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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

The audiobook of Equal Rites is narrated by Indira Varma (Game of Thrones; Luther; This Way Up). BAFTA and Golden Globe award-winning actor Bill Nighy (Love Actually; Pirates of the Caribbean; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) reads the footnotes, and Peter Serafinowicz (Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace; Shaun of the Dead) stars as the voice of Death. Featuring a new theme tune composed by James Hannigan.

'They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.'

Everybody knows there's no such thing as a female wizard. So when the wizard Drum Billet accidentally passes on his staff of power to an eighth daughter of an eighth son, a girl called Eskarina (Esk, for short), the misogynistic world of wizardry wants nothing to do with her.

Thankfully Granny Weatherwax, the Discworld's most famous witch, has plenty of experience ignoring the status quo. With Granny's help, Esk sneaks her way into the magical Unseen University and befriends apprentice wizard Simon.

But power is unpredictable, and these bright young students soon find themselves in a whole new dimension of trouble. Let the battle of the sexes begin....

Equal Rites is the first book in the Witches series, but you can listen to the Discworld novels in any order.

The first book in the Discworld series – The Colour of Magic – was published in 1983. Some elements of the Discworld universe may reflect this.

©1987 Terry Pratchett (P)2022 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"If you've never read a Discworld novel, what's the matter with you?" (Guardian)
 

"Pratchett uses his other world to hold up a distorting mirror to our own." (The Times)

What listeners say about Equal Rites

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Could not be happier with this performance!

I hung in to every word even though I've read it many times. Excellent job!!

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Such an Improvement!

Indira Varma brings the characters to life. Previous recordings of the witches serious, was to me like nails on chalkboards with a screechy man's voice applied to Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg (who isn't in this book, but still). The improvement is fabulous.
That said, there’s slight volume leveling issues in the first chapter of this book.

Peter Serafinowicz and Bill Nighy are of course perfect when they show up. To me Death has never been scary before, but wow, just wow!

Finally I'll admit the story is not my favorite Discworld novel. It's not bad, but it is mediocre. It doesn't unlock potential the way so many others do, as evidenced by the main character not showing up again for for 35 books (and then said book gets classified as part of the For Kids rather than as part of the Witches series).

If not a die hard fan, I suggest skipping to Wyrd Sisters. Indira Varma's narration will give that book the justice it has long been denied.

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Disappionted NO choice but the new version.

I really love Prachett's books, but this version is not working for me. I'm having trouble keeping track of who is speeking and sometimes whether or not it's the narator or the character. I find this group of narators keeps losing my attention and much of the comidic timing is gone. I wish I could still get the version with the original narator. I will hopefully get most of the other books befor they replace them with this group of narators. I would like to make a request that Audible doesn't remove the older versions in place of newer,

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Great Storytelling!

Sir Terry Pratchett is a legend for a reason. He is a master of allusion, reference, comedy, world building, and characterization. This is a story far too important to be ignored.

This new production does a brilliant job of bringing the Discworld books to life!

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OK story but terrible narrator

The early Discworld novels were still finding their feet, and Equal Rites falls into this category. It's a meandering story that loses its point a little, but is still full of fantastic characters and Pratchett's signature brand of creativity and fun.

But where this really fell apart for me was in having Indira Varma as the narrator. I have been eagerly awaiting the re-release of all the Discworld audiobooks, but I was so so disappointed with this. Indira Varma does not, in any way, differentiate between the voices of all the different characters, or even the voices of the characters and the voice of the narrator. I was regularly unsure of whether it was a character or the narrator talking because she read them all in exactly the same way.

The key to a fantastic audiobook is finding a narrator who can give each character an individual voice, so you can tell who is talking without being told. Indira Varma's way of acting Esk was to say all of her lines in a flat monotone. It was so boring to listen to that I ended up speeding it up to double speed to get it over and done with. I will not be buying any of the other books narrated by her. I am so disappointed.

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I love this book

This is fantastic. It is thoughtful and funny and both the book and performance are first rate.

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Excellent!

Wonderful narration and lovely humor. This is my first Terry Pratchett book and I'm hooked!!!

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Not bad at all

However I take issue with criticism of Varma’s performance. I think she did a great job and has a fantastic voice. The story is fine, not his best but a crucial piece of discworld lore. If you don’t have an issue with a woman performing a story about women, and like Pratchett’s silly world, you should enjoy this.

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The hands-down BEST performance I've heard yet!

Excellent story, of course. Terry Pratchett at his finest.
But Indira Varma's performance makes it even BETTER, which I'd never thought possible.
I knew that Penguin's latest audiobook releases of Pratchett's Discworld series would be top notch across the board, but Indira Varma's narration is just absolute perfection. Her voices were spot on, never too much or not enough. And her narration throughout perfectly nailed Pratchett's very distinct tone! Just an absolute joy to listen to.

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Stellar performance

Charming story, made absolutely delightful to listen through by Indira Varma. Highly recommend this, and I immediately purchased the next one in the series upon completing this one.

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  • Mr. T. M. Lazarus
  • 05-08-22

Finally a narrator to match Pratchett's prose!

No disrespect to Baldrick or Neil off of the Young Ones but Indira Varma knocks their renditions into a cocked hat, really brings out the writing. If you're a Pterry fan wondering whether to give yet another audio rendition a go, fear not. This is wonderful.

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  • K Mich
  • 05-22-22

Gods, the new narration is good!

I've listened to the old Pratchett audiobooks, all of them, but none have done such a good job of capturing the intent and tone of the speech as well as these have!

I might buy all of the new ones as well at this rate. Certainly the Witches series, Indira is amazing!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Mike Robinson
  • 05-17-22

Finally!

Discworld seems awfully difficult to get right on either audio or visual. This does.

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  • Sue
  • 04-30-22

Wonderful.

It's so nice to have this book done justice at last. Great narration.
Whoever had the idea of having Bill Nighy read the footnotes is a genius. Give them a rise.

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  • Kittyboo
  • 06-28-22

Love, love, loved!

My first time listening to a Terry Pratchett although read a lot of them when I was younger, absolutely loved this and loved the reader. Forgot how entertaining they are and have already downloaded The Wyrd Sisters and will definitely download or preorder the rest read by Indria Varma. Would recommend to anyone who loves a bit of magic.

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  • Mark Rowley
  • 06-24-22

The modern retelling are superior.

Like Wyrd Sisters, this is equally 'spell binding' with its brilliant plots, excellent presentation and just addictive.

Yet to hear a Disc World book that isn't just immense and these new readings are vastly superior to the already entertaining originals.

Very, very, very highly recommended.

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  • kate
  • 06-23-22

Excellent

Narrator was amazing. She carried it off which is seems hard to do with Pratchett. She read it aloud how I say it in my head, despite my internal narrator being male, how apt.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-11-22

Exceptionally well read

This is one of my favourite Terry Pratchet stories and I was glad that it was so well read by the reader. Amazing work and I will be getting more books where she is the reader.

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  • Carole Stone
  • 06-19-22

Wonderful

At last someone to do justice to the superlative Terry Pratchett Indira and crew are truly outstanding at bringing this magical book to life. I loved every second and couldn't recommend highly enough

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  • Francis M. Kelly
  • 05-16-22

loved it, but too short.

Getting lost in the Discworld and their characters . Onto the next book and more magical happenings.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-06-22

Fantastic narration

Indira does a brilliant job narrating this book. Great story, very entertaining. Loved it all!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-06-22

Great story, excellent narrator.

This is a great iteration of this book. I found the narrator did an excellent job bringing the story to life.

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  • Catherine
  • 07-03-22

Brilliant narrator/s and story

Great fun, wonderful narrators. So good to have discworld getting newly recorded.... As great as Stephen briggs and Nigel Planer were.

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  • Lauren VS
  • 06-05-22

Fantastic tale

Excellent book by the great Sir Terry! Smart, witty and just plain fun. The updated narration is very well done too, Indira Varma is so talented with the voices.

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  • LW
  • 06-04-22

Love love love it

The story is brilliant of course, and the reading/performance by Indira Varma matches it. Love love love it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-26-22

Exceptional Wordsmithing

Terry Pratchett has the most amazing way with words, jamming unusual examples into perfect descriptions and driving them along the most wonderful and engaging of tales. You dive head first into a magical world you didn't even know you wanted to be in until you got there.

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  • Katia holland
  • 05-23-22

New narration brings it to life

Amazing fantastic
New narration, really brings the story to life
Highly recommend
A must listen if you love terry

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-21-22

Quite funny

Great use of language, & he even made up lots of new words 😁😁
Kept me listening, & loved the characters

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  • Kristin
  • 05-12-22

brilliantly read

I love all Discworld stories. this one is beautifully read. I was absolutely drawn into the story and loved living on the Disc for 7ish hours.

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  • Dlutchy
  • 05-11-22

Not enough Bill Nighy

Well read story but if you are wanting Bill Nighy he gets about 1 Minute of audio.