I've just started my re-read of "Hogfather" and I'm already asking myself how I can have left it so long* without re-reading it
*(for context, I've only read it once... in 1998... is twenty years too long?)
I'm pleased but not surprised by philosophical gems like opening with
"Everything starts somewhere, although many physicists disagree.
But people have always been dimly aware of the problem with the start of things. They wonder how the snowplough driver gets to work, or how the makers of dictionaries look up the spellings of words. Yet there is the constant desire to find some point in the twisting, knotting, ravelling nets of space-time on which a metaphorical finger may be put to indicate that here, here, is the point where it all began..."
Wonderful stuff, not least because it is at the beginning and because it uses the word ravelling in a sentence.
Or the dry wit of statements like:
"The only sticky bit had been the embarrassment when her employer had found out she was a duchess because, in Mrs Gaiter's book, which was a rather short book with big handwriting, the upper crust wasn't supposed to work."
What caught me by surprise was how much the Assassins' Guild reminded me of Eton. It started with Lord Downey's pride in the Guild he leads because it:
"practised the ultimate in democracy. You didn't need intelligence, social position, beauty or charm to hire it. You just needed money, which unlike the other stuff, was available to everyone. Except the poor, of course but there was no helping some people".
What really reminded me of the alma mater of English entitlement was this:
"...the Guild took young boys and gave them a splendid education and incidentally taught them how to kill, cleanly and dispassionately, for money and for the good of society, or at least that part of society that had money, and what other kind of society was there?"
In the current climate in England, this came off as gallows humour.