It is rare and splendid event when an author is elevated from the underground into the international literary establishment. In the case of England's best-known and best-loved modern satirist, that event has been long overdue.
Terry Pratchett's profoundly irreverent Discworld novels satirize and celebrate every aspect of life, modern and ancient, sacred and profane. Consistent number-one bestsellers in England, they have garnered him a secure position in the pantheon of humor along with Mark Twain, Douglas Adams, Matt Groening, and Jonathan Swift.
Even so distinguished an author as A. S. Byatt has sung his praises, calling Pratchett's intricate and delightful fictional Discworld "more complicated and satisfying than Oz."
His latest satiric triumph, Carpe Jugulum, involves an exclusive royal snafu that leads to comic mayhem. In a fit of enlightenment democracy and ebullient goodwill, King Verence invites Uberwald's undead, the Magpyrs, into Lancre to celebrate the birth of his daughter. But once ensconced within the castle, these wine-drinking, garlic-eating, sun-loving modern vampires have no intention of leaving. Ever.
Only an uneasy alliance between a nervous young priest and the argumentative local witches can save the country from being taken over by people with a cultivated bloodlust and bad taste in silk waistcoats. For them, there's only one way to fight.
Go for the throat, or as the vampyres themselves say...
Through the shredded black clouds a fire moved like a dying star, falling back to earth--
--the earth, that is, of the Discworld--
--but unlike any star had ever done before, it sometimes managed to steer its fall, sometimes rising, sometimes twisting, but inevitably heading down.
Snow glowed briefly on the mountain slopes when it crackled overhead.
Under it, the land itself started to fall away. The fire was reflected off walls of blue ice as the light dropped into the beginnings of a canyon and thundered now through its twists and turns.
The light snapped off. Something still glided down the moonlit ribbon between the rocks.
It shot out of the canyon at the top of a cliff, where meltwater from a glacier plunged down into a distant pool.
Against all reason there was a valley here, or a network of valleys, clinging to the edge of the mountains before the long fall to the plains. A small lake gleamed in the warmer air. There were forests. There were tiny ...
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Weaves a story of two worlds: the witches' world and the vampires' world, where magical powers and otherworldly fascinations are locked together in a dance of seduction, death, and rebirth.
It's Easter in Readinga bad time for eggs. Ovoid D-class nursery celebrity, Humpty Stuyvesant Van Dumpty III, is found shattered to death. Detective Inspector Jack Spratt and his assistant Mary Mary are on the case and before long find themselves grappling with a sinister plot involving cross-border money laundering, beanstalks, titans ...
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