A great fun read with extremely witty subplots is how I remember this book. But then I think about it a bit and it is not how I felt throughout.
It is extremely slow, occasionally (just) funny in the initial half. It does have that moment of laugh-out-loud humour in between — but slow nonetheless. So much so that I had lost the interest in between. It was as if jokes were written around characters (mostly caricatures) and thrown in. And the pages filled in describing the fantasy land and the surroundings were too much at times. But that is before the plot picks up and fun kicks in again.
The novel is sheer pleasure after that. I couldn’t put it down and wanted to know what happens next. Frankly, more than what happens, I was interested in how Terry Pratchett words it. I have realised that Pratchett is a master of witty fantasies. It was not that rare when I used to pause and admire how unnaturally a feeling (like fear, anger , etc.) can be described without sounding stupid. If there ever was a university of metaphors, Pratchett would surely be the founder of that. And he would still be teaching a course on thinking big — weird, but big.
So here I am confounded for the first time after reading a book. Do I like the book, the story or do I like the way it is often spun? And it turns out I find the book to be just OK. But then I would pick it up any day, go back to my highlighted passages and admire the mastery at work.
And just for this master Pratchett, I will pick up another of the Discworld novels soon and start taking notes.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars