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When a wizardly experiment goes adrift, the wizards of Unseen University find themselves with a pocket universe on their hands: Roundworld, where neither magic nor common sense seems to stand a chance against logic. The Universe, of course, is our own. And Roundworld is Earth. As the wizards watch their accidental creation grow, we follow the story of our universe from the primal singularity of the Big Bang to the Internet and beyond.
Through this original Terry Pratchett story (with intervening chapters from Cohen and Stewart) we discover how puny and insignificant individual lives are against a cosmic backdrop of creation and disaster. Yet, paradoxically, we see how the richness of a universe based on rules, has led to a complex world and at least one species that tried to get a grip of what was going on-
As a huge Terry Pratchett fan I was seriously disappointed in this story.
I found the 'real life' inserts both distracting and hard to read. I can imagine the story by itself being quite good, but I found it almost impossible to read as a whole. I soldiered through but was none-the-wiser or -happier by the end of the book.
Other die-hard Pratchett fans may disagree, but I say if you are going to read a discworld novel go for something good like Going Postal or Night Watch...
I was quiet expecting to sit down and read up on the 'common sense' of magical science as it exists on the Discworld... I was NOT expecting to spend a good 70% of my time reading up on 'real world' (or, as it is called in the book, Roundworld) science.
I actually found it stunningly wonderful! Being a hard-core science buff with an interest in Quantum Physics, Particle Physics and n-Dimensional Geometry, this books was like a comicbook to me... full of great stuff, but wrapped in Discworld anecdotes.
Without giving it all away, all I can say is that if you are expecting a funny Discworld story in line with Mort, Colour of Magic, etc... this is NOT the right book. If, however, you enjoy Discworld and are interested in the more advanced physical and theoretical sciences, then you will find this a total delight.
Overall, stunning. Simply stunning. Can't wait to get stuck into #2 : The Globe. And with the release of #3 in 2005, I am very much looking forward to some long, quiet nights of reading. :)
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Harry S Truman (1884 - 1972)