The Granny Weatherwax/Nanny Ogg books are not my favourites in the series, but they’re ok and sometimes they are very funny. I liked the book.

Some quotes:

i. “As a witch, she naturally didn’t believe in any occult nonsense of any sort.”

ii. “Granny Weatherwax made a great play of her independence and self-reliance. But the point about that kind of stuff was that you needed someone around to be proudly independent and self-reliant at. People who didn’t need people needed people around to know that they were the kind of people who didn’t need people.”

iii. “she climbed the steps. A man was theoretically sweeping them. What he was in fact doing was moving the dirt around with a broom, to give it a change of scenery and a chance to make new friends.”

iv. “She’d faced wizards, monsters and elves … and now she was feeling pleased with herself because she’d fooled Jarge Weaver, a man who’d twice failed to become Village Idiot through being overqualified.”

v.”Definitely that kind of owner, he thought. Self-made man proud of his handiwork. Confuses bluffness and honesty with merely being rude. I wouldn’t mind betting a dollar that he thinks he can tell a man’s character by testing the firmness of his handshake and looking deeply into his eyes. [… 50 pages later:] ‘I happen to pride myself that I am a good judge of character,’ he said. ‘Look a man deeply in the eye and give him a firm handshake and you know everything about him.'”

vi. “It wasn’t so much the personality, it was the ‘but’ that people always added when they talked about it. But she’s got a lovely personality, they said. […] people would take pains to tell her that beauty was only skin-deep, as if a man ever fell for an attractive pair of kidneys.”

vii. “Agnes stayed up late, simply because of the novelty. Most people in Lancre, as the saying goes, went to bed with the chickens and got up with the cows.* […] *Er. That is to say, they went to bed at the same time as the chickens went to bed, and got up at the same time as the cows got up. Loosely worded sayings can really cause misunderstandings.”

viii. ‘I don’t understand! Is this man mad?’
Salzella put an arm around his shoulders and led him away from the crowd. ‘Well, now,’ he said, as kindly as he could. ‘A man who wears evening dress all the time, lurks in the shadows and occasionally kills people. Then he sends little notes, writing maniacal laughter. Five exclamation marks again, I notice. We have to ask ourselves: is this the career of a sane man?’

ix. “Agnes smiled unhappily. After you’d known Christine for any length of time, you found yourself fighting a desire to look into her ear to see if you could spot daylight coming out the other way.”

x. “‘And Mr Bucket has authorized me to say that there will be an additional two dollars’ bonus tonight in recognition of your bravely agreeing to continue with the show [the body of a murder-victim has just been discovered in the middle of a performance].
‘Money? After a shock like this? Money? He thinks he can offer us a couple of dollars and we’ll agree to stay on this cursed stage?’
‘Should be at least four!’
‘Right! Right!’ […] ‘Five dollars or nothing!'”

xi. “‘Everyone in the whole Ramtops buys the Almanack, even the dwarfs. That’s a lot of half dollars. And Gytha’s book seems to be doing very well.’
‘Well, of course, I’m glad it’s so popular, but what with distribution, paying the peddlers, the wear and tear on—‘
‘Your Almanack will last a household all winter, with care,’ said Granny. ‘Providing no one’s ill and the paper’s nice and thin.’
‘My son Jason buys two copies,’ said Nanny. ‘Of course, he’s got a big family. The privy door never stops swinging—‘”

xii. “In the same way that the really rich can never be mad (they’re eccentric), so they can also never be rude (they’re outspoken and forthright).”

xiii. “‘You’ve missed all the excitement.’
‘Have I?’
‘The Watch have been here, talking to everyone and asking lots of questions and writing things down very slowly.’
‘What sort of questions?’
‘Well, knowing the Watch, probably “Was it you what did it, then?” They’re rather slow thinkers.'”

xiv. “It is probably a full description of Henry Lawsy’s mind that if you had given him a book called How to Improve Your Mind in Five Minutes, he would have read it with a stopwatch. His progress through life was hampered by his tremendous sense of his own ignorance, a disability which affects all too few people.”

xv. “Nanny had a witch’s view of theft, which was a lot mroe complicated than the attitude adopted by the law and, if it came to it, people who owned property worth stealing.”

xvi. “The Watch are here, you know. In secret. They’re mingling.’
‘Ah … let me guess …’
Salzella looked around at the crowds. There was, indeed, a very short man in a suit intended for a rather larger man; this was especially the case with the opera cloak, which actually trailed on the floor behind him to give the overall impression of a superhero who had spent too much time around the Kryptonite. He was wearing a deformed fur hat and trying to surreptitiously to smoke a cigarette.
‘You mean that little man with the words “Watchman in Disguise” flashing on and off just above his head?’
‘Where? I didn’t see that!’
Salzella sighed. ‘It’s Corporal Nobby Nobbs,’ he said wearily. ‘The only known person to require an identity card to prove his species. I’ve watched him mingle with three large sherries.’
‘He’s not the only one, though,’ said Mr Bucket. ‘They’re taking this seriously.’
‘Oh, yes,’ said Salzella. ‘If we look over there, for example, we see Sergeant Detritus, who is a troll, and who is wearing what in the circumstances is actually a rather well-fitting suit. It is therefore, I feel, something of a pity he has neglected to remove his helmet. And these, you understand, the Watch has chosen for their ability to blend.'”

xvii. “Henry Lawsy peered closely at his opera notes. He had not, of course, fully understood the events of the first two acts, but knew that this was perfectly OK because one would have to be quite naïve to expect good sense as well as good songs. Anyway, it would all be explained in the last act, which was the Masked Ball in the Duke’s Palace. It would almost certainly turn out that the woman one of the men had been rather daringly courting would be his own wife, but so cunningly disguised by a very small mask that her husband wouldn’t have spotted that she wore the same clothes and had the same hairstyle. Someone’s serving man would turn out to be someone else’s daughter in disguise; someone would die of something that didn’t prevent them from singing about it for several minutes; and the plot would be resolved by some coincidences which, in real life, would be as likely as a cardboard hammer.
He didn’t know any of this for a fact. He was making a calculated guess.”


March 4, 2012 - Posted by | Books, Terry Pratchett

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