Pyramids

by Terry Pratchett
Corgi Books, London, 1990
ISBN 0552134619
285 pages

This is the seventh book of Discworld series, but has almost no connection to the other books in the series, so you can read this book as a stand-alone. Pyramids consists of 4 book, that is, The Book of Going Forth, The Book of the Dead (remind us to THE Book of the Dead of Ancient Egypt), The Book of the New Son, and The Book of 101 Things A Boy can Do (remind you to those how-to books these days).

The story took place in a place named Djelibeybi, a parody of the Old Kingdom of Egypts, on the days when the great pyramids has built and caused a bankruptcy in economy of a country used to be so rich. Like Egypt, Djelibeybi was located in the valley of Djel river (or Nile, in our version) on the continent of Klatch, but consisted of an area of only two miles wide and one hundred and fifty miles long, with its existence only maintained by it being located between stronger neighbours, Tsort and Ephebe, who would be at war if Djelibeybi wasn’t there. Djelibeybi was governed by King Teppycimon XXVII, who, not like his ancestors, hated the concept of his future to be mummified and preserved in a pyramid. He wanted to be buried in the sea, a will frowned upon by his High Priest, Dios. Meanwhile, Pteppic, his son, was in Ankh-Morpork, the capital city of Discworld, studying to be an assassin, an occupation he didn’t feel really passionate about, but very-well paid (and he knew his royal family could do with another source of money). Besides, his late mother (who was a foreigner herself) always wanted him to be educated abroad.

Things were getting weird when Pteppic (or Teppic for foreigners) had to go home when his father passed away earlier than he expected. Used to the modern ways of Ankh-Morpork, he felt Djelibeybi was very ancient and he was bored of its pyramids, hard beds, marriage to relatives, people who considered him as god, and, especially, Dios, who passed the king’s orders, or, rather, his own orders, to King’s people. Dios hated changes and progress, and had gone very far to make sure that Djelibeybi stayed the same as centuries before. By the way, Dios never spoke in past tense. The King practically had no power in Djelibeybi. Dios wanted a pyramid to be built for his father, and to exasperate Dios, Teppic has ordered a bigger pyramid to be built, twice the usual size.

A strange thing, pyramid was. In Djelibeybi, every night, the pyramid gave a flare off the top, to release the time pent up in the it. It was said that pyramids not only preserved kings, queens, handmaidens, cats, and anything put in them, but they also preserved time pent in them. To preserve the sane time and space dimensions of Djelibeybi, they had to release the time off their peaks (or any sharp object at the top) every night. And things were getting very strange when the biggest pyramid Teppic ordered was built. Even Dios had a bad feeling about it. A disaster then happened, involving the wrath of thousand of ancestors, gods who came down to the world, giant beetle who pushed the sun, quantum physics, deceitful accountant, paracosmic architect, skilled embalmers, mathematician, philosophers, fable writers, a reduction of a whole country into a thin line on the rocks, a sexy handmaiden, smugglers, Sphinx, and a lot more.

There is a staggering quantity of parody and play-of-words in this book. And you will also meet DEATH, hahaha. And guess who is the greatest matematician in the world (or in this Discworld, that is)? After you have finished the book, I suggest you to reread again word-by-word from the beginning, because it will reveal a lot more things you never suspected before. Especially about who is the first, the one who begin all this mess about pyramids.

I love the cover, by the way. Depicting almost all important characters in the book. I always prefer this Corgi cover editions.

Hilarious, genius, worth to buy.
For more insights, please visit The Annotations of Pyramids.

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