Monday, October 14, 2013

I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett Read Along Part 2

If you haven't read the book, or the whole series, why not join in and read along with the rest of us? This week the links to the other posts can be found at Dab of Darkness.

This week we read through to the end of Chapter 10.

1) This section featured some characters from the Night Watch, who are featured in other books. Did you enjoy the cameos? If you haven't read the Night Watch books, did their appearance pique your interest?

I assumed that they must be familiar characters in the Discworld universe, just like Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, but I have not read any of the Night Watch books so far. At some point I will read the whole mammoth series set in this very silly world, but, at 40 volumes and counting, it will take me some time . . .

I was particularly inspired by the discovery of a Feegle orphan raised by gnomes amongst the members of the Watch. I almost thought that Wee Mad Arthur would prove to be a long lost relative, but I suppose the Feegles have such large families that it is hard to keep track of all the members.

2) Roland sure is harsh in this section! What do you think is the source of these drastic changes in him? What, or who, would you delete in his life to makes things better?

I suppose that it could be his grief causing him to lash out at the one person he could possibly have hoped would be able to keep his father alive. Alternatively, it could be the influence of the Cunning Man. However, whatever the reason, I am finding it rather difficult to understand Roland’s crappy behavior and I am sadly disappointed with his treatment of Tiffany.

It goes without saying that the Duchess needs to be stuffed into a cannon and fired a very great distance from the Chalk, but I doubt that will happen any time soon. I am not sure, yet, whether or not Letitia should accompany her in her fiery trajectory because the poor girl seems to be as much a victim of the Duchess as Roland. At least his guard is being quite reasonable and respectful in their treatment of the Witch in their midst.

3) As Mrs. Proust predicted, Miss....Smith of the Unreal Estate found Tiffany. How do you think Ms. Smith's info on the Cunning Man will be used by Tiffany? What would you fear stumbling over in the Unreal University, a place where magical bits are constantly bumping into each other?

Well, it is always useful to have some idea what it is that you are fighting, but I did not notice any definite information on how to get of him. Perhaps Miss Smith slipped Tiffany a note with a step-by-step set of instructions whilst we were distracted by exploding chickens, but otherwise it was not very helpful.

I am quite sure that I could never imagine anything as extraordinary as many of Sir Terry’s creations, so it seems a little pointless to try. Also, it seems that everything there is very ephemeral, so anything horrible would only exist for a very short period of time before disappearing in a puff of kippers.

4) Tiffany & the Feegles return to the Chalk to find Roland's men about to dig up the Mound. Luckily, Tiffany is able to make them see sense and they put away their shovels. If they hadn't, what do you picture would have happened?

I imagine the poor men would have been subjected to some rather brutal dismembering with a lot of tiny, tiny claymores. Death by a thousand tiny cuts sounds unnecessarily messy and painful, so they are probably relieved to have avoided it. Or perhaps a good blast from the mouse pipes would have had them running away with their ears bleeding . . .

5) The Duchess seems ready to cause everyone a bit of pain, especially Tiffany. While Tiff seems to have checkmated her for now, what do you think the Duchess's next moves will be?  Did you find it hard to hold your tongue during that standoff too?

I am not quite sure why the Duchess is so upset about Tiffany, but she seems determined to cause as much trouble as possible. No doubt she will produce a series of terrified witnesses who will relate the terrible things that Tiffany has done in the castle during her rampage of terror-inducing theft and murder. I also expect her to use as much cunning and deceit as possible as she is not a very nice person.

I was very impressed by how Tiffany held her tongue for most of their encounter, as I am fairly certain that I would have blown my top fairly early on. I have a certain disdain for lying and unfair treatment, especially when it is topped with a heaping dollop of bullying, so I tend to rise to the bait all too quickly.

6) We've met a very interesting guard, Preston, the newest of the bunch. He's a bit of a bookish nerd. Do you see him being of further assistance to Tiffany? How do you think this will affect his long-term employment at the castle?

I was delighted to meet Preston. He seems like a much more suitable match for Tiffany than Roland, what with him being interesting in learning and everything. He can also relate to her feeling of being so very different from everyone else around her, so he seems like a natural ally. I imagine that he will be a great help in selecting when and how to follow the orders he is given.

I doubt that he will be happy staying as a guard for too long, even though he claims to be content just now. I can imagine Tiffany’s stories of Ankh-Morpork being a motivator in his deciding to leave the Chalk and learn a useful, and suitably bookish, trade.

7) Finally, we learn something very interesting about Letitia. It appears she is a witch. Will Letitia and Tiffany join forces to defeat evil? What do you think Letitia did, if anything, to bring the Cunning Man?

She seems like a fairly useless witch, but then we have met some of them before and she is untrained as far as we can tell. I have not managed to work out exactly what magic Letitia has done, or how it is causing all this trouble, but it seems that the girl is genuinely sorry for all the trouble. I think that they might make a good team if they can fit Letitia with some nasal tampons . . .

Other Thoughts

I know that we talked about this last week, but I was rather disappointed about the way in which the events surrounding Amber have been rewritten with Tiffany as the villain. I hope that this relates only to the folk in the castle and not to her family and friends.



  1. Hi Sue
    Finally caught up!
    Here's my link :\
    1. 40 books is a bit of a massive undertaking isn't it. I have been advised by a few people to read a few of these - is there a set about soldiers - or perhaps I'm thinking of the Nightwatch stories. I will read some of the others now I realise I don't have to read them all sequentially.
    2. I was also disappointed with Roland, I can almost forgive him because he's grieving but not quite - not yet anyway, perhaps the final few chapters will bring me round. I can't stand the Duchess - I could have happily throttled her. Cannon fodder - sounds almost too good.
    3. Actually now you set it out like that I'm not so sure Tiff did receive any advice - perhaps I need to revisit that chapter.
    4. I felt sorry for Rob during that scene and it was also quite touching to see his reactions when he thought his mound was under threat - showed a different side to him.
    5. I don't really understand what's going on with the Duchess and have been speculating all sorts of nonsense.
    Time will tell.
    6. I really liked Preston and could almost see him playing a bigger part in Tiffany's future - if not, then something suitably bookish would be really good.
    Nasal tampons! LOL
    Lynn :D

    1. I keep saying that I am going to get a patent for nasal tampons . . . :D

  2. Oh, the mental image of the Duchess fired from a cannon is fantastic! I'm kind of afraid that she isn't going to get what she deserves in this book, simply because people like her so rarely do in reality. There is no way I could have handled that confrontation as well as Tiffany did, either. I'm hoping Preston moves on to bigger and better career options in Ankh-Morpork, too!

    I guess we haven't really seen how anyone in the Chalk is reacting to this, since we've been confined to the Baron's home. I'd like to think most people in town are on Tiff's side, but I think there were grumblings out around the village before. At least, her family is surely not against her. I feel certain her dad at least understands what she did with Amber and why.

    1. I wonder if the locals will find it easier to blame Tiffany for Amber's disappearance than to accept what Mr Petty did to the poor girl. People can be very irrational when it comes to choosing to make themselves feel better about events.

    2. Actually, that's a good point about how other people, away from the Chalk, are getting on. After all, Tiffany is amongst people who really like her and look how badly she's getting on (with at least still a few friends who refuse to believe bad things about her).
      Lynn :D

  3. Something horrible existing for a very short little while and disappearing in an explosion of kippers - that is awesome. And depending on how you feel about kippers, slightly horrible too.

    Did the Feegles have the Gonnagle with them? Hopefully he would have thought of the mousepipes. Of course though, if the guards returned to the keep complaining of vicious sounds coming from the haunted Mound, that might have let to a burning of the Mound.....

    Yeah, I can't see Preston staying a guard forever, tho it is a nice perk to be able to hide books in one's armor. Still, I also don't want to see him leave the Chalk and Tiff too soon. She just found him!

    Nasal tampons! Sleek, Regular, Maxi? lol

    I also dislike how everyone is telling Tiff she is bad for having removed Amber from that situation. At least a few people, like her father (Tiff's) knows the extent of damage to Amber and her unborn child. And no one but Tiff is asking Amber what she wants! Even so, I do wonder that Amber's beau hasn't come asking Tiff how Amber is and where she is....Maybe he is too intimidated?


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