[LMB] Books discussed at the Tea Party (not so OT here)

Sylvia McIvers sylviamcivers at gmail.com
Fri Sep 17 19:10:12 BST 2021

On Mon, Sep 13, 2021 at 10:48 PM Marc Wilson <marc.wilson at gmx.co.uk> wrote:

> >> What did you think? I also frequent some Pratchett groups, and there
> are a
> >> good number of people who still can't bear to read it because of it
> being
> >> the last.
> >
> >I enjoyed it, and thought it a fitting finale for Tiffany Aching, but I
> >didn't think it was as good as the earlier Tiffany Aching books. I thought
> >it seemed a little unpolished, or rushed, as if he really wanted enough
> >time for another draft or two... but didn't get the time.

TSK was a nice story, but as a closing arc for Tiffany, and for the Witches
in general... um.

Spoilers ahead, for those of you who are holding The Last Book in reserve

 Granny is gone, someone must inherit her cottage & her job. And the best
woman for the job is... a man?

I feel very odd about that. Decades ago, Eskarina Smith was a woman
becoming a wizard (a man's job), so it seems logical to come in a full
circle and have a man become a witch (a woman's job). But:  Esk could not,
in fact, become a wizard.  She has a cameo in Tiffany's book, showing that
she lives a very hidden life.  The Guy is going to be a witch & really,
really public.  Because men do it better than women.  Not that this is the
intent of the story - it's more that Times Are Changing - but that's the
effect.  A girl in a man's job fails to get through the door, much less get
the job. A man in a girl's job gets the most prestigious post around,
filling Granny's shoes.

Also:  The wizards remain through the series, a bunch of misogynist old
men, who Can't Be Having with women around, except as cleaning and serving
staff. Even among the serving staff, we find that women who serve Above
Stairs are supposed to be tall & slim, and preferably blond.  Short, dumpy
women belong below stairs, even if they are the best cook in the night

I don't see a reciprocating anti-men theme in the Witches books, and don't
especially want one. It's just really glaringly blatant, who is up & who is

Also, Our Hero is a Garry Stu. After he leaves home, everyone likes him,
his ideas always work, nothing goes wrong in his path. He gets to
inherit from the most prestigious witch because mysteriously, there are no
other contenders - not like when Tiffany might have inherited the blind
witch's cottage.  He gives a bright idea to the old men and no one argues
(because old men never argue?) and it works right the first time. He even
gets an elf to experiment with humanity.   By the time I got to the end of
the story, I was looking for a trail of sparkles wherever he walked.

I enjoyed reading it, but I probably won't want to re-read it.

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