The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner and Other Stories by Terry Pratchett

The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner and Other StoriesThe Witch's Vacuum Cleaner and Other Stories by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A collection of early works by Sir Terry. These were all written from the mid-sixties to the early seventies and published in Pratchett's local newspaper where he worked as a junior reporter. The stories are written for children and are all fun. Most of them were good with a couple of duds and a couple of excellent ones, averaging out to a solid rating of 3/5.

1. The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner - Cute story about a magician who gets cursed by a witch. Everything he touches changes into something else, usually odd, but he comes up with a way to appease the witch, Mrs. Riley. (3/5)

2. The Great Train Robbery - This is a story about the Wild West, the other Wild West, the one in Britain ... Wales. Amusing story of how the law derailed a heist. Lots of silly wordplay. (4/5)

3. The Truly Terrible Toothache - A deliciously fun magic story. A librarian finds an old book and reads an interesting bit which brings back Black William from the 16th century. Very quickly everything in the town turns back to its Elizabethan version. The librarian and police sergeant find out a way to help Black William and return to the 21st century. (5/5)

4. The Frozen Feud - This is another tale of the Wild West (Wales) with the same characters as the second story. This time the sergeant has to deal with two rival ice cream vans. Cute, but nothing special. (3/5)

5. Darby and the Submarine - This didn't do anything for me. Little people have an adventure while boating. (1/5)

6. The Sheep Rodeo Scandal - Another tale of the Wild West town in Wales. Not as comical as the other too but ok. Sheep rustlers come to town for the annual Sheep Rodeo. (2/5)

7. An Ant Called 4179003 - An ant decides life is dull in the colony and escapes. Then he meets a bee who has left the hive, and the two enjoy a quiet life together. Cute but not much.(3/5)

8. The Fire Opal - This a fun fantasy quest. The Troll Prince loses the fire opal set in his crown.It is said to have come from the centre of the earth. As it rolls away, three trolls including the Prince set off running after it. Along the way, they meet others of their own kind: tree trolls, troll nymphs, sea trolls, etc. Everything ends well but where they ended up is perfect.(4/5)

9. Lord Cake and The Battle for Banwen's Beacon - Once again we visit the Wild West in Wales, only this time we travel back into the past and find out about how the town was almost tricked out of its Coal Rush. (3/5)

10. The Time-Travelling Television -Several of these stories take place in a village called Blackbury, as does this one.After finding some strange fossilised items, a Professor looks up Bill Powers, and he takes her time-travelling where they meet a man from the future. Good.(3/5)

11. The Blackbury Park Statues - The statues in a park get worried when an old lady who has regularly visited her whole life suddenly stops coming. They find a way to bring her back. (3/5)

12. Wizard War - Two wizards can't stand each other and are always getting into spats sending spells at each other. When things get worse, the apprentice of one and the cat of the other go to the Grand Wizard for help .(3/5)

13. The Extraordinary Adventures of Doggins - A little longer than the other stories in this book. A fun fantasy of a man who lives alone on a mountain is visited by an airship and takes off with the captain and a girl to have some BIG ADVENTURES. Excellent.(5/5)

14. Rincemangle, The Gnome of Evan Moor - A gnome living in the country thinking he is the only gnome in the world takes off for the town. He arrives at a department store full of other gnomes, but tragedy strikes and all the gnomes have to learn to drive to escape. A very familiar story! This idea eventually expanded into the "Bromeliad Trilogy". (5/5)


  1. I am sure his early stuff is not quite as good as his later stuff. One day I will check this out, but still have so many unread books by him on my shelves!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts