Thursday, January 22, 2009

Legendary Troublemakers

I just finished Witches Abroad, another fun Terry Pratchett novel featuring Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat Garlick. This one played on several fairy tales (including a brief cameo by Gollum). It was creative and fun, although I slightly prefer the witch stories that are versions of Shakespearean plays. I'm currently reading Equal Rites, Pratchett's first book in which Granny appears. She's a really wonderful curmudgeon.

Prior to Witches Abroad, I read Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips. In it, the Greek gods are living in somewhat reduced circumstances in London and, as the title aptly puts it, behaving very badly indeed. Actually, Artemis is the only really reasonable member of the quarrelsome family. All the gods (except Artemis, goddess of chastity, and Eros, who has converted to Christianity) are sleeping with each other or causing trouble, so several chapters are fairly vulgar. By contrast, Alice and Neil are two mortals interested in Scrabble, tidiness, and each other, but who are too timid, wholesome, and polite to make it work. Alice and Neil are especially likeable when contrasted with the likes of the Apollo and Aprodite. The plot stays true to the classic formula, the gods playing tricks and getting even with each other, and of course a hero with a quest and a bit of immortal assistance. It was a well-formed story and a fun read.

No comments: