Pyramids

(The Book of Going Forth)

The seventh novel in the Discworld Series

Winner of BSFA’s Best Novel Award, 1990

UK: demy 8vo hbk: Victor Gollancz, 12,300 copies on 15 June 1989 (0-575-04463-2) reprinted six times, then reissued as 9” x 6” (22.9 x 15.2cm) hbk, 22 May 1997 (0-575-06484-6)
The publicity dept stamped and numbered at least 249 copies, which were sent out with a press release
Book proof: c.100 copies
Discworld Collector’s Library: The Gods Collection (hbk, cover engraving by Joe McLaren): Gollancz, 9 January 2014 (978-1-473-20014-2)

Pbk: Corgi, 151,000 copies on 2 July 1990 (0-552-13461-9); reprinted 1991 (twice), reset 1993, increasing pagination from 288 to 384, reprinted 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 (twice), etc.
New issue, with black/gold photographic design cover, on sale at same time as Kirby edition, 1 September 2004 (0-552-15264-1)

Reissued B-format with modified Kirby cover: Corgi, October 2012 (978-0-552-16665-2)

Book club: Guild Publishing [BCA], 11,500 copies (CN 6682)
BCA’s Unseen Library: 4,000 copies in November 2003 (CN 119058) 

USA pbk: Roc (NAL) (cover illus. Darrell K.Sweet), December 1989 (0-451-45044-2)

HarperTorch pbk, cover illus. Ben Perrini, August 2001 (0-06-102065-6)
Library hbk of pbk: Turtleback (0-613-57264-5), and Pawprints 9 May 2008 (978-1-4352-7472-3)
Premium pbk: Harper Premium, 30 April 2013 (978-0-06-222
Library hbk of pbk: Turtleback, ?January 2008 or earlier (0-613-57264-5)

US book club: Science Fiction Book Club Selection, March 1991 (cover art by Doug Anderson), March 1991 (ref. 18037)

Brazilian: Pirâmides, trs. Ludimila Hashimoto, Conrad, 2004 (85-7616-046-3)

Bulgarian: Пирамиди, trs. Tatiana Kostadinova-Minkovska, Vuzev/Arhont-V, 5,000 copies on 3 May 2000 (954-422-054-2)

Chinese/mainland (simplified): Science Fiction World Magazine, July 2012 (978-7-5364-7407-9)

Croatian: Marjan Tisak, 2004 [not seen]

Czech: Pyramidy, trs. Jan Kantůrek, Talpress, 10,000 copies, September 1995 (80-85609-69-X)
Double volume with Guards! Guards!: with pencil illustrations by Paul Kidby, Talpress, 2010 (978-80-7197-403-1)

Dutch: Pyramides (Het Boek van Derwaarts Gaan), trs. Venugopalan Ittekot (pseud. of Ruurd Groot), Het Spectrum, 7,000 copies in 1993 (90-274-3242-2)
Reissue: Mynx, 2008 (978-90-225-5119-6)
   Schijfwereldomnibus nr.3 (omnibus edition with Guards! Guards! and Faust Eric), Het    Spectrum, 5,000 copies in August 1999 (90-274-6757-9)

Estonian: Püramiidid, trs. Allan Eichenbaum, jacket illus. Hillar Mets, Varrak, November 2001 (9985-3-0454-3)

Finnish: Pyramidit (trs. Mika Kivimäki), Karisto, September 2002 (951-23-4351-7)
Pbk: Karisto, January 2006 (951-23-4728-8)

French: Pyramides (Le Livre de la Sortie), trs. Patrick Couton, L’Atalante, February 1996 (2-84172-026-8)
Reissue, with new introduction by Terry Pratchett (dated September 2014), 24 April 2015 (978-2-84172-715-5)

Pbk: Pocket, April 2000 (2-266-09971-X)
Pbk with Marc Simonetti cover: Pocket, January 2011 (978-2-266-21187-1)

German: Pyramiden, trs. Andreas Brandhorst, Heyne (06/4764), March 1991 (3-453-04505-X)
The first printing(s) of this volume contained an advertisement for ‘Maggi 5 Minuten Terrine’ on pages 209-210, which suggested that Teppic might have enjoyed this snack. The author did not share in the humour (or the fee obtained by Heyne for its inclusion). Following its discovery, no further contracts were signed with Heyne for Discworld novels and they have, starting with Moving Pictures (there being a multi-volume contract with Heyne which had to run its course), since been published by Goldmann (Bertelsmann).
Reissued in Heyne’s Allgemeine Reihe series, September 2000 (1/12188, 3-453-17061-X)

Republished: Piper, November 2004 (3-492-28506-6); revised cover December 2009
Reissued with new cover design by Katarzyna Oleska, Piper, May 2015 (978-3-492-28067-9)
All nine Piper Discworld titles issued in a box.with spines combining to create a single image by Katarzyna Oleska, illustrator of all the covers, Piper, 8 June 2015 (978-3-492-28080-8)

Double volume, Pyramiden and MacBest, no.23/141 in Heyne’s Tip des Monats series, 1997 (3-453-12327-1)
Reissued under title Schlamassel auf der Scheibenwelt, Piper, September 2005 (3-492-28612-7) revised design 5th printing July 2009

Bookclub: derclub, 2003 (05680-4)

Double pbk volume, Gevatter Tod and Pyramiden, Piper, May 2011 (978-3-492-26795-3)
Double pbk volume, with Der Zauberhut (Sourcery), Piper, December 2016 (978-3-492-28111-9)

Greek: Πυραμιδεζ, trs. Anna Papastaurou, Psichogios, 2,000 copies May 2006 (960-453-026-7)

Hebrew: פידמידוח, trs. Orit Kaplan, Kinneret, 1998 (965-286-654-7)

Hungarian: 1. Piramisok, trs. Dr Sohár Anikó, Cherubion Könyvkiadó, 4,024 copies on 28 August 2000 (963-9110-90-6)
2. Piramisok, trs. Veronika Farkas, Delta Vision, 27 April 2012 (978-615-5161-31-5)

Italian: Maledette Piramidi, trs. Pier Francesco Paolini, Sonzogno, 1994 (88-454-0665-2)
Pbk: TEA/Salani, copertina by Sonia Aloi & Giovani Manzoni, c. 21 January 2004 (88-502-0487-6)

Japanese: [Piramiddo] trs. Norito Kuga, Seichi Momose/Choeisha, 3 March 1999 (4-7952-2593-1)

Norwegian: Pyramidene, trs. Torleif Sjøgren-Erichsen, Tiden Norsk, 2,000 copies in November 2001 (82-10-04591-1)

Polish: Piramidy, trs. Piotr W. Cholewa, Fantastyka S-ka/Prószyński i S-ka, 1998 (83-7180- 378-8)
hbk: 2005 (83-7337-994-0)

Portuguese: Pirâmides, trs. Mário Dias Correia, Temas & Debates, August 2005 (972-759-689-4)

Romanian: Piramide, trs. Bogdan Mihăileanu, Rao, December 2007 (978-973-103-456-0)

Russian: Пирамиды, trs. V. Sumonova, Eksmo, 10,100 copies on 23 February 2001 (5-04-006979-0)
Double volume with Small Gods: Eksmo, printed on 15 January 2003 (5-699-02733-5)

Serbian/Yugoslav: Piramide, trs. Dejan Papić, Laguna/ReVision, ?15 June 2000 (86-7436-005-X)

Slovakian: Pyramídy, trs. Vladislav Gális, Talpress 2008 (978-80-7197-306-8)

Spanish: Pirómides, trs. Albert Solé, Martínez Roca, 1992 (84-270-1680-8)
pbk: Plaza & Janés, June 1999 (col. Jet 84-01-46161-8, vol.342/7, 84-01-47947-9)
Reissued by [!]Debols!llo [Plaza & Janés], November 2001 (84-8450-845-5)
6th printing March 2010 (978-84-9759-317-5)

Kiosk edition: Altaya, 2008 (978-84-487-2295-1)

Swedish: Pyramidfeber, trs. Peter Lindforss, Wahlströms, 1997 (91-32-32166-X)
Pbk: Wahlströms, 1999 (91-32-43211-9)

Turkish : 1. Piramitler, trs. Ümit Tosun, Ithaki, October 2002 (975-8725-04-1)
2. Piramitler, Delidolu/Tudem, October 2016 (978-605-5060-58-9)

 

Background illustration © and by courtesy of Marc Simonetti

 

Reviews

To do a Pratchett job on an idea is not demolition work, but re-evaluation: to see that which is taken for granted as something fresh and whole and infinitely funny. So to our clichéd concepts about Ancient Egypt (called Djelibeybi), a riverland on Discworld when the teenager Teppic studies to be an assassin but then becomes the 1,398th Pharaoh upon the death of his father.
And thereby hangs an entrail, as Dad’s embalmers might say… For from then on Teppic is at odds with Dios, chief priest ‘man and eunuch’ for many years, and the plans to build a pyramid-tomb so vast that it would plunge the riverland into river-bankruptcy.
The temptation not to quote Pratchett has to be fought, as ghosts and magic weave in and out of reality. He has a great gift for putting the single-sentence boot up the backside of his previous paragraph’s rhetoric.  He combines a touch of Wodehousian overkill (“the old lady was as tough as a hippo’s instep”) with those deft anti-climaxes of Caryl Brahms and S.J.Simon (“So there…”): he’s in nothing but the best company.
But what is completely Terry Pratchett’s is a perverse wisdom about the way things and people are. There’s the Ark that sinks because of all that weight of animal manure, and the stupidity of men who want to build the enormous pyramid to match their pointy little heads. Laugh or cry, is the message; it’s better to laugh.  Tom Hutchinson in The Times

Pratchett’s style of writing is the funniest since Douglas Adams. He tortures defenceless homonyms like an Attila the Pun, and doesn’t so much labour his analogies as equip them with a ball and chain and set them to pickaxing granite. Pratchett fans will welcome this as perhaps his best yet; newcomers will wonder what hit them.   Time Out

The best kind of parody – funny and smart and still a good story.   The Mail on Sunday

It seems an anomaly in the fabric of things that each Terry Pratchett book is better than the last, not to mention funnier. Pyramids is the finest yet.  20/20

Mickey-taking humour has a notorious tendency to run out of ideas the second time around. Unbelievably this the seventh Discworld novel; and it’s as fresh and funny as ever…. Not a book to be read in public if you value your reputation for sanity and sobriety: it’s dangerously funny.  City Life

…as playfully inventive and witty as its comical Discworld predecessors…. there’s plenty  of spin in the old disc yet. Venue

When comedy is as accomplished and hard-working as this, who needs the shock of the new?…. Pratchett has reached a level of accomplishment such that he can parody a writer as good as Wolfe and not look presumptuous. Books

One thinks of Discworld books as being jolly little romps, but they gain comic strength from repeated dealing with final things like death… not to mention, of course, Death…. Horribly funny and well up to standard. Dave Langford in Games Magazine

It is the most fiendishly constructed of the novels to date, yielding new pleasures on each successive re-reading.  Andrew M.Butler in Vector 186