Terry Pratchett has written yet another wonderful book filled with endless humor and adventure

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2011

    highly recommend it

    Wyrd Sisters is one of the rare books that made me laugh out loud. This is my 3rd copy as I keep giving mine to my friends to read. The witches have some very unexpected problems and pull off some very funny solutions.

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  • Posted December 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Wyrd Sisters

    I love these characters. Three witches, a murdered king, a power-mad duke... sound familiar. Terry Pratchett is comic genius, with a fun story and delightful turn of phrase.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2005

    what were you thinking

    i cant beleive this book got any good reviews. this was the worst book that i have ever read and trust me i have read some of the worst books ever published and wyrd sisters takes the cake. i mean the constant jumping around from one sene to another was crazy. who ever said that this was a good book needs to sit down and rethink there motives. i mean come on...when i first saw this title it jump out and caught my attention but when i started to read it...i mean come on it was so boring. it is now april 16 i just finished the book i have been reading sence december 25 and no i am not over doing it. it realy took me that long to read this book. its sad that some people would write anythingm to be noticed.

    0 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2001

    A terrific combination of Humor and Fantasy

    As one of the first Discworld books I have ever read, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Pratchett uses wit and humor in a way that kept me laughing during the whole book. I also found the refrences to Shakespeare's Macbeth very amusing.

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    Posted December 27, 2010

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