Book Review: Mrs Bradshaw’s Handbook by Terry Pratchett

Mrs Bradsaw's handbook discworldAuthorised by Mr Lipwig of the Ankh-Morpork and Sto Plains Hygienic Railway himself, Mrs Georgina Bradshaw’s invaluable guide to the destinations and diversions of the railway deserves a place in the luggage of any traveller, or indeed armchair traveller, upon the Disc.

*From the twine walk of Great Slack to the souks of Zemphis: edifying sights along the route
*Ticketing, nostrums and transporting your swamp dragon: essential hints on the practicalities of travel
* Elegant resorts and quaint inns: respectable and sanitary lodgings for all species and heights.
* From worm-herding to Fustic Cake: diverting trivia on the crafts, foods and brassica traditions of the many industrious people for whom the railway is now a vital link to the Century of the Anchovy

Fully illustrated and replete with useful titbits, Mrs Bradshaw’s Handbook offers a view of the Sto Plains like no other.

This is a “Terry Pratchett Presents” book, which indicates that it’s one of the Discworld offshoots (from the book “Raising Steam”) and written by others in the Discworld Emporium collective. It’s no bad thing for all that, and presents a nice little addendum that is actually more absorbing than such a slim book could usually warrant.

Written by one Mrs Bradshaw, this is a traveliing guide a la Bradshaws, Lonely Planet etc, which gives a description of the various stops along the line and a brief summary of the guest houses, primary local events etc. I have seen some complaints about how boring it is to get the same repatitive style of 2 line entries for each stop across the line, but this is a throwback to the types of travel guides I was brought up with, long before the internet allowed to you to compile your own travel guide!

This has maps and pictures galore! It’s easy to skim pages, but you run the risk of missing the odd fabulous joke lurking in the middle of the page – the Effing Great Tit, an inhabitant of Effing Forest, being one such example.

You will either love this book or think “why did I spend my time”? Buy it if a fan of Discworld and want to fill in some of the gaps, otherwise it’s not the best entry into the series


2 thoughts on “Book Review: Mrs Bradshaw’s Handbook by Terry Pratchett

  1. my favourite off shoot is “Where’s my cow” which is hilarious. I want to learn how to make Nanny Ogg’s famous carrot and oyster pie, where carrots are for seeing in the dark and oysters so you have something to look at……


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