Thursday, October 15, 2015

"The Unrest-Cure" and "The Easter Egg"

"The Unrest-Cure"
"The Easter Egg"
by Saki

(These were chosen at almost-random from a collection of Saki's short stories, for "stop-gap" reading.)

"The Unrest-Cure" was by far the more amusing (and bizarre) of the two, though the last couple of lines of "The Easter Egg" were also good.

...I don't think I can write much about either without spoiling them (and I'm just not in the mood, either).  Both are quite short-- ideal for a quick read between books.  I must remember to read more Saki again soon.  He's one of those short story authors with a very familiar name and reputation, yet when I come right down to it, I don't think I've read more than two or three of his stories.

Equal Rites

Equal Rites
by Terry Pratchett

On Discworld, a dying wizard tries to pass on his powers to an eighth son of an eighth son, who is just at that moment being born. The fact that the son is actually a daughter is discovered just a little too late. The town witch insists on turning the baby into a perfectly normal witch, thus mending the magical damage of the wizard's mistake. But now the young girl will be forced to penetrate the inner sanctum of the Unseen University-- and attempt to save the world with one well-placed kick in some enchanted shins!

My Reaction:
(A "shared read".)

This was the first of the "Witches" sub-series of the Discworld novels-- and also the first in that series that we've read.

I give it a solid thumbs up rating.  Fantasy of the "light comic" variety.  It's not a genre I'd likely ever have started reading, left to my own devices.  The idea of fantasy in general still leaves me rather cold, with a few exceptions.  However, I find that I enjoy comic fantasy, and Pratchett is generally excellent read-aloud material.

There were a few times when my interest faded-- when there was too much description of action/not enough humor... Eks's long period of Borrowing... and the scene set on the vague world of the Things-- but most of it was thoroughly entertaining, and Granny Weatherwax is a likeable character I look forward to reading more about, when we continue the series.

Oh, and the whole "feminist" angle of the book... Though it's present, I didn't find it delivered from the teeth-grinding, hit-you-over-the-head approach.  I'm a woman (despite my traditionally masculine given name), but reading an explicitly, overtly feminist novel is not my idea of a good time, so that is a definite positive.