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Read: Carpe Jugulum, by Terry Pratchett

book coverSublte irony on the topic of religion and esotericism is not an easy thing. Especially when vampires are the topic.

'You mean vampirism is like… pyramid selling?' said Agnes. (p. 221)

That's one of the many gemstones to be found in this book as like in any other of the Discworld novel series I have read. For the non-native speaker these books are like a game with hidden doors — there's always the thrilling thought that you miss any number of them. Maybe a good reason to read a book once more, I'd say.

Of my discworld books so far this might be not the most original one. The witches are in pro form again, especially and one for all of course Esmeralda Weatherwax. As usual she has it all under control, despite of showing physical weakness; at the end maybe there is a little too much of control – Weatherwax fans won't be surprised by the spaghetti-western showdown. Also, the other witches are a little bit flat this time, especially it's Magrat who had had better roles in other novels. Perdita is fun, of course.

A small but nevertheless interesting side-story is the question of relation of generations. If it's the old head witch that feels obsolete because of young Agnes, or the 200 years old Vampire riotgrrrl Lacci who really would like to overcome her father - The Count and head vampyre. Whom to trust in your family to chose the right decision is one of the threads in this book. Spoiler: Wise Age wins.

Terry Pratchett is, as always, reasonable and fair to all parties; of course there are The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, but even Vampires here have their civilized culture, and even the Thpiders are part of it. Evenmore, religion gets its high moments, especially at the holy end. Only poor King Verence is a real loser this time, having the whole disaster of Vampirism taking over Lance kicked off, and also really plays no role in making things straight again.

For this issue of the Discworld Journals, reading is fun, is the reward, the story maybe not so much.

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