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The Caine Mutiny
an Adventure in Philosophy
The book traces the whole development of European philosophy in terms that even a child can understand (after all, Sophie is fourteen years old). This simple outline is, in fact, of value to many adults (including myself). In its first half, it is not a gripping book. In fact it is puzzling and vaguely unsettling, and includes so much historical and philosophical information that it can sometimes be quite hard work.
What makes this book exceptional, though, is that it contains an event so unimaginable, so intense and so extreme, that one can almost feel the foundations of Sophie's world shatter. It turns every philosphical concept she (and the reader) has learned on its head!
Quite possibly the only book that has made my mouth hang open in amazement, the climax is well worth the effort required from the reader.
El Mundo de Sofía
At first glance, the books appear to be frivolous. They are highly entertaining, hilariously funny, witty, with many plays on words and manipulations of traditional story-telling techniques. If you read them carefully, though, you will find that Pratchett’s books are satirical comments on society, dealing with issues such as racism (speciesism, to be more precise), sexism, social change, democracy, employment - human nature, in fact. His characters are absolutely real, even when they are not, strictly speaking, people. A range of humans, trolls, dwarves, werewolves and even dogs make up the cast of the many stories.
Each of the books can be read on its own, and the books from the middle of the series are, in my opinion, better. Reading the earlier books will, however, enrich your enjoyment of the series through their introduction of characters like Rincewind the Wizzard (he doesn’t spell - in either sense - very well), Granny Weatherwax, Twoflower (the Discworld’s first tourist) and the ubiquitous Luggage.
I recommend all of his books, but have provided direct links to three of them here. The rest can be found using the search facility at the bottom of this page. Let me know what you think!
A story which challenges the linearity of history and the mortality of humans, while simultaneously making the reader laugh and laugh until it hurts.
A special book for me because it was the last my father read before he died. I have just (rather optimistically) bought the Spanish version, and am eager to see how much of the humour survives the translation. It will be a while before I can read it though, lol.
My favourite Pratchett book, and one which I have re-read many times.
Revolution is taking place in the Aurient (the place where gold comes from)! The Red Army is developing secret cadres in all the cities, although the ever-polite citizens are still having difficulty mastering the art of impolite slogans ("Regrettable demise without undue suffering to the oppressors!").
This is the least of the problems of the Agatean Empire, where the worst curse is "May you live in interesting times!" (they tend to be interesting because people cut serious bits off you).
Against the background of the timid revolution, a more intense struggle is taking place between five established families. Who will be the next emperor? And is this all a board game of the gods?
A very clever book which explores the social structure of societies.
A demon and an angel decide to adopt the very human quality of free will, and sabotage Armageddon. Unfortunately for them, the Antichrist is "misplaced" at birth, and all their efforts at influencing the substitute are, naturally, wasted.
An entertaining look at how the Antichrist would grow up in a normal neighbourhood. I have never laughed so much at the old "nature-nurture" debate!
Tasmania : Australia Guide
Tasmania : Australia Guide (2nd Edition)
Walking Guide to Switzerland
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