Review: Pyramids

Pyramids (Discworld, #7)Pyramids by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is my second time reading this book. I have dropped the rating from 5 to 3 stars

This book is all but divorced from all the other Discworld books. There’s at least one other one like this one – Small Gods. In that sense, it makes a sort of nice introduction to Discworld because it can be read on its own and one can understand Pratchett’s Discworld humor. There is some slight continuity – the idea of Ank-Morpok having crime guilds to regulate the amount of crime. Death, of course. But for the most part, it sits fine on its own.

In some ways, the book is very British in that Teppic (our main character) is dealing with an immense and immovable bureaucracy. Even as king, he has his pronouncements reversed from under him by the high priest. It’s also a slight parody of management paradigms in vogue at the time as the scenes where he interacts with the Pyramid builders and embalmers show. Toss in a bit of, “I don’t want this destiny” and there’s your story.

I runs along well and we get Pratchett’s parody of Ancient Greece. I love everyone’s inability to understand Athenian democracy. I believe that becomes a slight running joke throughout the Discworld books.

Based on what I can remember from when I first read through the Discworld, my recommendations to a new reader who wasn’t intending on slogging through the first 5 books just because the other 25 are great, would be:

1. Small Gods
2. Pyramids
3. Guards! Guards! (and then either read The Watch stories [see wikipedia to know which those are] followed by Moist Lipwig books or read sequentially from there on out)
4. Wyrd Sisters (and then read the Witches stories or read sequentially from there out)

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